Fly To El Calafate, Argentina
Once a quaint remote town in Patagonia, El Calafate has grown to support the many tourists that pass through every year on their way to Los Glaciares National Park and the Perito Moreno Glacier. Despite its popularity as a gateway to Patagonia’s wilderness, visitors will soon discover El Calafate is a fun town offering all sorts of outdoor adventures.
The colours and shapes of the icebergs floating in Lago Argentino, the lake bordering El Calafate, are truly spectacular and make this a great destination for nature lovers. The slow-moving glaciers are ancient and it seldom freezes in El Calafate, even in June and July, but hotels and other businesses often close for the winter months, and the best time to visit is from September onwards.
Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African passport holders travelling to El Calafate do not require a Visa to enter Argentina for up to 90 days. Ensure your South African passport has at least 6 months remaining on it from your return date and that you have at least 2 blank pages available for stamps.
- The South African Embassy to Argentina is situated in the capital city of Buenos Aires. Avenida Marcelo T de Alvear 590, 8th Floor, C1058AAF, Buenos Aires, 1058. Phone: + 54 11 4317 2900. Website: embajadasudafrica.org.ar.
See and do
The Perito Moreno Glacier in the Los Glaciares National Park is one of the world most accessible ice fields. Choose from a wide range of excursions, including bus, 4x4, boat and hitchhiking trips for more daring globetrotters. You can go on a sightseeing cruise, or for the more adventurous, go hiking inside the glacier. For the less adventurous there are viewing platforms and easy trails which make observation easy and pleasant. In winter, the Club Andino Lago Argentino, very near the town centre, rents skates to anyone who wants to ice skate on the small frozen bay in front of the club
The new Glacerium, on the way from El Calafate to the national park, is a museum dedicated to the world of ice. There are displays and documentaries on how glaciers form, continental ice expeditions, and climate change.
At Laguna Nimez you can observe all kinds of Patagonian bird’s up close, including the beautiful flamingoes.
Some good restaurants at El Calafate include Pura Vida with beautiful views of the lake, La Tablita, favoured by the locals, and the Loca Marimba Backpackers’ Bar, where you can eat homemade food and listen to excellent music. Handmade crafts and souvenirs can be bought anywhere in the main street.
Comandante Armando Tola International Airport – FTE
The town of El Calafate is served by El Calafate International Airport, 20km east of the town centre.
Food and beverage: A cafeteria is open during commercial flight operation hours.
Currency Exchange: Banco de la Nacion.
Car Hire: Hertz, Fiorassi.