Useful information to visit El Calafate

Useful information to visit El Calafate

In this article you will find all the useful information to visit El Calafate, one of the most beautiful destinations in Patagonia

El Calafate is a small town located south of the Argentine Patagonia, within the province of Santa Cruz. From Calafate you can access the Glaciers National Park, which has tourist attractions such as the imposing Perito Moreno glacier, the Upsala glacier, and the Fitz Roy hill, (located in the Chalten “The capital of trekking”, famous for its activities as hiking and mountaineering), it is also the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile

When to go?

The tourist seasons to visit the city are divided into:

  • Spring / Summer: ends in August ending in the month of April during Holy Week, during this time it can be shared with people from different parts of the world, even from the most remote places.
  • The rest of the year is considered an Autumn / Winter season including, for some establishments, Winter vacation time so it is recommended to consult previously. However, this does not prevent enjoying recreational activities, events, excursions to the Perito Moreno Glacier, Upsala, Onelli and other glaciers.

What clothes do I wear?

The climate in this locality is predominantly “Dry” and the large stationary thermal variations do not prevent enjoying the alternative options of walks.

Winds of the West and Southwest predominate. During the summer the frequency and intensity of the winds is greater. The average annual temperature is 7.2ºC, while the average for the month of July is around 1.8ºC and January is 18.6ºC.

Regarding clothes, it is advisable that the sea is always informal and that it is as comfortable and comfortable as possible. Windbreaker with hood and coats such as gloves, scarf and jacket, footwear is especially recommended training shoes or footwear for trekking and do not forget sun glasses and protector factor UV 40.

Travelling to El Calafate

The tourist village of El Calafate is 321 km from Río Gallegos, in the southwest of the province of Santa Cruz. From the north and along the coast, east of the province, you can access by National Route 3, continuing through provinces 5 and 11, fully paved. Another option is to circulate in the west, bordering the mountain range along National Route 40 (gravel) until it joins Provincial Route 11 (asphalted). To the south, El Calafate is linked to Río Turbio and the border crossings Cancha Carrera-Retén El Castillo or Mina Uno-Retén Dorotea, which connects with Torres del Paine (in Chile), along route No. 40. The city It has regular ground transportation services to and from Río Gallegos, El Chaltén and Chile.

The city has the modern International Airport of El Calafate (IATA code: FTE), 23 km east of the town, near RP 11, which has trips to Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Trelew, Puerto Madryn, Bariloche, Rio Gallegos, Rosario, Córdoba and Puerto Natales.


If the currency of legal tender is in the Argentine peso, it is no less important that this city an international point of tourism is possible to make payments in US dollars (dollars) or Euros in almost all shops, there are also those who accept traveler’s checks at a bank rate and in some cases also Chilean currency is accepted.

As for the Argentine peso, there are currencies of $ 0.05 to $ 2 and $ 2 to $ 500. The change with the US dollar can be modified and can be consulted at any time. The vast majority of services can also be paid with different national and international credit cards. There are also ATMs from which you can, with your four-digit personal password, with effective obtaining. Get advice at your bank before leaving home.

Practical tips

  • Use sunscreen, otherwise 18 hours long directly on your face, can affect your skin.
  • Take bags to the supermarket, since they will not give you.
  • Rent a car among several, to visit the surroundings, it is cheaper than a transfer
  • In many places, students or retirees have a discount. Do not forget to carry out your notebooks or certificates.

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