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.
ituated in the Departament called Lago Argentino, El Chaltén is on the northen margin of Lago Viedma, in the confluence of rivers De las Vueltas and Fitz Roy, in the National Reserve Zona Viedma in Los Glaciares National Park.
In this landscape combine the magic of glaciers, hidden lagoons, estancias, Lake Viedma, and the magnetic presence of mount Fitz Roy. The summit of its unmistakable majestic silouete is almost always covered in a cloud that the Tehuelche thought was smoke, mistake that gave origin to the name Chaltén, which means volcano.
Two hundred people live in this town, distant 220 km. from El Calafate on provincial route Nº11, national route 40, and provincial route Nº 23.
El Chaltén is contiguous to Lake Viedma and its reserve, and has been declared National Hiking Capital for the variety of activities performed by hikers and climbers.
Most outings start in town, and it is not necessary to be an expert to follow the circuits if you walk on a current trail.
The granitic towers of mounts Torre and Fitz Roy compose spectacular panorama together with glaciers Viedma, Upsala and Moyano, which drain in Lago Viedma, with a surface of 106.000 has.