Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman -
» View Photoset (31 Photos)
El Calafate in the southern Patagonia is a big tourist destination and gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, specifically Perito Moreno
Glacier. El Calafate caters to all budgets, from the nicest hotels to hostels and there are some fantastic restaurants in town and other
activities in nature to enjoy. By road (bus) El Calafate is 4hrs from Rio Gallegos (south-east) and 3hrs from El Cheltan (north). There
are also flights here.
Perito Moreno Glacier
A day tour to Perito Moreno Glacier is the hot ticket in town in El Calafate. Buy your ticket at the bus terminal directly.
They will pick you up from your hotel or hostel in the morning. Try and pick a sunny day to go on this trip (unlike me). Apart from the bus
fare, you will need to pay a park entrance fee. It's best to have cash ready for this because the debit card system at the park didn't work
for me (wasn't a normal card reading system). The park itself is awesome and of course the glacier is mind-blowing. Walk around the circuit
of walkways, get close to the glacier and wait and listen for ice to fall into the water. At 70 meters high, Perito Moreno is the biggest
glacier in Argentina and the 2nd largest in all of South America. You can spend some time walking the circuit while stopping along the way
to enjoy the views, a couple of hours if you are inclined. Afterwards there is food available at the restaurant at the top by the carpark -
filled breadrolls, salads and drinks.
A visit to Nimez Lagoon in El Calafate is a great experience in nature. You can walk here from
the center of town in 10-15mins. Bird watching is the drawcard at the lagoon with Austral flamingos and nearly 50 other species of birds
living in and around the lagoon including exotic looking ducks with spots, the Austral Bandurria, the Cauquen, the common Tero, the red,
white and black Loica and the orange-beaked Carancho. All of these birds I saw and have photos of!
Another attraction in El Calafate includes
the Glaciarium, a museum dedicated to ice and glaciers, how glaciers are formed, how they move etc.