What to do in El Calafate in 2, 3, 4, or 5 days?

What to do in El Calafate in 2, 3, 4, or 5 days

Table of Content

Do you have a specific number of days available to visit El Calafate? Enter this article to know the suggested itineraries for each period.

The city of El Calafate is known as the “National Capital of Glaciers”.

This might interest you:

It is located on the southern shore of Lake Argentino in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz.

This international destination receives tourists from all over the world interested in getting to know the Patagonian ice.

The great attraction of the destination is the Perito Moreno Glacier and the various activities that can be performed linked to nature and history of the place.

Learn about the activities you can do in El Calafate according to the number of days you visit the city.

This might interest you:

What to do in El Calafate in 2 days?  

If you only have two days in El Calafate, it is essential to focus on the main attractions of the destination: Perito Moreno and navigation between glaciers.

Keep in mind that in order to achieve this itinerary it is extremely important to get inbound flights as early as possible and outbound flights as late as possible.

And yet, we suggest validating this with the excursion providers to see if it is possible.

DAY 1 – Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier and Glaciarium

The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Los Glaciares National Park and can be appreciated from the park’s walkways, take a boat ride, kayak or hike over its surface on a full day excursion.

This might interest you:

To complement this day, it is advisable to visit the Glaciarium Ice Museum Interpretation Center. There you can enjoy an interactive exhibition about the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the importance of its glaciers.

A visit to the ice bar located in the basement of the institution is not to be missed. You enter a room with sub-zero temperatures and it is surprising that everything is made with blocks of ice.

DAY 2 – Navigation between Glaciers or city of El Calafate

For the second day in the destination, it is advisable to sail on Lake Argentino and visit other ice giants such as the Heim, Spegazzini and Upsala Glaciers.

The boat trip allows you to travel between impressive blocks of ice floating in all directions.

This is a full day excursion.

In case you cannot meet the schedule, we suggest that you take advantage of the day to walk around downtown El Calafate and visit its main attractions.

What to do in El Calafate in 3 days?

If you have three days of stay in El Calafate, in addition to the classic tourist attractions that have to do with the glaciers, it is possible to add other entertainment sites.

DAY 1 – Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier

Within Los Glaciares National Park, it is possible to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier in several ways, such as walking along the many walkways overlooking the park’s glacier, sailing by boat or kayak or even hiking over the great mass of ice, in a full day excursion.

It is ideal to dedicate the whole day to Perito Moreno.

DAY 2 – Navigation between Glaciers and the city of El Calafate

For the second day in the destination, it is advisable to sail on Lake Argentino and visit other ice giants such as the Heim, Spegazzini and Upsala Glaciers.

The boat ride allows you to travel among impressive blocks of ice floating in all directions.

This is a full day excursion.

This day is complemented with a walk through the picturesque center of the city of El Calafate, where you can visit its main outdoor spaces such as squares and monuments.

DAY 3 – Tour of Laguna Nimez Reserve and Glaciarium

For the last day in the destination, it is ideal to take a walk through the Laguna Nimez Reserve, which is located very close to the center of El Calafate.

There you can make different circuits and learn about the flora and fauna of the region.

It is a tour of approximately 2 hours where you can see numerous birds and abundant vegetation.

The landscape that accompanies the tour offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city and Lake Argentino.

To complement this day it is advisable to visit the Glaciarium Ice Museum Interpretation Center. There you can enjoy an interactive exhibition about the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the importance of its glaciers.

No visit to the Ice Museum can end without first passing through the basement of the institution and visiting the ice bar, a tavern with an ambient temperature below zero, where the glasses and seats are made of blocks of ice.

What to do in El Calafate in 4 days?

If you visit El Calafate for 4 days, in addition to visiting the classic attractions of the city, it is possible to visit places a little further away.

DAY 1 – Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Los Glaciares National Park and can be appreciated from the park’s walkways, take a boat ride, kayak or hike over its surface in a full day excursion.

DAY 2 – Navigation between Glaciers and the city of El Calafate

For the second day in the destination, it is advisable to take an excursion on Lake Argentino and visit other ice giants such as the Heim, Spegazzini and Upsala Glaciers.

The boat adventure will give us the opportunity to get a close look at the ice blocks scattered throughout Lake Argentino.

This is a full day excursion.

This day is complemented with a walk through the picturesque center of the city of El Calafate, where you can visit its main outdoor spaces such as squares and monuments.

Day 3 – Tour of Laguna Nimez Reserve and Glaciarium

For the last day in the destination, it is ideal to take a walk through the Laguna Nimez Reserve, which is located very close to the center of El Calafate.

There, you will be able to make different circuits and learn about the flora and fauna of the region.

It is a hike of approximately 2 hours where you can see numerous birds and abundant vegetation.

The landscape that accompanies the tour offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city and Lake Argentino.

To conclude this day it is advisable to visit the Glaciarium Ice Museum Interpretation Center. There you can enjoy an interactive exhibition about the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the importance of its glaciers.

As a farewell, before leaving the Glaciariuam it is mandatory to visit the underground, where you will meet the ice bar, a place for drinks at sub-zero temperature, made with blocks of ice.

DAY 4 – Kayaking and trekking in La Leona

This excursion proposes to enjoy a kayak ride on one of the most beautiful glacial rivers in Patagonia: La Leona.

La Leona is located on National Route 40, halfway between the cities of El Calafate and El Chaltén.

There, it is also possible to hike up Los Hornos hill, one of the oldest formations in the world, and observe the remains of marine fossils and some petrified trunks.

What to do in El Calafate in 5 days?

If you have the possibility of visiting El Calafate for 5 days, it is advisable to take the opportunity to visit not only the common attractions, but also take the opportunity to visit other attractions a little further away from the city.

DAY 1 – Visit Los Glaciares National Park

For the first day in El Calafate, it is advisable to visit Los Glaciares National Park.

The star of the park and the destination is undoubtedly the Perito Moreno Glacier.

Thousands of tourists from all over the world come to visit this majestic ice giant that surprises by its size and fabulous landslides.

Within the park, activities such as ice trekking, hiking, climbing and sailing, among other options, are available.

It is recommended to dedicate the whole day to visit the park.

DAY 2 – Navigation on Lake Argentino

For the second day at the destination, the ideal is to take the “Río de Hielos” excursion.

This is a boat trip along the different branches of Lake Argentino and the passage through the Canal de los Témpanos, where you can observe the detachment of ice blocks.

While sailing, the Upsala Glacier is observed, with 60 kilometers long and almost 600 km2 of surface.

On this excursion it is also possible to see the Perito Moreno Glacier up close and be amazed by its detachments and the Spegazzin Glacier along with three hanging glaciers: the Peineta, the Seco and the Heim.

DAY 3 – Kayaking and Trekking in La Leona

This excursion proposes to enjoy a kayak ride on one of the most beautiful glacial rivers in Patagonia, La Leona.

La Leona is a small rural area, on the National Route, on the banks of the river of the same name, halfway between the cities of El Calafate and El Chaltén. 

There, it is also possible to hike up Los Hornos hill, one of the oldest formations in the world, and observe the remains of marine fossils and some petrified trunks.

La Leona is a classic stop on trips from El Calafate to El Chaltén, being a resting point between the two.

DAY 4 – Visit El Chaltén

El Chaltén is considered the “National Capital of trekking”.

The city is located 212 kilometers from El Calafate, at the foot of the charming Fitz Roy mountain.

In this destination there is a great variety of trails for hikes of all types of difficulty.

Some of the circuits for trekking are the following:

  •     Cerro Fitz Roy viewpoint: It consists of a 1:30 hour hike (one way with a return). It is of low difficulty.
  •     Laguna Capri: 1:45 hour hike one way, low difficulty.
  •     Cerro Torre Viewpoint: It is a low difficulty route, 1:30 hours one way. It has a steep ascent.
  •     Laguna de los Tres: This circuit is 4 hours one way (with a steep climb), and offers a beautiful view of the Fitz Roy mountain.
  •     Viedma Glacier: This experience proposes to walk through its ice, crevasses and caves.                                                                                                 

El Chaltén stands out for being a small town between large Andean mountains. In addition to trekking, it is possible to practice fishing, cycling, horseback riding, rafting, climbing and kayaking, among others.

Day 5 – Tour of Laguna Nimez Reserve and the Ice Museum

For the last day in the destination it is ideal to visit the Laguna Nimez Reserve, which is located very close to the center of El Calafate.

There, you will be able to make different circuits and learn about the flora and fauna of the region.

During the tour, you will be able to see more than 100 birds that inhabit the reserve and abundant vegetation.

The landscape that accompanies the tour offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city and Lake Argentino.

To complement this day, it is advisable to visit the Glaciarium Ice Museum Interpretation Center. There you can enjoy an interactive exhibition about the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the importance of its glaciers.

A visit to the ice bar in the basement is not to be missed. You enter an enclosure with temperatures below zero and it is surprising that everything is made with blocks of ice.

The days are full of adventure in El Calafate. Depending on the length of stay in the destination there are multiple proposals to enjoy the glaciers and activities related to nature and the outdoors.

 

More Travel Guides about El Calafate