El Calafate







El Calafate

Abutting Lago Argentino in Argentine Patagonia’s deep south, the small town of El Calafate is the gateway to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. It contains 47 major glaciers. In fact, it’s the largest icecap outside of Antarctica and Greenland, covering over 30% of the park’s surface.

San Pedro Claver

Upsala Glacier & Lago Argentino

In the park’s northern section, visitors can cruise ice-blue waters to the Upsala Glacier. In its southern section, Lago Argentino curves and forks into glacier-walled channels. This is where you’ll find the park’s most famous attraction: the massive Perito Moreno Glacier. This giant covers nearly 100 square miles, with a length of 19 miles, and an average height of 240 feet above the lake’s surface.

Perito Moreno

The Perito Moreno is one of few glaciers worldwide that is still advancing. In cycles of approximately four years, the advancing glacier forms an ice dam. Which then cracks into a bridge and then collapses entirely, crashing with astonishing force into the lake below.

Perito Moreno’s proximity to the Magallanes Peninsula make it is one of the most accessible spectacles in Patagonia.

Cartagena San Filipe Colombia

A handful of historic ranches (estancias) lie within the park. The area also houses a selection of comfortable lodges and hotels.

Most of our clients stay two or three nights. Those who choose an Estancia usually stay three or four.

What to do in El Calafate

Although the main attraction is the glaciers, El Calafate offers options for everyone. From comfortable navigations to glacier trekking with fitted crampons LANDED can help you find the perfect activity for your trip. These excursions will allow you to enjoy views of lagoons, fractures, and other glacier features. Cliff-side walkways also permit views of the glacier’s two-mile flow. Around the park, you may see guanacos (cinnamon-colored camelids), foxes, hawks, eagles, condors, and flamingos.

Historic ranches also offer:

  • Horseback Riding
  • Trekking
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • 4×4 scenic drives
  • Overnight Lodging

Lake cruises, ranging from day trips to multi-day / multi-glacier itineraries on cabin cruisers, are also available.

What is the Weather Like?

The most important weather factor in El Calafate is wind. Los Glaciares National Park brings us closer to the Andes Range and the glaciers with an increase in humidity and winds. Rainfalls are distributed almost homogeneously throughout the year, reaching their peak toward the end of Autumn (April- May). During winter precipitation is mainly snowy, but never enough to form snow accumulation, daylight hours are short, and temperatures usually peak below 50°F. Calafate is cold and windy in spring. Summer high season in El Calafate extends from October to March, with temperatures ranging from the high 40s to the mid-60s. Wind-proof clothing and multiple layers are both highly recommended for visits to El Calafate.

These averages are changing, please check extended weather forecasts using your favorite weather app prior to departure.

Getting There

El Calafate can be reached by air from Buenos Aires in three and a half hours. Occasionally, flights are offered from Ushuaia and Bariloche and vice versa.

Extensions to El Chalten and Torres del Paine are easily arranged.

Start your journey today

LANDED delivers the finest in custom, private travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our travel designers and let us create a tailored itinerary for you in El Calafate. 

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