Select Page

El Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina

Home to Perito Moreno Glacier and gateway to El Chalten as well as to Ushuaia.

We offer full day tours to Perito Moreno Glacier as well as ice hiking and ice climbing itineraries. We can also build in trips to El Chalten.

El Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina

Home to Perito Moreno Glacier and gateway to El Chalten as well as to Ushuaia.

We offer full day tours to Perito Moreno Glacier as well as ice hiking and ice climbing itineraries. We can also build in trips to El Chalten.

About El Calfate

Where is El Calafate Located?

Approx 3hrs 10min from Buenos Aires and up to 6hrs by road from Torres del Paine.

El Calafate is located in the far south of Argentina beside lake Argentino in the Patagonian region. Moreover, from the Chilean side it is just over the mountains on the other side of Torres del Paine National Park. 

The city has developed as a tourist destination only because it is the base from which visitors can enter the spectacular ice field Los Glaciares National Park (a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site), which is 50km away. However, the National Park is the second-largest in Argentina covering 600,000ha of which 40% is covered by ice fields, including the famous Perito Moreno glacier.  As a result there are over 13 glaciers that descend and melt into two large lakes: Lake Argentino and lake Viedma linked by the river La Leona that flows from Lake Viedma to lake Argentino.

Perito Moreno Glacier

About 80km west of El Calafate is Ventisquero Perito Moreno (Perito Moreno Glacier) – the “big one” that everyone comes to see. For example, it has a 5km long, vertical wall of glacial ice face rising to heights of around 60m flowing some 30km from its source in the Andes Mountains.

The Breaking Off of the Glacial Ice Face Into the Lake

The main spectacle occurs when, every few years, there is a mighty breaking off of the glacial ice face into the lake. What happens is that the Perito Moreno glacier advances (one of the few in the world not to be receding) towards lake Argentino until part of it makes contact with the peninsula of land opposite (from where there is a direct viewing area). As a result of this advancement when the glacier makes contact with the peninsula it then cuts the lake Argentino into two parts creating “two lakes”. Therefore, as you look directly at the glacier, the “new” lake on the left is now closed in and cannot flow into the larger lake Argentino as it previously did.

However, the newly-created lake continues to be fed with the water from rivers and ice melt causing the water level of the lake to rise. Eventually the higher-level new lake manages to erode a hole through the Perito Moreno glacial ice dam until it flows once again into the lake Argentino.

As a result of the increased water flow this hole becomes larger, and the water flow gets quicker and more powerful it eventually causes the glacial dam to collapse. Consequently, it is this massive collapse of towering glacial ice that causes such a stunning spectacle that people flock in from all over Argentina and the World to witness it. The spectacle only happens every few years. However, even without this incredible sight, just being close to the massive glacial wall is an incredible experience in itself.

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

Arrivals & Transfers

Arrivals & Transfers

Flight arrivals by air from Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and Bariloche in Argentina and by road from Torres del Paine and Puerto Natales in Chile.

Climate & Weather

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

Places of Interest

El Calafate Places of Interest

The principal place of interest is the large and impressive Perito Moreno Glacier – well worth a visit.  However, we can also include the village (3hr transfer) of El Chalten for trekking and Torres del Paine (6hrs) also for trekking and awe-inspiring sight-seeing.

Another interesting option is a half day tour into the hills overlookig the city from where there are incredible panoramic views as far as El Chalten on a clear day. The historic working Estancia Cristina is another full day tour that some people like to do.

Clothes to Wear

Suggested Clothes to Bring for Patagonia 

Note: There is a full illustration below.

You should try to bring LAYERS of breathable clothes that can be taken off or put on easily. The reason for this is to be able to adapt to any change in weather and as you heat up and cool down on a trek. For example, cotton undershirts are NOT recommended – see below.

Ideally Pack Clothes Such as:

Top Part of Your Body

An under vest (long sleeved if possible) made, ideally, from synthetic fibres so it dries quickly. Moreover, if very cold weather (ie early spring, winter months or autumn) then thermal underwear made from synthetic fibres. Most importantly, we suggest synthetic fibres because when you are walking several hours you will build up a sweat and your under garments will get wet, this then gets cold when you stop and will make you cold unless the wet material dries quickly. For example, cotton does not dry quickly, whereas synthetic material will dry more quickly.

Over Your Under Vest

A breathable top. For example a fleece, or polar top.

Over Your Fleece / Polar Top

Idealy a waterproof, windbreaker over jacket.

For Your Legs

Trekking pants, resistant to rain and wind. However, these should be made from a breathable material otherwise you will sweat. Moreover, jeans are NOT good as they can get wet and not dry.

Over Your Trekking Pants

Waterproof shell pants to go over your trekking pants in the event of heavy rain.

For Your Feet

Wool or MUCH BETTER – synthetic socks. Most importantly, waterproof trekking boots with ankle support and none-slip sole. However, if new make sure you break them in prior to using them on a trek.

Over Your Hands

Gloves. For example, close to glaciers it can be very cold.

For Your Head

A warm hat (not a jockey cap), sunglasses and sun-protection cream. Also, bring a headband to keep your ears warm when not using the hat.

For Your Personal Use

Ideally a small back pack for food, water and clothes.

For Your Safety

A battery-operated torch for when power is out or if you are arriving to a refugio in the dark. Most importantly, take with you during the trek extra water and snacks. Above all, prepare for all weather conditions and dress for the outdoors. Do NOT go off the trail because if you have the slightest incident such as twisting an ankle, you may not be found.

Average Temperatures in TDP during the year
Summer (Dec – Jan – Feb) Max + 23.5°c / Min + 0.8°c.

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

If you would like for us to create a custom-built itinerary for you, email us…

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

Map

About El Calfate

Where is El Calafate Located?

Approx 3hrs 10min from Buenos Aires and up to 6hrs by road from Torres del Paine.

El Calafate is located in the far south of Argentina beside lake Argentino in the Patagonian region. Moreover, from the Chilean side it is just over the mountains on the other side of Torres del Paine National Park. 

The city has developed as a tourist destination only because it is the base from which visitors can enter the spectacular ice field Los Glaciares National Park (a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site), which is 50km away. However, the National Park is the second-largest in Argentina covering 600,000ha of which 40% is covered by ice fields, including the famous Perito Moreno glacier.  As a result there are over 13 glaciers that descend and melt into two large lakes: Lake Argentino and lake Viedma linked by the river La Leona that flows from Lake Viedma to lake Argentino.

Perito Moreno Glacier

About 80km west of El Calafate is Ventisquero Perito Moreno (Perito Moreno Glacier) – the “big one” that everyone comes to see. For example, it has a 5km long, vertical wall of glacial ice face rising to heights of around 60m flowing some 30km from its source in the Andes Mountains.

The Breaking Off of the Glacial Ice Face Into the Lake

The main spectacle occurs when, every few years, there is a mighty breaking off of the glacial ice face into the lake. What happens is that the Perito Moreno glacier advances (one of the few in the world not to be receding) towards lake Argentino until part of it makes contact with the peninsula of land opposite (from where there is a direct viewing area). As a result of this advancement when the glacier makes contact with the peninsula it then cuts the lake Argentino into two parts creating “two lakes”. Therefore, as you look directly at the glacier, the “new” lake on the left is now closed in and cannot flow into the larger lake Argentino as it previously did.

However, the newly-created lake continues to be fed with the water from rivers and ice melt causing the water level of the lake to rise. Eventually the higher-level new lake manages to erode a hole through the Perito Moreno glacial ice dam until it flows once again into the lake Argentino.

As a result of the increased water flow this hole becomes larger, and the water flow gets quicker and more powerful it eventually causes the glacial dam to collapse. Consequently, it is this massive collapse of towering glacial ice that causes such a stunning spectacle that people flock in from all over Argentina and the World to witness it. The spectacle only happens every few years. However, even without this incredible sight, just being close to the massive glacial wall is an incredible experience in itself.

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

Arrivals & Transfers

Arrivals & Transfers

Flight arrivals by air from Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and Bariloche in Argentina and by road from Torres del Paine and Puerto Natales in Chile.

Climate & Weather

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

Places of Interest

El Calafate Places of Interest

The principal place of interest is the large and impressive Perito Moreno Glacier – well worth a visit.  However, we can also include the village (3hr transfer) of El Chalten for trekking and Torres del Paine (6hrs) also for trekking and awe-inspiring sight-seeing.

Clothes to Wear

Suggested Clothes to Bring for Patagonia 

Note: There is a full illustration below.

You should try to bring LAYERS of breathable clothes that can be taken off or put on easily. The reason for this is to be able to adapt to any change in weather and as you heat up and cool down on a trek. For example, cotton undershirts are NOT recommended – see below.

Ideally Pack Clothes Such as:

Top Part of Your Body

An under vest (long sleeved if possible) made, ideally, from synthetic fibres so it dries quickly. Moreover, if very cold weather (ie early spring, winter months or autumn) then thermal underwear made from synthetic fibres. Most importantly, we suggest synthetic fibres because when you are walking several hours you will build up a sweat and your under garments will get wet, this then gets cold when you stop and will make you cold unless the wet material dries quickly. For example, cotton does not dry quickly, whereas synthetic material will dry more quickly.

Over Your Under Vest

A breathable top. For example a fleece, or polar top.

Over Your Fleece / Polar Top

Idealy a waterproof, windbreaker over jacket.

For Your Legs

Trekking pants, resistant to rain and wind. However, these should be made from a breathable material otherwise you will sweat. Moreover, jeans are NOT good as they can get wet and not dry.

Over Your Trekking Pants

Waterproof shell pants to go over your trekking pants in the event of heavy rain.

For Your Feet

Wool or MUCH BETTER – synthetic socks. Most importantly, waterproof trekking boots with ankle support and none-slip sole. However, if new make sure you break them in prior to using them on a trek.

Over Your Hands

Gloves. For example, close to glaciers it can be very cold.

For Your Head

A warm hat (not a jockey cap), sunglasses and sun-protection cream. Also, bring a headband to keep your ears warm when not using the hat.

For Your Personal Use

Ideally a small back pack for food, water and clothes.

For Your Safety

A battery-operated torch for when power is out or if you are arriving to a refugio in the dark. Most importantly, take with you during the trek extra water and snacks. Above all, prepare for all weather conditions and dress for the outdoors. Do NOT go off the trail because if you have the slightest incident such as twisting an ankle, you may not be found.

Average Temperatures in TDP during the year
Summer (Dec – Jan – Feb) Max + 23.5°c / Min + 0.8°c.

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

If you would like for us to create a custom-built itinerary for you, email us…

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

Map

Send Us Your Enquiry

Please supply us with as much information as you can about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!).  How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)

VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention” such as privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry, but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.

Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.

Destination El Calafate Patagonia Argentina

Please fill out form below:

Do You Need First Night Accommodation Arranged By Us?

Do You Need Last Night Accommodation Arranged By Us?

4 + 10 =