Concierge.com's insider take:
The village of El Chaltén is one of Argentina's hiking capitals, located at the northern end of Los Glaciares National Park and at the base of Patagonia's emblematic Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre peaks, with hiking trails winding in all directions. Owned by Alberto del Castillo, who also runs guiding outfit Fitz Roy Expediciones, 12-room Hostería El Puma is the perfect budget option for hikers who prefer to return to a bit of comfort at nighttime. It's cozy, rustic, and warmed by a crackling fireplace that serves as a meeting place for elated but footsore hikers after a muddy day in the mountains. The emphasis is on comfort rather than design: The brick-walled rooms are heated from beneath the wooden floorboards, and thick duvet bedcovers and powerful showers help keep guests cozy. The views from El Puma stretch across the Río de las Vueltas valley to the house built by El Chaltén's first European settler, Danish pioneer and cartographer Andreas Madsen. Unlike most Argentine lodges, El Puma goes beyond just a coffee and medialuna croissant for breakfast, serving a filling mix of granolas, breads, and cakes to prepare hikers for the day ahead. Local favorites such as fresh Patagonian lamb and trout await guests when they return for dinner.
Closed May through September.
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