Classic El Calafate
Departures: From September to April
Places Visited: Argentina’s southern Patagonia: El Calafate
Visit Patagonia’s most magnificent glaciers and experience the breathtaking and awe-inspiring rugged scenery of southern Argentina. See the mighty condors in their natural habitat and enjoy spectacular views over the El Calafate region and Argentino Lake. Travel by boat for a close-up look at the Perito Moreno, Upsala Glacier and Spegazzini glaciers and hear the creaking and squealing of the slow moving massive rivers of ice.
- 3 nights of accommodation in El Calafate
- Daily breakfast and local taxes
- 1 Half Day Calafate Balcony
- 1 Full day MarPatag Navigation
- 1 Full day Perito Moreno Glacier
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
- International & Domestic Flights
- Meals and drinks other than those mentioned
- Tips or personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Optional tours and experiences
- Any items not mentioned
Day 01: EL CALAFATE. Upon arrival private transfer to Design Suites El Calafate
Half day El Calafate Balcony (3 hours; departure times vary)
Pick-up at the hotel for the 9 mi (15 km) drive by 4-wheel drive vehicle up the eastern slope of the Huyliche range, approx. 2800 ft/850m above sea level to a natural ‘balcony’ for panoramic views of the town and the eastern part of Argentino Lake. A short descent leads to a terrace where one can often observe condors in flight. Relax with a cup of traditional mate tea or sip a regular tea. The return to El Calafate follows the northern slope of the same mountain range, offering sweeping views of Argentino Lake. Return to the hotel.
Day 02: EL CALAFATE.
Full day MarPatag Navigation
The Crucero Leal offers the best full day boat tour for travelers who wish to visit the Spegazzini and Upsala glaciers (ice floes currently block close access to Upsala glacier). This full day program aboard the Crucero Leal offers an exclusive small group tour to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (maximum of 28 passengers).
Pick-up at hotel in El Calafate and transfer to Paraje Punta Bandera. Board the boat at 9:00 a.m. at the company’s private dock “La Soledad” (Bahía Tranquila, Paraje Punta Bandera). The boat will set course towards the northwest, crossing Punta Avellaneda and Boca del Diablo, the narrowest passage in the lake (800 meters/2400 feet wide).
After two hours of sailing, the boat approaches Upsala Glacier. In this area the lake is packed with ice floes in a dazzling array of colors and shapes. The boat will stop in front of the barrier of ice floes that currently blocks the entrance to Canal Upsala. Weather permitting, observe the Upsala glacier from a distance.
Continue navigation on Lago Argentino towards the south, passing through the Spegazzini Canal to reach the Spegazzini glacier. Get a close-up look at this glacier that rises 80 to 135 meters (262 – 443 feet) above the lake. Lunch is served amidst this stunning landscape. In the afternoon, the Crucero Leal will arrive at Puesto de Las Vacas (a quiet and remote bay in the Spegazzini Canal). Disembark for a guided walking tour with panoramic views of Spegazzini glacier.
Once onboard, the boat returns via the Brazo Norte and will be back at the dock around 6:00 p.m.
Note: the itinerary is subject to change based on the captain’s criteria to guarantee passenger safety.
The MarPatag tour includes:
- Boat tour across Lago Argentino and visit to the barrier of ice floes in the Upsala Canal (the barrier currently blocks close access to the Upsala glacier) and the spectacular Spegazzini glacier.
- Lunch onboard overlooking the Spegazzini glacier (alcoholic beverages and soft drinks included).
- Landing in Puesto de Las Vacas.
- Tea, coffee and soft drinks during navigation.
- On-board activities conducted by a bilingual guide (English/Spanish).
- Transfers FROM and TO El Calafate.
- Entrance fee to Parque Nacional los Glaciares.
Day 03: EL CALAFATE.
Full day Perito Moreno Glacier
Departure from the hotel towards Perito Moreno Glacier situated within Los Glaciares National Park, 80 km/50 mi from El Calafate (partially along a gravel road). The first half of the drive goes through a typical Patagonian steppe landscape, with broom sedges (a hard and thorny type of grass) and 'calafates' (bushes of the barberry family, known for their yellow flowers and violet fruits). Shortly after leaving El Calafate, Argentino Lake with its Bahía Redonda (Round Bay) will appear on the right hand side; keep an eye out for a variety of interesting bird species. Closer to the national park entrance, the landscape changes dramatically. The vegetation becomes much thicker, dominated by species from the Andine-Patagonian Forest such as beech trees and shrubs. Perito Moreno Glacier is an imposing ice river 30 km (19 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The glacier’s walls tower 30 to 60 meters (100-195 feet) above the lake. In the central part of the glacier the ice reaches a depth of 250 to 350 meters (800-1150 feet). This frozen river slowly descends from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. The impressive creaking and squealing, with the occasional thunderous roars, is a stark reminder of the glacier’s constant movement. The glacier’s breathtaking beauty and magnificent scenery have earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Designation. Take a walk on the trails by the western wall to admire this impressive wonder of nature from different points of view. Return to the hotel. (National Park entrance fee not included)
Day 04: EL CALAFATE: At appropriate time private transfer to the airport.
Tour descriptions and approximate times are for informational purposes only.
Some places described may be substituted and/or approximate times may be subject to change, due to unexpected circumstances or weather conditions.