CALAFATE
 
Destination:   EL CALAFATE (Glaciers)
 

o              Description

o              Activities

o              Hotels

o              National Parks

o              Flights

o              Programs

 

Description:
 
El Calafate, picturesque touristic village located on the bank of the Lago Argentino, is 2.700km away from Buenos Aires city, in Santa Cruz Province, in the south of "Patagonia" region.
Among its 350 glaciers, the Perito Moreno stands out thanks to its enigmatic beauty; it has become a worldwide attraction due to its periods of ice-rupture, an incredible natural spectacle, and the Upsala glacier, which forms an ice tongue of about 60 km long and 10 km wide, representing the biggest dimension glacier of the area.
 
Activities:

CITY TOUR + CUEVAS DEL WALICHO

A stroll around the town to know its history and anecdotes. The trip continues to the Walicho caves, with its rupestrial paintings more than 4,000 years old. You will be able to see the environment in which the native indigenous lived: the "tehuelches" together with their costumes and lifestyle. On the way back to town you will visit the small lake Nimes, where you will see ducks, black neck swans and even pink flamingos.

Info: 3-hour tour. Regular or private service. 

 

EXCURSION TO PERITO MORENO GLACIER WITH WATER SAFARI

After crossing the Patagonian steppe and bordering the southern coast of Lago Argentino up to the Mount Buenos Aires you will enter the National Park. From Port Bajo de las Sombras, where you will take a catamaran that will navigate for one hour the Brazo Rico of the Lago Argentino up to the glacier wall: 180-foot high, 3 mile wide and 20 mile long, Perito Moreno glacier is considered by many as the most beautiful in the world. Free time for lunch.

Then, you continue to the glacier balcony, where you will walk the footbridge that goes from Brazo Rico up to the Canal de los Témpanos (“Icebergs Channel”) (just in front of the glacier), allowing you to appreciate spectacular views of the Perito Moreno and stunning views of mountains, forests and Lago Argentino. Return to El Calafate.

Info: full day tour with time for lunch at the National Park. Distance traveled: 80 Km (half of it is gravel road).

 

MINITREKKING ON THE PERITO MORENO GLACIER

Depart from hotel to the Port Bajo de las Sombras, where youwill take a catamaran and cross the Brazo Rico of the Lago Argentino. Arrival at the Southwest coast, landing and, together with the guides, you will border the lake up to the edge of the ice. Here you will put on our spikes to start the trekking on the glacier (one to two hours), culminating with a toast in a natural altar of ice and sumps.

Next, you’ll have lunch in a natural refuge and back to the boat that will take you back to the port of departure. You will be able to enjoy the glacier balcony and its footbridge for about one hour. Get the most spectacular panoramic views of the amazing landscape of the glacier, mountain and forests from here. Return to El Calafate.

Info: Full day tour. Distance traveled: 80 km (half of it is gravel road) 

 

“Todos los glaciares” (all the glaciers) tours

Drive to Port Bandera and board a catamaran for navigating the Northern arm of the Lago Argentino. After a short time, start navigating among the icebergs that fall from several glaciers such as the Spegazzini which is 90 meters high. Disembark at Onelli Bay and enjoy lunch at a charming restaurant in the Park. Then take a short hike through the Patagonian beech forest to meet the spectacular view of Agassi, Bolado and Onelli Glaciers.

After a short time, start navigation towards Upsala Glacier (the biggest in the Park) a calm setting for relaxing before the return to Calafate.

Info: Full day tour with time for lunch in Bahía Onelli. 

 

EL CHALTEN

It is a small village 220 km from El Calafate, considered the National Capital of Trekking. It is located at the foot of the hills Fitz Roy and Torre, two of the most difficult mountains to be climbed in the world. Depart from hotel in the afternoon in 4x4 vehicles through gravel roads up to El Chalten. Night in a selected inn.

The following day we will do an excursion to the Lago del Desierto, passing by a natural cascade known as Chorillo del Salto, arriving at the southern extreme of Lago del Desierto, where we will find plenty of paths to practice some trekking. By embarking on a launch, we will appreciate incredible views of the Huemul glacier and the Vespigiani cordon, till we arrive to the northern extreme of the lake. We will walk the return trip between forests of an infinite range of colors, and we will watch unique creatures such as the "pudú" (the smallest deer in the world). Then we will stop for lunch in a typical local hostelry and return trip to El Calafate.

 

ESTANCIA ALTA VISTA

Only 30 km from El Calafate and 40 km from the Perito Moreno glacier, framed by a forest of 74,000 hectares, it offers the most exigent guests an exclusive atmosphere, comfort and a personalized attention. It has 6 deluxe rooms and one suite decorated in soft pastel tones. There is a high-level restaurant and a comfortable living room where you will find lots of books and magazines. Different activities can be organized, such as trekking, horse-riding, mountain bike, fishing and sheep-shearing.

 

cerro frías with trekking and lunch

Located in the middle of the Patagonian steppe, this mount offers incredible views of Calafate surroundings (Torres del Paine, Cordón de los Cristales) and all the great lakes arround. Visitors can choose the way to know this spectacular place. Those who prefer trekking, will be assisted with maps and brochures that indicate heights, main attractions of flora and fauna, rest places, panoramic viewpoints from where you can observe Macizo del Paine, Fitz Roy mount and Argentino Lake’s tributaries. Your aim will be Cerro Frías top. Adventure begins at 10.00am or at 5.00pm surrounded with “lengas” and “ñires” woods, beautiful strams and unique views of the local landscape.

All the visits end at a refugee where you will be offered a special lunch with meat, chicken and vegetables barbecue. Duration: Half day. (Arround 2:30-hour trekking or horse riding)

 

big ice

In the morning you will be transferred to the National Park, take a boat to cross Brazo Rico and arrive very near to Perito Moreno glacier. After checking the gear you will pick up the crampons and begin walking the lateral morain towards the center of the glacier. After 1-hour walk you will begin your walk in ice. You will be introduced to a number of features within the ice. You will walk about three hours and have lunch somewhere in the ice. Always leaded by mountain guides, they will be loking after your safety and teaching you the “ways of ice”. Back on the morrain you will start the descent to catch the 3 pm boat.

Info: Apt for 14 to 45 year-old passengers: 7-hour of walk through diverse terrains.

 
 
Hoteles:
 
Xelena Deluxe Suites
 

 

Parque Nacionales de la zona:
 
PN LOS GLACIARES:
Created: 1937
Area: 724.000 hectrs 
Protects: 2.600km2 of glaciers, woods from Patagonic Andes and Patagonic steep. Regarding to its flora, main species are: lenga, ñire and coihue or guindo. Regarding to its fauna the following can be observed: wildcats, guemals, red foxes, pumas and others, condors and other granivorous birds.
*Declared Natural Heritage for Humanity by UNESCO in 1981.
 
Flights:

 

From/To: Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires (AEP), Bariloche (BRC), Ushuaia (USH), Trelew (REL)
Companies: Lan (LA), Aerolineas Argentinas (AR)
IATA Code: FTE