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car rental at el calafate

washington dc
Level Contributor
1 023 posts
103 reviews
car rental at el calafate

Can somebody recommend a reliable local car rental company to pick up car at airport on Dec 31 at about 5 PM and return on Jan 3 before 5 PM? We plan to drive to Perito moreno glacier and to el chalten.

There are 4 od us. Is it better to rely on buses rather than rent a car (which seems expensive based on kayak)?

Thanks

27 replies to this topic
California
Level Contributor
3 351 posts
156 reviews
1. Re: car rental at el calafate

Hello. I see that National Car Rental has a mid-sized manual car available at the El Calafate airport (FTE) from December 31 at 6 P.M. through January 3 at 6 P.M. (I saw in another post that you may want to drive from El Chalten that day and visit the Perito Moreno glacier that day before you return your rental car at the airport; this 6 P.M. return time would give you enough time for this possibility) for a total of about $360 U.S., including unlimited kilometers. This car would be large enough for a family of 4 and luggage.

Having a rental car allows you greater flexibility since the bus schedules to and from the Perito Moreno glacier are limited (usually leaving in the morning around 8 A.M. and returning during the busy tourist season when you will be there around 4:30 P.M., or the later buses that left last season around 1 or 2 P.M. and returned to El Calafate at about 7:30 P.M.). Since bus schedules in the El Calafate area change during the season, and since you can’t use the bus schedule website www.plataforma10.com to see prices and schedules more than 30 days in advance, it’s hard to say what the Perito Moreno glacier bus schedules will be for late December and early January.

If you are planning to use a bus from El Calafate to El Chalten on December 31, you will need to take a taxi or shuttle to the bus station (maybe 15-20 minutes away) and then see if Chalten Travel will be offering their 6 P.M. bus to El Chalten on New Years Eve. You can contact them at contacto@chaltentravel.com for more information. If you look at the bus schedules in the link below, listed for last January 17, you will see that Chalten Travel bus. If you are planning to come back on January 3 in time to take a bus to the Perito Moreno glacier that afternoon, you can also see that Chalten Travel had a bus from El Chalten leaving at 7:30 A.M. That would give you time to check into your hotel (check Tripadvisor reviews for places available that mention they are near the bus station) and get some lunch near the bus station before you get on the Perito Moreno glacier bus at about 1 or 2 P.M. Since you will be travelling at a very bus time with 4 people, and since you want to include 2 bus trips that day, I would also contact Chalten Travel about this 7:30 A.M. bus. I would reserve these buses well in advance if this is the schedule that you want.

http://elchalten.com/indexen.php

If Chalten Travel will not be offering their 6 P.M. bus to El Chalten on New Years Eve, you can also contact Las Lengas transfer to see if they can get you to El Chalten that evening. You can also find out if they can offer a transfer back to El Calafate at about 7:30 or 8 A.M. on January 3. Here is a link to Las Lengas:

http://transportelaslengas.com/en/transfers

I have not read many reports in the past 2 years on Tripadvisor about the buses that run between El Calafate and El Chalten. I personally have not read a negative post about Chalten Travel buses. I can’t find it now, but I remember reading about 2 negative Tripadvisor posts about the less expensive TAQSA buses.

Please see the post that I sent to you today through another link about your possible trip plans for more information. Good luck.

washington dc
Level Contributor
1 023 posts
103 reviews
2. Re: car rental at el calafate

Thanks for answering some of the Qs I had posted on another forum post :)

This is great website that explains El chalten trails in detail so one can understand level of difficulty and scenic beauty.

www.elchalten.com/eng/actividades/index.php

Is there similar website for TdP?

Is national a good rental at FTE? I read somewhere about a local car rental but can't find that information now.

Only midsize is "unlimited" km, others are 200 km per day. Though with fuel it will cost little over USD 400, perhaps the convenience is worthwhile, given our limited time there.

California
Level Contributor
3 351 posts
156 reviews
3. Re: car rental at el calafate

Hello. That website for trails in El Chalten is really good, isn’t it? I haven’t found a similar website for trails in TdP, but you can look at the excursions offered by the expensive Explora Lodge in TdP (a gorgeous location, with views of the Cuernos peaks) for information about the hiking trips that they offer:

https:/…

I have not read bad reviews about National Car rental in El Calafate this past year, but somebody complained that he had to wait 72 hours for the paperwork required to cross the border from Argentina to Chile. You can’t rent a car in Argentina and drop it off in Chile.

I have seen 2 positive Tripadvisor reports about Dubrovnik car rental in El Calafate in the past year. In the past, they had some less than great reviews. I’m not sure if you can get a rental car through them that is less expensive than National Car rental, but here is the link to them:

http://www.rentacardubrovnik.com/demo/

washington dc
Level Contributor
1 023 posts
103 reviews
4. Re: car rental at el calafate

We are not planning to take rental car across the border. We will take the bus from el calafate to puerto natales. Looks like there are several buses. However, I could not reserve the seats. yet.

Any recommendations on a good reliable service?

I booked the National with free cancellation for right now so we have something . Also put in a request at The Dubrovnik site. It says they will contact - does not show available cars for your days :(

As for puerto natales, I booked Hertz for 2 days , with free cancellation if we decide to use a day tour or take bus into the park.

Any tour recommendations? When I searched online all day tours seems to go through the same spots but have wide variance in prices $65 pp to $149 pp.

Thanks

California
Level Contributor
3 351 posts
156 reviews
5. Re: car rental at el calafate

I have not read bad Tripadvisor reviews about Cootra, Turismozaahj, and Bus Sur, three companies that run buses between El Calafate and Puerto Natales.

Here are some day tours of TdP from Puerto Natales recommended on Tripadvisor:

www.chiletourbooking.com/torres-day-tour-

https:/…REVIEWS

extremochile.com/winter-hiking-torres-del-pa…

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

New Jersey
Level Contributor
432 posts
1 review
6. Re: car rental at el calafate

IS there any automatic transmissions car rentals? I can't find any...

washington dc
Level Contributor
1 023 posts
103 reviews
7. Re: car rental at el calafate

We are renting manual transmission.

It is hard and expensive to get automatic transmission outside US.

You could try to call big chains and ask specifically if they have automatic transmission fleet. You might have to do that one by one.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
3 posts
20 reviews
8. Re: car rental at el calafate

Hello and Happy New Year!

How did the trip go? I am in the midst of planning my trip next month and would love to hear the experience. The pros and cons of renting a car and travel time

Thank you

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
3 posts
20 reviews
9. Re: car rental at el calafate

Hi TJm0m0306,

Which bus company did you end up taking from FTE to puerto natales?

Thansk

Connecticut
Level Contributor
188 posts
167 reviews
10. Re: car rental at el calafate

We just returned from a week in Chalten and Calafate (a second trip). We used Servicar again for this trip as we had used them on our previous trip.Our car was just fine, actually in better shape this time (tires were not nearly as bare). We paid about $25 more for them to meet us at the airport. My husband locked the keys in the truck while the guy was giving us the lowdown on the car...and he could;t have been nicer. They sent someone out with a new set (no charge), which was very nice! We had zero problems with the car, we returned it as their office in El Calafate. Will definitely use them again on our next trip!

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