Home to the awe-inspiring Perito Morenio Glacier, El Calafate is simply unmissable and one of the jumping-off points to the spectacular wilds of the Torres del Paine National Park just across the border in Chile.
Sitting on the banks of Lago Argentino, the largest freshwater lake in the country, Calafate is a small frontier town at the heart Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. From its humble origins as a remote, regional trading centre for the wool industry, the town has grown to become one of the most important tourist hubs for exploring the surrounding wind-swept Patagonian steppe. However, the area’s highlight, without doubt, is the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier, the largest and only advancing glacier outside the polar caps. Reached in an easy daytrip from town, wooden walkways lead down to various viewing platforms overlooking the ice while a small “safari nautico” boat takes visitors across the face of the glacier.
For the adventurous, the guided mini-trekking is unmissable! Further afield, numerous other glaciers, tongues from the great southern icefield, spill onto the lake, and regular boat trips take in the Upsala, Spegazzini, and Onelli Glaciers as well as distant cattle stations. Calafate is rich in gaucho heritage and no visit to the area is complete without an “asado” barbeque at a local estancia.
El Calafate – Luxury Collection
Eolo is an excellent luxury option in Calafate and includes guided walking, riding and biking within their rates. Standard visits to the Perito Moreno Glacier and boat trips on Lago Argentino are at additional cost and for this reason, the ranch would suit longer 3-4 night stays to make the most of the superb activities on offer.
El Calafate Hotels
The Estancia Cristina is remote, wonderful and unique and offers an insight into the original pioneers who settled the land. That said, services and technology are limited but those looking for peace and tranquillity – once the day-trippers have left – you can fully appreciate the beauty and isolation of Patagonia.
The Esplendor is a good mid-range option in town whose stylish, modern take on Patagonia offers something truly different in Calafate.
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