This enormous, glittering glacier rises at the centre of Glacier National Park, its massive, jagged peaks towering above Lago Argentino. This is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that are still growing. Take a boat to the observation platform and listen to the creaks and crashes as the ice chunks crash into the water.
On the shimmering shores of Argentina’s largest lake - Lago Argentino - sits El Calafate, a small town in southern Patagonia. El Calafate also happens to be Argentina’s National Capital of Glaciers; surrounded by towering, snow-tipped mountain ranges that rise majestically from the alpine lake, cloaked on all sides by dense forest. A true winter wonderland.
This quaint town boasts a big attraction, and one that draws thousands of visitors every year: the Perito Moreno Glacier, within Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Possibly the most impressive glacier in the entire Patagonia region, Moreno is the centrepiece of the park’s icefield, at 30km long and 60m high, and stretching a total of 121 miles. But the most exceptional thing about the glacier is the fact it grows larger each day - up to 2m - causing building-sized icebergs to sprout from its sides.
Traverse an icy world on our El Calafate holidays
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares itself offers a wealth of exploration and breathtaking scenery for visitors. With ice-riddled rivers, huge, turquoise lakes, and numerous opportunities for trekking, climbing and boating, holidays to El Calafate are pure adventure from start to finish.
When you’re not ice-deep in the National Park, why not enjoy a picnic on the picturesque shores of Onelli Bay, where you can chill your champagne in the arctic waters and listen to the crackling ice as it shrinks and expands all around you. While small, the town has an array of restaurants and souvenir shops, chocolate stores and rustic hotels.
Get in touch with our Destination Specialists today so we can start planning your expedition into the icy wilderness of El Calafate.
Explore El Calafate
Feel shivers race down your spine on a boat tour of the icy waters of National Park Los Glaciares. Float amid giant icebergs drifting through the near-frozen waters in various shapes and shades of blue and white. Cruise a few metres from the face of Perito Moreno Glacier and see the sheer ice wall directly in front of you.
Experience the life of a gaucho on an authentic Argentine estancia (ranch). The estancias around El Calafate raise cattle and horses and you, as a guest, get to help with traditional ranch activities like cattle drives, sheep shearing, and horseback riding. At the end of a long day on the ranch, settle back for a tasty asado (barbecue) and wash it all down with mate, a type of tea made from the dried leaves of the holly plant.
Glacial Ice Bar
Overlooking the mountaintops of the Los Glaciares National Park, this science museum takes a closer look at the hundreds of glaciers in the area. See the multimedia exhibitions that describe how snow turns into ice, the behaviour of glacial masses, and how glacial masses affect climate change.
Next to the Glaciarium, the GlacioBar is the only bar in the world made of glacial ice. Don futuristic-looking capes, boots, and gloves to stay warm as you sip fernet con coca, a bitter digestive mixed with Coke, amid the Patagonian ice.
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“The best steakhouse in El Calafate is La Tablita, a traditionally styled Argentinian steakhouse. You may need to ask your hotel to reserve you a table. The bife de chorizo (a huge, succulent steak) and ojo de bife (ribeye steak) are both delicious.”
“After a day spent in the icy wildernesses of the National Park, why not wind down at one of the beautiful spa resorts? There are a number of resorts in El Calafate, where you can relax by Lago Argentino, enjoy spa treatments and massages and take in the views from a hot tub.”
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