Updated: May 11
“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world” -Gustave Flaubert
This is precisely how you will feel after spending some days in Patagonia.
With beautiful steppes and intriguing desserts, imposing glacial fjords, fascinating mountains, and turquoise lakes. It is easy to fall in love with Patagonia.
Patagonia is a breathtaking work of nature that will quickly become one of your favorite places on Earth. A place you will undoubtedly fall in love with.
Patagonia has many places to visit, but I wanted to use this blog post to highlight two of my favorite destinations for your Patagonia Argentina Itinerary: El Calafate and El Chalten.
I’ve been 3 times to El Calafate and El Chalten, and I’ve seen, eaten, and experienced some incredible things!
For your next trip to Patagonia, here are the things I recommend to include in El Calafate and El Chalten that will make the best Argentina Patagonia Itinerary.
Navigate to where you want to go:
1,2 Top Things to do
2.2 Top Things to do
Patagonia Argentina Itinerary: El Calafate
Being that El Calafate is in the heart of Patagonia, with an international airport that connects this important tourist hub with the rest of this remote region, and that it is home to South America’s most famous glacier, Perito Moreno Glacier, it’s an absolute must-visit on your Patagonia adventure.
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and the central hub from which to travel to El Calafate. The town was named after the Calafate shrub that has yellow flowers and navy blue berries. The berries are used in local cuisine (mostly jams), and according to a legend, whoever eats them will return to Patagonia.
WHERE TO STAY
When visiting El Calafate, I recommend spending a couple of nights at Eolo Lodge. The luxury lodge lies sheltered in a 10,000-acre estate rewarded with unforgettable views from every turn. located halfway between the city of El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park. Leaving El Calafate and driving into the wilderness to Eolo is an experience in itself.
Eolo is a Relais & Chateaux hotel, and the fresh, beautifully presented food that mixes international techniques with the Patagonian touch is among the top experiences in the world!
When at Eolo, I highly recommend taking the wine tasting that is included with Eolo's knowledgeable sommelier. Delight yourself with exquisite Argentine Malbec Wines!
TOP THINGS TO DO
Located in the fascinating Los Glaciares National Park, the Perito Moreno Glacier is a must-see attraction in El Calafate.
Stand in front of the grandness of the Perito Moreno Glacier, and listen to the creaking of the ice as it moves and the crashing sound when parts of it fall into the lake, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
For the most adventurous travelers, one of the best ways to experience the Perito Moreno is with a Glacier Trek, a memorable walk in the middle of the Perito Moreno.
But, there is more than the Perito Moreno Glacier, at Los Glaciares National. Seeing the Spegazzini and Upsala Glaciers is another must-do in El Calafate. These glaciers can only be reached by boat.
Visiting an authentic Patagonia Estancia is a must-visit as well. Nibepo Aike is a working Patagonia Estancia within Los Glaciares National Park where you can go Horseback riding, do some trekking , enjoy sheep shearing demonstrations and other farm activities, and taste the most delicious Patagonian Lamp....
Watch my Live Interview on instagram with Juliana Jansma 4th generation of a Croatian family running @nibepo_aike estancia. Don’t miss it! Juliana tells us the amazing story behind this stunning place and Why is a must-visit on your Patagonia Argentina Itinerary.
Patagonia Argentina Itinerary: EL Chalten
Known as one of the most spectacular destinations in Patagonia, a visit to Chalten, Patagonia, is a must. El Chalten is a hotspot for trekkers and adventure seekers. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains, practically sits in the shadow of Mount Fitz Roy and a truly spectacular section of the Andes.
It’s known as the Trekking Capital of Argentina.. But Even beginners can hike here
And have an amazing experience!
From the get-go, the journey from El Calafate to El Chalten is quite an adventure. The town is a 3-hour drive from El Calafate.
WHERE TO STAY
When in El Chalten, be sure to book a stay at Aguas Arriba Lodge. This remote Lodge is an absolutely beautiful intimate treasure, that the owners, Pato and Ivor, share with their guests making you feel like home.
The location of the lodge is is sublime on the shores of Lago del Desierto. It is only accessible by a small boat, after a long drive on gravel roads from El Chalten. the lodge has breathtaking views of the lake, multiple glaciers, and the Fitz Roy.
If you like small, intimate unique lodges, this is for you!
Check out this Instagram post about Kathleen and Scott Argentina Patagonia Itinerary. They traveled from USA to Patagonia and stayed at Aguas Arriba lodge and had a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
TOP THINGS TO DO
There are quite a few things to do in El Chaltén, most of them related to outdoor activities. You can choose from hiking, rafting, and horseback riding to glacier visiting and lake cruising
Hiking is without a doubt the main attraction and one of the best things to do in El Chalten.
Even if you’re not a self-proclaimed trekker, there are many trails for beginners. Some of these hikes are quite easy and can be attempted even by families with small children. Others are longer and more difficult and are great for more seasoned hikers.
OUR LOCAL EXPERTS TIPS FOR YOUR ARGENTINA PATAGONIA ITINERARY
Stay 4 days in El Calafate and 4 days in El Chalten if possible.
Torres del Paine in Chile is very near El Calafate. If you have at least 4 more days I strongly recommend crossing to Chile by land and visiting this park. But don’t Go only for the day from El Calafate as is is too much travel!
IS PATAGONIA ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Doesn’t it feel like there are very few places on Earth that are simultaneously untouched, worth visiting AND safe?
If you are feeling this way… In Patagonia you will find a place that hits all three of those criteria.
Spend a week in Patagonia, and it will quickly skyrocket to one of your top destinations in the world. It's natural scenery, untouched beauty and delicious cuisine are simply unmatched.
I had to pinch myself several times during my stay at Eolo. Between the top-notch service and beautiful views, I found myself asking “is this real life?” quite often. Yes, a trip to Patagonia is expensive, but it’s worth every penny if it means being able to disconnect and enjoy an stress-free life for one week or more. And if you’re already heading to paradise, book a stay at Eolo lodge and Aguas Arriba lodge, where their luxury-boutique service will only enhance the experience.
Have you been to Patagonia yet? If not, how high is it on your list after reading this post? 😉 Trust me, Patagonia will always be in your heart ❤️
If you’re interested in exploring Patagonia, be sure to check out our suggested itineraries here. Or get in touch with us, we can plan and organize a trip for you with all our local insights. Just book your consultation call with us.
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