Travel to El Calafate in Argentina. El Calafate is a small town that has grown due to the Patagonia region becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination.
It is set on the glacial blue Lago Argentina and is often full of eager trekkers.Aerolineas Argentinas has daily flights to/from Bariloche,Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. LAN also flies on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Buenos Aires. On-line booking and e-tickets are available. During peak season, flights are usually fully booked with tourist groups. Make sure you book your flight well in advance. LADE also flies more cheaply to/from Bariloche,Buenos Aires, Comodoro Rivadavia and other destinations. LADE has an office in town (open 10 to 16 on weekdays) for inquiries. Their website shows availability even when there isn’t any. Their rates are fixed. There are also charter flights between Puerto Natales and El Calafate operated by DAP. You can visit many ranchos (estancias), where you can enjoy the wild nature, perfect meals, and stay in the middle of nowhere, relaxing from the big city rush.Or take a boat excursion and see many of the glaciers and places in the National Park Los Glaciares. The colors and shapes of the ice-bergs floating in the lake are really awesome and inspiring, making a boat ride in a sunny day a fantastic day out.Another perfect point is Onelli Bay, one of the most romantic sites around. Just bring your lunch box, a bottle of champagne, and chill it in the lake, or just add a piece of pure crystal ice.Wild nature can be seen just walking a few blocks away from main street, like in El Cañadón, or at Laguna Nimez, where you can see all kind of Patagonic birds a few feet away from you. Wildlife and views, especially at dusk, make Laguna Nimez a must see, perfect if you have just arrived in town, settled your next days excursion and are eager to go see some of the real Patagonia.At night, grab a chair and go outside. The non polluted sky shows stars like you will never see again, and dont be surprised by satellites passing by!Excursions to Perito Moreno glacier are on a sliding scale for the entrance. You can go by microbus from the bus station and these buses will take you directly to the walkways and back. You can also book a recommended Argentine travel agency from town to arrange private trips for boat rides to the glacier, short or extended (a few hours) hikes on the ice (crampons provided) and all the way to drinking whiskey with glacier ice. You can even get a paramount panorama from a helicopter with AFA helicopters from El Calafate.There are 3 bus companies (around 1200 pesos round trip, 90min each way) leaving from El Calafate bus station at around 8:00 and returning around 16:00. One company, Cal Tur, departs at 13:00 and returns 19:30 in summer. Another bus company, Marga Taqsa, has a bus departing at 14:30 and returning 19:30 (arrives in the Calafate bus station 21:00) as of December 2018. The microbus will drop those who want to do a boat trip off at the port (remember to mention your desire to driver before setting off) and take the rest of the passengers onward to the glacier before coming back upon return. Try to sit on the left side of the bus for the best views of the glacier and surrounding landscape. The glacier has very well constructed walkways to walk along and view the glacier without the need to use a tour group.A taxi is 500-600 pesos round trip.Hitch-hiking to the glacier and back is not impossible, but difficult in low season.There is a hideously expensive (by any standard) restaurant on site (meager coffee in styrofoam cup is 30 pesos), be a cheapskate and take a picnic and flask and keep smiling. Numerous places to sit and eat overlooking the glacier.The Hielo y Aventura Mini trekking excursion consists of a morning trip to the observation boardwalks, boat ride across the lake, and then an hour and a half with crampons (provided) walking around on the Glacier. This tour runs until around end May. The Big Ice trekking option consists of a much longer hike with possible access to ice caves and is available till around end of April. Proper foul weather gear (rain jacket, pants and gloves) and trekking shoes/boots are strongly recommended, and can be rented from several places in town, or are provided on some other tours: Real World Holidays. Bring sunscreen if you need it, and don’t bother with water (you can drink the water off the glacier).The AFA Helicopter Tour [www.argentinaflightadventures.com] takes an hour and views the Moreno Glacier as well as many viewpoints and scenic areas of the surrounding Glacier Parks that usual tours take a long time trekking to, and wraps a lot of the area into one bird’s eye view.The Fernandez Campbell All Glaciers boat tour is an all day long affair, but has some incredible glacier views that you won’t be able to see otherwise. When booking, see if you can get on the smaller boats (they have one large and three small ones). A great choice if you want to enjoy the most spectacular viewpoints of the National Park.A newly built Museum dedicated to glaciers, known as the Glaciarium, stands several kilometers outside of El Calafate. This museum provides exhibitions and detailed information on the makeup, history, and importance of the glaciers found in this region. It also has an ice bar in the basement where you can down some drinks. Another museum that has been highly recommended by travelers is the tiny El Centro de Interpretación Histórica. 5 blocks north from the main street, the museum has been praised for its interesting displays and information about local history, information is available in Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, German and Italian with display descriptions in Spanish There are also 4×4 excursions up into the mountainous area surrounding El Calafate. These provide stunning views of Lake Argentino, and, on a clear day, the top of Fitz Roy as well as the Torres del Paine. They also stop for refreshments and visit geological formations caused by glaciers known as the mexican hats. If exploring El Calafate on a budget one may rent a bike in the city for a cycle around the lake. There is a paved road at the end of the of town running along side the lake. If you go left on it (facing the lake) you can follow it to the outskirts of town. Coming out of town the view is blocked by a hill but if you keep going down the paved road(staying close to the water) you will get around the hill and get an amazing view. Keep going until the end of the paved road for an amazing lunch spot from where you can see the entire lake and the snowy mountains at the back. A good place to rent a bike is La Barraca which is located at the end of the main street on the opposite side of the plaza from the gas station. In winter, The Club Andino Lago Argentino rents skates to anyone who wants to spend an afternoon ice skating in a small shallow bay in front of the club (very near the town centre). It is a beloved club by the Calafate people community, pioneer in the teaching of mountain sports in the village and always been devoted to the healthy sports and also social activities, teaching to the youngest and open to the general public. It also has a bar with a deck and one of the best lake views in town.
Airport: FTE El Calafate Airport Cities in Argentina