El Calafate Travel Blog› entry 17 of 87 › view all entries
To get to El Calafate from Ushuaia I decided to take the bus, you can fly quickly and directly but this was a bit out of my price range. The buses that go direct to El Calafate dont work to great times as you will arrive there at 2am. I decided to take an alternative route so I took a bus back to Punta Arenas in Chile, then another 3 hour bus to Puerto Natales. I stayed there one night and the next morning took a 7.30am bus to El Calafate. This bus is only 5 hours long so I arrived at a much better hour of the day.
In El Calafate I stayed in the America Del Sur hostel, which costs $40 AR a night in a dorm. The hostel was full of really nice friendly staff. I felt very relaxed here, as they have amazing views out onto the lake. Every night they cook an all you can eat BBQ for $50 AR which looks amazing. Unfortunitely my budget couldnt stretch to it with all the other activities going on but Im told it was worth it.
The one reason to come to El Calafate is to see glaciers. And boy are they impressive. I went on an organised trip to go and see the Glacier Moreno as it was only $10 AR more than going by myself. During some times of the year you can pay to go on a glacier walk. While I was there it was just closing for the winter season. Im told it was a great experience but that trip costs over $300 AR so I took a pass on it. Just seeing the glacier was enough for me. The glacier is so beautiful.
The bus I was on took us into the national park, again you have to pay additional money for entry ($60 AR for two days entry). Then gives you the option of going on a boat ride (again extra money, I think $50 AR). Everyone of my bus went so I felt obligated to go as well. The boat ride is nice as you get close to the glacier but not necessary as afterwards the bus drives you round to another part of the glacier where you can see the glacier amazingly.
The glacier feels like it alive with it constant noises and chunks falling off. Its very impressive when you see a large chunk drop into the water so stick around and just watch the glacier for a while.
I really like the town of El Calafate so the next day I decided to do nothing but walk around. Alot of people go to visit Chalten on the second day to get use out of their national park tickets and to see some more glaciers. But this is a 6 hour round trip on a bus, or rental car so I decided to give it a miss. My next stop after El Calafate is to Bariloche which is a 29 hour bus ride so I needed to get some exercise walking while I could!