Where to stay in Calafate

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Choosing where to sleep in Calafate is essential so that you can enjoy a perfect visit to Los Glaciares National Park.

El Calafate es la base principal para explorar el parque. Con poco más de 6000 habitantes, El Calafate es apenas un pueblo. Su nombre proviene de un tipo de arbusto típico de la Patagonia Austral. La ciudad es mayoritariamente llana, con el lago Argentino al norte y las montañas al sur. 

The main street, Avenida Libertador, runs through the city from east to west.

The small center of El Calafate is compact and this is where most of the hotels, shops, restaurants and tour operators are located. Most tourists go on excursions during the day, so the atmosphere in the city is quite relaxed.

Where to stay in El Calafate

Hotels in the city center-Where to sleep in Calafate

La mayoría de los visitantes de El Calafate se hospedan en hoteles alrededor del centro de la ciudad. Es una opción lógica ya que la mayoría de las tiendas, restaurantes y operadores turísticos para realizar las excursiones se encuentran en el centro. 

Dicho esto, en temporada alta el centro puede estar abarrotado, por lo que creemos que es mejor mantenerse un poco alejados del alboroto.

El Calafate cuenta con una amplia gama de hoteles que incluye, hoteles de lujo, hoteles románticos, con pileta y también alojamientos baratos.

Si quieres estar en el centro, pero rodeado de naturaleza, el legendario Hotel Posada Los Alamos es tu mejor opción.

Poplars
Poplars

 

Otro gran lugar para alojarse, un poco alejado del centro, es el Kau Yatún Hotel Boutique. Un jardín con álamos y pinos rodea el hermoso rancho. Por supuesto, tener una gran vista es imprescindible, y puedes conseguirla en el Hotel Mirador del Lago, a un par de cuadras del centro.

Hotel Mirador del Lago
Hotel Mirador del Lago

The best hotels in El Calafate: in front of Lake Argentino- Where to sleep in Calafate

La Design Suites Calafate.Ubicado en una ubicación privilegiada frente al Lago Argentino, es uno de los mejores hoteles de El Calafate.

The hotel has first-class amenities, including a fabulous spa and swimming pool. We loved the views from our tastefully decorated room. Besides that, the restaurant offers delicious food.

Otra zona de El Calafate donde se pueden encontrar bonitos hoteles con magníficas vistas es al este de Bahía Redonda. El encantador Edenia Punta Soberana Hotel ofrece cómodas habitaciones, excelentes vistas y servicio de transporte gratuito al centro.

hotel edenia punta soberana Where to stay in Calafate
Edenia in El Calafate

Hotels near or within Los Glaciares National Park

To experience a small Argentine town, you have to stay in town. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay in the middle of nature, far from El Calafate, you have few hotels.

La Hostería El Galpon Del Glaciar ofrece alojamiento de estilo rústico frente al lago Argentino. Convenientemente ubicado entre El Calafate y el Glaciar Perito Moreno, no estará demasiado aislado. 

To be closer to the national park, book a room at Estancia La Usina . Located near the park entrance, it is perfect for hiking, biking and fishing.

Finalmente, la Hosteria Helsingfors se encuentra completamente aislado, lejos tanto de El Calafate como de El Chaltén. Lo adivinaste: dentro del Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, ¡perfecto para aventuras!

photo 32433928 Where to stay in Calafate
Hosteria Helsingfors

How to get to the Perito Moreno Glacier ?

There is a path that takes you from El Calafate to the Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. From there, you can see the glacier in all its splendor. You can also drive there. However, from June 1 to July 31, the roads are closed to private vehicles, so only small vans can access the area.

Also, due to the snow, your car may need chains. For walks in the area, you must hire a tour . Since the Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers lie deep in the lake, you should take an organized boat tour.

Los Glaciares National Park: the best routes Tour

En barco y caminata por el glaciar Perito Moreno Es imprescindible contratar un recorrido de senderismo alrededor y sobre Perito Moreno. De esa manera, verá el glaciar desde la distancia y caminará directamente sobre él.

El principal operador turístico Hielo y Aventura ofrece tres recorridos diferentes por Perito Moreno: Mini Trekking desde principios de agosto hasta finales de mayo, Big Ice desde mediados de septiembre hasta finales de abril y Safari Náutico durante todo el año. 

The first two include a visit to the platforms in front of the glacier and hikes on its top. Big Ice takes longer and is more physically demanding. Nautical Safari includes a one-hour boat ride in front of the southern facade of Perito Moreno. It’s brilliant if you have enough time.

Upsala and Spegazzini Tour- Where to sleep in Calafate

You just can’t skip a boat trip to the Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers. Although we don’t normally like group tours, this one is a must.

donde dormir en calafate Where to stay in Calafate

The Solo Patagonia company offers them Ríos de Hielo half-day boat tour of both glaciers. The ship is quite large and comfortable, but it is full of people.

That said, the views from the boat are spectacular and you will have no problem enjoying them.

Another option offered by the same company is Glaciers Gourmet Experience . It is a tour to the Upsala and Bertracchi glaciers with lunch included.

El Calafate – Other Tours

Los glaciares Perito Moreno, Upsala y Spegazzini son las tres atracciones principales dentro del Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Sin embargo, hay varios recorridos fascinantes más allá del parque. Puede realizar un tour de un día completo desde El Calafate hasta el Parque Nacional Torres del Paine en Chile. 

What to do in El Calafate – Where to sleep in El Calafate

For such a small town, there are quite a few things to do in El Calafate. For starters, you can go on super easy but awesome walks around the city. Walk along Paseo Kirchner through Bahía Redonda.

Start your walk at the roundabout where Av. Libertador meets Paseo Kirchner, the lake on your left, and ends at Laguna Nimez , a nature reserve full of native birds. In addition, you have two parks to explore the center, the Manuel Belgrano and the Paseo del Bosque , next to the Amphitheater. The main street of the city is lined with restaurants, travel agencies and cafes.

Travel to El Chaltén

In our opinion, every trip to Patagonia should include at least 2-3 days in El Chaltén. Although El Calafate is an ideal base for exploring the glaciers, El Chaltén is the best place to hike through Los Glaciares National Park.

There are walks for all physical levels, so don’t worry. In fact, walking around the city is a wonderful experience. Plus, by spending the night, you’ll get spectacular sunsets, sunrises, and a glimpse of village life.

However, if you are short on time, you can take a full-day tour to El Chaltén . The tour departs early in the morning from El Calafate and returns late, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the city and views without rushing.

Town of El Chaltén A -Where to sleep in El Chalten

About 200 km north of Calafate is El Chaltén , the hiking capital of Argentina. Surrounded by mountains, El Chaltén is the perfect base for some of the best hikes in South America .

We were enjoying the beautiful scenery over Lake Viedma and Mount Fitz Roy , when we saw condors and eagles dancing in the sky, performing just for us.

In the hills, inside the forest , you will find a couple of waterfalls and if you are lucky you may even come across a deer. The town itself is quite pretty, with a decent tourist infrastructure. If you have time, you won’t regret spending a couple of days in El Chaltén.

Where to stay in El Chaltén

El Chaltén es mucho más pequeño que El Calafate pero igualmente impresionante. En realidad, El Chaltén alberga varios hoteles maravillosos. Si le gustan las vistas y la arquitectura agradable, alójese en la Hostería Senderos

Ubicado justo en el centro del pueblo, ofrece elegancia y las mejores vistas de la montaña Fitz Roy. Para el lujo, hospédese en Los Cerros Boutique Hotel & Spa by DON, el mejor hotel en El Chaltén. Este hotel de primera clase está a un paso del centro y ofrece unas vistas increíbles. Para ser uno con la naturaleza, quédese en Laguna Condor – Refugio de Montaña. Es un hotel cómodo y sin pretensiones.

How to get to El Calafate and move around

Los Glaciares National Park is an important tourist destination in the extreme south of Argentina. Keep in mind that we are talking about the eighth largest country in the world. The distances are long, so you probably won’t get from Buenos Aires to El Calafate by land. Instead, you will most likely take a plane.

Comandante Armando Tola International Airport is located 21 kilometers northeast of El Calafate. Flights arrive there from Buenos Aires and other national destinations.

From the airport you have to take a bus or a taxi to El Calafate or El Chaltén. To travel between El Calafate and El Chaltén, take any of the several daily buses . That’s what we did. The trip was very good. We even saw wild vicuñas!

El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park Climate

If you think Australia is down, then Patagonia is down. It’s as far as you can go before you hit Antarctica.

Let’s not forget the huge chunks of endless glaciers that inhabit the region. Therefore, Los Glaciares National Park has a rather unpredictable climate.

Regardless of the date of your visit, do not forget a thick jacket, a light windbreaker, a hat for both the sun and the cold, sunscreen and suitable footwear.

Although in El Calafate the weather is not so unpredictable, you will need the same. Don’t worry if something is missing. There are tons of stores in El Calafate that sell all the necessary equipment.

There are few places in the world that impress as much as the Glaciers of El Calafate. Standing in front of Perito Moreno you feel small. Overwhelmed, you disconnect and communicate with nature.

Visiting Patagonia is a special experience – Where to sleep in Calafate

The place literally expresses the power of nature and, to our surprise, it is easily accessible from the city (an hour away) and the tours are quite well organized.

My organised trips to Patagonia

In the carousel below you can see already assembled itineraries for inspiration, click on the one you are interested in and ask me for a quote.

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About the author

I am Matias, born in Patagonia, and a lover of my land.

For more than 20 years I help foreign travellers to organise their trip to Patagonia.

I also manage this exotic accommodation on the Atlantic coast.