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Things to do in
Glaciar Upsala

Glaciar Upsala: Our most recommended tours and activities

El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

1. 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.

Gourmet Glacier Cruise & Footbridges of Perito Moreno

2. 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.

From El Calafate: Estancia Horseback Riding and Boat Tour

3. From El Calafate: Estancia Horseback Riding and Boat Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in El Calafate and be transfered to Puerto Punta Bandera port. Set sail from the dock at 9:00 AM and glide over the waters of Lake Argentino to reach the furthest possible point of navigation in the Canal upsala. From here enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the Laciar Upsala. Then, having disembarked at the shores of Estancia Cristina, be welcomed by an expert guide. Enjoy a horseback ride through the Cristina Valley which allows you to experience a delightful mix of mountain views, time by the lake, and multiple birdwatching opportunities. After leaving the Estancia behind, ride in a northerly direction, heading deeper into nature, crossing the Caterina River. Note the many species of plants and flowers that are native to the Patagonian steppe. Make your way on horseback along pathways covered with loose stone and moss, leading you eventually to an elevated lookout point that bestows sweeping views of the valley. With luck try to spot various species of bird such as the Common and Royal Goose, Black Necked Swan, Coscoroba Swan, and the Spectacled Duck, among many others. Near Lago Pearson, we will have time for lunch. Then, when you are finally ready to head home, go back along the same route towards the starting point, the perfect time to take it all in. Later on, we will visit the Costumbrista Museum, where we can learn all about the history of the Masters family: their lives, adventures and how they became pioneers in Patagonia. At 5 pm we will head toward the shore, take the boat and return to El Calafate. Due to the diversity of horses available in Estancia, it is extremely important to choose and assign the right horse and guarantee the development of the activity, also for this reason the weight limit is 95 kilos.

El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

4. 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.

From El Calafate: Argentino Lake and 4WD Discovery Tour

5. 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.

Navigation All glaciers

6. Navigation All glaciers

From the Port of Punta Bandera, 47 km from El Calafate, we start sailing along the North Arm of Lake Argentino. We cross the Boca del Diablo and head for the Upsala Channel to sail among the large icebergs that break off the front of the Upsala Glacier. A fascinating experience. Then, we will continue the journey to the Spegazzini Channel that will offer you unique views of some beautiful hanging glaciers such as the Seco, the South Heim and the Peineta that are the prelude to the biggest show, "The Spegazzini Glacier", the biggest of them all, with one of the most impressive views. We prepare to disembark at our exclusive Spegazzini Base, right in front of the glacier. A place that has all the necessary services and also to experience dazzling panoramic views.

Other Sightseeing Options in Glaciar Upsala

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What people are saying about Glaciar Upsala

Although we weren't in the center, after a few WhatsApp messages we were picked up from our hotel and dropped off again. The food on the boat was the best we had in the last 14 days and was extremely tasty. Thanks

Very good tour organization, well balanced at the sightseeing points. When booking there should be a button with “more information” with more detailed itinerary, small map, names of glaciers, etc.

the horseback riding and boat tour of the glacier were amazing. i do wish the guides on the boat trip did more explanations in English though.

Unreal excursion! You should definitely take it, but including a walk across the bridges to see the glaciers from different angles!

The tour is much cheaper if booked directly by the provider. Otherwise, good boat and tour.