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Calafate Excursions

  

Los Glaciares National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier

  

Distance: 160 km

Road conditions: 100 % gravel  

Departure: 09:00 hs.

Return: 17:00 hs.

  

This park has been declared as Mankind Heritage by UNESCO. Those glaciers that named it (about 47) show us a 10 thousand-year-old world: cold and wild. The most famous one is Perito Moreno Glacier in the southwestern end of Argentino Lake at 80 km away from El Calafate. This glacier is so-called due to a great Argentinian explorer from last century and is one of the few glaciers that is still moving in the world. That is why it has become one of the most spectacular natural shows in South America. From time to time its 60-m-high snout releases some ice walls as huge as buildings that fall into Rico Bend or Canal de los Témpanos (Ice floes Channel) and then they continue sailing along the channel to the main area of the lake. However, that is not all. The glacier, while moving forward, comes closer to the Magallanes Peninsula, in the opposite lake bank as well as footbridge and viewpoint area. This cycle takes from 4 to 6 years and it eventually separates the lake into two areas. Rico Bend is dammed up and it increases about 35 m over its average level. Its water slowly pierces its way through the glacier snout until it makes it fall down. This show is breathtaking. Water becomes into terrific waves so the whole process restarts again.

 
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City Tour and Walichu Caves

  

Departures: 09:00 and 15:00 h.

Duration: 3 hs.

  

In El Calafate we can hire a very amusing city tour in which we go past the most traditional city places by a very comfortable vehicle.

At first we visit Walichu caves to go back in time to learn about this area originary community's customs. We can also appreciate some cave paintings (created by the hunters and collectors that used to inhabit in this place) and notice the surrounding landscape geomorphologic evolution, flora, fauna and some other interesting details that this archaeological place stores up. This circuit mainly goes round the town old part showing the pioneers' typical first constructions, the civic centre and the main public institutions. We visit Nimez Lagoon or the coastal walk (just a few metres away from Argentino Lake) to watch the abundant local avifauna by means of binoculars, which are at our disposal in the vehicle. Finally, at the Historical Interpretation Centre the exhibition allows us to "travel" along the regional history by showing us both its social and environmental evolution. Besides we can enjoy some interesting documental from its video library. In this fascinating historical - cultural tour we can be also delighted of the different panoramic views of the tourist town which is in continuous development and in this way, we realize that we are also part of this town history by contemplating this Calafate which is so far from everywhere but at the same time so lively.

Cultural English - Spanish guide. It includes both Historical Interpretation Centre and Walichu Caves tickets.

 
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Walichu Caves

  

Departures: 10:00 and 16:30 hs.

Duration: 2:30 hs.

  

We visit the place for interpreting original cave paintings as well as reproductions form the whole Santa Cruz province.

  

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Petrified Forest "La Leona" Full day excursion in the steppe

  

Departure: 08:30 hs  

Return: about 17:30 hs.

  

This tour is aimed at all those people who are delighted with adventure and outdoors activities, eager to discover new places. It is necessary to be quite fit since the tour includes a 3-hour discontinuous trek on irregular ground. We leave from El Calafate along provincial route 5 eastwards for 33 km, and then we take northwards along national route 40 for 67 km. During all this time, we see Argentino Lake, Santa Cruz River, La Leona River and its beautiful valley with a panoramic view of Los Andes Range including Fitz Roy Hill. We stop at La Leona Hotel (a historical place) for about 15 minutes and we continue our way westwards by following Viedma Lake southern bank for 10 km until we reach Los Hornos Hill foothill (Santa Teresita farm) at about 11:30. For the first time we have a look at the enormous ground depression where the petrified trunks are and then we start our hike among the fossils. Halfway we stop for lunch. We can see a wide amount of petrified trunks lying on the surface; some of them have a 1.20 m diameter. They are a clear testimony of old times when the weather was completely different from nowadays and it allowed the support of an abundant big-sized flora. Occasionally some different kinds of dinosaur fossils are left uncovered. This piece of land is protected from the wind by Los Hornos Hill and, of course, by the natural ground depression. This place is really dry and the weather conditions are very warm due to the fact of being a steppe. We start our return at about 15:00 h. We stop again at La Leona Hotel and then we arrive in El Calafate at about 17:30 h.

  

Suggestions for tourists:

Clothing: comfortable shoes (trekking boots or trainers), anorak or windbreaker, warm clothes, a hat. Suntan lotion, sunglasses and a bottle of mineral water.

Our services include: bus transfer, guides on the bus and while hiking, packed lunch, excursion insurance and paleontologic site ticket.

Children: over 6 years old are allowed to go on this tour.

 

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Torres del Paine
 

Full day

Departures: Wednesdays and Sundays.

We leave early from El Calafate to Cancha Carrera (Argentina) and Castillo Hill (Chile) border. After crossing, we continue our trip to Torres del Paine National Park, a place of lakes, lagoons, cascades, glaciers and hills where it is possible to admire the different forms of living in their natural style. On our way we are accompanied by guanacos and American ostriches; we drive among several lagoons covered by herbs and water birds. We visit Nordenskiold Lake, Big and Small Falls del Paine and Pehoé Lake, where a box lunch is served. We continue along a road surrounded by vegetation and steep slopes until we arrive in Grey Lake. We hike for 1 hour along a demarcated path until Grey Lake banks; all this stands for an unsurpassable landscape surrounded by forests, hills and part of Los Andes Range.

Return to the border and then to the hotel in El Calafate.
 
Services include:

Full day excursion to Torres del Paine

Lunch

National Park tickets

English - Spanish guide during the excursion in El Paine.

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Big Ice Trip to the Glacier Inner Core

This unique experience starts at our departure from El Calafate to Bajo Las Sombras Port. There we take "Tehuelche" ship to cross Rico Bend and disembark ten minutes later in the western coast. The mountain guides take us even closer the glacier so that we put on the crampons and start our approach adventure. The path is placed on the Perito Moreno Glacier's southern moraine and in less than 1 hour we find a spectacular viewpoint where we can go into the ice. Once we are inside the glacier, the world turns completely different and it takes a new perspective: blue lagoons, deep crevasses, huge sinkholes, magical caves and the ineffable sensation of feeling like in the glacier inner core. We are always accompanied and instructed by expert guides so we altogether explore the hidden corners of the most special glacier in the world for 3 hours. During the tour the guides help us to know the ice and its surroundings best. Besides we have half an hour for a picnic on the white carpet and being delighted in a place of unique beauty. Once on the moraine we go for a walk for an hour to take the ship and return to the "civilization" at about 15:00 h. after having enjoyed one of the most superb ice treks on the ice.

Important: due to both the physical requirement and the ground difficulty in this tour, it is only suitable for people who are from 18 - 45 years old without any kind of physical handicaps and very fit. We must take into account that we walk on ice and stones, too.

 

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Horseback Riding to Roca Lake
 

Schedule:

07:30 / 08:00 h: departure from the hotel

09:00 h: arrival at Roca Lake farm

10:00 h: horse-riding start

13:00 h: lunch in Roca Lake camping site

15:00 h: return by Roca Lake shore

17:00 h: arrival at Roca Lake farm

18:00 h: arrival in El Calafate

Appreciating Perito Moreno Glacier in a different way like the pioneers… horseback riding!

This adventure implies travelling to the most undiscovered corners. We get higher along the foothills of Los Cristales Range by crossing fertile plains and fording streams and always accompanied by one of the most impressive wonders in the world: Perito Moreno Glacier. Then, little by little, we get deep into the Magalleanic forest thickness.

We discover the hugeness of the landscape, the lake purity and the panoramic view during this horse riding. We share a typical Creole beef in Roca Lake camping site. After lunch and a good rest we return by Roca Lake shore where we can enjoy exotic and native bird watching. We return to the farm to finish our adventure with a typical mate.

It includes a return transfer to the hotel.

  

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Off Road Cross-Road "El Calafate Balcony"
 

Total route: 45 km.

Duration: 3 hs (including stop for snack).

We leave from El Calafate. We go upwards at about 1050 m over sea level until we arrive at the first balcony where passengers can enjoy a panoramic view of El Calafate and the eastern part of Argentino Lake (if it is not cloudy, we can also see Chaltén and Torre Hills and the condor's flight). Then we start descending up to a place for a snack. We return to El Calafate by descending and having a look at the breathtaking Argentino Lake all the time.

  

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Off Road Cross-Road "El Calafate Balcony" with Snow Park 
 

One hour and a half of cross-road by conventional vehicles, then we change to caterpillar vehicles to drive over the snow. Two hours in a maze where we have a dome and the activities (snow bicycles, snowboard, rackets, sledges, banana) and services (lunch with grilled beef for morning departures and tea with hot chocolate and cakes for afternoon departures) are organized. One hour and a half of cross-road to return to El Calafate.

  

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Off Road Cross-Road "Anita's Ravine"

  

Duration: 6 hs.  

Departures Morning: 10:00 hs. It includes a typical country lunch (grilled beef, tomatoes, fruit, drink and bread)

Departures Afternoon: 14:00 hs. It includes tea.

At 38 km away from El Calafate we enter Estancia Anita's country where we start climbing to the ravines. We can observe the whole Argentino lake Valley, Rico Bend, Southern Bend, Estancia Anita, Alta Vista Inn, Estancia Alice, Buenos Aires Hill, Pietrobelli Hill and Cervantes Hill. We descend by Chorrillo Malo Canyon while enjoying a marvellous view of Perito Moreno Glacier, Roca Lake, Rico Bend and Southern Bend. We arrive at Chorrillo Malo farm to visit some cave paintings located near the farmhouse. We return to El Calafate.

  

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Off Road Cross-Road "Sleeping Native Route"
 

Duration: 6 hs.

We depart from El Calafate to "El Calafate Balcony" where watch landscapes while travelling through completely virgin places. We see Argentino Lake from different terraces and after going past "The Stones Maze", we arrive at the highest terrace (over 1200 m high) where we can observe Perito Moreno Glacier, Pietrobelli Hill, Torres del Paine, Portezuelo Stream Canyon until we arrive in Centinela River which we cross twice to start our return to El Calafate.

Includes: country lunch with drinks.

  

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Navigation all Glaciers Boat Trip
 

Seasons and departures: September / April daily, May / August consult. It always depends on weather conditions.  

Distance: 108 km to the port.

Departures: from El Calafate 07:30 h, from the port 08:45 hs.

Return: 18:00 hs.

It is recommendable to take some food or a box lunch with a drink. The pleasure boat departs from Bandera Port and firstly it sails the cross of Southern and Northern Bends known as Garganta del Diablo. We sail among huge adrift ice floes until we arrive at our first stop: Upsala Glacier. This glacier surface is 590 km2 becoming, in this way, into one of the most extensive glaciers in America. After sailing along the snout area, we go to Onelli Bay for a hike through the forest until the homonymous lake on which a lot of ice floes make up a huge white carpet. We return to the port and to El Calafate.

 

Lunch a Onelli Bay restaurant:

Menu 1: starter: cream of legume soup. Main course: chorizo steak with French fries. Dessert: flan with caramel.

Menu 2: starter: cream of legume soup. Main course: homemade noodles with Bolognese sauce. Dessert: flan with caramel.

Packed lunch:

Starter: vegetable pie. Main course: meat escalope filled with ham and red pepper; some salad (beetroot, green bean, corn). Dessert: Ice cream with chocolate chip. Drink: mineral water. It includes some dressing, bread and cutlery  

 

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Nautical Safari Rico Bend Boat Trip
 

Season: September / May.

Services: bilingual, daily.

Departure time: depending on the season and weather conditions.

Duration: about 1 hs.

We depart from Bajo de las Sombras Pier at 75 km away from El Calafate. We sail opposite the glacier southern wall at about 500 m away with the possibility of watching the ice slides in the 60-70-m-high glacial wall. Then we return to the pier.

 

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Moreno Party Boat Trip
 

Season: September / May.

Services: bilingual, daily.

Departure time: depending on the season and weather conditions.

Duration: about 1 hs.

We embark in Moreno Port and sail up to the northern wall near the glacier breaking area. We disembark opposite the glacier to go for a short hike up to the footbridges.  

 

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Glacier Gourmet Experience Boat Trip
(Mar Patagonia - Crucero Leal) 
 

The navigation starts towards the northwest, crossing Punta Avellaneda and Boca del Diablo, the narrowest passage in the lake with almost 800 meters.

After two hours of navigation, the series of ice floes, of the most varied colors and shapes, anticipates the proximity of Upsala glacier. We will stop in front of the barrier of ice floes which, at present, is blocking the entrance to Canal Upsala. If the weather conditions are good, we will observe the Upsala glacier at the distance.

We continue navigating Lago Argentino towards the South, taking the Canal Spegazzini in order to reach the glacier that bears the same name. The navigation allows us to get closer to the glacier, which has front walls between 80 and 135 meters (262 – 443 feet) above lake level. Lunch is served amidst this stunning landscape.

Towards the afternoon, the Crucero Leal will arrive at Puesto de Las Vacas (an extremely quiet bay in the Canal Spegazzini), where its engines will be stopped to let passengers share an amusing walk coordinated by our team of guides. In this stop, it is possible to see stunning panoramic views.

Once onboard, we will return through Brazo Norte and get back to the boarding dock La Soledad at 6:00 p.m.

Note: the itinerary is subject to changes based on the captain criteria to guarantee the passengers safety.

 
Includes:

• Navigation across Lago Argentino, visiting the barrier of ice floes in Canal Upsala (which at present does not allow us to get closer to Upsala glacier), and the stunning Spegazzini glacier.

• Gourmet lunch on-board with alcoholic and soft drinks included.

• Landing in Puesto de Las Vacas.

• Infusions and soft beverages during navigation.

• On-board activities conducted by a bilingual guide (English / Spanish).

• Transfers FROM and TO El Calafate.

• Entrance fee to Parque Nacional los Glaciares.

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Estancia Cristina Classic Boat Trip
Upsala Glacier + Estancia Cristina + Museum + historic visit and tour

 
Include:

Boarding and departure at port Punta Bandera (NPC) 08.15 hours in our modern and comfortable boat.

Sailing among icebergs and stunning scenery overlooking the western front of the Upsala glacier and then through Cristina Canal to the point of disembark at the Estancia.

Arrival Estancia Cristina 11:30 hs.

Stay at the Estancia for 6 hours.

Guided walk up to Caterina River and Chapel and tour around the Estancia.

Return to the boat 17:30hs. Arrival to Puerto Bandera approximately 19:00hs.  

 

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Estancia Cristina Discovery Boat and Road Trip
Upsala Glacier + Estancia Cristina + 4x4 Upsala Viewpoint + Museum

 
Duration of 4 wheel drive: 3 hours

Drop: 550 m.s.n.m.

Level of demand: Low

 
Include:

Boarding and departure at port Punta Bandera (NPC) 08.15 hours in our modern and comfortable boat.

Sailing among icebergs and stunning scenery overlooking the western front of the Upsala glacier and then through Cristina Canal to the point of disembark at the Estancia.

Arrival Estancia Cristina 11:30 hs.

Stay at the Estancia for 6 hours.

Guided visit to the Costumbrista museum (old shearing shed).

Ascent in all-terrain vehicles, travelling 9.5 km through mountainous roads.

Arrival to the Continental ice shelter.

30 minute walk.

Visit the oriental front of Upsala Glacier. Lake Guillermo, Southern Patagonian Ice and Andes.

Return to the farm house of the Estancia and board at 17:30 hs. Arrival to Puerto Banderas at 19: hs approximately.

 
NOTE:
 If the maximum number of passengers is exceeded, visitors will be divided in turns by the tour coordinator of the Estancia.

  

  

Please Request for a quote!

  

Estancia Cristina Trekking + Boat Trip
Upsala Glacier + 4x4+ Trekking Cañadon de los Fosiles+ Estancia Cristina

 
Duration of trekking: 5 hours

Drop: 550 m.s.n.m

Level of demand: Medium. - High. It is recommended to have good physical shape.

Suggestion: Use suitable footwear and clothing for trekking.

 
Include:
  

Boarding and departure at port Punta Bandera (NPC) 08:30 hours in our modern and comfortable boat.

Sailing among icebergs and stunning scenery overlooking the western front of the Upsala glacier and then through Cristina Canal to the point of disembark at the Estancia.

Arrival Estancia Cristina 11:30 hs.

Stay at the Estancia for 6 hours.

Ascent in all-terrain vehicles, travelling 9.5 km through mountainous roads.

Tour through a stunning landscape that until recently was covered by glaciers and has a great geological interest.

Privileged view of the eastern front of Upsala Glacier, Lake Guillermo, Southern Patagonian Ice and Andes.

Descent in search of Cañadon de los fossils a filed filled with marine fossils of unique characteristics.

This activity is not for children under 7 years old. Younger than 7 and 17 must be accompanied by their parents.

Visitors that choose this activity will have lunch during the tour and will return to the Estancia to board the boat at 17:30hs.

Arrival to Puerto Bandera 19:00 hs approximately.

 
NOTE:
In the event that the coordinator of the trip of Estancia Cristina, determine that passengers who have chosen this activity are not physically fit or lack of adequate clothing for the trek, will not be able to participate, No demands or refund will be accepted.

IMPORTANT: This trek, due to the physical demands and difficult terrain, is only suitable for people in good physical condition, given that you will walk in rough and difficult land.  

 

Please Request for a quote!

  

   

 

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