Our Story

This place amazed me since my first visit to the area, in the summer of 1987, when I felt that I had found “my place”. After that trip there were others. There were other mountains and other friends. Until I finally decided with my mate on some adventures to follow the path of those first dreams and settle down in El Chaltén.

The Patagonia received me, it gave me its time, its storms and on the slopes of the Fitz Roy it gave me El Pilar, where I was able to combine my greatest passions: mountains and countryside.

I chose its name as a tribute to what I consider was the purest climbing of these mountains. In 1979 Renato Casarotto climbed alone the northern slope of the Fitz Roy tracing one of the most beautiful and most difficult routes known today as Pilar Casarotto or Pilar Norte.

Since it was built, in 1994, El Pilar receives visitors from all around the world who are tempted by the possibility of living the Patagonia in a different way. For everyone, our doors are open. We all are readily willing to guide our guests during their stay so that everyone may live, in their own way, the energy of Nature.

We hope you may all feel the magic of this place as we do.

Carolina Codo

Our Country Home

Pioneer in De las Vueltas River valley and surrounded by a thick forest of native trees we offer a patagonian country house recreation, similar to first ones in the area.

A warm and cozy atmosphere, with creaking wood may be heard burning in the great main chimney.

Our country home has only 10 rooms very comfortable with private bathroom and they are warmly set.

It is important to know that in the hostel and surroundings we do not have a Wi-Fi, TV or cell phone signal. Far from being an inconvenient, it represents an opportunity to connect with other activities and specially with nature.

``Patagonia received me, gave me their time, their storms; and on the slopes of Fitz Roy gave me El Pilar. There I was able to combine my great passions: the mountain and the countryside. I hope that, like me, you can feel the magic of this place ``



Image module

Piedra del Fraile

The beginning of the trip is on foot or following a path to the west. Progressively the arid slopes lead to the typical Patagonian forest of the area where the Nothofagus (Lengas, Ñires and Colihues) are predominant. After crossing the Río Blanco, from where there is a beautiful view of the Fitz Roy, if the weather allows, starts the climb bordering Eléctrico river which descends from Electrico lagoon. The path enters the thick Nothofagus forest which later becomes less dense as it gets higher. During the trip you will have magnificent views of Andes Mountains, views of the different granite peaks which characterize the area and a view of Marconi Path, doorway to Continental Ice fields.

Laguna de Los Tres

Leaving the country house you follow a path bordering the Río Blanco. It is a solitary path which allows you to have a better perception of the different sounds of nature. After travelling for 2:30 hours, you arrive at the Camping Site “Río Blanco”. From there on, the path is zigzagged in order to compensate an irregular escalation of 500 meters before reaching the De los Tres lagoon. The path ends at the edge of the moraine with a fabulous view of the lagoon and the icebergs on one side and, on the other side, the forest, El Chaltén and the Viedma lake at the back. This is the closest view of the Fitz Roy granite wall and its peripheral needles. Going down the moraine you may follow the path which surrounds it where you may appreciate the beauty of the Sucia lagoon and its icebergs.

You may return to the country house on the same path or descend towards El Chaltén passing through Capri lagoon.

Image module

Piedras Blancas Glacier

Leaving the country house on the path that borders Blanco river, after 45 minutes you will find a great view of the Piedras Blancas glacier, one of the lowest of the area. If you wish to approach the iceberg and its lagoon you should continue on the same path until the Camping Site Poincenot and from there cross the Río Blanco to access the area of the iceberg. You go on down the same path until you reach the creek Piedras Blancas which descends from West to East and is one hour walk away from the Camping Poincenot. You then retake the path bordering the river on its right margin and cross it almost where it commences and you finally are at the lagoon and closely appreciate the ice fallings.

Del Desierto Lake & Huemul Glacier

Leaving El Pilar by car or bus, travelling north, always bordering the De las Vueltas river. After an hour you arrive at the south point of Del Desierto lake where the walk starts.

The path enters the forest. After travelling for 45 minutes upwards you arrive at the lagoon of Huemul glacier. From there you have a beautiful view of all the Valle del Río de Las Vueltas with the Viedma lake at the back. Huemul glacier is an iceberg which lies in Huemul lagoon, a lagoon of dark blue waters typical of the icebergs area.

Image module

Madsen Museum

Andreas Madsen, who was a countryside worker of Danish origin, arrived in Buenos Aires in 1901. He became a member of the Limits Commission with Chile and cooperated with the Perito Moreno. He built his first cottage, made of wood and furs, alongside Viedma river. His interest in learning and knowing, his desires to find new horizons, his virtues as an artist, his high moral values and his great passion for nature immortalized in literature a model of a pioneer who left in the Patagonia his seeds of development and prosperity. At present, it is possible to visit the cottage where he lived by crossing De las Vueltas river by cable carriage.

Other activities in the area:

    Mountain Bike.

    Estancia Los Huemules Natural Reserve.

    Expedition to Continental ice fields (3 to 10 days staying overnight at a camping).

    Mountain activities: zipline, rappel, etc.

    Kayaking (for experts).

    Bird watching / Contemplation of nature.

    Sailing on Viedma Lake.

    All activities offered by local operators.


Hostería El Pilar is located in De las Vueltas river valley 17 km away from El Chaltén (Province of Santa Cruz) where Eléctrico river flows into De las Vueltas river. It is a privileged place since it is far from the most frequently visited attractions of the area and a starting point for many paths. It possesses a very special magic since it is surrounded by the Andean-Patagonian forest.


How to arrive

The nearest airport is located in the city of El Calafate (237 km from El Chalten). The approximated flying time from Buenos Aires is 3 hours; from Bariloche, 1:30 hours and from Ushuaia, 1:10 hours.
Once you arrive at El Calafate there are regular buses to El Chaltén which have at least two services a day. The approximate travel time is 3 hours.
You may also get there by car, leaving from El Calafate, taking provincial Route 11, and then taking the legendary Route 40, travelling north. After 107 km you arrive at the bridge crossing the Río La Leona (we recommend you to stop for a view of the antique place). A little more to the north, once you have bordered the east side of Viedma Lake, turn east taking provincial Route 23 which takes you to El Chaltén.
Once you arrive at El Chaltén, leaving the town by taking San Martín avenue, you must follow a rocky path which ends at Del Desierto Lake bordering the De las Vueltas river. The path enters the mountain and you may quickly appreciate the transition of the landscape into vegetation and forest. It is possible to find foxes, hares, skunks and many species of birds. The entrance to the property of El Pilar country house is on kilometer 17.

Image gallery

Pictures of the country house


Contact us

    Rates & Policies


    Image module
    Image module
    Image module

    Opening November 1st – Closing March 31st.

    Check in: from 3 pm.

    Check out: until 10 am.

    Smoking is not allowed.

    Pets are not allowed.