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El Calafate Water activities

Our most recommended El Calafate Water activities

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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.

El Calafate: Safari Azul Los Glaciares Trekking Tour

4. 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.

Glaciers Gourmet Experience: Full-Day Cruise with Lunch

5. Glaciers Gourmet Experience: Full-Day Cruise with Lunch

Sail in luxury around Southern Patagonia's Los Glaciares National Park during this full-day sightseeing cruise. Board at La Soledad Port, before visiting the stunning Escuadra Bay and the Condor Nesting Wall. Watch these beautiful birds in action. Marvel at the majestic natural wonders of the Seco, Heim and Spegazzini Glaciers from the catamaran's four outer decks. Disembark at "Puesto Las Vacas" station for a short walk. Then, visit Upsala Canal, and enjoy panoramic views of the spectacular Upsala and Bertracchi Glaciers. Indulge in a gourmet lunch onboard. Admire the cruiser's glacier-themed decorations, which bring nature indoors. Let your kids play in the recreation area, which features illustrations of the National Park’s native fauna. Navigate along Canal de los Témpanos towards the Northern face of the Perito Moreno Glacier, and disembark at La Soledad Port. 

El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

6. El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

Located on the northwest coast of Lago Argentino (Argentino Lake), the historic sheep ranch of Estancia Cristina was founded in 1914 by Joseph P. Masters and his wife, and on this full-day tour from El Calafate you will explore the estancia to discover how it maintains the history of the family. First, you will sail among the icebergs and mountains of Lago Argentino to Upsala Glacier, the 2nd largest within Los Glaciares National Park. Departing from Punta Bandera by modern and comfortable boat, enjoy the most stunning up-close views of the blue ice. Upon arrival at the Estancia you will learn how the sheer perseverance of the Masters family made the inhospitable place a small paradise that they could call home. Visit the Estancia’s museum, and the old shed where the sheep were sheered. Next, take a short walk to see the estancia’s chapel and country house. From here, you will embark on a 2.5-hour hike to the surprising waterfall of Cascada de los Perros, surrounded by native ñires shrubs. Enjoy panoramic views of the Caterina River valley, and Patagonian wilderness, back across to Estancia Cristina.

El Calafate: Hanging Glaciers, Cascade, and Forest Hike

7. El Calafate: Hanging Glaciers, Cascade, and Forest Hike

Departure from your hotel on this adventure. Once on the port, we start sailing through the Canal de los Témpanos to then enter Mayo Branch of Argentino Lake. The glaciers of Cerro Mayo and Cerro Negro can only be observed from the water. We disembark at Toro Bay accompanied by our guide, where we take an interpretative walk to observe the Patagonian Andean forest. We visit a waterfall. From the shore of the lake, we will be able to observe the hanging glaciers of Cerro Mayo and Cerro Negro. After a second navigation, we disembark in Cerro Negro, together with the guide, we begin a walk of about 1,000 meters, entering the forest to the base of Cerro Negro, from where we can see the wonderful Negro Glacier. From this "hanging" glacier on the slope of the hill a large number of waterfalls are born, which give rise to the river that we are bordering on the way there and back. Then we move to the most famous glacier in Patagonia, the Perito Moreno. Unique for its beauty and imposing. We make an unmissable navigation that goes along its northern front and the area of the rupture. Finally, we disembark at Puerto Moreno and walk along the walkways. We return to the ship and start our way back to the port of Punta Bandera.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Kayak Trip with Gear and Lunch

8. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Kayak Trip with Gear and Lunch

Begin the experience with a transfer from El Calafate, then move to Los Glaciares National Park, established as a park in 1937 and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Be welcomed to the park by experienced guides and receive information about the activity before starting on your journey. Receive your provided equipment, a safety lesson, and learn about techniques for rowing and using the provided equipment before your departure. Depart from the shores of Lake Argentino and kayak from Playa de los Icebergs toward the front of the glacier, taking in the incredible views of the Perito Moreno Glacier, named for the explorer Francisco Moreno, from only 600 meters away. Be led by expert guides and learn about the park’s history, significance, and ecological importance. Pause to take unique pictures of the glaciers while learning more about the unique glacier, one of the few on earth that is not shrinking, and the beautiful national park, named for its giant ice cap which is one of the worlds largest. Return to base and enjoy a provided lunch, hot drinks, and snacks.

From El Calafate: Argentino Lake and 4WD Discovery Tour

9. From El Calafate: Argentino Lake and 4WD Discovery Tour

On this excursion from El Calafate you’ll spend a day in awe of the spectacular natural wonders of Los Glaciares National Park. Begin with a sail from the Punta Bandera port on board a modern and comfortable boat. You’ll be surrounded by icebergs as you sail on Argentino Lake and marvel at the stunning views. Continue the sail through the North Arm and the Cristina Channel, finally disembarking at Estancia Cristina. When you arrive at the Estancia you’ll enjoy a history tour, and a visit to the museum and old shearing shed. Head out on a guided walk up to the Caterina River, where you’ll see the chapel and the old house of the Estancia. From here you’ll ascend by 4x4 vehicle to the 9.5-kilometer continental ice shelter, which is an area of significant geological interest. From the shelter you’ll take a 20-minute walk to the Upsala viewpoint, along terrain that has been eroded by the glacier. From the viewpoint you’ll enjoy stunning views of the glacier, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, and the Andes Mountain Range.

From El Calafate: La Leona River Kayaking and Trekking Tour

10. From El Calafate: La Leona River Kayaking and Trekking Tour

Start your outdoor adventure with a convenient pickup from your hotel in El Calafate and head to the Luz Divina Parador. Equip yourself with the gear waiting for you at your destination and get on to the water to begin your river tour. Paddle down the river and admire the scenic views. You'll reach the halfway mark after about 10 miles. Get back to dry land as you take a two-hour trekking tour through Cerro Los Hornos. See petrified logs, fossilized dinosaur bones, and one of the oldest formations on the planet. Stop for lunch at a viewpoint along your hiking trail before heading back to the kayaks to complete your experience. Paddle to your final location, the Turbio Stream.

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Frequently asked questions about El Calafate

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What are the best day trips and excursions from El Calafate?

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Perito Moreno Glacier

Other Sightseeing Options in El Calafate

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What people are saying about El Calafate

Excellent organization! clean and technical equipment, young, lively and fun instructors and guides (maybe they had just won the world championship). I absolutely recommend it as an experience even just to see the glacier from a unique and different point of view from the walking route. With the boat we saw that they were getting closer to the glacier but, honestly, the distance with the kayak is perfect and safe to contemplate that Immensity without the mess of too many tourists all together.

The boat ride and getting up close to the glacier were so cool, a great addition to walkimg on the boardwalks

Amazing experience !!!! Beautiful views and strong blue colours everywhere. Thank you

Everyone should experience the beauty of these glaciers. It was breathtaking.

The organization, perfect Punctuality the facilities very good