Named for the sweet calafate berry found in Patagonia, El Calafate was once a quiet town. The only spectators of Mt. Fitz Roy and the surrounding glaciers were ranchers and cattle. Calafate made room fast, though, when photographs of Mt. Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno glacier spread globally, and the region became Los Glaciares National Park.
Your understanding and appreciation of the glaciers will go a lot further by visiting the Glaciarium museum outside of El Calafate. It’s dedicated to the history and importance of glaciers in Patagonia. A shuttle runs every hour from 9am to 6pm from the town center. Another museum, El Centro de Interpretación Histórica, offers a look at the history of Southern Patagonia through fossils and artifacts. It’s free and open Monday through Friday 10am-9pm.
Anyone coming to El Calafate is likely passing through for Los Glacaries. But the town has its own little attractions and activities. It’s also the welcome sight of civilization after days spent trekking in the park.
Most of the restaurants and shops are located along main street, the remote nature of the town showing toward the edges, and then nothing but mountains, water, and pastures dotted by a few estancias, or ranches. People seeking an authentic Patagonian experience visit one of these estancias for meals, excursions, and activities such as sheep shearing.
El Calafate is located on the shore of Lago Argentino, a good place to hike or bike around. You can also ice skate on a the bay, and on a weekend in July or August, join in on the Ice Festival. There’s parades, sled displays, hockey, ice sculptures, and musicians, and skates for rent from the nearby popular Club Andino. On the other side of the bay, Laguna Nímez is a reserve for birds like flamingos and swans. East of town, the Punta Gualicho cave has some fascinating cave paintings.

El Calafate Highlights

Los Glaciares National Park

The Glaciarium

Punta Gualicho

Tour with us!

Title Address Description
Ruta Provincial 11, 9405 El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina


1050 9405, Almte G. Brown, El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina

 El Centro de Interpretación Histórica

Argentino Lake, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

 Lago Argentino

Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

 Punta Gualicho

Av. del Libertador Gral. San Martín 2757, El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina

  Club Andino

Reserva Laguna Nimez, El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina

  Laguna Nímez

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Santa Cruz, Argentina

  Los Glaciares National Park

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