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Ice and mountains: El Calafate - Argentina

Itinerary

Day 1: El Calafate

Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer from the El Calafate International Airport to the hotel

Option 1: El Calafate 4x4 excursion-3 hours. An off-road experience to a handful of extreme sites on Mount Huyliche. The first is the Balcón del Calafate, a lookout point just 15 kilometers uphill from the city, but where you are guaranteed breathtaking views. Next stop is at 1050 meters, another spectacular observation point from where you can see condors in flight and the magnificence of the Argentine side of the Lake Argentino. You will then continue to the Las Piedras Labyrinth that formed millions of years ago and a fine spot to search for fossils; lastly, on your way down, there is a stop at the well-kept secret of the Piedra de los Sombreros [Stone of the Hats], an astounding natural sculpture that looks like perfectly shaped hats.
Option 2: Estancia 25 de Mayo. Afternoon and dinner at the ranch, Estancia 25 de Mayo, is set within lovely countryside, just minutes away from El Calafate, and has a fascinating history. They welcome visitors with hot tea and tortas fritas (fresh baked bread) and allow them tour the facility as well as the El Calafate Creek. They have even set up a wine tasting area at a point overlooking the incredible Patagonian landscape. Afterwards, there is a sheep herding demonstration, with dogs, and sheep shearing. The day ends with a typical Patagonian dinner and a show. You will stay the night at the El Calafate.

Day 2: El Calafate

Breakfast in the hotel

Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion-9 hours
80 kilometers from Calafate, the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the largest in the world and the number one attraction in 600,000 ha, ice-covered Glacier National Park, rises grandly into the heavens. You will venture into this area of Patagonia-Andean forest, with the destination being the “Curva de los Suspiros” (literally, the curve of sighs), where you will catch your first glimpse of this massive body of ice. Afterwards, you will go to the passarelles (footbridges), walking along them to different locations with panoramic views of this wonder of nature and watching up close as different sized chunks of ice break off and fall, hearing the thunderous sound they make hitting the water, and then simply watching them turn into icebergs.

Option 1: Minitrekking. 80 kilometers from Calafate, the Perito Moreno Glacier, the only one in motion in the ice-covered Glacier National Park, rises grandly into the heavens. Taking ship at Bajo las Sombras Bay, you will sail for 20 minutes heading for the Canal de los Témpanos and the southern wall of the glacier. There you disembark and walk along the lakeshore to the glacier for something unforgettable: hiking on the great ice mass for 1.5 hours, wearing crampons, and looking for different ice formations, like cracks, seracs, drains, and small ponds. On the way back, you will pass by an amazing Magellanic forest, sail through the Canal de los Tempanos, and disembark at an observation point with footbridges, walking along them to different locations with panoramic views of this wonder of nature and watching up close as different sized chunks of ice break off and fall, hearing the thunderous sound they make hitting the water, and then simply watching them turn into icebergs. Age: 10 – 65 years old. From August to May, approximately.

Option 2: Nautical Safari. The ideal complement to the trip by land to Perito Moreno Glacier, an adventure that brings you face to face with nature. At Bajo de las Sombras Bay, 7 km from the glacier footbridges, you board the boat that takes you on Lake Rico, where you will be able to see huge chunks of ice fall from the sides of this ice giant. You will sail to the southern end of the Canal de los Témpanos, 300 m from the southern wall, and walk around this area for approximately 1 hour.Box lunch or lunch at the Nativos Restaurant – the only restaurant inside the national park.*** If you choose the minitrekking excursion, you will have to take the box lunch.

Lodging at the El Calafate

Day 3: El Calafate

Breakfast at the hotel

Trekking: Upsala Glacier + 4x4 + Trekking Cañadon de los Fosiles (Fossil Canyon) + Estancia Cristina (ranch)-11 hours. Floating icebergs and impressive landscapes: an unforgettable experience with nature. At Punta Bandera, 50 km from El Calafate, board a modern and comfortable vessel to enjoy the best views of the western face of Upsala Glacier, the second largest in South America.

Next, disembark at Estancia Cristina, visiting the old shearing shed that is now a museum. Then comes an off road trip, nearly 10 km on a mountainous road, crossing a beautiful area of surprising geological formations. Last stop is the Cañadon de los Fosiles for something very few people will get to do: explore the final resting place of ocean wildlife and discovering the immense number of fossils scattered about the area.Lodging in the El Calafate

Day 4: El Calafate

Breakfast in the hotel

Transfer from the hotel to the El Calafate International Airport.

All of our adventure programs are inspired by destinations that evoke mystery and are charged with mystical energy. Our brand, Liv, Condor Travel is always on the lookout for the best routes on each journey.


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