Highlights of El Calafate and The Perito Merino Glacier


El Calafate is the gateway to The Perito Merino Glacier and for your bus connection to El Chalten.  Most people only spend a couple of nights here as once they have visited the glacier they head onwards to El Chalten to trek around the Fitz Roy.

El Calafate is very pretty and tidy.  The main street is filled with outdoor clothing and supply shops and restaurants.  We noticed a fair amount of police in the area keeping an eye on things.  It was the first town we have been to or seen where there was some consistency with the architecture, meaning that you didn’t have a lovely house with a derelict one on either side of it.  As we have seen so far, there is no consistency to the style or size of the houses.  There is a fair amount of corrugated steel either used for the roofs or sides of the houses, brick, wood or a combination of two or more of these materials.  I wish I had taken more photos of houses, but it is the landscape that draws people here.

Of the wildlife, the main attraction are the flamingos.

???????????????????????????????This was the first time we have been able to get reasonably close to them, although we have seen them from the buses.  There are also many geese like the ones we saw in Ushuaia.

However, the main attraction is the Perito Merino Glacier which is more than an hours drive away on the other side of Lake Argentino, the largest lake in Argentina.  It is huge!

???????????????????????????????Bob took this photo from the bus.  It is most likely the only way you can take a picture of the whole thing.  This isn’t even the biggest glacier in Argentina!

???????????????????????????????It may not be the biggest, but it is still impressive.  We managed to catch a couple of pieces calving.  It is very noisy.  As we had in Iguazu Falls, there are many walkways and viewing platforms to see the glacier.  However, part of the lower section was closed due to a calving getting too close to one of the platforms.  Luckily, no one got hurt.

The best part of visiting this glacier was being able to walk on top of a part of it!

???????????????????????????????This was the group ahead of us!  It was amazing!

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I think Bob’s favourite part of walking on the glacier was the chilled whiskey served with glacial ice they had waiting for us!  This certainly was one of the highlights of our trip so far!  It was awesome!  Nature is certainly amazing!

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