El Calafate Journals

Walking Through El Calafate (Argentina)

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A December 2006 trip to El Calafate by Robert Raymond Ingledew

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: I visited this city when it was a village of 3,000 inhabitants. Today it has seven times that population. However, it still conserves its village atmosphere, and a walk through the town is really enjoyable. Today it is full of modern shops, with all sorts of products, including marble handcrafts…

Walking Through El Calafate (Argentina)

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Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
If you have not been here for 35 years, as it was in my case, the only difference you will perceive when you enter the town, is that the main avenue is no longer an earth road. But once you arrive at the downtown you will find all sorts of shops, buildings with an alpine flavor, and although the Andes are far away, you will still see the snow at a distance. Of course, El Calafate might not even exist, if it were not for the glaciers (14 altogether, that cover an important extension, and of which the Perito Moreno glacier is the third in size, since the Viedma glacier (near El Chaltén) and the Upsala are five and four times larger. Although there is only a small artisans fair at El Calafate, you will f...Read More

Shopping in El Calafate

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Story/Tip

Some Small Shops in El Calafate Photo, El Calafate, Argentina
Quote:
If we compare Ushuaia with Calafate, Ushuaia has a far larger variety of products for two reasons: 1) It is a larger city (40,000 inhabitants compared with 20,000) and it is a free port (El Calafate is not). However, price differences are not so substantial if you learn to look around and compare prices. While one shop at El Calafate asked for 17 pesos (nearly 6 dollars) for a 36-photo Kodak film, another shop asked for 12 pesos and I finally made a deal of 10 pesos (3.33 dollars) each for five 36 photo films. In Ushuaia I had paid 9 pesos for the same film, so the difference is not so important. As I said in the overview, supermarket prices in El Calafate are quite reasonable. You can buy half a d...Read More

The Beauty of El Chaltén

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Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Thirty years ago, there was no village here. A potential war with Chile over the Glaciers area, that fortunately did not occur, motivated the Government to establish a village here. I believe that they never imagined what an attractive tourist destination it would become. Today it is called the National Trekking Capital of Argentina. When I was there five years ago, the village had only 140 inhabitants. However, it has 14 hotels and is one of the most expensive destinations in Southern Argentina. It is very near the Viedma glacier, that is four to five times larger than the Perito Moreno Glacier. El Chaltén is 140 miles away from El Calafate. There are many beautiful places where to go, but only one r...Read More

Perito Moreno Glacier

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Attraction | "The Glaciers in the Area"

Perito Moreno Glacier Photo, El Calafate, Argentina
Quote:
Although El Calafate is a nice small city, the real scenery is fifty miles away. True on the road to El Calafate you may see thousands of sheep (or none, depending on the day), condors flying (depending on pressure and ascending winds), but the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of Argentina's most beautiful postcards.You have different alternatives for going to the glacier. The cheapest one is the bus (about 17 dollars for the round trip), but you will only stop once on the way, at a panoramic viewpoint where you will take unforgettable photos, and at the glacier itself. There are no shelters in the National park, except the cafeteria that closes at 5pm (and the afternoon bus returns at 8pm). So ta...Read More

Perito Moreno Glacier
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
El Calafate, Argentina

Cabo Virgenes Penguin Colony

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Hotel | "Cape Virgenes, a lot of history, thousands of penguins and much more."

Cabo Virgenes Penguin Colony Photo, Santa Cruz, Argentina
Quote:
Portuguese Colonizer Ferdinand Magellan, the first European who reached the Pacific Ocean navigating through this Cape, discovered Cabo Virgenes in 1521 for the Spanish crown. It is a couple of miles away from the Strait of Magellan, that was named in his honor, since he was the first person to lead an expedition sailing westward from Europe to Asia and to cross the Pacific Ocean. Of the 270 crew members that started off the expedition, only 18 returned back alive to Spain. The first Spanish settlement was founded there, but due to the extremely cold climate, the strong winds and the lack of food, all minus one sailor died there. The last survivor was rescued in 1590, 69 years later, by a British cors...Read More

Cabo Virgenes Penguin Colony
Rio Gallegos
Santa Cruz, Argentina