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El Calafate

  • General information

    Official language: Spanish
    Time zone: UTC -3
    Currency: Argentine peso (ARS)

  • A barberry city

    The name of the town comes from the Spanish name of the buxus-like barberry, i.e. calafate. It is a purple fruit from which jams and infusions are prepared in the region.

  • Walk among the nature

    To see a wild nature, go to the Lagoon Nimez, where you can meet more than 80 species of birds. The most impressive of these is the Chilean flamingo.

  • Kayak downflow

    Adrenaline enthusiasts can go kayaking along the Upsala glacier. It is best to buy a trip at the local tourist office, which will provide you with the assistance of a guide.

What’s worth seeing in El Calafate?

El Calafate is an Argentinian city in southern Patagonia, located on the Lago Argentino lake. It is a mecca for tourists traveling to these magical regions. It has a well-developed accommodation and catering base. It tempts with breath-taking views of icebergs and lakes, as well as unique flora and fauna.

The first inhabitants of the region settled there in the ice age and dealt with hunting, as evidenced by the amazing drawings in the caves of Punta Walich. At the end of the 18th century, travelers began to explore and describe the areas of Patagonia. Today, El Calafate was originally a wool trade point, and the Argentine government gave it city rights only in 1927 to strengthen settlement in the region.

El Calafate is a dream base to get to know the wonderful area of Patagonia. Nearby, surrounded by two large lakes, i.e. Lago Viedma and Lago Argentino, there is Los Glaciares National Park, which captivates with magnificent views. The most important are the monumental glaciers, including Perito Moreno, which is shimmering in blue. There are also fabulous turquoise lakes, forests, and steppes. It is worth to pass the trekking route to the viewpoint, and more advanced tourists can think about climbing the glacier. 22 km from the city, on the vast Patagonian steppe, there is a Cerro Frías hill, from which stretches a panorama of mountains known from postcards. You can get there by 4x4, horseback, bike, and walk on a trekking route. Sometimes you can meet there condors, grazing cattle, guanaco, and hares. In the city, we recommend visiting the Museo Regional and the Centro de Interpretación Histórica, where there is an exhibition on archaeological discoveries in the region.

What is worth eating there? You must definitely try the famous Patagonian lamb in two versions: costillas de cordero (ribs) or bife de cordero (steak). Lamb comes from local farms, and the best tastes grilled or baked. To try it, it is best to go to the La Posta restaurant or Salix Resto. Must try in the city are also preserves made of calafate, for example, jam or brew, and during the harvest of berries – an excellent lamb in a sauce of these fruits.

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