Some 37km north of El Chaltén (a one-hour drive on a gravel road), Lago del Desierto sits near the Chilean border. At the lake a 500m trail leads to an overlook with fine lake and glacier views. A lake trail along the eastern side extends to Candelario Mansilla in Chile.

An increasingly popular way to get to Chile is by crossing the border here with a one- to three-day trekking/ferry combination to Villa O’Higgins, the last stop on the Carretera Austral. The route is also popular with cyclists, though much of their time is spent shouldering their bike and gear through steep sections too narrow for panniers. Plans have started to put a road in here, but it may take decades.