The gateway town to Patagonia’s blue Perito Moreno Glacier and Los Glaciares National Park, El Calafate is also a resort destination bordering Lake Argentino. Birdwatchers flock here to watch the lake fill with flamingos, while wannabe gauchos go cantering beside the water.
Day 1: El Calafate Canter
Spend the day relaxing and getting to know El Calafate, capital of Argentina’s glacier country. As you take a stroll through the heart of town, you’ll notice the locals are deservedly proud of their well-kept gardens and the colorful blooms that thrive in this temperate climate. Hire a horse for a leisurely gallop, and as dusk falls, head to Nimez Lagoon to watch the birds’ nightly arrival at the famous wetlands. Round off the evening by ordering local specialties like grilled venison or beef at one of El Calafate’s many restaurants.
Day 2: Go Glacial
Next day, the soaring icy walls of Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park await. Take a guided walk along pathways to the glacier face, for breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-covered mountains. Safely ensconced on the panoramic catwalk of a nearby peninsula, you’ll be surrounded by icy peaks soaring 60m (197 feet) above you. The air fills with the thunder and crash of shifting icebergs and jagged chunks of ice are propelled from the glacier, as you experience first-hand one of the planet’s most active icefields!
Day 3: Torres del Paine
Cross over into Chile for the day to spend time amongst the granite pillars, turquoise lakes and jagged peaks of Torres del Paine National Park. This spectacularly scenic day trip combines a scenic drive through the Patagonian country of both Argentina and Chile, taking in the waterfalls of Salto Grande, panoramic lookouts and glacier-ringed lakes.