Welcome to El Calafate

Located 320km northwest of Río Gallegos, and 32km west of RP 11’s junction with northbound RN 40, El Calafate flanks the southern shore of Lago Argentino. Its main strip is dotted with souvenir and chocolate shops, restaurants and tour offices. Beyond here, pretensions melt away quickly: muddy roads lead to ad hoc developments and open pastures.

January and February are the most popular (and costly) months to visit, but shoulder-season visits are growing steadily.

Top experiences in El Calafate

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We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

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El Calafate activities

$192 Day Trips & Excursions

Full Day Tour to the Torres del Paine National Park

By taking the internal route, you'll pass by Lake Sarmiento and Amarga Lagoon. Driving a few more miles, you'll enjoy a panoramic vista of the Paine Horns from one of the lookout points.Continue to Lake Pehoe and Paine River before arriving at the Lago Grey Inn for a leisurely lunch. Then take a short hike to see the powerful waterfall at Salto Grande and enjoy the magnificent sights. You'll depart the National Park in the afternoon, arriving in El Calafate late in the evening.This tour is a must for all nature enthusiasts and those looking for a relaxing day out. Explore amazing South American scenery by traveling through two different countries. Grasp the natural wonders of waterfalls and lakes that both Argentina and Chile have to offer!Distance between El Calafate and Torres del Paine National Park: 270km/168milesIMPORTANT: Passport information MUST be provided at the time of booking for ALL PARTICIPANTS. We are not able to confirm the booking until we receive the passport information.

$160 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Upsala Glacier and Patagonia Sail to Estancia Cristina

Your Patagonian adventure begins with pickup from your hotel in El Calafate. Relax on the 28-mile (45-kilometer) journey to the port at Punta Bandera, where your three-hour boat cruise departs.Enjoy croissants and hot drinks served on board the comfortable boat as you glide among icebergs, past the stunning scenery of snow-covered peaks. Sail to through along Lake Argentino, then cruise along Cristina Channel to Estancia Christina.Disembark at the historic estancia, and learn the history of the sheep and cattle ranch on a visit to the museum and old shearing shed. Enjoy a snack break before continuing your tour of the estancia.Take a short guided walk up to Caterina River to visit the estancia’s chapel and other historic buildings.After lunch (own expense), take an off-road trip for fantastic views of the Upsala Glacier (if 4x4 Tour option is selected), or an easy hike to see the beautiful waterfall of Los Perros (if Waterfall Tour option is selected). The three-hour off-road trip takes you along a scenic mountain trail, following a route of great geological interest, until quite recently covered by glaciers. Reaching a mountain refuge, take a 20-minute walk over terrain eroded by glaciers to reach the Upsala Glacier. From here you can see amazing views of Lake William, the Patagonian ice field and the Andes mountains. If you choose the walk to the cascading waters of Los Perros waterfall, the two-hour hike takes you through beautiful woodlands for lofty views of Caterina River and the estancia below.In the late afternoon, relax on the boat ride back to the port of Punta Bandera, arriving at around 7:30pm, then be dropped off at your hotel at El Calafate.

$1681.68 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Patagonia 13-Day Adventure Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia

Starting in El Calafate, your 13-day Patagonia adventure tour begins as you are taken to your chosen accommodation and have free time to get settled and explore on your own. The following 12 days will be filled with outdoorsy fun, plus free time to explore on your own or relax. Guided tours of Los Glaciares National Park, Torres del Paine National Park and Tierra del Fuego National Park will open your eyes to Patagonia’s spectacular natural attractions, including glaciers, jagged mountain peaks, lakes, lagoons and native wildlife! From canoeing to trekking to boating, you’ll have your fill of first-class outdoor adventure as you travel from El Calafate to El Chalten in Argentina, then to Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas in Chile, and back to Ushuaia in Argentina. You have your choice of four accommodation types; please see below for a list of possible accommodation for each level. All breakfasts and one lunch are included; depending on the day, you will eat lunch and dinner (own expense) in one of national parks or in town.There are a variety of optional activities you may choose to do if you wish, including hiking, 4x4 countryside tours, glacier climbing and walking with penguins. These are listed in the Itinerary section below and are at an additional expense; if you are interested in any, please say so when booking or contact the local tour operator after booking (contact details will be provided after booking). For details on each day of the tour, please see the Itinerary below.

$19.75 Transfers & Ground Transport

El Calafate Round-Trip Airport Transfer

You will be met at the airport and taken directly to your hotel in El Calafate. A professional representative will greet you when you clear airport customs, and your Patagonian vacation can start!When you’re ready to go back to the airport at the end of your trip, you’ll enjoy the same convenient service from your hotel

$1088 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Patagonia 9-Day Tour: Glacier, National Park From El Calafate

Beginning in El Calafate, this 9-day tour of Patagonia allows you to discover the stunning beauty of one of South America’s most famous regions with an expert guide. Guided activities include a visit to Los Glaciers National Park, where you’ll take a boat cruise for up-close views of the Perito Moreno Glacier, and a visit to Torres del Paine National Park, where you’ll see picturesque natural features like alpine lakes and the steep granite pillars of the Torres del Paine Mountains. During your free time, you can hike to Mt Fitz Roy and explore the three Patagonian towns where you’ll spend your eight nights: El Calafate, El Chalten and Puerto Natales. Throughout the experience, learn about the region’s history and wildlife from your knowledgeable guide.Breakfast is included at your accommodation each morning; dinner can be enjoyed during your free time each evening (your guide will be happy to recommend local places). Depending on the day, you’ll have time for lunch either while visiting one of the national parks or hiking and exploring El Calafate, El Chalten or Puerto NatalesPlease note see the Itinerary section below for details on each day of the tour.

$80 Day Trips & Excursions

Perito Moreno Glacier Tour with Boat Ride

Your tour starts in the morning with hotel pickup in El Calafate by bus.Accompanied by a guide, you'll stop at a series of walkways for views of Perito Moreno Glacier and a chance to take photos. From there, continue with the drive for more amazing views of the natural beauty of the glacier and Los Glaciares National Park. Watch for chunks of ice as large as buses falling off the glacier, an occurrence known as 'calving,' and take a 40-minute boat ride in front of the glacier for more views. At the end of the day, return to El Calafate for hotel drop-off.