Resting on the edge of the grand Southern Patagonian Ice Field, El Calafate boasts spectacular glacial scenery and wild mountain pursuits. The charming village is widely known for the Perito Moreno Glacier, but also boasts microbreweries, quaint markets and mouthwatering Argentinian cuisine.
Things to do in El Calafate
Experience the soul-stirring icy expanse of the Perito Moreno Glacier on a guided tour. Venture inside the UNESCO-listed Los Glaciares National Park and board a boat to get an up-close look at the 60-metre-thick spectacle. If you’re feeling adventurous, immerse yourself amid the icy shelves on a trek to the south wall.
Want to learn about the glaciers? Head to the Glaciarium, a modern museum that lets you discover how glaciers are formed and the effect of climate change. Afterwards, enjoy a chilled cocktail in the GlacioBar surrounded by frozen furniture and ice sculptures.
Hike through an ethereal landscape in La Leona Petrified Forest. Eroded by fierce winds and heavy rain over 150 million years ago, this geological valley is scattered with dinosaur fossils and petrified wood. Break for lunch at the historic Hotel La Leona which once hosted two of America’s most wanted felons, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Go horseback riding across Cerro Frias, a verdant hill overlooking the Patagonian Steppe. Watch wild horses, guanacos and hares grazing in the fields and revel in the cinematic peaks of Mount Fitz Roy and the glistening Lake Argentino. After a full day of adventure, relax with a craft beer and Patagonian Lamb burger at La Zorra microbrewery.
Getting around El Calafate
Fly into El Calafate International Airport and take a 20-minute taxi or bus into El Calafate. Alternatively, you can take a bus from most major cities, including Bariloche and Perito Moreno. El Calafate is walkable, while a rental car or guided tour is best for seeing the national park.