Los Glaciares National Park
El Calafate Travel Blog› entry 57 of 84 › view all entries
As disappointing of a town as El Calafate is, the sight of massively sprawling Perito Moreno glacier nestled between snow capped peaks certainly makes up for it. There is, in fact, nothing to do in El Calafate, except shop in touristy overpriced stores or eat in touristy overpriced restaurants and maybe visit the absurdly garrish casino on the main street. It has a decent location on a nice lake but without the glacier some 80km away it probably wouldn´t exist. Apparently they are trying to be environmentally conscious so they have outlawed plastic bags at the grocery stores so you have to bring your own stuff to carry things in or else they give you a cardboad box. And at least there are public buses that go out to the glacier so that you aren´t forced to take a tour to get there.
Taking the bus gives you about four hours or so at the glacier and after walking the few paths I decided to walk down the road towards the lake to get a different view.
After arriving back into town I obviously had nothing to do and after browsing around the shops and looking at postcards and not being able to tell if the pictures were from Torres del Paine or El Chalten, I decided to skip El Chalten in part because it looked very similar and also because of the difficult bus times, with buses only leaving at 7:30 or 8am from El Calafate and return buses only coming back at 6pm from El Chalten and arriving at 10:30pm, that and the additional 8-9 hours of bus travel on top of the 40 hours it would take to get to Buenos Aires from El Calafate were enough for me.