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Help with itinerary!

Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
6 posts
16 reviews
Help with itinerary!

We will be spending 4 days in El Calafate (couple with 2 tweens) in January. I have already picked activities for 3 days: 1. perito moreno with boat safari, 2. minitrekking, 3. boat tour of the glaciers.

First, should we skip the boat safari on the first day since we are doing minitrekking on day 2??? Is it the same?

Additionally, we need help with the 4th day!! What is the next must-see? I thought of going to a estancia for horseback riding, but to which one? Or should it be a 4X4? Or something else???

Please help! We don't like "touristicky" and prefer more authentic places. Thanks!

7 replies to this topic
San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3 329 posts
65 reviews
1. Re: Help with itinerary!

Hi -- I'm not sure where you are coming from or going to afterwards or what your mean by boat tours and glacier treks. However, we spent three nights in El Calafate with our teen daughters.

Day 1 -- We arrived in the early afternoon had lunch and visited the Glaciarium. Expensive, but interesting.

Day 2 -- we took the full day mini trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier with Hielo y Aventura, which i believe is the only tour operator approved to go on the glacier. This included round trip bus ride, looking at the glacier from various walkways, a boat to hike launch point where you get an excellent close view of the glacier from the water, approximately 40 minutes trekking the glacier and the return. We brought our own picnic lunch. This is a 10-hour day.

Day 3 -- we took the Estancia Cristina 4x4 Discovery tour. This is a 2-hour boat ride to the remote estancia (a historic site and not a working estancia), a tour of the estancia, a delicious lunch at the farmhouse, and a 4x4 ride and then short trek to see the Upsala Glacier and the Andes range. This is a 13-hour day. The boat ride is comfortable and beautiful, but bring a book and cards.

Day 4 -- we departed in the late morning. If we had another night we would have rented a car and driven to El Chalten to hike and spend the night there and then returned for an afternoon flight out of El Calafate. But, there were fossil trek and horseback riding tours etc if you want to stay in the El Calafate area.

Edited: 18 October 2018, 03:03
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
6 posts
16 reviews
2. Re: Help with itinerary!

Dear ClaireJourneys, thank you for sending your itinerary. We will do the same minitrekking with Hielo y Aventura. Do you know if the boat piece of the minitrekking tour is the same as the boat safari that Hielo y Aventura also offers separately? Would it be worth doing both in separate days? Thank you!

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
694 posts
306 reviews
3. Re: Help with itinerary!

I think the answer is yes and that both are the same, but I would check with Hielo Y Aventura as they are the operator. The boat trip to the glacier is excellent. Wear something warm with a hoody as it can be very windy and the closer to the glacier you get the colder it is. The boat floats mostly in the same spot and turns around a bit to give everybody the opportunity to take pictures. I haven't seen ice break off while on the boat, but we did see (and HEAR) it a few times when we did the trail on land. Be ready with your camera as it happens sudden.

Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
6 posts
16 reviews
4. Re: Help with itinerary!

Thank you HCovik for the info!

Any additional suggestions for our fourth day? Insights on the differences among each of the estancias, for example, would be really helpful! Thank you!!

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3 329 posts
65 reviews
5. Re: Help with itinerary!

The mini trek includes the boat ride. Do not book a separate boat ride. This is for people who want to see the glacier from the water but don't want to trek.

California
Level Contributor
3 454 posts
156 reviews
6. Re: Help with itinerary!

Hello. You can see Tripadvisor reviews of Estancia Cristina and Estancia 25 de Mayo:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

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https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

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For something totally different than visits to glaciers and boat trips, you can visit the La Leona area about half-way between El Calafate and El Chalten (this is where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out from the law). You can go on a trekking tour or a tour that includes horseback riding and rafting.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

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Some people use agencies like Patagonia Chic for 4x4 trips, trekking, horseback riding or ziplining in the Cerro Frias area:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

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You can walk around Laguna Nimez on the outskirts of El Calafate to see the birds (binoculars will help):

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

You won’t run out of things to do in the El Calafate area! Good luck.

Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
6 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: Help with itinerary!

Thank you so much, CaliforniaElizabeth! This is great info!

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