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Santa Cruz Province

National Parks

Our most recommended Santa Cruz Province National Parks

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

1. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and Cruise

Discover the beauty of the Perito Moreno glacier on a guided walking tour on this day trip from El Calafate. Cross the Rico channel on a boat and ride thorugh the unique ecosystem of a Magellanic subpolar forest in comfortable van or bus. Start your trip with pick-up from certain hotels in El Calafate and take the 1.5-hour transfer to Bajo de las Sombras Port. Board a boat to cross the Rico channel. Join a group of up to 20 people and take a 20-minute walk to the glacier.  When you arrive, get kitted out with crampons and begin the ascent. Hike for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes enjoying the ice formations and discovering the flora, fauna, and glaciology of the region. Learn about the phenomenon of glacier rupture.  Then, return to the refuge through the Magellanic forest. From there, cross the Rich Arm of Lago Argentino and sail in front of the glacier. After this, spend approximately 1 hour exploring a network of walkways which offer a new perspective of the Perito Moreno Glacier.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

2. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise

Depart from your hotel in El Calafate at around 10:30 AM and set off for the Perito Moreno Glacier located inside the Los Glaciares National Park. Travel for 80 kilometers (50 miles) until you arrive at the west end of the Magallanes Peninsula. Then, enjoy plenty of time to explore this natural ice formation due to your early start.  Begin your tour of the national park by strolling along a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) network of boardwalks. Admire the glacier from multiple perspectives as you climb up to different levels and balconies. Spend 2 hours exploring the runways and use this time to eat a packed lunch or make a stop in one of the restaurants.  Next, take an optional 1-hour boat ride in front of the northern wall of the glacier. After the tour, return to El Calafate via the same route, arriving at approximately 6:30/7:00 PM.

From El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to El Chaltén

3. From El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to El Chaltén

Immerse yourself in Argentina’s dramatic landscapes and take in panoramic views of mountains, glaciers, and lakes. See the nature that played a major role in Darwin’s and Fitz Roy’s research and discover Argentina’s youngest village, El Chaltén, founded in 1985. Start your full-day tour with a pickup from your hotel in El Calafate. Take the legendary Route 40, which runs alongside Lake Argentino with its blueish-white glaciers.   Cross the Santa Cruz River and hear about Charles Darwin’s and Robert Fitz Roy’s expeditions. Continue to La Leona River, and stop at La Leona Roadhouse, where you can learn the history of Route 40 over a coffee and homemade cake. Walk along the edge of Lake Viedma and see the breathtaking peaks of the Andes mountain range, including Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. After your 3-hour journey, arrive at El Chatén, located in the Southern Andes in a valley where the rivers De las Vueltas and Fitz Roy meet. Admire the young village’s surroundings within the Los Glaciares National Park. Then, decide to either to hike along self-guided trails or remain in the town and enjoy some free time. If you choose to hike a trail, the tour guide will provide you with a map, a lunchbox and advise you on the different trail options to best suit your fitness level. Throughout the year, you can enjoy two short trails to Chorrillo del Salto and Mirador de los Cóndores. From October to April, you can also choose a trail that will take you to Capri Lagoon. If you prefer to stay in El Chaltén, you can enjoy a relaxing period of free time and explore the town. At 5 PM, start your journey back to El Calafate, arriving around 7:30-8 PM. Enjoy a convenient drop-off at your hotel after a full day of discovering Argentina’s nature.

El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

4. El Calafate: Todo Glaciares Boat Trip

Start the tour with a pickup from your hotel in El Calafate around 7:00 AM to undertake the 47km route to the Punta Bandera Port where your boat departs at 9:00 AM. The first part of the trip takes place in the north arm of the Argentino Lake before crossing into the Boca del Diablo, the narrowest part of the lake. Then, go to the Upsala and Spegazzini channels where you can view the respective glaciers. The Upsala Glacier is the largest on the Argentino Lake and can be seen from about 20km away. The Spegazzini Glacier is the highest and you can also see the Dry, Heim Sur, and Peineta glaciers. After entering the Spegazzini Channel, a 300-meter path will be crossed without difficulty through the forest along the coast of the lake making stops at viewpoints overlooking the entire Bay of Glaciers. Arrive at the Spegazzini Refuge where you can enjoy an optional 3-course lunch with drinks, visit the shop, and contemplate the landscape from the terrace.  For those who enjoy walking, the mountain path offers a 700m trek of medium difficulty through a wooded path with natural viewpoints of the Spegazzini Glacier ending at the landing point. Return to the boat and head back to El Calafate where you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

Gourmet Glacier Cruise & Footbridges of Perito Moreno

5. Gourmet Glacier Cruise & Footbridges of Perito Moreno

Enjoy a full day experience aboard the María Turquesa Cruise that travels to the most impressive glaciers, sailing with the highest comfort. Begin with the transfer from your hotel to the Private Port La Soledad. After traveling 47 KM enter the National Park and board the boat. Cross a peninsulas encounter called "Boca del Diablo" to enter the North Arm of the lake. Navigate between icebergs through the Upsala Canal where you can observe the Upsala Glacier about 10 km away. Go to the Spegazzini Channel to see hanging glaciers such as Dry Glacier, Heim Sur, Peinetta and disembark at Las Vacas Post where you will make a 30-minute walk through a lovely forest. Continue to the front of the highest glacier in the National Park, the Spegazzini Glacier (135 meters above the lake level/440 ft above the lake level). Take advantage of the time, take pictures and contemplate in silence with the surrounding natural beauty. Head to your final destination at Perito Moreno Glacier, where you will disembark on the walkways to culminate a day full of magic and surprises. Finally, take a bus in which you will return to your hotel in El Calafate at the end of the day.

Glaciers Gourmet Experience: Full-Day Cruise with Lunch

6. Glaciers Gourmet Experience: Full-Day Cruise with Lunch

Sail in luxury around Southern Patagonia's Los Glaciares National Park during this full-day sightseeing cruise. Board at La Soledad Port, before visiting the stunning Escuadra Bay and the Condor Nesting Wall. Watch these beautiful birds in action. Marvel at the majestic natural wonders of the Seco, Heim and Spegazzini Glaciers from the catamaran's four outer decks. Disembark at "Puesto Las Vacas" station for a short walk. Then, visit Upsala Canal, and enjoy panoramic views of the spectacular Upsala and Bertracchi Glaciers. Indulge in a gourmet lunch onboard. Admire the cruiser's glacier-themed decorations, which bring nature indoors. Let your kids play in the recreation area, which features illustrations of the National Park’s native fauna. Navigate along Canal de los Témpanos towards the Northern face of the Perito Moreno Glacier, and disembark at La Soledad Port. 

El Chalten: Laguna de los Tres Trekking Tour

7. El Chalten: Laguna de los Tres Trekking Tour

Reconnect with nature and admire memorable landscapes on this trekking trip to El Chalten and the Laguna de los Tres, lunch included. Admire the local scenery and landscapes throughout the hike, including views of Fit Roy Mountain. The trip starts with the pickup from the hotels in the morning. Take the mythical Route 40 bordering the Argentino Lake and undertake a trip to the town of El Chalten, 220 km from El Calafate. Once in Chalten, stop at Rancho Grande (bar and mountain refuge) to use the restroom, receive your map, and learn the use of canes and crampons if necessary. Enjoy free coffee and snacks to recharge both before and after the trek. On the trek, venture inside part of the Andean Forest. If you are lucky, you'll see some of the animals that live there. Surprise yourself with all the landscapes that you will cross on your way. You'll soon find this to be a dream-like natural place. The path that is used is the Fitz Roy. Starting and ending in the same place, it's 10 km out and 10 km back. For the first two kilometers, the path is demanding. During kilometers 8 to 9, the path is also very demanding. The trip includes a lunch box (ham and cheese sandwich, muffins, granola, fruit, and water). After enjoying the impressive views of Cerro Fitz Roy and Laguna de los Tres and filling yourself with the magic of the place, you'll return to El Chalten via a well-marked path. Staff will be waiting for you at the fixed meeting point in advance for the return ride to El Calafate. Depending on the weather conditions, the route or sights seen may vary. Other spots you may visit include Camping Poicenot, Laguna Capri, and Sendero Torre.

El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

8. El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Big Ice Trek

The trip begins with pickup from El Calafate and travels 1 hour and 30 minutes to Bajo de la Sombras Port. From here, sail across the Rico Channel and descend on the southwestern coast of Patagonia to reach Perito Moreno Glacier. Upon arrival at the glacier, enjoy a 1 hour and 30 minute hike with your mountain guides along a path next to the glacier. Arrive at a magnificent view point and marvel at the vast frozen landscape that stretches out before you. From here, attach the iron crampons to the ground and begin your hike walk across the ice. Trek across the ice for around 4 hours, admiring the fascinating ice formations from start to finish. From your expert guides, learn about the flora and fauna that thrive in this unique environment, and listen to interesting facts about the glaciology of the region, and in particular about the phenomenon of glacier rupture. Finally, return to Bajo de las Sombras Port to gaze at the view of the glacier from the walkways and balconies, and then return to the city of El Calafate.

From El Calafate: Argentino Lake and 4WD Discovery Tour

9. From El Calafate: Argentino Lake and 4WD Discovery Tour

On this excursion from El Calafate you’ll spend a day in awe of the spectacular natural wonders of Los Glaciares National Park. Begin with a sail from the Punta Bandera port on board a modern and comfortable boat. You’ll be surrounded by icebergs as you sail on Argentino Lake and marvel at the stunning views. Continue the sail through the North Arm and the Cristina Channel, finally disembarking at Estancia Cristina. When you arrive at the Estancia you’ll enjoy a history tour, and a visit to the museum and old shearing shed. Head out on a guided walk up to the Caterina River, where you’ll see the chapel and the old house of the Estancia. From here you’ll ascend by 4x4 vehicle to the 9.5-kilometer continental ice shelter, which is an area of significant geological interest. From the shelter you’ll take a 20-minute walk to the Upsala viewpoint, along terrain that has been eroded by the glacier. From the viewpoint you’ll enjoy stunning views of the glacier, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, and the Andes Mountain Range.

El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

10. El Calafate: Estancia Cristina & Cascada de los Perros Tour

Located on the northwest coast of Lago Argentino (Argentino Lake), the historic sheep ranch of Estancia Cristina was founded in 1914 by Joseph P. Masters and his wife, and on this full-day tour from El Calafate you will explore the estancia to discover how it maintains the history of the family. First, you will sail among the icebergs and mountains of Lago Argentino to Upsala Glacier, the 2nd largest within Los Glaciares National Park. Departing from Punta Bandera by modern and comfortable boat, enjoy the most stunning up-close views of the blue ice. Upon arrival at the Estancia you will learn how the sheer perseverance of the Masters family made the inhospitable place a small paradise that they could call home. Visit the Estancia’s museum, and the old shed where the sheep were sheered. Next, take a short walk to see the estancia’s chapel and country house. From here, you will embark on a 2.5-hour hike to the surprising waterfall of Cascada de los Perros, surrounded by native ñires shrubs. Enjoy panoramic views of the Caterina River valley, and Patagonian wilderness, back across to Estancia Cristina.

Frequently asked questions about Santa Cruz Province National Parks

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Cruz Province

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What people are saying about Santa Cruz Province

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 7 reviews

The overall experience was great. Annie and the bus driver gave us an excellent service. The time expended in the tour was enough and the Perito Moreno is a most in Calafate. Thanks for the experience. Juan & Alberto

A tour that is worth a lot, the navigation you see incredible icebergs and spectacular landscapes, the boat has an excellent structure.

a magical and amazing place...worth every penny...you must be in good physical condition to achieve the Fitz Roy

Great way of seeing the glaciers when travelling woth kids or when you aren't used to the cold.

Everything very punctual, excellent personalized service, exquisite lunch.