Category Archives: El Calafate

OFF THE BEATEN PATHS AT LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK

A unique trekking experience on real off the beaten paths to have the glacial landscape all to yourself!


We know that El Calafate and its main attractions during the peak season can be collapsed with people, complicating the access and transit of visitors. That’s why we found this exclusive trekking tour in remote places of Los Glaciares National Park. Ideal to combine with the stay at the Nibepo Aike Patagonian ranch and to offer an original activity to customers who enjoy off the beaten path experiences.

We travel the route, we sail on two different boats, we walk through Patagonian forests and glacial valleys, to reach the end of the journey in front of an incredible lake covered with icebergs, overlooking the Dickson, Cubo and Grande glaciers; all this in a virtually desolate natural environment, where we will rarely meet someone.

In groups of no more than 15 people, the excursion includes the transfer from the hotels starting at 8:00 am. After 60 km, we arrive at Los Pioneros boarding, in the southern part of the Los Glaciares National Park.

We sail for an hour and disembark at the end of the South Arm where we begin the first 2-kilometer trek to Lake Frias, which we navigate in Zodiac boats. When disembarking on the opposite bank, the second trekking of 4.5 kilometers begins, going through a forest with centuries-old lenga trees, and then through an old glacier valley. We walk until we reach the Superior Lake Frias, which is covered with icebergs. From here we can see the Dickson, Cubo and Grande glaciers.

To complete the adventure, we rest for a while and have the box lunch on this beach with amazing views and then return on the same path and navigations to Nibepo Aike port. Return to the city of El Calafate, or to the Nibepo Aike ranch to complement the glacier experience.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Includes: Spanish/English bilingual trekking guide. Roundtrip transfers, box lunch and entrance fee to the National Park.
  • Not included: Tips or any other extra costs.
  • Operation: From October 1st to April 30th.
  • Duration: Full day – from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
  • Difficulty: Moderate. Trekking paths are on irregular terrain.
  • Max. 15 people + guide.

 

HOMEMADE FOOD & WARMTH IN EL CALAFATE

An unforgettable dinner in a warm homey atmosphere. Enjoy a regional homemade meal made with love, between talks and laughs, feeling at home.


The evening’s host is Gabo, who says that what he likes most is to receive visitors; enjoy their company, long chats, mates, walks, and of course, food. His passion is to cook for his guests with love, time and dedication, honoring the popular saying “the kitchen is the heart of the home”.

Gabo welcomes you at his cozy cabin to cook and make you feel at home with the aroma of homemade food, chatting and sharing a drink. He proposes to know El Calafate in a different way, knowing its people and places from the point of view of a local person while sharing a dinner listening to good music and making new friends. 

This experience will take you to savor homemade food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with dishes made with regional products, accompanied by wines selected from Argentine and Patagonian wineries that respect the aromas and flavors in a harmonious and pleasant way to the palate.

The dinner proposal includes a welcome drink, entrance, main course, dessert and drinks. It has two fixed menus; a “traditional” one, based on regional cuisine and adapting the raw material of the area in an unforgettable journey of flavors; and the other “vegetarian” menu, designed so that those who opt for this type of food in which most of the ingredients used are selected from local organic farms can also enjoy this experience.

At a large table with a maximum of 12 people, you can taste the delicacies that Gabo cooks in his own kitchen while talking with him and with all the guests, appealing to the principles of the house: enjoy life, feel at home, cook with love and make new friends.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • The 3-step menus are fixed (may vary) and must be chosen at the time of booking. Please, ask for an alternative dessert dish should the diner request it.
  • Current Traditional menu: Entrance: Zucchini cream soup. / Main course: Braised lamb with mustard with wedge potatoes. / Dessert: Cheesecake with calafate ice cream or white chocolate brownie with semi bitter chocolate ice cream. / Drinks: Mineral water + soft drink or menu upgrade with ½ bottle of Saurus Malbec wine.
  • Current Vegetarian Menu: Entrance: Corn cream soup. / Main course: Vegetable au gratin stew. /  Dessert: Cheesecake with calafate ice cream or white chocolate brownie with semi bitter chocolate ice cream. / Drinks: Mineral water + soft drink or menu upgrade with ½ bottle of Saurus Malbec wine.
  • Transfers and wine are not included.

 

Kayaking into the Perito Moreno

We invite you to have a glimpse of a brand new glacial adventure in El Calafate. Paddling a kayak, get as close as you can get to the striking Perito Moreno Glacier.


It’s well known that UNESCO remarks the outstanding universal value of Los Glaciares National Park, including it on the World Heritage list to protect it. On its own words, “an area of exceptional natural beauty”. We couldn’t agree more. Milky grey glacial lakes, imposing mountains, glaciers and icebergs in many hues of blue frame this unique and breathtaking environment, where the cracking of ice is everything you’ll hear.   

The most astonishing sight is – of course – the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier, which calves into the icy waters of the Lake Argentino. Both of these natural attractions are the protagonists of this new kayaking experience, recently launched.

After picking you up from your hotel in El Calafate, we’ll arrive to the National Park around 10 am. You’ll meet the expert team at the base dome, where they’ll explain how the activity will develop.

At the dome you’ll also get dressed for the occasion: you’ll be provided of a Gore-Tex drysuit, thermal suit, boots and gloves, and a life vest. After getting ready, at the lake shore the guides will provide an instructional and safety talk. Don’t worry if you have never been on a kayak before, they’ll explain the basics to paddle on these glacial waters.

Then, you’ll board the kayak at Los Témpanos beach and paddle towards the northern face of the Perito Moreno, located just in front of us. On this quiet realm, at water level,  you will appreciate the magnificence of nature at first hand, a unique perspective of this fascinating and millenary ice wall. Also, the guide that joins you will tell you more about it and the surroundings. And don’t forget about the pictures!

After paddling between rests for an hour and a half, we will return to the dome for some hot beverages and snacks. But the day is not over yet! You will have time until 5 pm to enjoy a lunch box, rest and explore the National Park and contemplate once more the Perito Moreno from the walkway. Then, you will be taken back to your hotel in El Calafate.

This is a one in a lifetime, brand new experience. Never before was it possible to navigate on a kayak across these protected waters and so close to the glacier. You’ll certainly feel lucky to experience it for yourself.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full day service. Pick up from hotel starting at 8 am. Drop off at 6 pm approx.
  • Operates everyday except on June and July.
  • Included: Round-trip transfers from hotels in El Calafate – Kayak equipment and clothing – 1.5 hs of kayaking activity – Lunch box, beverages and snacks – An USB flash drive with pictures of the day.
  • Not included: Entrance fee to the National Park.
  • Min. 2 pax required to book this experience. Max. 20 pax.
  • Min. age required: 14 years old. Children between 14 and 18 years old must be joined by their parents or guardians.
  • No previous kayaking experience required.
  • Medium degree of difficulty.
  • Activity subject to weather conditions.

This experience is also available as a kayaking excursion, without transfers and lunch box. Operates at 10 am and 2 pm. Please, contact your Kallpa Executive for more information and price of this option.

Kayak & Trekking Experience Río La Leona

A 14 km full day adventure to discover the delightful La Leona River and take a hike through Los Hornos Mount. Explore a glacial river surrounded by the Patagonian steppe and learn about geology!


In the Santa Cruz province it is said that Río La Leona is one of the most beautiful rivers in the Patagonian steppe. With a 70 km flow of turquoise waters, this glacial river is born at the Viedma Lake and discharges at the Argentino Lake.

An interesting fact: its name was given due to a female puma attack (colloquially called “leona”, which means lioness) that suffered Francisco Pascasio Moreno, the famous Perito Moreno, on an expedition towards the Santa Cruz River in the summer of 1877.

Surrounded by the most arid steppe, with no trees and framed by a wide tiered valley, La Leona provides the scenery for today’s adventure.

After an early pick up from the hotel in El Calafate, we are driven towards Luz Divina, a rural inn. On the way the guide tells us about this faraway place and the river we are about to navigate. Glaciers, flora and fauna complete a very interesting informative talk.

Once at Luz Divina, we get familiar with the kayak equipment and pay attention to the technical brief to know the paddling basics. Even if you don’t have any previous experience kayaking, this activity can be easily done by anyone!

All equipped and instructed, we finally go down to La Leona River. The first paddling stretch takes about an hour and a half. Until we get used to this activity, which for some is the first time ever to get into a kayak, it’s impossible not to be captivated by this outstanding landscape of natural beauty and geological history; to take in this vast environment where the sound of silence is so overwhelming. An untouched scenery that many years ago astonished explorers such as Darwin or Moreno with the contrast of the ocher steppe and the turquoise glacial waters.

The next stop is at Los Hornos Mount, one of the oldest formations in the world. At this mount we take a 2 hs hike discovering the beginnings of Patagonian geography. Petrified trees and dinosaur fossils are witnesses of ancient times where the Earth’s conditions and weather were very different than nowadays.

At this place we will also have a brief lunch (not included) and a hot tea to regain energies for the next paddling stretch.

Back again on our kayaks, after 45 minutes more navigating through La Leona, we reach the final stop of the adventure at Arroyo Turbio. We are welcomed at Estancia La Irene and after settling in and putting away the kayak gear, the team bids farewell with a delicious cold beer before returning to El Calafate.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Daily departures. Full day excursion.
  • Operates from October to April.
  • Requires Min. 1 pax – Max. 8 pax.
  • Min. age required is 12 years old.
  • Very active excursion. Implies moderate physical effort. No previous trekking or kayaking experience needed.
  • Pax should wear trekking shoes, comfortable clothes for paddling (thermal t-shirt, polar jacket or sweater, etc.), thermal or lycra leggins, additional underwear (in case it gets wet while kayaking), sunglasses and sunscreen, backpack or bag to keep personal items in the vehicle.

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • Calafate Hotels pick up (starts at 7:30 am) & drop off (4:30 pm). Can be arranged to and from airport depending on flight schedule.
  • Double Kayak and paddles.
  • Safety briefing & Technical equipment: neoprene suit and boots, semi-dry jacket, cockpit cover, helmet, mittens, life jacket, waterproof bag.
  • Bilingual guides (Spanish-English)
  • Snack (hot drinks, cookies or brownies, nuts).
  • Insurance pack for tourism activities.

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Box lunch.
  • Transfers from/to El Chaltén.