The town of El Calafate is located on the southern shore of Lago Argentino, in Argentinian Patagonia.
It lies about 320 km northwest of Rio Gallegos.
It is the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, which contains the Perito Moreno Glacier, Upsala Glacier, and Mount Fitz Roy, on the eastern edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.
Activities in El Calafate
Without doubt the biggest tourist attractions around El Calafate are the nearby glaciers especially the Perito Moreno Glacier, where for the most adventurous, there is an opportunity to hike on the actual glacier itself.
Another trip not to be missed is a visit to the Walichu Caves, an important archeological site, located 8 km from El Calafate.
If you take a boat trip on the Brazo Rico of the Lago Argentino, you will get a view of the stunning Perito Moreno glacier.
How to get to El Calafate
El Calafate is 362 kilometers from Puerto Natales, and 316 kilometers from Río Gallegos, capital of Santa Cruz Province. It is 2,787 km to the south of the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires.
- El Calafate can also be reached by land via Route 40, or by air via the Comandante Armando Tola International Airport.
- Navimag Ferries sail from Puerto Monttto Puerto Natales and from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt, on a voyage through beautiful Patagonian scenery. Once you reach Puerto Natales you can continue the trip to El Calafate by land.
- Departures from Puerto Montt are on Fridays and from Puerto Natales on Tuesdays all year round.
(Navimag only provide transport on the aforementioned ferry routes and does not provide a transport service between Puerto Natales and El Calafate)
Where to stay in El Calafate
Av. Libertador 2047, El Calafate, Argentina
Tel.: (54-2902) 493176
Buenos Aires 296, El Calafate, Argentina
Tel.: (54-2902) 491147
F.M. Pantoriero 171, El Calafate, Argentina
Tel.: (54-2902) 495 175
Where to eat in El Calafate
We give you some of the most recommended spots to eat in El Calafate, Argentina.
Classic bar-restaurant, serving traditional regional cuisine.
Address: Gobernador Moyano 1258, El Calafate, Argentina.
This is the oldest restaurant in El Calafate, specializing in roast meat.
Address: Cnel. Rosales 28, El Calafate, Argentina.
Varied menu including a selection of Argentinian meats, smoked entrées, and roasted vegetables, along with the traditional Santa Cruz dish, Patagonian lamb grilled over an open fire on a stake.
Address: Libertador Avenue 1610, El Calafate, Argentina.
Climate in El Calafate
El Calafate has a predominantly dry climate with a maximum average temperature in the summer of 19° C and average minimum in the winter of -2°C.
Flora and Fauna of El Calafate
The predominant flora is the calafate bush (berberis buxifollia). There is also sub-antarctic forest, where trees such as lenga, ñirre, and coihue predominate.
The inhabitants of these forests include the mountain cat, the hurón, and the huemul, all of which are difficult to catch a glimpse of. It is easier to spot red foxes, condors, pumas and seed-eating birds.