El Calafate, a small town located on the border between the Santa Cruz plateau and the Andes, is the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier.
The tour of the region begins with this small town in the southwestern province of Santa Cruz, on the southern shore of Lake Argentino. Its main economic activity is the tourism industry, constantly expanding due to its proximity to the Perito Moreno Glacier.
El Calafate was founded on December 7, 1927, but its growth only began after the 40s, with the establishment of Glacier National Park.
El Calafate has all the necessary services to cater to a large tourist demand. There are 5 * hotels from international level, through warm and comfortable inns to campsites with all the services that can be exploited during the summer.
Its name comes from a typical southern Patagonian giant bush calafate, who was in one of the oldest houses in the village. The caulk has yellow flowers in spring and summer purple fruits. According to tradition, whoever eats this fruit will always return to Patagonia!
A tour of El Calafate
Located in El Calafate is easy. Libertador Avenue divides the town in two: one part in this avenue and Lake Argentino and another toward the south to the slopes of the neighboring hills.
All activity takes place on the main avenue: there, along about 600 meters, there are the shops, the eateries, travel agencies, business souvenirs and regional products, and everything necessary for tourists.
The tour begins by the oldest streets of the town, where the pioneering buildings, bricks and adobe houses, which retain their original appearance. In this environment highlights the Administration of National Parks, a building declared Municipal Historical Monument.
After a stroll through the surrounding fields lets you see how fine fruit, a typical production of Patagonia are grown.
Finally, a little further away, you can find Walichu Caves, where archaeological traces of the first inhabitants of the region are. They are natural caves that were used by prehistoric men.
You can also take a tour of the Paseo coast that borders the Bahía Redonda. It is the place chosen by the locals to walk and enjoy the view of the lake during the summer months. And it’s also access to the frozen bay, where ice skating is practiced during the winter months.
Note that although El Calafate is a small town, is very long, so you may need to take a taxi or remise to get downtown.
The climate in El Calafate
In El Calafate the weather is cold and dry, with only 300 mm. annual rainfall. But in the National Park, located farther west, where the Perito Moreno Glacier, the rains are abundant (1500 mm per year).
It is located at a latitude equivalent to the City of London, in the northern hemisphere.
Several special conditions provide it with a much more benign than the Patagonian plateau part microclimate: located on Lake Argentino, on a slope facing north and protected by a growing cared grove at neighbors. The climate is dry and temperatures range from a high of 20 ° C in summer and a low of -3 ° C in winter.
Day length varies greatly depending on the season: in summer you can enjoy 17 hours of daylight in winter and the shortest day comes to 8 hours of light. In the area of glaciers the weather turns
more wet and cold from the ice makes a difference to the climate of the city.
Remember this data to build your luggage.
Similarly, in the main street there are several rooms in which you. You can rent clothes for snow or extreme cold.