EL CaLafate - Perito moreno glacier
SUNSET & SUNRISE
On the edge of the Southern Patagonia Icefield is where you will find El Calafate, a peaceful small town that is the base for visiting the mind-blowing Perito Moreno Glacier.
Situated on the southern border of Lake Argentino, El Calafate is a city in Patagonia, Argentina. Its strategic location makes it a must-see for tourist.
Calafate gives you access to Perito Moreno Glacier, which is only 80 kilometres away from Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. It is where the Santa Cruz plateau and the Andes meet. At Calafate nature is mixed with small commercial living.
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of Argentina's greatest highlights being one of the most spectacular and active glacier on earth.
WHY WE LOVE
With its staggering 250 square kilometres of ice formation and towering 74 metres height above the water, Perito Moreno Glacier is renowned for its active behaviour as the ice can move up to two metres a day, while its mass retract from about the same, creating spectacular ice falls. The glacier itself is an extraordinary site to be seen at least once in a lifetime, but its surroundings with snow peaked mountains is also awe-inspiring.
El Calafate town has managed to retain a great atmosphere with delicious local restaurants, lovely souvenir shops and beautiful surroundings. Despite El Calafate’s high tourist traffic it manages to maintain its charm and quaintness. Calafate’s lush, ski-friendly vibe is welcoming and definitely makes you want to return.
Not only is the town of Calafate stunning but so is its environment. Because Calafate is so perfectly situated within Argentina's Patagonia, it only makes sense that it offers an incredible array of outdoor activities including; hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, camping, and so much more! If you’re an adventure junky seeking exploration, El Calafate is the place for you. El Calafate offers its visitors a once in a lifetime opportunity to get personal with the icy surroundings. Imagine threading in-between massive ice blocks…talk about awesome! Not all activities are exhilarating and energy consuming. El Calafate also offers tranquil nature walks to its visitors, casual shopping, as well as incredible food and wine!
The area is also home to working and historical estancias (ranches). If you have a day to spare, we recommend a visit to the popular Estancia Cristina. Not only will you get an insight into the Patagonian Gaucho (cowboy) culture, you’ll also have the opportunity to take a boat ride past the Upsala Glacier.
EL CALAFATE Gallery
DID YOU KNOW?
- Named after the symbol for Patagonia, the Calafate berry, the city of Calafate has all the offerings of a magnificent Nature retreat. As the legend states, those who eat from the Calafate bush always return to Patagonia.
- The Perito Moreno Glacier is also unique in that it is one of the few glaciers that is growing instead of retreating.
- Perito Moreno was names after the 19th century explorer, Francisco Moreno. What is interesting about Moreno is his role in protecting and defending Argentina’s territory during the border conflict with Chile. Perito was Moreno’s nickname, it means “specialist” or “expert”. This is how the name of the glacier was born!
- Perito Moreno Glacier is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water.
- The afternoon is the best time to view the glacier ruptures. This is when the sun warms the glacier enough to cause large shards of ice to fall seemingly almost every half hour or so.
- Every few years the glacier grows enough to touch a point across Lake Argentina, cutting the lake in half and building an ice dam. Eventually, the water carves out a tunnel under the ice bridge and equalizes the water levels in the two lakes until finally it collapses. This is what they call the ‘Rupture’.