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El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier - Photo: Jorge González
The beautiful City of El Calafate
is the access to the fascinating world of Los Glaciares National Park.
El Calafate lies 316 kilometers away from Río Gallegos, capital of the Province of Santa Cruz, and it has been named after the small bush called calafate
, typical of southern Patagonia, which bears an ideal fruit to make jam.
On the border of the Patagonian steppe, the village is an important tourist destination that has become worldwide famous in the last few years. Most circuits towards the glaciers, especially, the well-known Perito Moreno Glacier, start in the town.
Its luxurious hotels, its new and functional cabins and its typical restaurants where the Patagonian lamb is the great protagonist, have turned El Calafate into one worth visiting world destination.
The calving of the Perito Moreno and the possibility to sail close to it in order to watch its walls from a close distance, or walk on it by hiring a hiking tour have lured visitors from all over the world.
The weather at El Calafate is mainly dry. The average temperature in the summer is 19º C and -2º C in the winter. The daylight hours vary according to season, as in the summer, the sun rises at 5:30am and it does not get dark until 11pm. In the winter, however, there are only 8 hours of sunlight.
Los Glaciares National Park occupies an area of about 500 thousand hectares and 47 glaciers start at this large ice field. Marconi, Viedma, Moyano, Upsala, Agassiz, Bolado, Onelli, Peineta, Spegazzini, Mayo, Ameghino, Moreno and Frías are some of the most important.
El Calafate International Airport offers non-stop flights to cities like Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Ushuaia, Puerto Madryn, Trelew and Puerto Natales, to name a few, and it is located 23 kilometers away from the city center.