El Calafate & Perito Moreno Glacier
El Calafate is a tourist town and focal point for trips to Argentina’s Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. In January and February, the town is extremely busy, the main attraction being the nearby glaciers. A tour to the Perito Moreno glacier, one of the world’s few moving glaciers, is on everyone’s travel agenda when they visit El Calafate, and nearby Lago Argentino is very beautiful also. There are various tours that can be booked through local tour operators, including glacier trekking and day-long catamaran trips drifting through Azul blue colored lakes past icebergs and crashing glaciers – the natural scenery in this region of Argentina is very beautiful.
You can reserve online a full days tour to Perito Moreno Glacier for about $45.
If you’re seeking a luxury hotel overlooking the glacier, Los Notros Hotel is for you. Those seeking a more secluded, remote luxury hotel should consider either Eolo Lodge with its spectacularly bleakly beautiful setting, or the lakeside renovated estancia of Estancia Helsingfors.
Other than tours to glaciers such as the Perito Moreno Glacier and Upsala Glacier, there’s little much more to do in El Calafate – 2 or three nights is enough before traveling onwards in Argentina.
El Chalten & Trekking
Argentina’s best trekking, in fact, some of the best trekking scenery in South America, is found around El Chalten, 4 hours travel north of El Calafate. The jagged peaks of the stunning Fitzroy Massif tower over the town of El Chalten, which until only a few years ago was a real frontier post (Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is just over the border – the scenery is very similar). One of the most popular local treks in called the M Trek – a five-day camping expedition. Various local tour operators in El Chalten can arrange this for you. There are also various shorter hikes that can be done on your own. The best hotels in El Chalten include Los Cerros and Hosteria El Puma.
Travel from Argentina’s El Calafate to Puerto Natales or Torres del Paine in Chile
With a private transfer or car, you can travel over the Andes from El Calafate to Torres del Paine in Chile in one day. If you travel by bus you’ll need to break the journey in Puerto Natales. Click here to book a full-day tour from El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park.