In El Calafate you will find yourself at the gateway to the majestic world of glaciers.
This town is near Lake Argentino, a green water surface covering 1,600 km2, with a length of 60 km and a width between 12 and 14 km. It also has great mysterious depths, like all lakes orginated from glaciers, ranging from 35 m in Feruglio, on the southern shore, to 300 m off the Avellaneda Peninsula.
El Calafate connects you with the most unknown and magical features of our geography. It is 316 km. from Río Gallegos, 185 m.a.s.l. and receives its name from the small bush calafate, indigenous of Patagonia. Its fruit is a delicious berry very good for the elaboration of jam. According to tradition, whoever eats calafate will return for more. But reality indicates that whoever visits Calafate wants to stay there forever.
It is a tourist resort of both national and international importance, since it is the start of all glacier circuits. It is an oasis of poplars, willows and pines at the border of the steppe.
This small town and all its magic are a must for lovers of glaciers.
El Calafate presents a dry climate, with an average maximum temperature of 19ºC, and an average minimum of -2º in winter. The length of the day changes according to season. In summer, the sun rises at 5.30am and sets at 11pm. In winter the day is shorter as there are only 8 hours of daylight.
El Calafate is the main supplier in the area. It has a population of around 8,000 inhabitants on a 155,000-hectare surface, with rivers and creeks draining into the Atlantic Ocean through the Santa Cruz River.
The Glaciers National Park covers a surface of some 600,000 hectares with 47 glaciers, such as the Viedma, the Moyano, the Marconi, the Upsala, the Agassiz, the Bolado, the Onelli, the Peineta, the Spegazzini, the Mayo, the Ameghino, the Moreno and the Frías, all of them located within the Atlantic basin.
El Calafate can be visited thanks to a significant bus fleet used for excursions and modern boats that allow you to enjoy the classical viewpoint of the Perito Moreno Glacier or the audacious expeditions to cross the glaciers from one side to the other. The International Airport of El Calafate, inaugurated on November 17, 2000 and located 23km away from the city, receives direct flights from Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Pto.Madryn, San Carlos de Bariloche, and Puerto Natales, among other cities.
In the southern end of the Republic of Argentina, on the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, there lies Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Located on the Beagle Channel, it takes its name -which means "bay overlooking the West"- from the yámana tongue.
Within the impressive frame made up by the sea, the forests, the lakes and the mountains, Ushuaia is a picturesque city with an important tourist services infrastructure, an elegant commercial center and an increasing social and cultural activity.
In its surroundings, Ushuaia offers unexplored untouched territories that invite visitors to discovery and adventure. Therefore, the main activities to be done in this privileged nook are related with nature. Some of them are hiking, horse riding, climbing and diving. Mount Castor Ski Resort is the the option offered by Ushuaia to the lovers of snow during the winter months.
But there is also a site reserved for beholding, such as the cruises and expeditions around islands, glaciers, bays and cliffs: not to be missed. The Tierra del Fuego National Park, with typical animal and vegetable species and important testimonies from the first settlers of the area, protects Lakes Fagnano and Roca, the channel and the southernmost subantartic forests.
Lured by the particular mysticism of its geography and its natural environment, tourists from all round the world visit Ushuaia every year, thus making it one of the most preferred destinations for unique vacations.