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21 Epic Things To Do in El Calafate, Argentina

An enormous blue and white glacier surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and in the foreground, a walkway covered with dozens of people posing for photos.

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Welcome to El Calafate, Argentina — home to one of the most famous glaciers on the planet! There are plenty of fun things to do in El Calafate, and with an airport in town, it’s one of the most easily accessible places to visit in Argentine Patagonia.

El Calafate is the southern gateway to Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, and boasts some stunningly beautiful landscapes.

El Calafate was the second place my husband and I visited in Patagonia, after staying at Ecocamp Patagonia in Torres del Paine, Chile, and we had one major priority: Perito Moreno Glacier. This magnificent glacier is one of Patagonia’s top natural wonders, and you can even go trekking on the ice!

While Perito Moreno Glacier is far and away the top sight, don’t mistake El Calafate as a one-attraction town. There are lots of spots for kayaking, biking, and hiking surrounding El Calafate.

Beyond the outdoors, there are so many things to do in El Calafate itself. I was surprised that it felt more like a small city. You can shop for all kinds of cool souvenirs, visit the local breweries, taste some delicious Argentine specialties, and explore more of Los Glaciares National Park (which is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site). 

I really loved my time in El Calafate, and I hope you love your time there, too. Here’s a guide to the best things to do in El Calafate, Argentina!

This post was published in February 2024 and was co-written by Adventurous Kate and Riana Ang-Canning.

Best Things To Do in El Calafate, Argentina

Visit Perito Moreno Glacier

The number one thing to do in El Calafate is to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. This is one of the largest glaciers in Patagonia, starting high in the Andes Mountains from the Southern Patagonian Icefield and flowing down to Lago Argentino. It’s famous for its dramatic icefalls, and if you’re lucky, you might get to see a calving!

There is a visitors’ center at the glacier, with a cafe and tons of viewing platforms and walkways where you can appreciate its beauty from every angle. These walkways are free to visit, and parts of them are wheelchair accessible. 

Perito Moreno Glacier is about an hour’s drive from El Calafate; if you rent a car, you can drive yourself, but most people visit on a tour.

This Perito Moreno Glacier tour includes pick-up and drop-off from El…

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