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Things to do in El Calafate

Our most recommended things to do in El Calafate

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

1. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

Discover Patagonia on this trek in Los Glaciares National Park. Explore the park on foot, and trek on glaciers with crampons. Learn about the flora and fauna from your guide along the way, and sail in front of a glacier on Argentino Lake. This unmissable experience begins at the “Bajo de las Sombras” Port, within Los Glaciares National Park. Take a boat to cross the Brazo Rico, to the west coast. After crossing, take a rest stop and meet your guides who will brief you on the activity. Strap on your crampons and trek along the glacier, following along with your licensed guides. See unique ice formations and learn about glacier ruptures and the natural life of the region. Return to the refuge through the Magellan forest where you can enjoy your lunch (not included) with a view of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Return through the Brazo Rico of the Argentino Lake, sailing in front of the glacier. You can also enjoy the view of the Perito Moreno from the catwalks: another way to see and appreciate its immensity.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

2. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

Depart from your hotel in El Calafate at around 10:30 AM and set off for the Perito Moreno Glacier located inside the Los Glaciares National Park. Travel to the west end of the Magallanes Peninsula and enjoy plenty of time to explore this natural ice formation. Begin your tour of the national park by strolling along a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) network of boardwalks. Admire the glacier from multiple perspectives as you climb up to different levels and balconies. Spend 2 hours exploring the runways and use this time to eat a packed lunch or make a stop in at one of the restaurants. Go on an optional 1-hour boat ride in front of the northern wall of the glacier. After the tour, return to El Calafate via the same route and arrive in the evening.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

3. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

The trip begins with pickup from El Calafate and travels 1 hour and 30 minutes to Bajo de la Sombras Port. From here, sail across the Rico Channel and descend on the southwestern coast of Patagonia to reach Perito Moreno Glacier. Upon arrival at the glacier, enjoy a 1 hour and 30 minute hike with your mountain guides along a path next to the glacier. Arrive at a magnificent view point and marvel at the vast frozen landscape that stretches out before you. From here, attach the iron crampons to the ground and begin your hike walk across the ice. Trek across the ice for around 4 hours, admiring the fascinating ice formations from start to finish. From your expert guides, learn about the flora and fauna that thrive in this unique environment, and listen to interesting facts about the glaciology of the region, and in particular about the phenomenon of glacier rupture. Finally, return to Bajo de las Sombras Port to gaze at the view of the glacier from the walkways and balconies, and then return to the city of El Calafate.

El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

4. El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

Start the tour with a pickup from your hotel in El Calafate around 7:00 AM to undertake the 47km route to the Punta Bandera Port where your boat departs at 9:00 AM.  The first part of the trip takes place in the north arm of the Argentino Lake before crossing into the Boca del Diablo, the narrowest part of the lake. Then, go to the Upsala and Spegazzini channels where you can view the respective glaciers. The Upsala Glacier is the largest on Argentino Lake and can be seen from about 20km away. The Spegazzini Glacier is the highest and you can also see the Dry, Heim Sur, and Peineta glaciers. After entering the Spegazzini Channel, a 300-meter path will be crossed without difficulty through the forest along the coast of the lake making stops at viewpoints overlooking the entire Bay of Glaciers.  Arrive at the Spegazzini Refuge where you can enjoy an optional 3-course lunch with drinks, visit the shop, and contemplate the landscape from the terrace.  For those who enjoy walking, the mountain path offers a 700m trek of medium difficulty through a wooded path with natural viewpoints of the Spegazzini Glacier ending at the landing point. Return to the boat and head back to El Calafate where you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Kayak Experience with Transport

5. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Kayak Experience with Transport

Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at your hotel in El Calafate. Drive 80 km to the Los Glaciares National Park, an approximately 2-hour drive. Meet your kayaking guide upon arrival and begin your Perito Moreno adventure. Get ready to paddle by gearing up with a dry Gore-Tex suit, thermal suit, boots, gloves, and life jacket. Receive safety instructions at the lakeshore. There, your guide will lead you through a few warm-up exercises in order to get you feeling comfortable and confident in you kayak. This tour is welcome to kayakers of all experience levels. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or this is your first time, you’ll be in good hands with your knowledgable guide. Explore the majestic icebergs floating in the water. Enjoy breathtaking views of this natural wonder. Take extraordinary pictures of these icy giants. Return to shore after 1.5 hours of paddling. Leave your kayaking guide and meet your original guide. Discover the circuit of footbridges facing the glacier. Hear the ice cracking in surroundings ice formations as you walk along the catwalks. Afterward, return to your hotel in El Calafate.

From El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to El Chaltén

6. From El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to El Chaltén

Discover the National Capital of Trekking on a private or shared guided day trip from El Calafate El Chaltén. Let yourself be amazed by this mountain town as you discover incredible landscapes and walk part of its trails. Start the morning with pickup from your hotel in El Calafate. Relax on the trip to the town of El Chaltén which is 220 km from El Calafate. Cross the Santa Cruz River and make a rest stop for a few minutes at Estancia La Leona where you can buy homemade cakes and a hot drink. Continue to El Chaltén, bordering Lake Viedma with its homonymous glacier. Take in stunning views of Cerro Chaltén (also known as Fitz Roy) and Torre on clear days, as well as the Viedma Glacier with its impressive icebergs. Upon arrival at Chaltén, have 5 hours to explore and enjoy this small mountain town. Enjoy a 700-meter guided walk to the Mirador de Los Cóndores viewpoint and visit the Chorrillo del Salto with a 300-meter walk over flat terrain. From September to April (subject to weather conditions and the presence of ice and snow), have the option to cover part of the trail to Fitz Roy Laguna de Los Tres and reach Laguna Capri, where you can have lunch on its beach. Return on a self-guided road that has no detours (8 km round trip). To return, meet at a previously arranged meeting point for the drive back to El Calafate, arriving at approximately 8 PM.

From El Calafate: Torres del Paine Full Day Tour

7. From El Calafate: Torres del Paine Full Day Tour

Embark on a fascinating excursion to Torres del Paine, departing from El Calafate. Hike through a stunning national park, surrounded by glaciers, lakes, and waterfalls. Take in mesmerizing landscapes, explore a variety of natural landmarks, and enjoy an included lunch. Get picked up from your hotel and take the road to the Republic of Chile border crossing. After the customs and immigration procedures, meet your guide and begin to travel the last 80 kilometers to the National Park. Gaze at the Mirador del Lago Sarmiento de Gamboa, the Saltos del Río Paine, the upper viewpoint of Cerro Almirante Nieto/Cuernos del Paine, and the entrance to Laguna Amarga. Once inside the Torres del Paine National Park, dive into the different trekking trails and receive your packed lunch. Follow a trail from the Salto Grande and enjoy a low-difficulty walk towards the Mirador de Los Cuernos del Paine, on the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. Then, back in the vehicle, begin the ride to Lake Pehoé, the last viewpoint, overlooking the Cuernos del Paine and the French Valley. Continue exploring and getting to know the southernmost part of Chilean Patagonia. Learn about its flora and fauna on your return to Calafate.

El Calafate: Safari Azul Los Glaciares Trekking Tour

8. El Calafate: Safari Azul Los Glaciares Trekking Tour

Embark on an icy adventure across Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park with a guided trekking trip. Sail in front of the Perito Moreno Glacier and stop at sandy shores to feel the massive glacier’s unique color and texture. Start the tour in El Calafate and travel to Los Glaciares National Park. Once at Bajo Las Sombras Port, just 7 km away from the footbridges, hop on the boat to cruise across Lago Rico. After a 20-minute journey, disembark on the opposite shore. Trek for 30 minutes always within view of the southern wall of the glacier. Journey across a natural terrain of sand and stones with some slopes and stairs, along the shore of the lake and through a lush forest. Reach the ice wall and take your chance to touch its surface. Take in the ice’s intense and varied blues and whites and its whimsical shapes. Snap some pictures before returning to the boat. From the port, take a bus to the footbridges and have 2 hours to eat your packed lunch and enjoy a panoramic view of the glacial park. On the bus back to El Calafate, admire views of the Patagonian Steppe.

From El Calafate: Laguna de los Tres Trekking Tour

9. From El Calafate: Laguna de los Tres Trekking Tour

Embark on a guided hike to the spectacular Laguna de Los Tres. Hike from El Chaltén along the popular trail. Start with pickup from your hotel in El Calafate. Travel along Route 40 bordering the Argentino Lake to the town of El Chaltén. Once here, start on your trek to Laguna de los Tres. You will have approximately 8 hours to complete the trek. Walk through a variety of landscapes, enjoying the scenic views all around you. Hike through beautiful woodland and enjoy the beautiful views of the Río de las Vueltas Valley, crossing forests and streams, until you arrive at Laguna Capri. Make your way to Camping Poincenot and the Rio Blanco. Admire the views of the imposing mountain Fitz Roy at the Mirador del Fitz Roy. Afterward, head back on the same path to the start point, where your transportation will be waiting to take you back to El Calafate.

Gourmet Glacier Cruise & Footbridges of Perito Moreno

10. Gourmet Glacier Cruise & Footbridges of Perito Moreno

Enjoy a full day experience aboard the María Turquesa Cruise that travels to the most impressive glaciers, sailing with the highest comfort. Begin with the transfer from your hotel to the Private Port La Soledad. After traveling 47 KM enter the National Park and board the boat. Cross a peninsulas encounter called "Boca del Diablo" to enter the North Arm of the lake. Navigate between icebergs through the Upsala Canal where you can observe the Upsala Glacier about 10 km away. Go to the Spegazzini Channel to see hanging glaciers such as Dry Glacier, Heim Sur, Peinetta and disembark at Las Vacas Post where you will make a 30-minute walk through a lovely forest. Continue to the front of the highest glacier in the National Park, the Spegazzini Glacier (135 meters above the lake level/440 ft above the lake level). Take advantage of the time, take pictures and contemplate in silence with the surrounding natural beauty. Head to your final destination at Perito Moreno Glacier, where you will disembark on the walkways to culminate a day full of magic and surprises. Finally, take a bus in which you will return to your hotel in El Calafate at the end of the day.

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Perito Moreno Glacier

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What people are saying about El Calafate

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 963 reviews

This tour was exceptional. It said this was a self-guided tour but there was an english speaking guide who was very friendly and knowledgeable. The last mile and half of the trek was very tedious and difficult but it was worth the climb. The view at the summit was breathtaking.

This is worth doing, you can do everything you need to see in one day. If you have to do something else. Very beautiful landscape and the service was good as from the drivers and the guides on the trek. Highly recommended.

Had a great time walking on the glacier. This is an amazing glacier and our guide took us to very cool spots on it. The glacier hike ended with whiskey and glacier ice.

The guides are very good. The glacier is spectacular. It is a unique experience. You have to do the mini trekking, the landscape is very very beautiful

Fantastic time, enjoyed it. Great guides. Not terribly challenging though the crampons took getting used to.