El Calafate Travel
Uncover the pristine, imposing landscapes of El Calafate in Argentine Patagonia, with El Perito Moreno Glacier at its heart.
A jumble of icy glaciers, silent lakes and the windswept steppe, El Calafate and the surrounds make up some of Patagonia’s most dramatic and unforgiving scenery. For adventurers, it’s an absolute must on any trip to Argentina, what with all the endless opportunities for hiking, horseback riding and glacier trekking, while those who want to get to grips with Gaucho culture will find that the historic estancias dotted around the region provide a fascinating snapshot into the century-old traditions here in the Patagonian wilderness.
Nestled in the heart of southern Patagonia, El Calafate is a world away from the bustle of Buenos Aires, instead evoking a sense of ethereal mystery. Prepare to be mesmerised by the barren beauty of its wild, untouched landscapes, which make for the perfect playground for outdoor activities. Go hiking through the Los Glaciares National Park, ride on horseback over timeless lands or go kayaking over chilly lakes and sweeping rivers.
There are certain sights that you simply can’t miss, including the indomitable Perito Moreno Glacier, which sprawls over a surface area larger than that of Buenos Aires. Then there’s the Gaucho lifestyle which is a delight to explore; you can make an estancia visit to meet the Gauchos themselves and get stuck in with the day-to-day running of the ranch. You’ll soon discover that much remains unchanged here since the first settlers found their way to this barren but intriguing corner of Argentina.
El Perito Moreno Glacier
This imposing glacier is more than a hunk of ice; it is a huge mass that sprawls for 250sq km and towers at a height of 74 metres. What makes Perito Moreno particularly special is that it is one of three glaciers in the world to be growing rather than shrinking, up to two metres a day, in fact. Absorbing the majesty of this natural phenomenon will no doubt take your breath away, watching as the chunks of ice crash into the waters of Lake Argentino - a mesmerising sight to behold.
Kayaking to Upsala Glacier
A trip to El Calafate promises plenty of adventure and outdoor activities, including a must-do kayak experience along the waters of Lake Argentino to the Upsala Glacier. Keep an eye out for resident wildlife as you paddle your way towards another of Argentine Patagonia’s impressive glaciers, passing soaring mountains along the way.
Trekking in Los Glaciares National Park
The wind-worn plains of Patagonia are as wild and rugged as can be, so exploring them on foot (or on horseback) is a total joy. You’ll be greeted with views of cloud-wreathed mountains, the grassy steppe unfolding for mile upon mile and indigenous forests, that stand in clusters as if they were bracing the cold together. Be prepared for some seriously exhilarating trekking in this mighty, untouched wilderness.