Two days is never enough to truly discover a place, but sometimes that’s all you’ve got. Use this handy little guide to make the most of your time in El Calafate. This town that lies in the foothills of the Andes in SW Argentina. It is the gateway to wonderful scenery of the Patagonian icefield and the plains.
Wake up to the sight of the snow-capped Andes out of hotel window. There are few views that measure up to the backdrop of mountain scenery. El Calafate is all about adventure, but you can’t start a strenuous day without a hearty breakfast. Head down to Pietro’s Café for a big plate of eggs or pancakes washed down with plenty of strong coffee.
Today explore one of South America’s great natural wonders – Perito Moreno Glacier. After the winding mountain roads, you’ll reach the enormous icy behemoth. The glacier is best admired from the wooden boardwalks or take a boat across the lake. If you’re lucky, you could see a huge chunk of ice calve off and crash into the water below. For active adventurers, don crampons with a guide to walk over the glacier. Return to El Calafate in the late afternoon.
Feeling famished? There’s few better places to hole up for an evening of good food with good company than La Lechuza. This cosy little place is famous for its barbecued meat and proper Italian baked pizzas. All accompanied with a glass of Argentine red or a cold cerveza. Be warned, the restaurant can get busy, but it’s worth the wait.
If the glacier hasn’t been chilly enough for you, swing by the Yeti Ice Bar, the only one of its kind in town. Here, you pay for the time you’re in the bar with unlimited drinks during your stay. A unique experience to complete the night, be sure to wear warm cloths.
Order a spot of breakfast at the hotel. If you’re feeling lazy, you could even call room service. Then enjoy it on the balcony in full view of the surrounding mountain scenery.
To complement yesterday’s adventure into the wilderness, drop into the natural history museum. This chronicles the history of Patagonia from the Ice Age onwards. You’ll find many of exhibits, photography, and artefacts to keep you busy most of the morning. Also, don’t miss The Glaciarium, you’ll leave with a deep understanding of this mountainous region.
Take your rental car and head out to Estancia Cristina in Los Glaciares Park, where you can soak up the gaucho way of life. Watch sheep shearing, learn to herd cattle, or horse-ride through the grassy plains. Of course, you can gorge on asado barbecued meat. If time permits, be sure to take a visit to Los Perros Waterfall.
End your 48 hours in El Calafate, with a mouth-watering dinner at La Tablita, a restaurant that’s been serving up Argentine classics for over 40 years. Start with a little cured meat, some cheeses and a lip-smacking empanada before digging into some of the tastiest and most tender lamb in Patagonia.
Sold on a visit to El Calafate? Call on of our Argentina travel experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or email us here to start planning your trip today.