Important information about El Calafate

How’s the weather?

The climate of this area is cold and dry, with average temperatures of 2 ° in winter and 18 ° in summer; the rains are scarce, mainly rains during the fall, and not exceed 300 mm. annually.

El Calafate general travel information

The town of El Calafate is located on the southern shore of Lake Argentino, 315 km. Rio Gallegos, capital of the Province. of Santa Cruz, and 80 km. the entrance to Los Glaciares National Park.
Located on a steppe landscape, surprises visitors the breadth of his views, the turquoise of Lake Argentino and the vegetation of a desert area.
Going through El Calafate is prior to visit Los Glaciares National Park forced, as it is the last inhabited place before admission to it. Its infrastructure is dedicated to providing tourist services, with a wide choice of hotels, transfers and tours, local cuisine and sale of regional products and crafts from around the country.
This site emerged as hostel carts, in the days when this area was inhabited only in order to raise cattle sheep for their wool marketing. Over time, international wool prices did little interesting this business, and the town lost its reason for being. In 1938 the area south of the continental ice field was declared a National Park. Thereafter this site began to be visited by travelers from around the world, and El Calafate was oriented to providing more and better services for tourists. You can learn more about the place in History and Legends
The place name is due to bush formerly occupied the area, it is a plant typical of the steppe, in the spring it is covered with showy yellow flowers, and its fruit is of the family of berberys, very small and dark violet. Visitors can currently know it through handmade sweets and liqueurs. An old Tehuelche legend concludes that «testing the caulk, come back!»

When does the season start?

High season
It starts in October, culminating in after Easter. During this period the days have more light hours, allowing you to better enjoy hiking and outdoor time. If you plan to visit at this time we recommend to book their accommodation well in advance, because they are still scarce hotel rooms. The temperature range is higher, so you’ll need cool clothing during the day and warm for the night and excursions to the glaciers.
Low season
It starts after Easter and runs until September. The days are shorter this time and cold, but the main glacier tours take place anyway. Generally the days are sunny and less windy, and during the months of May, June and July can enjoy, if Redonda Bay, a few afternoons ice skating outdoors, with the possibility to rent skates freezes. Moreover some of the hotels, restaurants and other businesses usually close for holidays or reforms, which we suggest you also make reservations in advance.

What is the distance between El Calafate and the glacier?

The town of El Calafate is located on the southern shore of Lake Argentino, 80 km. Glacier Perito Moreno and other glaciers.

What time do shops open?

Hours vary minimally between the high and low seasons, but most services are available between 10 am and 22 pm. As usual in almost all locations within the country, some businesses tend to close between 13 and 16 to enjoy the break in between.

What is the common currency?

The Argentine peso, plus US dollars are accepted in some shops and services offered, and in some cases also accept Chilean pesos.

How do I change money?

El Calafate has banks for currency exchange. Banking hours are from 8 to 13 hours.

How and cell phones work?

In El Calafate has basic telephony provided by the Telephone Cooperative Calafate Ltda. (CoTeCal), whose service depends on Telefonica de Argentina SA
Regarding Mobile Telephony, works within the urban area of ​​El Calafate, it also features signal the airport area and in the area of ​​Perito Moreno Glacier.
It has Internet. Most hotels offer these services to its guests.
Dialing feature is 02902 El Calafate and Argentina’s 0054

What do I do if I have an emergency?

Hotels can call any of the medical services, police or fire emergency. Check with your service medical travel assistance which are available to professionals in our area and their specialty.
The local hospital has qualified Medical Clinic, Pediatrics, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Orthopedics, General Surgery, Trauma, Cardiology, Anesthesiology, General Medicine with ambulances and vehicles for ground transportation as well with qualified staff for air transportation services.
Useful Phone Numbers: Hospital: 107
TMS – Telemedicine – Emergencies – Consultations On Line: 867

What can I buy local products?

The products that distinguish us are: Dulce de Calafate, Calafate Liqueur, handmade chocolates. There are several shops that we recommend to go to know to buy their souvenirs or souvenirs.

Top  tours

  • Perito Moreno glacier
  • El Chalten
  • Rivers of ice
  • Torres de Paine
  • Balconies El Calafate
  • Safari nautical
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