506 miles (815 km) south of Coyhaique you'll find the wonders of El Chaltén and the Fitz Roy mountain in Patagonia. Traveling between the two can be done with a private transfer, rental car, or by bus.
Traveling by car takes about 12-14 hours and renting a car is a good option if you're planning on driving back to Chile after your time in El Chaltén. A private transfer is, however, the best option if you're not returning to Chile or you plan on returning by bus or plane from another city. On the way, you'll get a chance to visit Perito Moreno and Cerro Castillo.
A bus takes about 16 hours with an hour on a ferry between Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez and Chile Chico and a stop in Los Antiguos. There is also the option of going to O'Higgins first, by traveling on the scenic road Carreta Austral (Route 7) and from here taking a ferry and bus. This is a more adventurous route and will take you up to two days. Usually, this option is for those who don't have a lot of luggage and are looking for a lot of hiking and exploring.
Take a look at this adventurous 16-day itinerary through Patagonia to see what more this beautiful region has to offer.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 12-14 hours
Driving a car or getting a transfer are the best ways to travel between Coyhaique and el Chaltén. The journey takes approximately 12-14 hours with shorter stops and up to a day with hiking in Cerro Catillo National Reserve and visiting Perito Moreno. You'll drive on RN40 most of the way. Booking a private transfer, you can split up the journey into two and spend the night in one of these places, then book another transfer for the next day to take you to El Chaltén.
There is an alternative route that goes through Carretera Austral (Route 7) which is a highly scenic road in Chile. You can get to O'Higgins by car and after that, you'll have to get on a ferry, hike, or rent a bike. It's definitely possible to take this route if you're looking for an extra adventure. Arriving at El Chaltén you're three hours away from El Calafate—another popular destination in Argentina.
Duration: 16 hours
Buses leave from Coyhaique to Chaltén pretty much daily, usually once per day although they are less frequent during low season (April-October) and holidays.
The bus will take you from Coyhaique to Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez in an hour and from here you can expect a 2-hour ferry ride to Chile Chico. From Chile Chico, it takes about 10 hours to get to El Chaltén. Buy some food with you before leaving Coyhaique for the trip since the bus usually only offers snacks and drinks.