Only 320 kilometers (199 miles) away from Rio Gallegos, capital of the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz and known as the “National Capital of Glaciers”, the city of El Calafate is one of the most important attractions both for local and international tourism in Argentina.
The city took its name at the beginning of the 20th century, when travelers stopped to rest by the lakes and streams along the road, seeking shelter from the wind behind big bushes called “calafates” by cart drivers. Amado Guillén built an adobe hut in one of those posts in 1913 and later that year Spanish immigrants opened an inn and a general store. This small settlement turned into “El Calafate”.
The city has an international airport, and offers a variety of accommodation and restaurants, day trips and comforts for the different type of needs and travels.
The following are among the most exciting excursions: La Leona Petrified Woods, riding to the Roca Lake, 4x4 crossings, and flights over El Chalten, Fitz Roy Hill, Huemul and Condor Lake. Other interesting options include: visiting the glaciers Moreno Spegazzini, Upsala, Onelli, and taking a tour to Los Glaciares National Park.
The different sights of the Perito Moreno Glacier -one of the world biggest drinkable water natural reserves- represent a unique beauty offered by the Argentine nature.