When it comes to traveling the 885 miles (1,425 km) between the mountain village of El Chaltén and lakeside Bariloche, you have two main options. The first and fastest is to transfer from El Chaltén to El Calafate and catch a direct flight to Bariloche. The second is to set aside some time to rent a car and take in the Argentinian countryside along RN40, which follows the Andes on its way up Argentina's western border.
To get the most out of your visit to both El Chaltén and Bariloche, consider this 10-day hiking itinerary that includes both towns as well as El Calafate and Buenos Aires.
Duration: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Direct flights to Bariloche leave from the larger Patagonian city El Calafate. To get from El Chaltén to El Calafate Airport (FTE), your best bet is hiring a private transfer or shared shuttle from your accommodations in El Chaltén to the airport.
Otherwise, you can take the bus. Caltur, El Chaltén, and Tasqa/Marga offer daily departures between the bus terminal in El Chaltén off of Calle Perito Moreno and the terminal in El Calafate on Calle Antoine de Saint Exsupery. This route takes three hours, not including transfer from the bus station to the airport (which takes about 20 minutes).
Once you arrive in El Calafate, you can take a direct flight to San Carlos de Bariloche Airport (BRC). The flight takes about one hour and 45 minutes, and Aerolineas Argentinas offers a couple of flights per day. Upon arrival, you can take a private transfer or taxi to your accommodations in town, which is about 30 minutes from the airport.
Duration: 23 hours, depending on stops
RN40 takes you nearly all the way from El Chaltén to Bariloche, a journey that takes 23 hours without stops. Though you'll see Andean peaks and Patagonian steppes along most of the famous route anyway, consider turning onto RN259 near Esquel to enter Los Alceres National Park to see mountainside lakes and glacial cirques. Though most of the route is paved, keep in mind conditions may be worse in winter (June-September).