Things to do in
El Calafate

Enter your dates to find available activities

Top sights in El Calafate

Our most recommended things to do in El Calafate

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

1. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

Discover the beauty of the Perito Moreno glacier on a guided walking tour on this day trip from El Calafate. Cross the Rico channel on a boat and ride thorugh the unique ecosystem of a Magellanic subpolar forest in comfortable van or bus. Start your trip with pick-up from certain hotels in El Calafate and take the 1.5-hour transfer to Bajo de las Sombras Port. Board a boat to cross the Rico channel. Join a group of up to 20 people and take a 20-minute walk to the glacier.  When you arrive, get kitted out with crampons and begin the ascent. Hike for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes enjoying the ice formations and discovering the flora, fauna, and glaciology of the region. Learn about the phenomenon of glacier rupture.  Then, return to the refuge through the Magellanic forest. From there, cross the Rich Arm of Lago Argentino and sail in front of the glacier. After this, spend approximately 1 hour exploring a network of walkways which offer a new perspective of the Perito Moreno Glacier.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

2. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

Depart from your hotel in El Calafate at around 10:30 AM and set off for the Perito Moreno Glacier located inside the Los Glaciares National Park. Travel for 80 kilometers (50 miles) until you arrive at the west end of the Magallanes Peninsula. Then, enjoy plenty of time to explore this natural ice formation due to your early start.  Begin your tour of the national park by strolling along a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) network of boardwalks. Admire the glacier from multiple perspectives as you climb up to different levels and balconies. Spend 2 hours exploring the runways and use this time to eat a packed lunch or make a stop in one of the restaurants.  Next, take an optional 1-hour boat ride in front of the northern wall of the glacier. After the tour, return to El Calafate via the same route, arriving at approximately 6:30/7:00 PM.

From El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to El Chaltén

3. From El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to El Chaltén

Immerse yourself in Argentina’s dramatic landscapes and take in panoramic views of mountains, glaciers, and lakes. See the nature that played a major role in Darwin’s and Fitz Roy’s research and discover Argentina’s youngest village, El Chaltén, founded in 1985. Start your full-day tour with a pickup from your hotel in El Calafate. Take the legendary Route 40, which runs alongside Lake Argentino with its blueish-white glaciers.   Cross the Santa Cruz River and hear about Charles Darwin’s and Robert Fitz Roy’s expeditions. Continue to La Leona River, and stop at La Leona Roadhouse, where you can learn the history of Route 40 over a coffee and homemade cake. Walk along the edge of Lake Viedma and see the breathtaking peaks of the Andes mountain range, including Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. After your 3-hour journey, arrive at El Chatén, located in the Southern Andes in a valley where the rivers De las Vueltas and Fitz Roy meet. Admire the young village’s surroundings within the Los Glaciares National Park. Then, decide to either to hike along self-guided trails or remain in the town and enjoy some free time. If you choose to hike a trail, the tour guide will provide you with a map, a lunchbox and advise you on the different trail options to best suit your fitness level. Throughout the year, you can enjoy two short trails to Chorrillo del Salto and Mirador de los Cóndores. From October to April, you can also choose a trail that will take you to Capri Lagoon. If you prefer to stay in El Chaltén, you can enjoy a relaxing period of free time and explore the town. At 5 PM, start your journey back to El Calafate, arriving around 7:30-8 PM. Enjoy a convenient drop-off at your hotel after a full day of discovering Argentina’s nature.

Perito Moreno Glacier Private Tour with Optional Boat Ride

4. Perito Moreno Glacier Private Tour with Optional Boat Ride

Get to know the Perito Moreno glacier, a staggeringly beautiful ice field and glacier that is the crown jewel of Patagonia. Spend a full day exploring with your own private group and guide. Start your trip with pickup from your hotel in El Calafate between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM, depending on your preference. Once on the road, travel the 80 kilometers that separate the town from the glacier. Upon arrival at the parking lot, if you select the add-on for this tour, your group will have a 1-hour boat ride in front of the northern wall of the glacier, the best way to see, hear, and photograph the glacier.  Then, spend up to five hours walking around and exploring the glacier and the trails around it with your guide. Among the earth’s most dynamic and accessible ice fields, this glacier is the stunning centerpiece of the southern sector of Los Glaciares National Park. Constantly advancing, the glacier is considered one of the most impressive natural spectacles in the world.

El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

5. El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

Start the tour with a pickup from your hotel in El Calafate around 7:00 AM to undertake the 47km route to the Punta Bandera Port where your boat departs at 9:00 AM. The first part of the trip takes place in the north arm of the Argentino Lake before crossing into the Boca del Diablo, the narrowest part of the lake. Then, go to the Upsala and Spegazzini channels where you can view the respective glaciers. The Upsala Glacier is the largest on the Argentino Lake and can be seen from about 20km away. The Spegazzini Glacier is the highest and you can also see the Dry, Heim Sur, and Peineta glaciers. After entering the Spegazzini Channel, a 300-meter path will be crossed without difficulty through the forest along the coast of the lake making stops at viewpoints overlooking the entire Bay of Glaciers. Arrive at the Spegazzini Refuge where you can enjoy an optional 3-course lunch with drinks, visit the shop, and contemplate the landscape from the terrace.  For those who enjoy walking, the mountain path offers a 700m trek of medium difficulty through a wooded path with natural viewpoints of the Spegazzini Glacier ending at the landing point. Return to the boat and head back to El Calafate where you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

Perito Moreno Glacier with Optional Nautical Safari

6. Perito Moreno Glacier with Optional Nautical Safari

Start your day with pick up from your hotel and head out on Route 11, bordering Lake Argentino. Travel 80 kilometers from El Calafate to the Moreno Glacier. On the drive out of El Calafate, you can see beautiful Lake Argentino with its Redonda Bay and try to spot its wide variety of birds. Within the first 40 kilometers, you’ll travel through the Patagonian Steppe, then enter the national park. You will arrive at the “Curva de los Suspiros” or “Sigh Curve”, the first panoramic viewpoint of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Enjoy a short stop to take pictures before moving on to Bajo las Sombras Port. You will have the option of taking an additional one-hour boat trip through the southern arm of the Iceberg Channel in order to see different views of the Perito Moreno Glacier Wall. Back at the Port, a system of balconies and footbridges allow you to enjoy walks along different paths and to take in amazing views of the glacier. After some free time for walking and lunch, make your way back to El Calafate.  

El Calafate: Panoramic Tour with Punta Walichu

7. El Calafate: Panoramic Tour with Punta Walichu

Begin with a visit to Punta Walichu, an archeological site located 8 kilometers from the town, which will show you the traces of the first men who walked these lands. A walk along the eaves and caves will allow you to observe paintings, as well as appreciate an exceptional view of Lake Argentino and the Andes Mountains. The circuit also travels the main streets of the old town, showing you the first constructions of the pioneers as well as the current civic center buildings. The guide will transport you in time to the history of the first settlers and show you the flora, fauna and other interesting details that this quaint village has. Visit the Coastal Walk and the Redonda Bay, meters from the coast of Lake Argentino, where you can observe the abundant local birdlife.

Glaciers Gourmet Experience: Full-Day Cruise with Lunch

8. Glaciers Gourmet Experience: Full-Day Cruise with Lunch

Sail in luxury around Southern Patagonia's Los Glaciares National Park during this full-day sightseeing cruise. Board at La Soledad Port, before visiting the stunning Escuadra Bay and the Condor Nesting Wall. Watch these beautiful birds in action. Marvel at the majestic natural wonders of the Seco, Heim and Spegazzini Glaciers from the catamaran's four outer decks. Disembark at "Puesto Las Vacas" station for a short walk. Then, visit Upsala Canal, and enjoy panoramic views of the spectacular Upsala and Bertracchi Glaciers. Indulge in a gourmet lunch onboard. Admire the cruiser's glacier-themed decorations, which bring nature indoors. Let your kids play in the recreation area, which features illustrations of the National Park’s native fauna. Navigate along Canal de los Témpanos towards the Northern face of the Perito Moreno Glacier, and disembark at La Soledad Port. 

El Calafate Balconies Experience: 3-Hour 4WD Tour

9. El Calafate Balconies Experience: 3-Hour 4WD Tour

Choose from 2 daily departures and get picked up from your hotel in El Calafate. Hop into a 4WD vehicle and set off on a 35 km adventure into the hills behind the village. Drive along a trail which takes you through marvelous landscapes with varied vegetation reaching up to 1050 m above sea level.  Make your first stop at a viewpoint where you can admire impressive panoramas of El Calafate and the central body of Lake Argentino. In the background, observe the unforgettable and imposing Andes Mountains, and at times, views of the glaciers, towards Boca del Diablo. Occasionally it is possible to see the Fitz Roy and Torre hills in El Chaltén. With some luck, you might even be able to spot a condor, the master of the Patagonian skies. After this, follow the trail to the Labyrinth of Stones which is only accessible through the Calafate Mountain Park. This Cretaceous formation dates back to 85 million years and was once the bed of a river. Learn about how numerous fossil remains have been found here which enable paleontologists to observe millions of years of history.  Next, stop for a snack at the Huyliche confectionery before beginning the descent down the northern slope of the hill. Arrive at the Stone of the Hats, curious iron concretions that are only found in 4 places in the world. Finally, return to El Calafate with taking in the incredible views of the omnipresent Lake Argentino en route.

Gourmet Glacier Cruise & Footbridges of Perito Moreno

10. Gourmet Glacier Cruise & Footbridges of Perito Moreno

Enjoy a full day experience aboard the María Turquesa Cruise that travels to the most impressive glaciers, sailing with the highest comfort. Begin with the transfer from your hotel to the Private Port La Soledad. After traveling 47 KM enter the National Park and board the boat. Cross a peninsulas encounter called "Boca del Diablo" to enter the North Arm of the lake. Navigate between icebergs through the Upsala Canal where you can observe the Upsala Glacier about 10 km away. Go to the Spegazzini Channel to see hanging glaciers such as Dry Glacier, Heim Sur, Peinetta and disembark at Las Vacas Post where you will make a 30-minute walk through a lovely forest. Continue to the front of the highest glacier in the National Park, the Spegazzini Glacier (135 meters above the lake level/440 ft above the lake level). Take advantage of the time, take pictures and contemplate in silence with the surrounding natural beauty. Head to your final destination at Perito Moreno Glacier, where you will disembark on the walkways to culminate a day full of magic and surprises. Finally, take a bus in which you will return to your hotel in El Calafate at the end of the day.

Other Sightseeing Options in El Calafate

Want to discover all there is to do in El Calafate? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about El Calafate

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 917 reviews

The captain board is exceptional. we were taken care of. the guides took the time to slowly explain to us when we didn't understand. Our Spanish being more than average. the crew like all the people we met in Patagonia are so nice and helpful that we would have liked to stay there longer. in any case if you have the possibility of doing this excursion including the captain board do it. my 16 year old son and my husband still can't believe it.

I wasn't sure what to expect but it was spectacular. The guide was good fun and knowledgeable and the glacier itself is something to behold. Please don't miss this

A tour that is worth a lot, the navigation you see incredible icebergs and spectacular landscapes, the boat has an excellent structure.

Everything very punctual, excellent personalized service, exquisite lunch.

Excelente servicio. Puntuales, muy amables y serviciales.