El Calafate

2.17.2014 – 2.20.2014 || El Calafate | Argentina

After spending four fun filled days and nights in Buenos Aires to kick off our 2014 trip to Argentina, I was ready for the beauty of Southern Patagonia. We had our sights set on El Calafate, a small town that attracts tourists heading to Glacier National Park, home of the massive Perito Moreno Glacier. El Calafate is also located alongside Lago Argentino, a massive glacier-fed freshwater lake that has the bluest water. Check out where we stayed, what we did, and where we ate while in El Calafate.

Where We Stayed:

Design Suites Calafate – a gorgeous hotel right on Lake Argentino featuring views of the lake and the Andes Mountains from just about anywhere in the hotel. This was one of the best rooms with a view that we have ever had. The hotel offered a free shuttle to the downtown area so no need to rent a car if you plan to stay here. The hotel offers several packed lunch options to order ahead for any all day adventures you partake in during your stay.

What We Did:

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Glacier National Park) was the main reason we flew all the way to the southern end of Patagonia. We booked an all day tour called Minitrekking through Hielo y Adventura. This is a great option as the tour starts with a hotel pick up before boarding a tour bus headed for the park. Once at the park, you take a short boat ride across the lake, passing in front of the Perito Moreno Glacier.

After a short walk along the coast of the lake we were divided into subgroups of up to 20 people and we were fitted for crampons. Highly recommend wearing hiking shoes as my feet hurt for days after wearing running sneakers. This was incredible already and we didn’t even start the trek.

We spent about an hour walking on the glacier with our guide and ended the ice trek with a beverage over glacier ice. THIS WAS SUPER COOL.

We sat at the picnic area and ate lunch that we brought from the hotel. The sun came out for the return boat ride across the lake so here are a few more photos.

Before heading back to El Calafate, we spent an hour at the walkways of Perito Moreno Glacier. The panoramic view of the glacier from the viewing paths was stunning! If you aren’t up for an ice trek, be sure to visit the viewing platforms.

I have SO many pictures from the viewing platform. Here are a few more from the walk around the viewing platform.

The next day, we decided to walk downtown for lunch and took the scenic route along the lake. Note: nobody walks to town.

We got back in time to catch the sunset from our room.

We were drawn to the lake one last time before leaving to catch a flight back home to Washington, D.C. via Buenos Aires

Where We Ate:

I only included places that are still open as of March 2023

  • The first night we took a shuttle downtown and ate dinner at Elba’r, a coffee shop that serves food
  • After walking downtown, we had lunch La Lechuza (appears to still be open, however, I can’t find a website to share)
  • On the last night, we headed back downtown for dinner at Casimiro Bigua. This was the fanciest meal we had in El Calafate.

That is how we spent three nights, three days in Southern Patagonia. If you are heading to Argentina and looking for another option before or after Buenos Aires, El Calafate is a MUST!

Question: Have you been to Southern Patagonia? If so, what did you do there?

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