El Calafate, the most amazing Glaciar ever!!
El Calafate Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
Rio Gallegos 10.30 am
After 19 hours on a bus from Puerto Madryn, stopping several times on the way for God knows reasons, I finally got to Rio Gallegos.
First advice. If you ever try to make it to get a connection from Rio gallegos to Ushuaia having about 30 mins between the buses, don´t!!!
Buses are always delayed and you are garanteed to miss it. Instead, it could be a second option to just get outside the bus terminal and just get to a huge Carefurr and buy some food or whatever else you may need, and try to kill time.. you will most certainly have between 2 to 4 hours wait at the terminal.
My brilliant idea was to get to the town centre. Crap! Just a few shops on the main road and about 15 mins walk from the terminal. Rio Gallegos is very windy, and if you are lucky enough it won´t rain ( I wasn´t).
Again, one of the companies you can use from Puerto Madryn to Rio Gallegos is Don Otto, but also Via Tac, or Andesmar. Most companies will go.
Rio Gallegos- El Calafate 1.30-5.30 pm
Now, the hassle is more than worth it.
There are many companies going from Rio Gallegos to El Calafate, Interlagos is one of them. They normally know about the buses and that´s why they never leave before 12pm. Mine was at 1.30pm. The best thing is to seat on the right side of the bus to get the best views. As you enter the area, you will see the amazing Lago Argentino, it stretches for Kms and its turquaise water is just out of this world.
When you get to El calafate, you will see a lot of coloured chalets along the way, kind of a mountain village. I found it very cosy, although it is just turistic, and all you see is plenty of travel agencies, banks, souvenir shops, one supermarket, and many handcraft shops.
There is a nice walk along the river, not far from the town centre, where you can spend the morning, and take pictures to flamingos and some other birds.
Other than this, all you have really left to do here is The Perito Moreno Glaciar. WOW! I do not have words to describe it, and not even the pictures pay justice to it, although they can give a very good idea. You will find yourself walking around the paths feeling soo small in front of nature wonders. Something you will never forget.
There are a couple of companies that will organize tours to the glaciar, and include the boat trip, but I think is just a waste of money. You can do mostly every tour on your own.
The bus from El Calafate to the glaciar takes about 1.5 hours and goes either in the morning or afternoon, leaving you 4 hours time to get around the paths.
The entrance to the park is $40 and as always, is never included in any tour.
I would suggest you to get the afternoon bus, as the light changes and you will get different colours. Also, if you are not booking a tour you have the flexibility of chhosing the right weather, which is very important!!
Once you have seen the Glaciar, there is not much to do. With an excursion you can also do a Mini trekking on the Glaciar, that will cost yu around $520...including whiskey on the Glaciar( probably the cheapest on the market)...
Going now to El Chalten...3.5 hours from El Calafate, heading North.