Don Los Cerros Boutique Hotel

El Chalten, Santa Cruz, Argentine Patagonia, Argentina Book from Book from £190 per night

Comfort, cuisine and excellent adventures in Argentina’s trekking paradise, Mount Fitz Roy, southern Patagonia
A striking, wine-red mountain hotel in zinc, wood and stone, Los Cerros is perched above Argentina’s trekking capital El Chaltén. It offers very comfortable accommodation with spa treatments and fine cuisine on tap, and a range of adventures a short drive away - from gentle lake cruises past a glacier wall, to intermediate hikes beneath soaring peaks and guided "ice trekking" for the hardy. Sink your ice-axe into the Torre glacier, sail across the deep green Lago del Desierto, or watch those mighty granite peaks turning scarlet at sundown: this is quintessential Patagonia.

The 44 rooms are cosy rather than chic, but all have grand mountain views and the service from the young staff is keen and friendly. Throw in a massage, a Jacuzzi in your room and fabulous cuisine, and you have a surprisingly sophisticated experience in Argentina's deep south.


  • Stunning mountains, glaciers and lakes literally on your doorstep - with top-notch guides from Fitz Roy Expeditions
  • Superb food and wine to restore you afterwards, and a friendly atmosphere with plenty of guests and sofas for socialising
  • Excellent massages for those tired muscles, plus a small spa with saunas
  • Good, personalised service from caring young staff who help you choose trips
  • Transfers available from El Calafate airport, 3 hours away (at extra cost)
  • No need to go into El Chaltén itself; Los Cerros is elevated above the town


  • The hotel has changed hands (and name) since our last trip - we'll be revisiting soon and updating our review
  • Standard rooms are a little small; furnishings are simple, lighting a little gloomy
  • El Chaltén: not a picturesque place, but there are places to eat, drink and meet other people, if you want. Note there's no ATM in town
  • No TV or phones in the bedrooms, but there is WiFi and a communal TV room
  • Expensive compared with more budget options in El Chaltén, but the food and the mood are great

Best time to go

The season generally runs from October to April, and trekking is possible throughout this time, but there are fewer people on the trails in October, November, March and April. The most popular paths are pretty packed throughout December, January and February. The weather throughout this time is constantly changeable. Days may well start sunny and become rainy and squally by lunchtime. Bring appropriate gear!

Our top tips

Hiking gear is essential. You could hire almost everything here, but since most visitors bring their own walking boots, those available for hire are not of the best quality. You’ll also need a good waterproof and windproof jacket, a hat, good gloves, a fleece, light hiking trousers, a scarf and plenty of sun block (the ozone layer here is thin). It’s a good idea to bring a couple of pairs of trousers, in case you get rained on, and carry extra socks with you.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Luxury Lodge
  • 44
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 20 Sep 2019 - 2 Nov 2019
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Jacuzzi
Room: Superior Room with View


There are 44 comfortable bedrooms spread across 3 categories. Standard Rooms (32 of them) are a little squashed, and smaller than the 8 Superior Rooms, which are of a good size. The 4 Superior Rooms with View get - you guessed it - a view over the valley.

Décor in all is cheerful and homely but not chic, with plain sage-green walls and huge windows looking out over the valley (in the opposite direction to the town) or Mount Fitz Roy itself. All have a small seating area with a couple of armchairs where you can sit back and gaze at the view - perfect after a deep bath to recover from your walk.

The beds are extremely comfortable. Standard Rooms have large duvets with bright candy striped covers (which don’t quite match the patterned curtains); Superior Rooms have a more restrained scheme, with calming cream curtains that are heavy enough to block the light so that you can sleep during the day.

Bathrooms are modern and, though not luxurious, each one has a Jacuzzi - great after a long day’s trekking (if you don’t mind using up lots of Patagonia’s precious water!). Many of the tubs are raised up on a ledge, so that you can lie back and look through the window at the landscape beyond. Bathrooms also have a separate shower, and there’s a good selection of toiletries in every room, with bathrobes and slippers provided - useful when you go to the sauna or for a massage.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Jacuzzi
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


After all that mountain hiking, food takes on a special importance. Local Patagonian ingredients are combined with some more exotic delicacies to create original and better-than-average dishes. The dining room is grand - huge windows bring the view of the lovely valley of Río de las Vueltas inside.

Dinner starts with a drink at Happy Hour - try a glass from the Argentine wine from Mendoza, Salta, Rio Negro, San Juan and Neuquén. Mouth-watering starters might include curried pumpkin soup, or goats' cheese gratin with green apples; typical mains are grilled trout with cream of potatoes and chives, or brochettes of rib-eye steak. You won't go hungry - unless, perhaps, you're a vegetarian (in which case, warn the chef well in advance).

Breakfast is a "Patagonian" buffet - juice, fresh fruit, cheeses and cold meats, cereals, and a selection of pastries and patisseries.

Lunches will usually be eaten on your excursions: sandwiches, quiches, salads and the most delicious creamy soup (ask for pumpkin) carried in a flask by your guide - all very welcome when you’ve been hiking for a few hours.

After your day’s activities, you’ll be offered a pot of delicious tea from a menu of excellent leaf teas, served in charming Japanese-style pots, with something sweet to nibble.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu


Excursions are excluded from the rates, but can be pre-booked as optional extras. Stay at least 3 nights to enjoy a mix of activities. On your last day some trips can bring you back in time to transfer to El Calafate in time for dinner.

  • Go hiking: the area is Argentina’s trekking capital, with superb trails around the magnificent spires of Mount Fitz Roy. Well-trained and affable guides will provide information on flora, fauna and geology as you walk

  • The Full-Day Fitz Roy Trek (9 hours, 18km) is an excellent introduction and suitable for the reasonably fit, with an extra detour to Laguna de los Tres for extra-fit people. Expect almost constant views of Mount Fitz Roy, with beech forest and good open walking around jagged spires

  • Laguna Torre (12 hours) is highly recommended for the really fit. There are good views of both Fitz Roy and Torre. Once at Laguna Torre, you can try ice climbing and Tirolean crossing, with basic training in vertical ice climbing from expert guides (2 guides per 12 people)

  • Other hikes include Laguna Capri (6 hours), with wonderful views of Río de las Vueltas and then of Fitz Roy’s peaks reflected in the lagoon; and La Loma de Pliegue Tumbado (8 hours) for spectacular vistas of the Torre and Fitz Roy chains

  • Take a relaxing full-day trip to Lago del Desierto - delightful for all fitness levels and ages. A picturesque drive along meandering Río de las Vueltas is followed by a boat trip across the deep green fjord-like lake, with a 1-hour guided walk to Glacier Huemul. Lunch is served at the Refugio Condór and might include Patagonian lamb, tasty smoked meats and cheeses. You can also ride mountain bikes

  • Visit Lago Viedma and Glaciar Viedma - a moderate fitness level is required, and it’s suitable for children over 8. Go by boat across turquoise Lago Viedma, then don crampons and walk on the ruckled surface of the glacier

  • Go horse-riding. Full- and half-day rides are available, including easy rides along pretty Río de las Vueltas and more challenging climbs up to Mirador Pliegue Tumbado

  • Spend some time at Fitz Roy Adventure Centre, where you sleep in mountain tents or rustic wooden cabins lit by candles. This has easier access to treks, kayaking and mountain biking. Children will adore this, and it’s highly recommended for families. Meals include typical Patagonian asados (BBQs) and picadas of smoked meat and cheeses. Bathrooms are rustic, but showers have hot water and there's 24-hour electricity from a hydro-electric turbine

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Ice climbing
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Trekking


Don Los Cerros is best enjoyed by kids over 8, who are old enough to do the ice trekking on Glacier Viedma. Kids will also love the activities at the Fitz Roy Adventure Centre, and older children will enjoy the hikes and horse-riding too.

Children should share a room with at least one adult; If rooms are occupied only by children under the age of 12, one of them will be charged the full rate.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking


  • Airport: 3 hours
Kid Friendly: Laguna Capri


Don Los Cerros sits above the town of El Chaltén in Patagonia, southern Argentina. Access is easy, with transfers from El Calafate airport available (a taste of the real Patagonian steppe in a stunning 3-hour journey).

By Air:
El Calafate (200km away) is the closest airport. It has regular flights from Buenos Aires, though these can be subject to disruption - click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the Airport
Transfers can be arranged at extra cost. It's nice to be welcomed at the airport and taken in a comfortable air-conditioned / heated minibus to the hotel. There’s a stop for tea and delicious cakes in the historic Estancia La Leona, a great slice of Patagonian life.

By Bus:
There are buses from El Calafate (3 hours) and Los Antiquos (14 hours) to El Chaltén.

By Car:
Cars can be hired in El Calafate, but have to be returned there, and you certainly won't need a car during your stay in El Chaltén - so we'd normally recommend pre-booking transfers.

Detailed directions will be sent to you once you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Argentina and getting around.


  • El Calafate 200.0 km FTE


  • Beach 400.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

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