El Calafate in Patagonia, Argentina, is ultimate glacier experience. The town is close to Lake Argentino, a green water surface covering 1,600 square km, with a length of 60 km and a width between 12 and 14 km. Calafate receives its name from a small bush named calafate, which is native of Patagonia. According to tradition, whoever eats calafate will return for more, and reality shows that who visits El Calafate wants to stay there forever. It is a tourist resort of both national and international importance, since it is the starting point of all glacier circuits.
There are lots of excursions at El Calafate, but I definitely one of the most recommend is the Trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier. You have two options: The Minitrekking (available even for children) or The Big Ice Excursion (for the most adventurers). The latter offers to tour around and get way deep into the superb ice mass; this tour of course is suitable only for the most adventurous and, obviously, for those who are in good physical shape, as it involves a long ice trek around a number of rocky areas, as well as the handling of harnesses.
Eating out in El Calafate is also an experience. Besides the Design Restó of Design Suites Calafate and the Ariskaiken Restaurant of Kosten Aike Hotel, a favorite is the Casimiro Buiga Restaurant located downtown in Av Libertador 963. This stylish eatery and vinoteca (wine bar) offers an impressive list of 180 Argentine wines. The chef creates wonderful homemade pastas, risottos, lamb stew and grilled trout, but the top is the grill.
For those who love local handicrafts, the “Pueblo Indio” and “Mercado Artesanal” are what you’re looking for. You can also buy delicious chocolates with the shape of Sheep at Ovejitas de la Patagonia, located downtown as well.
For more information about Calafate, visit www.welcomeargentina.com