El Chalten exists because of the hiking in the Fitz Roy Range. Much in the same way Damascus, Virginia exists because of the nearby hiking/biking, or the town of Breckenridge exists because of the nearby skiing. But even those towns would have (and have had) other reasons to thrive. El Chalten is a hub for hiking, plain and simple, and sits at a perfect place to easily access the mountains. The trailheads are just a few hundred yards from most of the accommodations, so there is no need to get an elaborate shuttle for most hikes – just walk out your door and start hiking! (One exception – the trail to Laguna de los Tres can be accessed via town, but it is more interesting to start with a shuttle to El Pilar and make it a point-to-point.) So while we enjoyed three full days of hiking here, it was also fun to stake out a seat at one of several local pubs and restaurants in the late afternoon and enjoy a snack and a beverage as hikers came out of the mountains with hiking poles in hand. Breckenridge and Aspen have their “apres-ski”, but El Chalten has its “apres-hike”.