"Gateway to the Glaciers" El Calafate by barryg23

El Calafate Travel Guide: 282 reviews and 715 photos

After travelling through remote Patagonia and hiking for days in El Chalten, El Calafate came as something of a shock, what with all its hotels, restaurants and tourists.

It's one of the most popular destinations in Argentina, and has grown significantly in recent years. Prices are noticeably higher than elsewhere in Argentina. What brings all the visitors is the town's location, as gateway to the Perito Moreno glacier, in nearby Glaciers National Park.

There are a couple of interesting sights in the town too, though without the glacier, there would be much fewer visitors. We stayed two nights in El Calafate after travelling down from El Chalten.

To anyone planning to see this part of Argentina, I would recommend spending as much time as possible in El Chalten rather than in El Calafate. While the Perito Moreno glacier near El Calafate is undeniably impressive, it pales in comparison to the scenery at Fitz Roy, near El Chalten, while the crowds and prices at El Calafate make it something of a tourist trap.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Proximity to Glaciers National Park, nice location on Lago Argentina
  • Cons:Very touristy, more expensive than most other places in Argentina
  • Last visit to El Calafate: Dec 2007
  • Intro Updated Jan 18, 2009
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“Back from my year in Latin America. Quite a few VT pages to write!”

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