Fitz Roy Expediciones, Av. San Martín 5 (tel./fax 02962/493017; www.fitzroyexpediciones.com.ar), offers a variety of trekking excursions, including a complete 9-day circuit around the backside of the FitzRoy and Cerro Torre peaks on the spectacular Patagonian Ice Cap, for $1,850 (£1,249) per person, all equipment and meals included, as well as 2 nights' lodging in an albergue. This is a trip for hard-core adventurers only. They also have an excellent day trip to Lago del Desierto, which includes a short hike or boat cruise and lunch at their adventure camp, which offers rafting trips. The full-day trip costs $75 (£51) and is a good option on a stormy day, as the weather is often better toward Lago del Desierto than in El Chaltén. Finally, they have multisport trips, with river kayak trips, mountain biking, and horseback riding from their lovely FitzRoy Adventure Camp, just north of El Chaltén.
The rugged and wild Viedma Glacier is accessed from El Chaltén. It's a powerful place where you can strap on some crampons and go explore some magical ice. PatagoniaAventura (tel. 02962/493110; www.patagonia-aventura.com) currently has the concession to run this excursion. They have four categories of excursions: Viedma Light is a half-day boat trip, where you don't step on the ice; Viedma Trek includes a light hike at the base of the glacier; Viedma Ice Trek is a crampons-on trek atop the glacier; and finally, Viedma Pro is an ice trek that includes a short course in ice climbing. All include transfers from El Chaltén, but not lunch -- you must bring your own food. Another interesting boat trip is across the remote Lago del Desierto, which, despite its name, is in one of the most lush valleys in southern Patagonia.
There's nothing like horseback riding in Patagonia, and the gauchos at El Relincho, Avenida del Libertador (tel. 02962/493007), have been leading rides from their stables in "downtown" El Chaltén for years.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.