3 options to make the most of your stay in El Calafate

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3 options to make the most of your stay in El Calafate

If this is your first time traveling to El Calafate, stay reading. We are going to tell you 3 options to fully enjoy your stay in El Calafate.

Los Glaciares National Park

El Calafate is the gateway to discover the current third largest continental ice field on the planet. This mass of ice is located within the Los Glaciares National Park, created in 1937 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. This protected area has an area of ​​more than 700,000 ha. This makes it the largest park in Argentina and one of the most visited in the country.

Flora and fauna

The National Park was created to preserve the continental ice and glaciers and also the Andean-Patagonian forest and part of the steppe. There are tree species such as lenga, ñir and guindo, as well as shrubs such as calafate, michay and notros. As for animal species, some that are easy to spot are the guanacos, which appear in groups on the steppe, around the route. It is also inhabited by cauquenes, large birds characteristic of these latitudes.

One of the most emblematic birds of the Park are the Andean condors, a source of sighs when they make their appearance gliding through the skies. These birds are one of the largest with outstretched wings. Foxes, black-necked swans and Moorish eagles are other species that may surprise you when visiting these lands. The most difficult to find are the puma and the huemul, a species of deer typical of Patagonia.

3 options to make the most of your stay in El Calafate

PERITO MORENO GLACIER

This imposing mass of ice, considered the eighth wonder of the world, is surrounded by forests and mountains. It is a unique setting on earth and for that reason, many visitors from all over the world come year after year to not miss such a spectacle.

This excursion begins once we look for the tourists in the accommodations and we head along Route 11 towards the National Park. During the trip you will be able to observe Lake Argentino and Bahía Redonda where you may find black-necked swans.

The first kilometers will be traveled through the Patagonian steppe, an arid environment where the ground is covered with coirones and other plants such as neneo and guanaco bush.

After crossing the entrance of the National Park, the landscape changes and the bushes and forest of the region begin to appear until we reach the “curve of sighs” so called because it is the first place where we encounter the Perito Moreno Glacier. There we will descend so that they can take photographs of the glacial tongue.

Then we will arrive at Puerto Bajo las Sombras where you have the option of taking a boat to take a Nautical Safari along the South Arm of the Canal de los Témpanos and have different views of the Perito Moreno glacier.

Later, we will head to the catwalks. There you will find different routes and balconies to observe the majesty of this ice giant, in addition to hearing it creak with each fall.

They will have enough time to contemplate the landscape and have lunch. Finally, we will return to the city.

ALL GLACIERS

If you wanted to continue seeing ice, we offer you this option to see other glaciers.

We pick them up in the morning at their accommodations to head to Punta Bandera port, located 47 kilometers from the city. There they will take a boat to begin navigating the northern arm of Lake Argentino. We will cross the Devil’s Mouth to enter the Upsala channel, where you can see several icebergs breaking off from the glacier that bears the same name.

Then we will continue sailing towards the Spegazzini Channel, where we will have a panoramic view of the Seco glacier. Afterwards we will continue sailing to observe the Spegazzini, Heim Sur and Peineta Glaciers.

Later, we will disembark at the Spegazzini base to take a short 300-meter walk, an interpretive path where you will find information about what can be seen in the surroundings.

Finally, we return to Puerto Bandera to finish the experience in El Calafate.

FULL DAY CHALTÉN: LOS CÓNDORES VIEWPOINT & CHORRILLO DEL SALTO

El Chaltén, although it is a small town, is known worldwide as the National Trekking Capital for its multiple options to enjoy the mountains. It is named after the most important mountain in the area, named after the Tehuelches. Its meaning is “smoking mountain” because of the sensation it gives when its summit is covered in clouds.

For this excursion we start very early from El Calafate and head towards RN 40 heading north. At 110 km we will visit the La Leona parador, where the guide will tell us what historical events happened here to be considered a site declared Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Province of Santa Cruz.

We will continue our journey north, making different stops at panoramic points until we reach El Chaltén where we will visit the Interpretation Center and then take a trail to the Mirador de los Cóndores.

After the walk, we will have time to have lunch and regain energy to head to Chorrillo del Salto. A natural waterfall located 4 kilometers from the town.

Finally we returned to El Calafate in the afternoon, arriving around 7 p.m.

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