WHERE TO GO IN EL CALAFATE
El Calafate is a tourist town and has several natural and cultural attractions to visit.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Glacier National Park):
It is considered a World Heritage by UNESCO since 1981. It is part of the great Campo de Hielo Patagónico (Patagonian Ice Fields), where 47 glaciers originate, 13 of them within the Atlantic basin, and another 200 glaciers, which are smaller.
This glacier system gives rise to two lakes: Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma, which flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
Inside the park there are various attractions like the Perito Moreno glacier and the Cerro Fitz Roy.
Perito Moreno Glacier:
This is the most famous glacier in El Calafate, known for its cyclical movement of advance and retreat, where you can see huge blocks of ice shedding from its walls that are over 60 meters in height. It is located in the southern part of the Los Glaciares Park.
To reach the glacier, take the Provinicial 11 route, which connects the town of El Calafate with Punta Bandera.
Mount Fitz Roy:
It is located in the northern area of Los Glaciares Park, which belongs to the area of El Chalten, known as the trekking capital of the world because of its demanding hills and peaks.
Mount Fitz Roy is one of them; it has 3,405 meters of altitude and has different paths for mountain lovers and mountain climbing, as well as the Cerro Torre, with 3,102 meters of altitude.
Tourist ranches and farms:
You can visit cattle ranches in the area which look to connect visitors with nature, offering warm refuge to enjoy the traditions, hospitality and folklore of Argentina.
Within the farms you can perform various activities like horseback riding, taming horses, sheep shearing and others. Besides this, the rooms also have museums where you can learn about the history of the family-owned house.
Other attractions that are done are trekking, horseback riding half-day wildlife watching, among others.
Many rooms are also close to other attractions such as hills surrounding the Roca Lake, Upsala Glacier and Punta Bandera, to name a few.
Some of the small farms which are worth knowing are Alta Vista, El Galpon de Glaciar, María Elisa and Huyliche.
Bosque Petrificado La Leona:
This incredible display of nature lies within one of the private farms and corresponds to the petrified logs of what was once a lush forest. Also, different types of fossil remains of bones and vertebrae that intrigue paleontologists are found.
It lies within the Los Glaciares National Park, surrounded by vegetation of the Patagonia like beech, coihues and ñires. It is also a place where sport fishing, trekking in the nearby hills and horse riding are performed while seeing the panoramic landscapes of the area.
Centro Administrativo Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Administrative Center Los Glaciares National Park):
It is located in an old building from 1946, and is considered a Municipal Historic Monument. It is surrounded by a park where you can observe the flora and fauna of the Patagonia as well as trail of historical interpretation where there is also a display of ancient machinery.
In this lagoon you can see more than 80 species of birds, including flamingos, black-necked swans and others; plus a completely natural environment.
This place is attractive because you can find interesting pictorial samples of the first inhabitants of the area in the Cave of the same name with steppe vegetation and several interpretive trails.
Balcón de El Calafate:
This is a stunning viewpoint of 15 kilometers that can be covered by 4x4. Here Huyliche hill with rocks that are more than 80 million years old can be seen, in addition to the peaks of the Cerro Chalten and Torre hill as well as the mouth of the Santa Cruz River and in the distance the village El Calafate.
On this tour you can see the Laberinto de Piedras, a rock formation of the Cretaceous period that exists for more than 85 million years.