El Calafate - El Chaltén
Upon arrival at El Calafate, we’ll meet and drive you to your hotel. El Calafate is located in the Patagonian steppe, dry and dramatic. It is on the border of Lago Argentino (Argentina’s biggest lake) and is considered the capital of the glaciers. It is the gateway to visit the world-renowned Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the only glaciers in the world that is still advancing.
At the appropriate time, you’ll meet our local guide who will brief and share all the information you need for your self-drive trip in Patagonia. Then you’ll pick up your car at the car rental’s downtown office.
For your first day in El Calafate, we recommend that you visit the Glaciarium, a glacier’s interpretation center. It is a modern center where you learn about the Patagonian Ice and its glaciers. It’s one of the few glaciological interpretation centers in the world!
To reach the Glaciarium:
This optional self-drive trip will take you to travel along 6 km of paved road and for 30 min (plus the time spent on-site).
If you decide to take this Patagonia self-drive optional tour, drive west on Avenida Libertador General San Martin / Provincial Route 11 towards Los Glaciares National Park.
Glaciers National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981 and is home to about 200 glaciers, including the famous Perito Moreno!
Half of this park is occupied by the campo de Hielo Patagónico (Patagonian ice field), the largest ice field after Antarctica. Once inside the park, explore the different viewpoints. If you’re lucky, you may get to see a piece of ice calving into the lake!
Today’s self-drive adventure will take you to travel 75 km of paved road for 4 hours (plus the time spent on-site).
You will travel along the famous Route 40 from El Calafate to El Chaltén, surrounded by the Patagonian steppe, pass through La Leona River, which connects Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma and stands La Leona Roadhouse where the famous thieves Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid hid for a while. We recommend that you make a stop in La Leona so you can enjoy the bar and see the historical center.
Directions for today:
This road adventure will take you to travel along 215 km of paved road and for 3 hours.
Today, our recommendation for truly hiking lovers: make all the way to Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre, one of the most famous hiking trails in the area. Walk into the wild for about 8 hours and 20 km, this is a moderate-difficulty hike so you don’t need to have previous experience!
Start at that gorgeous wooden sign with the Laguna Torre and the woodpecker and from there continue through a multi-colored landscape of snow-capped mountains and native forest of lengas and ñires.
You will pass by the De Agostini campsite and continue until the front moraine…you can hit the summit in 15 minutes! From here you can descend to the lagoon and see a floating iceberg passing by or continue to the Mascardi viewpoint.
For your second day in El Chaltén, we recommend that you enjoy a hike in Lago del Desierto. Drive from the town all along Provincial Route 23 towards Lago del Desierto.
The road adventure of today will take you to travel along 37 km of unpaved road to go, and 37 km to return on the same road, for 3 hours (plus the time spent on-site).
This is the end of your self-drive journey to classic Patagonia. We hope to see you hitting the road again! Today, you’ll drive from El chaltén to El Calafate airport where you’ll drop off your car.
Today’s self-drive trip will take you to travel 220 km of paved road for 3 hours.
PEACE OF MIND THIS IS A CARBON NEUTRAL TRIP
We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do.
When you book with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset. We are working to create more sustainable, responsible and meaningful ways of exploring South America.
It feels good to do it right. Learn more about our actions against climate change here.
FLIGHTS NEEDEDFOR THIS ITINERARY
No flights needed for this trip. Trip starts and finishes at El Calafate.
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