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El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise in El Calafate

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise in El Calafate

Travelers who wish to explore the Arctic regions of the beautiful Argentine wonderland of Patagonia should consider visiting one of the country’s most breathtaking natural phenomena – the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate. Located within the Los Glaciares National Park, about 80 km from El Calafate, the mighty glacier has been forming for hundreds of years and is today one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world. And what better way to experience it first-hand than traveling with a guided tour on a boat cruise to get as close as possible to this majestic body of ice?

El Calafate

El Calafate is a small city located in the Province of Santa Cruz in the heart of the Patagonian region of southern Argentina. Bordered by stunning snow-capped mountains and habitable only since the opening of the Southern Railway Network in 1949, its population today stands at roughly 22,000 inhabitants.

In addition to its captivating beauty and unique culture, El Calafate is most known for being the gateway to the Los Glaciares National Park, home of the Perito Moreno Glacier among other stunning attractions. This makes it a destination of choice for travelers looking to enjoy outdoor activities of all kinds such as trekking, kayaking, or simply taking breathtaking pictures of this unique landscape.

Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most visited attractions in Los Glaciares National Park and is a must-see for those looking to have an amazing time during their travels in El Calafate. Spanning an impressive 30 kilometers in length and almost 5 kilometers in width, it is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that have not retreated in the last century. This makes it an even more attractive and popular place for sightseeing and exploration.

The most convenient way to admire the glacier’s magnificence from up close is to take a boat tour that will take you right up next to it while you enjoy a unique experience with vistas you won’t soon forget. These boat cruises generally last between 1 to 3 hours depending on the chosen route. Most boat cruises will start from Reserva de las Buitreras close to El Calafate and finish showing you the glacier from up close. During your trip, you’ll be provided with a commentary about its history as well as an introduction on how climate change is affecting this natural wonder.

Optional Boat Cruise in El Calafate

The boat cruise is one of the best ways to really explore the beauty of the Perito Moreno Glacier and see it in all its glory up close. You can choose to book a private boat trip or a guided one with a tour operator who will provide you with all necessary information regarding how to get there and what activities you can do there. Most boat trips start off Reserva de las Buitreras close to El Calafate and will head right up to the glacier.

The tour operator normally provides bubbles and juice onboard while you brush past snow-tipped peaks and breathe in some fresh Patagonian air on your way towards icebergs and magnificent views of this amazing site. Depending on which specific trip you choose, you’ll have an even better experience with options like lunch on Isla de los Pajaros which offers a chance for bird watchers to check out some local species, or even renting kayaks which let you paddle around between icy crevices.

Ultimately, taking part in a cruise along El Calafate’s Perito Moreno Glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those seeking to experience one of Argentina’s most alluring wonders. If you are interested, you can book your tour package with GetYourGuide. From choosing the appropriate dates and times to selecting an appropriate package or even customizing your own to fit your budget, GetYourGuide has everything you need to organize an unforgettable journey in Argentina’s largest national park!

An Insider’s Guide to El Calafate

El Calafate is a city in Argentina famous for its stunning natural sights, including the Perito Moreno Glacier. However, there is so much more to El Calafate that only locals know about. Here is an insider’s guide to help you make the most of your visit.

Local Attractions Beyond the Tourist Spots

While Perito Moreno Glacier is undoubtedly a must-see attraction, El Calafate has several hidden gems to explore. Head to the nearby town of El Chalten for some of the best hiking trails in Patagonia. Lago del Desierto, a clear blue lake nestled amidst the mountains, is a fantastic spot for a day trip. Another lesser-known attraction is the Cueva de las Manos, a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 8000 prehistoric hand prints.

Dining Spots for Authentic Local Cuisine

If you’re looking for a taste of local cuisine, El Calafate has several options. Try the traditional Argentine barbecue, ‘asado’ at El Arriero or La Tablita, two of the best local spots. For a seafood treat, head to Pura Vida Restaurant, a cozy spot with views of Lake Argentino and a varied menu boasting fresh fish and seafood from the region. Don’t forget to try the classic ‘alfajores,’ a sweet pastry filled with dulce de leche, found in any local bakery.

Cultural Experiences Beyond Sightseeing

El Calafate has a rich cultural history that is worth exploring. If you visit during January, don’t miss the Fiesta Nacional del Lago, a ten-day festival celebrating the town’s founding with music, food, and fireworks. For some insight into the city’s traditional culture, visit the Glaciarium Museum dedicated to the Patagonian glaciers’ history and conservation. Local artisan markets such as La Aldea de los Gnomos are fantastic places to shop for handmade crafts, textiles, and souvenirs.

Captivating Stories from El Calafate’s Past

One story worth hearing is that of Perito Moreno himself, an Argentine explorer and scientist who was the first to study the ice fields and glaciers in Patagonia, including the famous glacier named after him. At the end of the nineteenth century, Perito Moreno worked as the director of the Argentine Geological Survey and made several expeditions to explore Southern Patagonia. Another essential piece of history is the plight of the Tehuelche people, the indigenous tribe that called the area home before the arrival of Europeans. The tribal people faced forced displacement and the erosion of their way of life.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Suggestions

For a unique and unforgettable experience, visitors can opt to take a horseback ride through the Patagonian wilderness with the wind in their hair and the mountains and lakes as a backdrop. Another unconventional adventure is to rent a kayak and explore Lake Argentino’s hidden corners. If you’re an explorer at heart, try ice trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier in a guided tour. This unique experience gives you the chance to walk on the glacier and see the ice formations up close.

In conclusion, El Calafate has much to offer beyond what is usual on a typical tourist itinerary. Take time to explore the city’s hidden gems, taste the authentic flavors of Patagonia, and immerse yourself in the diverse cultural experiences. With its rich history and natural beauty, El Calafate will leave every traveler amazed and captivated.

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El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise in El Calafate

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!