Traveling from El Calafate to El Chaltén is one of the most taken routes by hikers. You will pass stunning landscapes in Patagonia and see beautiful blue rivers. Here I explain to you the easiest way to travel from the most popular hiking towns in Patagonia by bus or car.

Read more: Most popular hotels and hostels in El Chaltén to start your hike

Getting from El Calafate to El Chaltén

The distance between the two Patagonia cities is around 220km or 137 miles. It takes you around 3h30 by car and 4h with a bus to reach the destination. It’s a beautiful road, fully paved and perfect to drive on with a standard sedan car. There are NO gasoline stations on the road from El Calafate to El Chaltén. So, you need to have a fully tanked car. In El Chaltén there is one gas station.

Driving by car to El Chaltén

There are several car rental companies active in El Calafate. As mentioned before it is a ride of 3h30 and without any gasoline station on your way. I recommend taking a 4×4 if you are planning to drive further than El Chaltén. The paved road stops at the city border and if you are planning to start your hike to Mount Fitz Roy from the El Pilar point, you definitely need a SUV.

El Calafate to El Chalten roads

Bus from El Calafate to El Chaltén

Another easy way, and above all budget-friendly and comfortable is taking a bus from El Calafate to El Chaltén. The bus takes you around 4 hours from the bus terminal to the terminal located in El Chaltén center.

It costs you around 26 USD for a one-way ticket. The bus departs on fixed hours and there is a higher frequency during the high season from October till April.

Personally, it was one of the easiest ways for getting there. Nobody was tired after the drive and ready for the hike the next day.

You can book your bus tickets from El Calafate to El Chaltén here. 

Bus El Calafate to El Chalten Budget
Coach bus on the way to El Chaltén

Private transfer door-to-door

As the last option, there is always a door-to-door service with a private transfer. The driver takes you from your hotel or address in El Calafate straight to your destination in El Chaltén. However, the price is a bit high but for sure has its reasons if you want that kind of service.


Since 2017 I'm living in Buenos Aires close to the heart of Patagonia. The perfect home base to start many trips throughout the beautiful Patagonian landscapes. With Secrets of Patagonia, I like to share honest information to plan your once in a lifetime trip. Hours of talking with local residents, traveling by myself and the experience of working in the tourism industry. I hope you will enjoy Patagonia as much as I do.

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