The 8 most popular El Calafate Tours – Discover Patagonia from El Calafate

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El Calafate is a popular hub to explore the Los Glaciares National Park and the Patagonian grasslands.

We did a few tours in the area in order to see more. That’s why we decided to put together this list with the most popular El Calafate tours you can book at this time.

Some excursions are just easier with a tour, while some excursions just can’t be done on your own.

If you only want to pay a quick visit to the walkways and viewpoint of Perito Moreno, you don’t need a tour. But if you want to walk on top of the glacier, kajak in front of the glacier, or go horseback riding with the gauchos, you need to book a tour for that!

So keep scrolling to find the best and most popular Calafate tours and excursions.

Perito Moreno and the other glaciers of Los Glaciares National Park are the main reasons for visitors to come to El Calafate.

So you should definitely include one of these glacier tours in your itinerary.

Mini Trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier

The Mini Trekking over Perito Moreno Glacier is a once in a lifetime experience.

It just feels very majestic to walk over this massice tongue of ice, knowing that it’s constantly moving!

The views and your surroundings look like they came from another planet!

The mini trekking consists of a 1,5 hour walk over a small part of the glacier.

It’s not a difficult hike and it can actually be done with children and seniors.

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It’s fun to do and accessible. That’s exactly why we included it in our itinerary! Read about our Mini Trekking Experience.

If you never hiked a glacier before, choose this one.

Big Ice Hike on Perito Moreno Glacier

The Big Ice looks daunting… and it definitely is!

During this excursion, you go a lot further onto the glacier and it the entire trip lasts over 9 hours.

In total, you spend around 4 hours on the ice and get to see some marvellous iced landscapes and lakes on top of the glacier.

You have to be between 18 to 50 years old to do this hike. You’re expected to be in good physical shape too.

So, the conclusion is that the big ice is just a little more hardcore and if you have hiking experience, this is the tour for you!

Full day cruise in Los Glaciares National Park

Don’t feel like hiking on the ice tongues, but you do want to be impressed by those massive glaciers as they reach the lake?

How about a full day cruise among the most stunning glaciers in the Natioanl Park?

This relaxing day trip has everything you might need!

Board an exclusive catamaran cruiser and enjoy delicious food while you’re sailing through some of the most stunning landscapes in the world.

During this excursion, you get to gaze upon Spegazzini, Upsala, and Bertracchi glaciers. And those are just the famous ones.

Kayak in front of Perito Moreno

This tour from El Calafate takes you to Los Glaciares National Park, where your kayak is awaiting you!

You get to paddle in the lake surrounding Perito Moreno for 1,5 hours.

During this trip, you get some of the best and up-close views of the glacier where it meets the lake.

An experienced guide will be by your side the entire time. You also get protection equipment, like a life jacket and thermal suit.

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After your paddle time, you also get some time to explore the pathways in front of the glacier.

Explore the area around El Calafate

But aside from the majestic glaciers, El Calafate has an excellent location to explore a few other highlights in the area.

So, these are the other popular tours to do!

Horseback riding

Horseback riding is an awesome activity to do in El Calafate.

Feel like a gaucho in the Patagonian grasslands. We didn’t feel like a gaucho because we can’t ride a horse, but it was still a great activity I won’t easily forget.

This amazing tour combines a visit at an authentic ranch with 3 hours of horseback riding.

You’ll be welcomed at the ranch with a cup of mate tea and homemade pastries.

After that, you get a demonstration of how locals care for their sheep, cows, and horses.

Lunch consists of a traditional asado with lamb to get you all powered up for the horseback riding activity in the afternoon.

Full day to Torres Del Paine in Chile

Cross the border into Chile and visit the impressive tower mountains in Torres del Paine National Park.

During this tour, a 4×4 jeep takes you over the Chilean border for a full day off road adventure.

You have to wake up early for this long day of excitement as a jeep picks you up at your accommodation. It will take you for a ride in the Patagonian wilderness for 3 hours until you reach the border.

Then, a few other beautiful sights are on the schedule befor you reach the actual Torres del Paine in the early afternoon.

Expect to see a lot of rugged and wild nature in this region of South America.

Torres del Paine from El Calafate
Torres del Paine - Photo by Luis Valiente on Pixabay

Half day Patagonian Safari

Maybe Chile is already next on your itinerary and you just want to explore the Patagonian desert near El Calafate.

Then check out this popular Jeep Safari around El Calafate town.

This tour is all about discovering nature and wildlife in Patagonia. You can expect to see loads of wild animals, but also learn a bit of history of the region.

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In this region, fossils have been found that date back over 80 thousand years.

This tour is relaxing, as well as exciting and definitely a lot of fun.

There’s also an authentic lunch included at a traditional Patagonian ranch.

Half day with the gauchos

No jeep needed for this trip!

During you half day with the gauchos, you get to visit the Nibepo Aike Ranch, one of the oldest ranches in the region.

Experience how the gauchos live while herding the sheep and admiring the horsemenship of the riders.

You’ll get a few demonstrations on how the locals take care of their animals.

This tour is a cultural tour where you get a first row seat into the lives of the gauchos.

At noon, you’ll be served a traditional asado (BBQ) before returning to El Calafate.

Conclusion - Popular El Calafate tours

As you can read, there are quite a few tours available in the area.

Most of them are centered around either the glaciers or the gauchos and the Patagonian grasslands.

And those are indeed the most important reasons for visitors to travel to the town in the first place.

We hope you found an awesome tour to complete your travel itinerary and we’re curious to know if you joined one of these tours!

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