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El Calafate

Sitting on Lake Argentino, El Calafate is your gateway to Los Glaciares National Park and the several nearby glaciers. About four hours northwest of Rio Gallegos, El Calafate is close to some of the world’s best big ice, such as the Viedma Glacier which at 100 meters (328 feet) high and five kilometers (three miles) wide is the largest in Latin America.  Some of the other famous glaciers in the area, which attract tourists and scientists alike the world over include the Upsala Glacier, Onelli Glacier, Spegazzini Glacier, Mayo Glacier, FrĂ­as Glacier, and Perito Moreno Glacier known as "the eighth wonder of the world" and declared a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981.


Yet it is not all about ice: the town is named after a wild, thorny bush berry (Berberis buxifolia), available in abundance and cooked into many local sweets. The town, originally based on wool trading, was officially founded in 1927 and today has no more than 8,000 inhabitants, but offers a host of craft shops, restaurants, and lodging options.


This Patagonian pueblo, split by a stream with willows hanging over its banks, is also notable as an oasis of poplars, pines, and willows, and its creeks and tributaries flow into Atlantic through the Santa Cruz River. 


The distance between the glaciers is wide, but a fleet of buses are on hand to take from one to the other. Despite El Calafate’s seeming remoteness, its International Airport offers direct flights from Buenos Aires and other major Argentine cities. From Buenos Aires flights can run over $500, so start flight-shopping early. Flights from Puerto Natales, Chile, are also available. You can catch a bus to El Calafate from Buenos Aires: you’ll have to connect through RĂ­o Gallegos.


Pop: 7000, Phone Code: 02902


Other places nearby El Calafate: Los Antiguos , Parque Nacional Perito Moreno , Perito Moreno, Gobernador Gregores, Lago Posadas, Rio Turbio, Cueva De Las Manos and El Chaltén.

24 Sep 2009

Things to do in El Calafate

Perito Moreno Glacier

103787The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Los Glaciares National Park in the southwestern part of Santa Cruz province, Argentina. When it snows high in the Patagonian Andes, the snow and ice does not ...
Boating, Trekking, Hiking, National Park
El Calafate, Argentina

Pugliesse’s Personages

133689In your stroll around town, drop in to see Fernando Pugliesse’s life-size bronzed statues of important historical figures. Iglesia Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús holds Padre Manuel González, who ...
El Calafate, Argentina

Horseback Riding

133714Life in Patagonia still revolves around the horse. Just like the early settlers, locals get around the backcountry on horseback, and horses remain an important part of work on the ranches. You can ...
Horseback Riding
El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate Museums

133719Not all activities in El Calafate are outdoor affairs. The city has three museums of interest: Museo Regional is a small museum with basic paleontological, archaeological and geological exhibits, ...
El Calafate, Argentina

Lago Roca and Cerro Cristal

Lago Roca, a thin sliver of lake known for its fly fishing, lies within the national reserve section of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. One kilometer (0.6 mi) past Huala campsite, you'll find Cerro de ...
El Calafate, Argentina

Reserva Laguna NĂ­mez

Laguna NĂ­mez, a municipal bird reserve, is refuge to over 80 species of birds, including the Black-necked Swan, Magellan Goose, Long-tailed Meadowlark, Caracara and Magellanic Plover, as well as ...
El Calafate, Argentina

Boat Trips

From two ports on Magallanes Peninsula, boats sail to the foot of the ice floes that form at the feet of Perito Moreno and other glaciers before channeling into Lago Argentino. The Safari Náutico ...
El Calafate, Argentina

Cuevas de Walichu

Punta Walichu was a refuge for the ancient peoples who used to wander this valley. In these caves on the point jutting into Lago Argentino, ancestors of the AĂłnikenk nation left paintings about ...
Other Activity
El Calafate, Argentina

Bosque Petrificado la Leona

Eons before the last Ice Age began, before Perito Moreno Glacier formed, even before the Andes rose from the bowels of the earth, the Patagonian steppe around the lake was a much warmer land. ...
Other Activity
El Calafate, Argentina

Down on the Farm

If the august mountains, glaciers, and mirror-smooth lakes of Patagonia aren't enough for you, try checking into one of the estancias (ranches) for a bit of "adventure tourism." Cerro FrĂ­as ...
Other Activity
El Calafate, Argentina

Winter in El Calafate

Summer may be the height of the tourism season, but that doesn’t mean that during the dark, cold winter months you won’t find plenty to do here. You can still navigate to Glaciar Perito Moreno ...
Other Activity
El Calafate, Argentina
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