El Calafate

El Calafate is a charming town located in the Patagonia region of Argentina, known for its stunning natural beauty and proximity to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. The town serves as a popular base for exploring the glaciers of Los Glaciares National Park, offering a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, ice trekking, and boat tours. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including glacial lakes, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife.

El Calafate also features a variety of restaurants, shops, and accommodations to cater to tourists exploring this unique and picturesque destination.

Places to visit

Key Phrases

Speak like a local

  • "Hola" - Hello
  • "Adi√≥s" - Goodbye
  • "Gracias" - Thank you
  • "Por favor" - Please
  • "S√≠" - Yes
  • "No" - No

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Lakes and Glaciers

morning:Start your day with a boat tour on Lake Argentino, where you can witness stunning icebergs and unique bird species. Make sure to stop by La Zaina for a delicious breakfast before your journey.

afternoon:Explore the Perito Moreno Glacier and marvel at its immense beauty. Take a break at Tito Rancho's for some authentic Argentine cuisine and enjoy the panoramic views.

evening:Experience the vibrant nightlife of El Calafate by heading to La Zorra Taproom for craft beers and live music.

day 2

Adventure and Culture

morning:Embark on a thrilling trek to Laguna Capri and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. For a delightful brunch, visit Isabel Cocina al Disco and savor their traditional Patagonian dishes.

afternoon:Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the Glaciarium and learning about the region's fascinating history through interactive exhibits. Grab a quick bite at Mako Fuegos Patagónicos to recharge for the rest of the day.

evening:Unwind with a cozy dinner at Casimiro Bigu√° and enjoy their delectable seafood dishes while taking in the serene atmosphere.

day 3

Nature Retreat

morning:Embark on a nature walk through Los Glaciares National Park and revel in the beauty of the diverse flora and fauna. Stop by Anka Restaurante for a delightful breakfast before your adventure begins.

afternoon:Visit the Estancia Cristina to experience the rural lifestyle and indulge in a traditional Patagonian barbecue lunch. Take a moment to relax and absorb the natural surroundings.

evening:End the day with a tranquil evening at La Vinería Restó, where you can enjoy fine wines and delectable tapas in a cozy ambiance.

day 4

Scenic Delights

morning:Take a scenic drive to the charming town of El Chaltén and embark on a picturesque hike to Laguna de los Tres, surrounded by towering peaks. Don't miss the chance to grab a tasty bite at Rancho Grande Bakery & Deli.

afternoon:Discover the splendid beauty of Lago del Desierto and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the area. Savor a delightful meal at La Lechuza Restaurante and enjoy the stunning lake views.

evening:Indulge in a delightful evening at Tía Elvira Restaurante, known for its warm ambiance and delectable regional cuisine.

El Calafate's Famous Food

Delicacies in El Calafate you must try!

Asado

A classic Argentine barbecue featuring various cuts of meat, including ribs, chorizo, and morcilla, grilled to perfection. Best enjoyed at La Tablita, a popular local restaurant.

Must-Try!

Cordero Patagónico

Patagonian lamb slow-roasted over an open fire, offering a succulent and flavorful experience. La Zaina Restaurante is highly recommended for its exquisite preparation of this dish.

Trucha Patagónica

Freshly caught Patagonian trout, often prepared simply with local herbs and accompanied by roasted vegetables. Don Pichón Restaurante is known for its exceptional trout dishes.

Attractions in El Calafate

Nice places to capture memories

Perito Moreno Glacier

Offers stunning views of the glacier and surrounding mountains, as well as opportunities for spectacular photos.

Mirador de los Cóndores

Provides a panoramic view of the city and Lake Argentino, perfect for capturing the beauty of the landscape.

Laguna Nimez Reserva Natural Municipal

Boasts diverse birdlife and picturesque landscapes, ideal for capturing nature and wildlife photos.

Seasonal Advice

Best times to visit and what to expect in different seasons

Spring (September - November)

Mild weather, wildflowers blooming, and increasing wildlife activity.

Summer (December - February)

Peak tourist season, warm weather, and longer daylight hours for exploring the glaciers and natural attractions.

Fall (March - May)

Cooler temperatures, beautiful autumn foliage, and fewer crowds.

Winter (June - August)

Cold weather, lower tourist numbers, and opportunities for winter sports like skiing and snowshoeing.

Outdoor Activities in El Calafate

Fun outdoor pursuits

Perito Moreno Glacier

Take a guided tour to visit the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, where you can hike on the ice or take a boat ride to appreciate its grandeur.

Hiking in Los Glaciares National Park

Explore the breathtaking landscapes of Los Glaciares National Park through various hiking trails that offer stunning views of glaciers, mountains, and lakes.

Boat tour to Upsala Glacier

Embark on a boat tour to witness the magnificence of Upsala Glacier and its surrounding icy landscapes, providing an unforgettable and picturesque experience.

Tipping & Payment

Ensure a smooth experience

Tipping

In El Calafate, Argentina, it is customary to leave a 10-15% tip for good service at restaurants. Some establishments may include a service charge, so it's important to check the bill before tipping.

Payment

Most businesses in El Calafate, Argentina, accept credit and debit cards, but it's advisable to carry some cash, especially for smaller vendors and local markets. ATMs are widely available in the town for cash withdrawals.

Local Etiquette

Tips on cultural norms and respectful behavior

Respect for personal space

In El Calafate, it is important to respect personal space and avoid standing too close to others when interacting, especially with people you do not know well.

Punctuality

Punctuality is valued in El Calafate, so it's important to be on time for appointments and social gatherings.

Greeting with a kiss on the cheek

In social situations, it is common to greet friends and acquaintances with a kiss on the cheek in El Calafate as a sign of warmth and friendliness.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Avenida Libertador Street Market

This bustling market offers a variety of street food, including empanadas, choripan (chorizo sandwich), and local pastries. It's a great place to savor authentic flavors while exploring the town.

Nightlife in El Calafate

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Patagonia, the nightlife in El Calafate offers a unique and vibrant experience that caters to a variety of tastes. As the sun sets, this quaint town transitions from a serene gateway to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier into a lively hub of activity. The evening typically starts in one of the many charming restaurants, where visitors can indulge in traditional Argentine cuisine. Steakhouses, known locally as "parrillas," serve up mouthwatering cuts of meat, while other eateries offer regional specialties such as Patagonian lamb and trout. The culinary scene here is complemented by an excellent selection of Argentine wines, often enjoyed in the cozy and inviting atmosphere of the local dining establishments. After a satisfying dinner, the town’s bars and pubs become the focal point of the social scene. With a variety of settings ranging from rustic and quaint to modern and chic, these venues provide the perfect spots for mingling with fellow travelers and locals alike. Some popular bars are known for their extensive cocktail menus, while others offer local craft beers and even Patagonian gin. Live music performances, featuring local and sometimes international artists, add to the vibrant ambiance, offering everything from traditional folk music to contemporary genres. For those seeking a more energetic experience, El Calafate's nightlife also includes several nightclubs where the party continues into the early hours. These clubs feature energetic DJs spinning a mix of Latin dance rhythms, electronic music, and popular hits, ensuring that the dance floor is always buzzing with energy. In addition to bars and clubs, cultural activities also form a significant part of the nighttime offerings. Visitors can experience folklore shows that highlight the rich cultural heritage of Patagonia, with traditional dance, music, and storytelling. These events provide an authentic glimpse into the local culture and are often a highlight for those looking to immerse themselves in the regional traditions. The town’s relaxed and friendly vibe, set against the stunning backdrop of the Patagonian wilderness, makes El Calafate's nightlife a memorable aspect of the visit. Whether you're looking to enjoy a quiet evening with a glass of wine or dance the night away, there's something for everyone in this charming Argentine town.

Things to do in El Calafate

Unique local experiences...

Pet sitters in El Calafate

Relax and unwind while your furry friend enjoys making a new companion!

Continue exploring Argentina

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