El Calafate, a small town located where the Santa Cruz plateau meets the Andes, is the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier. Learn all about what there is to see, know and do, guided by Patagonia-argentina.com’s experts. The El Calafate town The tourist circuit in this region begins at this small town in Southwestern Santa Cruz province, on the south bank of Lake Argentino. Its main activity is Tourism, which keeps growing year after year, due to its neighboring to Perito Moreno Glacier.
Founded in 1927, El Calafate did not grow until the 1940’s, when the National Park was created..
El Calafate has all the facilities needed to satisfy an ever growing tourist influx: there are hotels from 1 to 5 stars, as well as warm and charming “Hosterías” to stay at, lots of restaurants, shops and even an Ice Bar. And during summer there are also campsites available.
The town was named after a typical thorny bush of southern Patagonia. The Calafate blooms in the spring with yellow flowers and in summer with purple fruits. According to tradition those who eat this fruit will always return to Patagonia.
The “must-see, yes-or-yes” excursion is of course the classic visit to Perito Moreno Glacier . You can also take relaxing strolls or ride horses in the surroundings of El Calafate, and get to Nimes Lagoon or reach one of legendary Patagonian “estancias”.
Distances from El Calafate to:
Bariloche 1449 Km. (via Route 40)
Buenos Aires 2727 Km.
Córdoba 2732 Km.
Neuquén 1979 Km (via Route 40)
Ushuaia 863 Km.
Bariloche: city of Andean Lakes
For many, Bariloche (say Bah-ree-law-cheh) is synonymous of winter, snow and skiing. But there’s more: also known as the “American Switzerland”, this city and its surrounding mountains and lakes are unquestionable tourist attractions all year long. Here, we offer you a special report where we cover all the excursions plus the essential info and activities to perform at this incredibly beautiful district in northern Patagonia.
The “queen” of the Andean Lakes District is, undoubtedly, the city of San Carlos de Bariloche. It’s located on the South margin of Lake Nahuel Huapi, inside the National Park of the same name, in the Province of Rio Negro. Bariloche unfolds its beauty throughout the lake’s shore, along one long coastal avenue named Exequiel Bustillo, which extends up to Hotel Llao Llao, approximately 25 km. away from downtown.
Any time of the year, from San Carlos de Bariloche, you can enjoy the attractions that nature offers.
In winter the range of winter sports, going from ski to mountain biking, snowboard, snow polo and paragliding can be practiced in Cerro Catedral (less than 20 Km from town). There you find all the necessary structure: rinks, cable cars, hotels, tea houses, shopping centers, sport schools, rental of equipment and general assistance.
In summer, the offers enlarge with fishing activities, trekking, horse riding, rafting and all the traditional excursions to the most attractive spots of the region including the trip to Chile along the lakes.
As for fun, San Carlos de Bariloche has the most modern and updated offer and excellent level in entertainment and shows. A modern casino, discos, pubs and restaurants are waiting for you to help you enjoy the nights during your stay.
Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the World
Ushuaia’s name comes from the language of the yámanas or yaghanes indians, its original inhabitants, and means “bay that penetrates westward.”
Ushuaia is a young city. The city foundation was in October 12, 1884 when an argentine expedition arrived to establishing a sub-prefecture.
However, some 300 Anglican missionaries of the South American Missionary Society already populated the area. They built the first houses and took care of evangelize the natives.
For Argentinean people Ushuaia began to be known in the early twentieth century when it was decided to build there a prison.
The prison of Ushuaia is part of the city’s history and the prisoners were the “first settlers”.
The picturesque village suffered a sudden onset of population growth since the 1970’s, thanks to a special regime of industrial promotion.
Snow-covered Ushuaia Today, Ushuaia is a tourist city with international airport and all necessary services. It is also a cruise port and the closest deepwater port to the Antarctic.
Travel by car: If you want to get here by land you must take a ferry and cross through Chilean territory.
There are two crossings: By Primera Angostura (Punta Delgada-Bahia Azul). The ferry takes 30 minutes and runs every hour from 8.30 am to 10,15 PM. This is the most used crossing every year. This schedule is for the summer season only. It does not operate under bad weather conditions.
By Punta Arenas-Puerto Porvenir. It takes 2 hours and a half. The schedule: Tuesdays to Saturday 9 am, and Sundays 9.30 Am. It returns every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2 pm. Fridays at 3.30 pm and Sundays at 5 pm. Once again, this schedule is for the summer season only.