All you need to know about Patagonia, Argentina
Welcome folks to a Patagonia / El Calafate, Argentina post! This post won’t be your average post with a define category of “tips” or “what to do’s”, but a mixture of both really as I don’t really know how to divide everything amongst them. So let’s just call this post an “All you need to know” about the stunning Patagonia in Argentina!
Anyway, without further ado, here’s a bunch of things you should know about Patagonia, Argentina!
Patagonia / El Calafate
El Calafate is a small little town where most, if not all, tourists stay in when visiting Patagonia. It’s an hour away from Perito Moreno. El Calafate is a stunning and extremely safe town, where you can walk at any hour without any worries. You can literally walk across the town! So you don’t really need a vehicular transportation to get to places. However, there are some taxis available at your disposal, but you do need to call them ahead to come.
There aren’t loads of things to do there, but there are your local souvenir shops on Avenue de Libertador. You can purchase locally made house decor, as well as their famous El Calafate berry which legend has it, if you try it, you’ll return once again to El Calafate! Oh, and last but not least, their famous Matte tea! Locals drink this instead of coffee, and they literally drink it all the time, all day long. They make it from local leaves, and they love to share it amongst each other.
Odds are for you to be visiting Patagonia/El Calafate, you’re there to see the spectacular icebergs. And let me cut to the chase and tell you that up front, the icebergs are unreal. They’re much more bigger, prettier and well, surreal than your brain can fathom. I was in utter awe watching Perito Moreno iceberg rupturing right in front of my eyes! Fun fact, Perito Moreno remains one of the main icebergs in the world that advances, rather than retreating. All the while you can see it (and hear it) rupturing!
It is of course one of the greatest main tourist attractions of Patagonia/El Calafate, and so odds are, the Los Glaciares National Park will be packed. Even if you go early in the morning, or later in the afternoon, the crowd is inevitable. So just enjoy the spectacular view with the rest of the world who’s seeking to enjoy one of the world’s wonders!
Upsala is most probably the second most famous iceberg in Patagonia located in the eastern side of the Southern Patagonian ice field. Although not as easy to get to, it is totally worth the visit. You take a guided touristy boat there, that is approximately a half day long trip, and get to see all sorts of glaciers and icebergs as you sail amid through the Glacier National Park.
The thing is that you can’t really get up close and personal to Upsala, as it’s really not safe for boats to approach it. The glacier keeps retreating rapidly (#GlobalWarming), and can thus cause an unsafe environment. It is kind of a bummer as you only see it from afar, I have to be honest.
If you have an option of deciding whether you should visit Upsala via boat or take a day long hike on an actual glacier, I cannot stress it enough, opt in for the hike. Granted you need to be in shape (-ish), and it is tiring, but it’s most definitely the only thing I regretted not doing. I’ve heard so many good things about this experience! There’s a small trekking tour available on Perito Moreno, or even a kayaking tour around it – just do it, ok?
The way to the heart is through the tummy, right? The food in El Calafate/Patagonia was surprisingly really, really good! As previously mentioned, there aren’t so many things to do in this little town, but they most certainly do have their fair share of tasty restaurants.
Isabel “Cocina Al Disco”
Isabel “Cocina Al Disco” restaurant is in the heart of Avenue de Libertador, and they have typical local dishes such as their famous lamb plough. It doesn’t sound very appealing to some, but do yourself a favour and try it. The lamb in Patagonia is famous because of its superb quality as well as its softness. Although I avoid eating meat, I tried it as I felt that I should and it was really good! You should also try the local Patagonian beer – and of course, it’s super ice cold.
La Tablita restaurant holds a fancier scene, and you may need to book in advance to reserve. Odds are, you won’t have to, but it’s safer to do so. They offer a wide array of choices on their menu, but once again, their lamb dishes are what they’re known for. La Tablita is considered if not the best, amongst the best restaurants in El Calafate, hosting famous chef’s during various occasions. I can’t really brag about the staff there though.
Mako is another well known restaurant in El Calafate, and most locals were boasting about its food. Although falls on the pricier side of dining, it is a great place to eat if you’re a meat lover for sure. It has a more fine dining vibe, so if you’re feeling a little frisky and have a few more bucks to spend, I’m sure you’d love Mako!
That’s all folks! Thanks for reading my Patagonian post, and I hope it has helped you in planning your next trip to Argentina!
To read more about Argentina and South America, click here!