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Santa Cruz

What to do in El Calafate during the spring

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El Calafate is one of the places of our country that allows to enjoy to the maximum of its landscape, gastronomy and activities. It is located near the Andes mountain range and is currently considered the most important tourist city in the province, with a stable population estimated at 20000 inhabitants. With the arrival of spring, its vegetation begins to blossom and without doubt it is a great station to visit for the first time or to return to this Patagonian enclave. In this post we tell you what to do in El Calafate during the spring.

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Safari Boat, navigation in El Calafate

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The Perito Moreno glacier is located in the province of Santa Cruz, 80 km from El Calafate. This glacier with a surface area of 250 km2, stands out for its ease of access, its purity and color and for being one of the few glaciers in the world that are not in decline. As if outside little this glacier, from time to time, the phenomenon known as  “the rupture” that keeps everyone with the curiosity of knowing when it will be the next. For those who want to tour the area there are several excursions like “Excursion Rivers of Ice” or the “Minitrekking on the glacier¨. Another option is to make a navigation on its waters. In this post we talk about the Safari Boat. Continue Reading

Minitrekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier

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If you come to El Calafate and do not know which excursion choose due to the variety of options let me ask you the following questions:

  • Do you like trekking?
  • Do you like sailing?
  • Do you want to learn about the flora and fauna of the place?
  • Do you ever imagined walking above the glaciers?

Well…in my opinion the minitrekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier is the most complete day trip because you do everything in one tour: sailing, trekking and wildlife watching.

The tour begins in “Bajo de las Sombras” port, about 6 km before the glacier Balconies- where you embark for a 20 minutes navigation across the Rico Arm.

El Calafate

You disembark on the opposite shore, where specialized bilingual mountain guides welcome you and lead you to a small shelter. Then, separated into groups of 20 people, begins a walk along the shore of the Lake of approximately 20 minutes to the glacier. After a short talk about the genesis glacier and the regional flora and fauna the guides put each participant a pair of crampons on and explain how to use them.

El Calafate

From there, you will slowly ascend the glacier. The two hours circuit that follows introduces you to the fascinating landscape of the glaciers: streams, small lagoons, gullies, cravasses and plenty of ice formations of the most incredible blues.

The ice surface over which you walk is irregular, but firm and safe so dont be afraid! The trekking is moderate and remember you have permanent care of mountain guides who give you also the opportunity to make a stop and take wonderful pictures. Besides, the surprise gift at the end of the walk is supreme!

El Calafate

El Calafate

Then you have a half an hour walk through the forest for a different view of the glacier. You get back to the shelter to have lunch and finally sail back to the starting point, enjoying breathtaking views of the Perito Moreno glacier’s front wall.

The minitrekking is a must if you go to El Calafate. At this excursion you will discover the unique sensation of walking on the millennial ice. If you think it is very expensive, I will not lie. But believe me that worth every penny.

Some information to take into account

What to bring

  • Passengers must bring their lunch.
  • Outfit: Comfortable sports wear, long trousers, warm sweater, water or windproof jacket, sun glasses, sun block and gloves. Sport shoes or trekking boots.

Age

  • Between 10 and 65 years old.

Physical Requirement

  • Medium.

Duration

  • 1:30 hs on ice. Full day from El Calafate.

Restrictions

  • Due to the degree of effort and difficulty that this excursion presents is not allowed for: pregnant women, people with overweight, some type of disability, or health problems.

Price

  • The tour costs $1.620 (Argentinian pesos) National Park entrance is not included on the tour rate.
  • Children (10 to 15 years) and retirees pay $-20%.
  • A transfer from El Calafate to National Park (80 km) is available to those who need such service. The cost of the transfer is $480.

Schedule

  • The mini trekking runs from beginning of August up to end of May.
  • The tours are daily, including weekends and holidays.

Contact

  • Company Tour: “Hielo y Aventura”.
  • Address: Av. Libertador 935. El Calafate, Santa Cruz.
  • Email: info@hieloyaventura.com.
  • Telephone: +54 (2902) 492205/094.
  • To buy your tickets online click here
  • The purchase must be at least 10 days in advance.

Where to eat in El Calafate: Restaurant and Igloo Bar

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Tourists visiting El Calafate surely are also interested in knowing the best dishes of the Patagonian cuisine. The town offers several restaurants of excellent quality.

Today we recommend you the Restaurant & Bar Igloo, located on a hill with panoramic view of Argentino Lake, the village of El Calafate and the Andes Mountain Range, offering the possibility to enjoy fantastic sunsets.

The restaurant belongs to the Esplendor El Calafate Hotel, it has a capacity for 50 guests, and a menu of regional cuisine and cellar with a selection of the best wines. The chef prepares thoroughly contemporary cuisine without forgetting the typical flavors of Patagonia as the lamb or trout. You will be surprised with his gourmet proposal, result from the combination of the Patagonian flavors, with its best colours, meat and fruits.

Dónde comer en El Calafate: Restaurante & Bar "Iglú"

It also has a bar with capacity for 30 people, special to enjoy the tea time with pastries and sweets or at night to drink something with a Patagonian table. The bar offers national and imported drinks and a menu with classic and original drinks. The bar has a design and pleasant atmosphere to rest after visiting the Argentine glaciers.

Useful Information

Location

  • Juan Domingo Perón, 1143. It is located 700 m from the shopping mall, 78 km from the Perito Moreno glacier and 21 km from the Comandante Armando Tola International Airport.

Schedule

  • From 12:00 pm to 01:00 am: The bar offers national and imported drinks and a menu with classic and original drinks. Coffe and different types of infusions.
  • From 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm: The restaurant offers two varieties of menu. Midday menú contains elaborate sandwiches with different breads and pizzas. It also offers five choices of main dishes and entries.
  • From 19:00 to 23:00 pm: The dinner menu offers a cuisine gourmet, with regional products where there is the possibility to choose different entries, main dishes, including regional meats, such as Patagonian lamb and rainbow trout It also has an exclusive wine cellar with the best wines in the country.

Lunch box service

  • The restaurant prepares lunch box service for tours that are made every day.