Photo courtesy of Pablo Castagnola/Anzenberger/Redux
El Chaltén, Argentina
The small town of El Chaltén in southern Patagonia has been called the trekking capital of the world due to its proximity to Mt. Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, two of South America’s most rugged peaks. It’s also the jumping-off point to reach Aguas Arriba Lodge, a new six-room mountain cabin in a nature reserve next to Glaciers National Park. From El Chaltén, you follow a gravel road along Las Vueltas river to the emerald green Lago del Desierto, then take a short boat ride across the lake. If you’re more hard-core, put your luggage on the boat and hike three hours through the forest to reach the lodge.