In this page:
What you need 

Other recommendations

If you travel by car

Conection to other tourist destinations nearby

Other services
What you need

Required Documents:
Those who visit this area coming from Argentina or any of their neighbor countries, need only their common Identity Card. No passport shall be required. This is also valid for visiting Chile. Other travelers need a passport and a travel assistance policy. Information on visa requirements should be requested in your country’s embassy. To up-to-date information related to Los Glaciares National Park, check, where you can find the adresses, telephone numbers and e-mails of the main information sources in El Calafate, El Chaltén, Río Gallegos and Buenos Aires.

Information Centers

What to take:
For outdoor activities you need to take warm clothing (polar fabric is the best), jogging outfit, raincoat and a hat. Near the glaciers and in the mountains, don’t forget to take a windbraker. There are laundries in El Calafate and El Chaltén as well as in some “Estancias”. Choose comfortable shoes for the trip and visiting the town; and trekking shoes for hiking. .

Where to shop clothing and equipment in El Calafate

Summer days are very long, there is sunlight until 10:30 PM. Take a hat or a cap and don’t forget to take sunscreen lotion N° 30 or higher. It is highly recommended to use UV filter sunglasses, specially when visitin glaciers. Under low temperatures, batteries run out faster, so have always an extra supply..

Photo shops in El Calafate

The Argentine’s currency is the Peso, and from January 11, 2002, the currency is free (in October 2003 U$S 1.00 reachs $ 2.90). Take this into account when changing money. Normally, US dollars are accepted everywhere. Many shops also accept Traveler Checks and Credit Cards.


Other recommendations

Accomodation booking and other services:
All services and accomodations are open from October to April, high season is January through February. From the second half of December and during the high season it is highly recommended booking in advance for lodging and other tourist services. Sometimes, if you want to assure a date or a specific service, two months in advance is advisable. 
Since 1981, when the UNESCO inscribed Los Glaciares National Park in the World’s Heritage List, visitors from all over the world come to visit it: you will be able to share your trip with people from different cultures. offers a complete list of accomodations including photos, description, services, rates and location.
If you’re planning to lodge in an “Estancia Turística”, an increasingly demanded service, it is also advisable to make reservations in advance. If you visit them for a day, there are many organized tours including outdoors activities and lunch..

Lodging in El Calafate


High season is during summer. This area presents weather variations, but it can be said that it will be more humid near the mountains and colder in the higher lands. 21st of December is the longest day of the year, when sunlight lasts 17 hours. 
To illustrate the different climates, here is a brief description of the differences between the two towns in the National Park: 
- El Calafate is 200 Mts over sea level. During the summer the weather is dry, sunny, cool and windy. Temperatures run from 10°C to 30 °C, with an avarage of 20°C. Winds are usually mild, but sometimes can blow at 120 km / hour.
- El Chaltén is located on the Andes, 430 mts. over sea level. During the summer, the weather is cool, windy and very changing. Temperatures run from 5°C to 30°C, with an avarage of 18°C. 

Maps and references


If you travel by car

Here are some useful tips to travel over Patagonia:
- You will drive across long distances without any services. Try to make the trip in the company of other car. Take a well supplied toolbox, spare parts and two spare tires. 
- Whenever you find a gas station, stop to fill the gas tank, check the tires, oil level, etc. Because usually there is a very long distance until the next one.
- Speed down in curves or places without good visibility. Do not stop in those places on the road. Although you may not see other cars for a long time, do not loose attention. It is very possible they will appear all of a sudden. 
- Gravel roads are difficult to drive on. To dirve safely, do not speed over 60 km/h. When a car approaches yours, speed down to minimize stone impact. Although rain is very rare during the summer, roads can become slippery or muddy.
- During the winter, chains should be put on wheels to drive on ice, snow or mud. 
- If you have a radio transmitor, these are the Emergency frequences: HF 3857.5 USB - 6970 USB o VHF 149.335

How to get El Calafate

Province of Santa Cruz: main routes and locations


Conection to other tourist destinations nearby

Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, República Argentina)
Coming soon

Perito Moreno y Los Antiguos (Santa Cruz, República Argentina)
Coming soon

Parque Nacional Torres del Paine
Coming soon


Other services

In El Calafate, there are two telephone companies that provide telephone cabins, with telephone, fax and Internet.
Public phones use Argentine coins. 
Cell phones and Internet connections are only available in El Calafate. El Calafate area code is 02962 ( from outside Argentina, 0054 2962) and El Chaltén area code is 02962 (0054 2962 from abroad).

Telephone service in El Calafate

Medical assistance:
There is a public hospital in El Calafate with Pediatric, Ginecology and Obstetrics, Traumatology, Cardiology, Surgery, Dentist and General Medicine services, ambulances and airplane ambulance. There are also private practice doctors.
There is a First Aid Hospital in El Chaltén with an ambulance service.

Farmacies in El Calafate

Health services in El Calafate

Currency change:
If you want to change currency, traveler’s checks or make other bank operations, you will find a list of banks, AT and exchange offices in:

Money and exchange in El Calafate