Glaciers, Glaciers, and more Glaciers in El Calafate
This is going to be a short one simply because I don’t have that many recommendations for Calafate but that being said it is one of the most stunning places I have ever been and I would put it at the top of your list because its that good! It is super out of the way if your going to Argentina because you are flying south and I mean really south.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
This is number on Tripadvisor and will be the most recommended thing you hear from anyone who has visited. The big Glacier within the park is Perito Moreno. They have built these amazing walkways all around the Glacier so you can walk and listen and SEE it calving. By that I mean big ass chunks of ice fall into the water below and make thunderous noises when they hit. Its unreal.
Now that you have seen the big Glacier go sign up to hike on it. The company we used was Hielo y Aventura (I never get tired of saying that) mostly because that is the company everyone uses. They have different levels of hikes from my recollection but we did the most basic one afternoon one. I honestly wish we had done more but oh well. Its a reason to plan a return trip. Anyway you throw these giant metal crampons on your sneakers and walk the ice. Amazing views and just general awesomeness. Talk about an epic profile pic in the making.
Really that made my whole trip but we also did a walk around Lago Argentina which is in a beautiful setting but essentially its a pretty lake. I enjoy pretty lakes and if you do you will enjoy the serenity of being there.
There is another Glacier in the area called Upsala that we also missed but I read great things so maybe do some Glacier comparison shopping before you go. We learned about it late when we went to the Glaciarium. You guessed it, its a museum about Glaciers. I probably would never ever go to a Glacier museum but I totally had Glacier fever and was all about it. That vanished the second we left Argentina but thats the type of person I am.
So that covers what we did. Now as far as everything else its not exactly a global culinary destination but the main drag is called Avenida del Libertador and it is the ‘center’ of town. Its basically a really long street with everything you need as a tourist. Lots of restaurants and internet cafes etc. The food on the street was always decent and generally reasonably priced. Empanadas on Empanadas along with some pizza mostly worked for us since we knew Mendoza was in our near future and food indulgences were coming.
As far as hotels go this is one of the few areas of the world that Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, etc forgot about and so you get to choose from some pretty cool boutique hotels. We stayed at La Canterra which was nice but off the main drag up a hill so don’t be out of shape if you plan on walking back and forth. The shuttle was kind of slow but not horrible or anything. I would definitely stay there again.
We went to a bar too! I almost forgot but guess what? It was a Glacier Bar, bet you did not see that coming. It was one of those made of ice bars that have gotten popular globally.
That covers most of El Calafate and though it may not seem like a great deal it is one of the most memorable few days of touristing I have ever done and I seriously recommend it!