El Calafate is a city in Patagonia, Argentina. It is situated on the southern border of Lake Argentino, in the southwest part of the Santa Cruz Province, about 320 km Northwest of Río Gallegos.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in the Argentinian Patagonia.Learn more Book this experience
27 km away
Lago Argentino is a lake in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, at 50°2′S 72°4′W. It is the biggest freshwater lake in Argentina, with a surface area of 1,415 km². It has an average depth of 150 m, and a maximum depth of 500 m.Learn more
8 km away
Experience a seamless round-trip transfer from El Calafate to El Chaltén. Take in the stunning Patagonian landscape as you are transported to your destination, ready for your next adventure.Book this experience
Discover the best tours and activities around El Calafate, Argentina and book your travel experience today with our booking partners
17 pictures of El Calafate from Miguel Mansilla, Pablo Bugani, Wolf Schram and other travelers
Travel to El Calafate if you like:🐾 Wildlife ❄️ Glacial landform ❄️ Glacier ❄️ Glacial lake
To reach El Calafate, international travelers will typically fly into Buenos Aires and then take a domestic flight to the Aviador Carlos Campos Airport (FTE). From there, you can either rent a car or use a shuttle service to reach the town, which is approximately a 3-hour drive away.
When planning your trip, it's essential to book entry tickets to Los Glaciares National Park in advance, as they often sell out quickly. If you're interested in a guided glacier trek or ice climbing, it's also crucial to reserve these experiences ahead of time, as they are in high demand.
The cost of your trip will vary depending on your preferences and activities. Accommodations range from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels, while dining options cater to various tastes and budgets. Entrance fees for Los Glaciares National Park are around $20 USD per person, and guided glacier tours can cost between $100 and $300 USD.
Among the best things to do in El Calafate are visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier, exploring the town center, and venturing out on a boat tour to witness the stunning glaciers up close. For nature lovers, a visit to the Laguna Nimez Reserve, where you can spot flamingos and other native wildlife, is highly recommended.
When it comes to dining, El Calafate offers a variety of options. For a taste of authentic Argentine cuisine, head to La Tablita, known for its delicious barbecue and empanadas. Another excellent choice is Isabel Cocina al Disco, where you can savor traditional Patagonian dishes cooked in a "disco," a large iron pan.
For accommodations, consider the Mirador del Lago Hotel, offering stunning lake views and comfortable rooms. Alternatively, the Design Suites Calafate provides a more modern and luxurious option, with an infinity pool overlooking the picturesque landscape. Budget travelers will find a warm welcome at the America del Sur Hostel, which offers both dormitory and private rooms.
Off the beaten path:
For an unusual and unforgettable experience, don't miss the opportunity to explore the Walichu Caves, located around 8 km from El Calafate. These ancient caves boast fascinating prehistoric paintings and offer insight into the region's indigenous history. The surrounding landscape is also ideal for hiking and photography, providing a unique perspective on this incredible Patagonian destination.
Between the Santa Cruz Plateau and the Andes Mountains, El Calafate is a small, windswept town and an essential starting point for access to the Glaciers National Park. Situated on the edge of Lake Argentino, the third largest lake in South America, El Calafate offers grandiose landscapes.
Above the lake, the steppe is a wild expanse with little or no vegetation, overflown by condors. A few kilometers from the city, the great blue wall of the Perito Moreno glacier offers the fascinating spectacle of blocks of ice that fall away in a deafening noise. Welcome to the end of the world!
El Calafate is also a great starting point when visiting the petrified forest or Torres del Paine National Park if you prefer to go further afield. And when you're tired of all the sightseeing and adventure, explore the town and its artisan markets, or have a craft beer at a local brewery. Be sure to try some of the famous Patagonian sheep while you're here too.
Probably the biggest tourist attraction in the area, you have to head to the Perito Moreno Glacier to get a look at this 70-meter thick slab of brilliant blue ice. Get up close with a boat tour, where you can hear the splinter of ice and see chunks of it fall into the water below. If you're more of a hiker, there's also a trail that leads to a viewpoint where you can catch a glimpse of the glacier, which sits on one of the world's largest freshwater reserves.
Cerro Frías is a hill located just 22 kilometers from El Calafate in the Patagonian steppe. Because it is not surrounded by other mountains, Cerro Frías is a majestic 1,300-meter-high setting from which visitors can see Mount Fitz Roy, Torres del Paine and Lago Argentino. You can visit in a multitude of different ways, the most popular of which is the 4×4 car tour that will take you across the lowlands to the lakeshore, across the Centinela River, up the hill, and onto the dune-lined beach .
Another must-do while staying at El Calafate is a trip to one of the many nearby shops or farms to get a feel for country life.. This agritourism often requires a guided tour of a working farm, like shearing or driving cattle, and a traditional Argentinian barbecue. Estancia Cristina is one of the most famous, located in Los Glaciares Park on the lakeside of Argent Argentino.
If you want to explore El Calafate, you should stay at the city center, there are a lot of hotels here such as Calafate Hostel, Boutique Hotel La Cantera, America Del Sur Calafate Hostel, Ca;afate Parque Hotel.
You should visit Cerro Frias, Perito Moreno lake, Los Glaciares National Park, Spegazzini lake, Laguna Nimez.
Discover the best hotels around El Calafate, Argentina and book your stay today with our booking partner booking.com
Click on the pictures to learn more about the places and to get directions
Discover more travel spots to explore around El Calafate❄️ Glacial lake spots ❄️ Glacier spots ❄️ Glacial landform spots ⛰️ Hill station spots 🐾 Wildlife spots ⛰️ Mountain range spots ️🏜️ Badlands spots 🌊 Ocean spots 🏞️ Reservoir spots 🛣️ Road trip spots
Explore popular touristic places around El Calafate
Download On Google Maps 🗺️📲