Chorrillo del Salto

Patagonia / Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz, Argentina

About Chorrillo del Salto

Hiking Distance: 1-1.6km round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2007-12-21
Date last visited: 2007-12-21

Waterfall Latitude: -49.29378
Waterfall Longitude: -72.90237

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

El Chorrillo del Salto I believe was actually the name for both the river and the waterfall (though I’m not totally sure about this).

I’ve also seen the falls referred to as Cascada del Salto as well as Chorillo del Salto (though the latter I think was mispelled).

Chorrillo_del_Salto_020_12212007 - Chorrillo del Salto
Chorrillo del Salto

In any case, we thought this was a very pleasant little diversion as we were looking for a waterfall excursion that wouldn’t take a lot out of us (unlike some of the other longer hikes that we ended up doing in the area).

The waterfall apparently came from the melting snow and glaciers accumulated from the imposing Fitz Roy Massif, which was an impressive chain of tall and sharp mountains towering well behind the charming town of El Chaltén.

I believe the falls was 20m in height.

However, the falls faced east so it would probably be best seen in morning light.

Since we were here in the late afternoon when everything was in shadow, we were also able to take long exposure photographs, but the dominance of shadows ensured that there wouldn’t be a whole lot of color in our photos.

El_Chalten_009_12212007 - The source of the water for Chorrillo del Salto came from the melting snow and ice on the Fitz Roy Massif
The source of the water for Chorrillo del Salto came from the melting snow and ice on the Fitz Roy Massif

Then again, had we come earlier in the day, we might’ve had to contend with shadows splitting the scene which would’ve made for terrible photographs.

Also, I’m sure its flow would diminish over time the later into the Patagonian Summer it would get.

We were able to get decent direct views of the waterfall from the end of the trail as well as more angled (but somewhat suboptimal) views from a steep scrambling path that went higher up the cliff alongside the falls.

I recalled having to do a little bit of skirting the stream to get the photo you see at the very top of the page without getting my feet wet.

If we had to walk to Chorrillo del Salto from El Chaltén, it would have been about 3km one-way (or 1 hour) from town.

Chorrillo_del_Salto_060_12212007 - Looking deeper into the valley while driving from El Chalten to the trailhead for Chorrillo del Salto
Looking deeper into the valley while driving from El Chalten to the trailhead for Chorrillo del Salto

However, we hired a car and got closer to the trailhead.

So we ended up only spending about 30+ minutes of walking in each direction.

Actually, we stopped the car at the wrong place (about 800m before the actual car park) so the amount of walking could be even far less than what we ended up doing to get to the falls.

We certainly could’ve saved ourselves a bit of time and effort by simply paying better attention to the signs.

The walk was mostly flat and quite easy to follow.


Chorrillo del Salto resides in Los Glaciares National Park near El Chaltén in Patagonian Argentina. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, the closest authoritative source of information that I could find was at Los Glaciares National Park website.

Chorrillo_del_Salto_001_jx_12212007 - A no parking sign, but if you didn't know Spanish, would you be able to tell that you couldn't park here?
Chorrillo_del_Salto_003_12212007 - Julie on the trail to Chorrillo del Salto though we started to hike on the trail a bit before the actual trailhead
Chorrillo_del_Salto_005_12212007 - Julie on an open part of the trail
Chorrillo_del_Salto_002_jx_12212007 - Continuing to follow the signs to Chorrillo del Salto
Chorrillo_del_Salto_003_jx_12212007 - Finally at the trailhead for Chorrillo del Salto
Chorrillo_del_Salto_008_12212007 - Getting our first look at Chorrillo del Salto
Chorrillo_del_Salto_049_12212007 - Zoomed in long-exposed look at Chorrillo del Salto
Chorrillo_del_Salto_044_12212007 - Julie checking out Chorrillo del Salto
Chorrillo_del_Salto_033_12212007 - Profile view of Chorrillo del Salto with wildflowers blooming in its mist as I went about as close to the base of the falls as I could
Chorrillo_del_Salto_053_12212007 - Julie heading back towards the trailhead and ultimately our parked car a bit further
Chorrillo_del_Salto_054_12212007 - If we didn't have our own car hire, we could've walked the 3km from town
Chorrillo_del_Salto_056_12212007 - Heading back to town along the unsealed route 23

From El Chaltén, continue on Route 23 north for about 3km to its car park.

The trail continues a little over 500m from there to the falls.

Chorrillo_del_Salto_009_jx_12212007 - The unpaved road leading towards the car park for Chorrillo del Salto
The unpaved road leading towards the car park for Chorrillo del Salto

For geographical context, El Chaltén was about 213km (nearly 3.5 hours drive) north of El Calafate. El Calafate was a 3.5-hour flight from Buenos Aires.

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Tagged with: patagonia, los glaciares, el calafate, el chalten, argentina, santa cruz, waterfall, fitz roy

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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