Please Travel advice calafate and Usuhaia


Dec 2, 2009
Dear All., I am planning to go to Calafate and Ushuaia, just wondering do I need to book everything through a travel agent or can I just book ticket and hotel and book my tours to see glaciers etc when I get there? I have only 5 days and planning to go end of March.
Any other advise would be welcome as to hotel or tour operator here or in calafate and Ushuaia. i am also interested to get a horse riding tour any idea?

thank you so much for taking time.
Fly Lan Argentina if at all possible - less prone to wildcat strikes than Aerolineas. Once in Calafate your hotel can book the tours for you - the glacier is a little over an hour away.

If the weather is clear, you may want to consider a side trip to El Chalten. The drive through the Patagonia steppe is beautiful, and the view of the Fitz Roy massif is unforgettable.
We just returned Tuesday March 16 after two nights in Ushuaia. It was very nice. About 1-4 degrees C in the day.

We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast at the following link. It's on 9 de Julio near Av San Martin.

We had a suite with three beds, bath, and mini-kitchen. It was nice and convenient to the main street AV, San Martin, but don't expect the Ritz.

The owner Javier, was very accommodating and a nice guy. He will pick you at the airport if requested.

He drove us to the glacier just outside of town. It was beautiful and I guess you should do it. But if you didn't know it was a glacier you'd mistake it for pile of snow in the mountains. Be there about 9:20 and beat the crowd. The trail gets mushy quickly. We were there at 09:20 and were the 3rd and 4th people in line. The trail was already getting mushy when we came down. We walked up there in sneakers. No big deal.

Javier can lend you coats if you don't want to bring them, or just down the hill on the right from the B&B before you reach Av San Martin, is a shop that rents clothes. We used Javier's coats. We live in Rio de Janeiro and don't own coats. Just flip flops and sun screen.

Things are more expensive than in Buenos Aires. There's lots of interesting shops and things to buy. The duty free shops don't appear to be offering any deals. The restaurants are expensive. Any dish with local crab is really expensive. The good news though, the price of wine in the grocery store is about the same as Buenos Aires and Mendoza.

There are some excursion operators that offer "walk the penguin trips". We didn't have time to do that. The prison and prison train are supposed to be nice.

We flew on Aerolinas Argentinas from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. It stopped in Trelew on the way. But, on the return we flew Ushuaia to Buenos Aires. It stopped in El Calafate. So you might want to plan Buenos Aires to Ushuaia to El Calfate to Buenos Aires.

If figure out why people go to El Calafate, please let know. 90% of the people on the plane got off there.

If you can work Mendoza in, you should. Stay in the Micro Center area. We stayed at the The Argentino hotel on the Interdependence Square. Great location. Mendoza is clean, tranquil, cheap, friendly, has over 900 wineries, etc, etc, etc. The mountains are beautiful. Check with Trout and Wine for tours. I'd drop something off the itinerary just to work in Mendoza.
arockwell11 said:
If figure out why people go to El Calafate, please let know. 90% of the people on the plane got off there.

El Calafate is the jumping-off point for Glaciers National Park, which includes the huge Perito Moreno Glacier, Lago Argentino, and El Chalten, at the foot of the Fitz Roy massif.

The Perito Moreno glacier is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, and is the area's biggest attraction. El Chalten is a trekking and climbing center - a small, charming frontier town.
Any recommendations of a place to stay in El Calafate, or is it better to stay outside of the town?
mmoon said:
Any recommendations of a place to stay in El Calafate, or is it better to stay outside of the town?

I don't think there are many places outside El Calafate to stay at. It is incredibly small. I stayed at this place:
It was alright, I liked the room. Downside was that they almost messed up my reservation for the tour to the glacier. It is 5 minutes on foot from the city center, but only 2 minutes from the (at least people say so) best restaurant.

If anybody goes from Ushuaia to El Calafate by bus and they tell you it leaves at 05:00 (and cross out the 04:30 on the ticket, writing 05:00 instead) be there at 04:30. The woman at the sales point does not have a clue and is not willing to learn that she is wrong neither. I managed to get the bus, on the bus got to know a girl which missed it the day before due to the same missinformation. Make sure that your visa is allright if you do that, since the border control in the south is a lot more strict than those at colonia/uruguay.
Well,there are "deserted" hotels in El Calafate if you don't want to stay in the center of the little town.
I'm staying in a boutique hotel with the great lake view, mountain at the back, 7 mins on taxi to downtown, better rate than any hosteria along the main street. There are couples of other hotels that off center as well.
They can totally do the booking for most of the tours for you, except for the Minitrekking and Big Ice (by Hielo y Adventura), which you can find in any travel agent in El Calafate. As everything in El Calafate is standardized in price ( i.e monopoly), you can book with whichever agent.

For 5 days you can go for Big Ice-4 hours icetrekking on Perito Moreno( the best 200 bucks I've ever spent in my whole life) ,horseback riding, El Chaten hiking or Torres del Paine.