El Calafate

Previous Home Up Next

We went by bus from Puerto Natales to El Calafate: about 4 hours driving, and an extra hour of delay at the border. Going to Argentina is not too bad: you just need some stamps in your passport. When you travel to Chile, there is also control of import of fruit, vegetables, meat and so on. That can easily take another hour. So beware of the 'one full day El Calafate-trips': you get to spent at most two hours in El Calafate !

Of course, the trip itself is also worth your time. Driving through this desolate landscape, with just a few bicycles as other traffic ... Uhmm, bicycles? Yes, this must be a German tourist group. Keep it up, guys, only one hundred kilometres more to the border (and then another 100 to Puerto Natales).

Empty road
Horses Ducks
In El Calafate there is not much to see. The place itself consists mainly of restaurants, souvenir shops and outdoor shops. Of course, the laundry shop is also a great touristic attraction. But other than that, you can only find a lake annex bird conservatory here, called Laguna Nimez.



Although our guide book wasn't very positive about Laguna Nimez, we saw lots of birds here, ducks, ibis, flamingo and several we don't know the name of. And there were also a few flowers and bumblebees to add to our picture book.

Boat trip to Perito Moreno

The biggest attraction of El Calafate lies about 80 kilometres further, in the National Park Los Glaciares: The Perito Moreno glacier. This is supposed to be the only glacier in the world that still grows. It moves about 2 metres down every day (!), and at the top it doesn't get smaller.

But because the glacier ends at a lake, a lot of ice breaks of every day as well. So if it really gets much bigger ? Anyway, the ice breaking with enormous thundering and splashing up water is really impressive.



Glacier panorama
Something that is definitely true, is that the Perito Moreno is the best accessible glacier in the world. Not only can you get at the foot of it by boat, but there is also a track right in front of it. If it weren't for those steps, you could get here by wheelchair. But any one who can walk, can get here.

And another fact: the Perito Moreno is a beautiful glacier.

 Huge walls of ice

Small blocks of ice

More ice

Previous Home Up Next