El Calafate. Argentina 16-17.12.15

December 17, 2015

We arrived in El Calafate the 16th in the evening, at around 17:30. The airport of El Calafate is really small and there were only a few stands for tours, buses and taxis. We didn't know what we were doing so we approached the stand of buses into El Calafate city and we were told that to go into the national park we had to book a tour for the following day at 9 am, which would cost us 450 pesos each for the bus to go and to come back plus a bilingual guide. We have never been big fans of organised tours, and we were unsure but we were convinced by the seller that told us we wouldn't find anything cheaper to see the glacier, and she also got us in contact with a camp site as they would pick us up from our accommodation.

We booked the bus into the city and had to wait for an hour and a half for it, since the last one had already left, full of the other passengers in our plane. We finally got on the combi and went to the camping site "el ovejero" where we spent the night in our tent. The camp site was muddy due to the rain and our shoes were covered in dirt, but we found that in different conditions, the camping would have been quite comfortable.

We went out that evening to see the town and have some dinner. The town looks the way you'd expect it to look: tidy and cute and all made to entertain the thousands and thousands of tourists that visit every year. It doesn't go dark in summer until past 10 pm, but it is still windy and cold all day. Regardless, we had some dinner followed by ice cream.

The next day we woke up early, we had to book our next bit of transport with the hotel reception and wait for our tour bus to go to Perito Moreno. The bus was 15 minutes late and after picking the other passengers up from their fancy-looking hotels, we started making our way to the glacier.

 

We did part of the trails marked on the route, but we didnt complete any trails since we were too busy trying to see detachments of ice, which were happening regularly. We stopped at the front and managed to see some small blocks of ice sliding into the water, nothing major. The Perito Moreno glacier is the only one of that range that loses the same amount of ice than it gets every day.

When you get to the Perito Moreno, be sure to have enough cash with you, there are no ATMs at the site or money exchange and there's a restaurant and a gift shop there. We were hungry and had no food with us and very little cash, which was enough for two empanadas and a pack of rocklets, we went a little hungry but we still enjoyed the site.

We were back to the hostel at around 5 pm and left el Calafate by bus.

 

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