Patagonia: El Calafate, Around the Town

See Related Patagonia Posts: Perito Moreno Glacier | El Chalten

My first night I ventured into town, begrudgingly because I was freezing and exhausted. I went to the grocery store, of course, but also strolled the length of the main road Avenue Del Libertador General San Martin. It was about as expected – cute, rustic, and lined with tourist shops selling mini glaciers and the works, plus outerwear stores screaming North Face! Columbia! and, of course, Patagonia! in neon letters. There were some nice-looking (and smelling) restaurants and bars, too, although – you guessed it – not in budget. Despite online reviews that it was lackluster, I liked it.

Day 2 I opted to relax and “do it myself” as opposed to another pricey tour, plus I was pretty beat. A solo morning wander to take photos brought me up a steep set of metal stairs to a beautiful vista of the town with the mountain as a backdrop to the many small, brightly painted houses. Breathtaking!

I wandered down some random/outlying residential streets, too, chasing another vista until I found it. About 30 rogue dogs trailed me at various points, inciting fear and rabies (again). It seemed safe?


I took the free shuttle to Glaciarium, the glacier museum. It was a disappointment, and by that I mean it was lame a waste of money. The ride, however, provided awesome views as well as a wildly unexpected site – freezing flamingos! Probably they weren’t freezing as they were alive. In any case, I obviously walked rapidly 3 miles back to see these guys although my body was numb from cold. Who knew they lived in Patagonia (obviously I did not)?

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