The 10 Best Things to Do in El Calafate, Argentina

March 2, 2018 Leida Jutras

Building on its must-visit location, the once-tiny El Calafate has grown quickly to cater to and profit from the visitors to nearby Los Glaciares National Park. Many visit to see such natural wonders as Perito Moreno Glacier, a massive glacier that’s actually composed of many other pieces of shifting ice. Yet travelers will find that El Calafate is much more than merely a gateway to the Patagonian wild—it’s a fun town offering all sorts of outdoor adventures.
Restaurants in El Calafate

1. Parque Nacional Los Glaciares

El Calafate Z9405AHY, Argentina +54 2902 49-2504
Excellent
90%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 9 reviews

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares

Horarios: Desde 1° de Septiembre hasta Semana Santa de 08:00 a 18:00hs. Después de Semana Santa hasta 31 de Agosto de 09:00 a 16:00hs.

Reviewed By 666Nomad_2012 - Sao Paulo, SP

Went there and did the walk along the viewing balconies. The view was breathtaking. The walkways are sturdy and handicapped accessible. The service center has a simple cafeteria, gift shop, coffee/hot chocolate stand as well as clean restrooms.
We stopped first at the main area and restaurant to do the north face boat tour, but due to rough 'seas' we had to go to the south face. While there we visited the restaurant to use the bathrooms. I wish we were able to stay longer as the views from the 3 star dinning room looked spectacular.

2. Pasarelas Perito Moreno

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, El Calafate 9405, Argentina
Excellent
85%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Pasarelas Perito Moreno

Reviewed By JustLoveToFly - Singapore, Singapore

It was really nice to walk along the boardwalk. There are a few different routes to take depending own how much time one has. But it is best to stop at one stage and park onself and wait for the small pieces of the huge glacier to break off. The sound was pretty loud whenever a piece fall and it will create a rippling effect in the water surrounding it. To witness the falling pieces, 1 has to be patient and keep their eyes focused on this mega glacier and be alert as it is usually too late by the time we hear the sound. Its about being at the right spot at the right time and be quick enough to capture it on camera. We were lucky as we managed to see quite a few pieces falling off. Understand that this was due to the rainfall the day before. The rain seeped into the glacier and the difference between the temperature of the rain water and the glacier caused the cracks and breaking off of the pieces.

3. Upsala Glacier

El Calafate, Argentina +54 2902 49-2118
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Upsala Glacier

At 37 miles long, this glacier is considered one of the longest in South America.

Reviewed By R F - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

You hardly get to see the Upsala glacier from the boat, the boat stops at several miles. Instead you are stopping infront of some icebergs on the way where the onboard photographers are endlessly taking the time of trying to sell you pics. Same thing is happening at the Spegazzini glacier, impressive but by far not as the Perito Moreno. Would skip this one as it is noth worth the time, the money or the effort.

4. Lago Argentino

El Calafate, Argentina
Excellent
68%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Lago Argentino

Located in Glacier National Park, this 15,000-year-old lake is the largest in Argentina.

Reviewed By mrdom

I walked out to the playground on the point on a windy day and it was crazy. The bright colour of the lake was still evident even with so many frothy waves that the lake was starting to resemble the Mountains. The swings in the playground behind me would sway and creak eerily. The bird-watching boardwalk is also a good place to enjoy the lake from.

5. Rios de Hielo

El Calafate, Argentina +54 9 2966 40-1483
Excellent
70%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 902 reviews

Rios de Hielo

Reviewed By MarcosH - New York City, New York

Your main purpose to go to this tour is to see the astonishing milky water where blue-ice icebergs drift by and contemplate the Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers. The purpose of the tour operators is to overcharge foreigners and sell stuff. The National Park charges foreigners twice what they charge the nationals. Its shameless highway robbery. I wonder how an Argentine visiting MoMA or the Met or our National Parks would feel if he/she would be told, "We charge $25 to enter but since you're an Argentine you'll have to pay $50."

6. La Leona Petrified Forest

Av del Libertador 932 Local 8 & 9, El Calafate 9405, Argentina +54 2902 49-2276
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 221 reviews

La Leona Petrified Forest

Reviewed By lucy_gft - London

Interesting walk on private land with a friendly, informative guide. We saw plenty of fossilised trees, dinosaur bones and "Star Wars- type" unusual rock formations, in an impressive setting.
We used this trip as a transfer between El Calafate and El Chalten, which worked well. We booked it with Walk Patagonia.

7. Safari Experience - Patagonia Profunda

Estancia 25 de Mayo, El Calafate 9405, Argentina +54 2902 48-9016
Excellent
69%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 233 reviews

Safari Experience - Patagonia Profunda

We Suggest a full sense experience to enjoy Patagonia, dicovering the natural treasures that the Patagonian desert hides.Includes:- "Estancia 25 de Mayo" Natural Reserve entrance ticket- 4x4 Expedition- Native animals watching- Photo Safari- Marine fossils discovery- Nature exploration- Country-style lunch or dinner at a genuine ranch house.

Reviewed By cojotent - Delft, The Netherlands

You come for the glacier and then enjoy a totally different landscape. Interesting 4 hour drive with good explanation of the countryside, plants and animals. The final lookout point of the trip is fantastic, a wide, quiet landscape with snowy Mountains in the back. The meal at the end of the trip was simple but tasty and nicely prepared. A good opportunity to talk to the other travellers. Thank you Guillermo

8. El Calafate Historical Interpretation Center

Brown Esquina Bonarelli, El Calafate 9405, Argentina +54 2902 49-2799
Excellent
46%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 697 reviews

El Calafate Historical Interpretation Center

Reviewed By Krisz081 - London, United Kingdom

This is a small museum, which attempts to cover a few really big topics, from paleogeography 500 million years ago to recent politics. The result is interesting, but very scratchy. The dinosaur skeletons are not real, and only a few. There is a lot to read, but few interaction or even artifacts, difficult to follow if you don't speak Spanish, although I appreciate the work that was put into the English transcripts. The movies seemed ad-hoc, not linked to the rest. You have the chance to taste mate tea if you haven't done yet.

9. Estancia 25 de Mayo

Estancia 25 de Mayo, El Calafate 9405, Argentina +54 2902 49-1450
Excellent
55%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 217 reviews

Estancia 25 de Mayo

Reviewed By Tangam - Wodonga, Australia

Being Australians from a rural area, we already knew a lot about sheep farming but we still enjoyed this visit. Yes, it is set up especially for tourists and the sheep are so well trained they almost run into the pen without needing to be urged by the sheepdog, but we looked past all that. We found Pancho's history of the estancia interesting as was the tour of the farm and the hand-shearing of the sheep.
But the dinner and folkloric show were the real highlights. We were certainly well fed with camp-coffee and fried bread at the campfire, mulled wine and caramelised lamb by the creek then the actual dinner. The salads were fresh and tasty as was the barbecued lamb. There was as much to eat as you could want.
The after-dinner show was very entertaining and just the right length. Well done to all. A very enjoyable evening.

10. Onelli Glacier

El Calafate, Argentina
Excellent
60%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 130 reviews

Onelli Glacier

Reviewed By Brrliner - Miami, Florida

We enjoyed the day cruising the Lago Argentino with Cruceros Marpateg. I highly recommend the cruising option to access the Onelli Glacier. The views are breathtaking and panoramic. We stopped along the way and enjoyed a five star dining experience in front of the glaciers while sipping champagne.

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