The modern Aeropuerto El Calafate is 23km east of town off RP 11. New low-cost airlines plan to offer flights to Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and Río Grande. Aviación Civil Argentina (ANAC; www.anac.gob.ar) has a map with new routes and airlines.
The following rates are one way. Aerolíneas Argentinas flies daily to Bariloche (from AR$1860), Ushuaia (AR$1800), Trelew (AR$4000), and Aeroparque and Ezeiza in Buenos Aires (from AR$4400).
LADE flies a few times a week to Río Gallegos, Comodoro Rivadavia, Ushuaia, Esquel, Puerto Madryn, Buenos Aires and other smaller regional airports.. LATAM flies to Ushuaia weekly. Aerovías DAP flies to Punta Arenas in high season (December through March).
El Calafate’s hilltop bus terminal is easily reached by a pedestrian staircase from the corner of Libertador and 9 de Julio. Book ahead in high season, as outbound seats can be in short supply.
For Río Gallegos, buses go four times daily; contact Taqsa/Marga or Andesmar. Connections to Bariloche and Ushuaia may require leaving in the middle of the night and a change of buses in Río Gallegos. Sportman serves various destinations in Patagonia.
For El Chaltén, buses leave daily at 8am, 2pm and 6pm. Both Caltur and Chaltén Travel go to El Chaltén and also drive the RN 40 to Bariloche (AR$2425, two days) in summer. General buses to Bariloche take longer in winter as they take the coastal route.
For Puerto Natales (Chile), Cootra and Turismo Zahhj depart at 8am and 8:30am daily (three times weekly in low season), crossing the border at Cerro Castillo, where it may be possible to connect to Torres del Paine.
Buses from El Calafate
Puerto Natales (Chile)