Everything begins at the town of El Calafate, over Lake Argentino, most likely to be your base camp while visiting Glaciers National Park.
Named after a small bush indigenous of Patagonia, "calafate" gives a delicious wild berry ideal for jam that is delight for visitors...
El Calafate is the gateway to the Park's most sought after destinations: Perito Moreno glacier, Upsala glacier and mount Fitz Roy.
Glaciers National Park covers an area of around 600.000 has. in Argentina's Patagonia, province of Santa Cruz.
It has 47 glaciers, being Perito Moreno glacier the most impressive - 5 km. long and about 80 meters high.
Travelers often refer to it as the Crushing Glacier, because of the explosion that produces each time the glacier cracks and huge ice blocks breaks off an fall into the water.
Visit Patagonia Photo Gallery and Patagonia Photo Gallery Part Two for some stunning images of this incredible place
Perito Moreno glacier is also most accessible, it has several comfortable view points, you can walk on it or even navigate near it.
Upsala Glacier is the biggest in South America - 60 km. long - and can only be reached by boat. Punta Bandera (47 km. from El Calafate) is the port of departure for this 10 hours cruise.
It 's a bit expensive but is worth it all the way.
Carry some food with you to avoid eating on board.
Have you heard the joke about touring around Glaciers?...
The following is supposedly a true story relating to an actual guide and his response to questions.
Mountain guides who always do the same trails can get tired answering the same questions over and over.
One time an English tourist was giving his guide an especially hard time with silly questions.
They were walking through a mountain valley that was strewn with rocks, and the traveler asked, "How did these rocks get here?"
"Sir," said the guide, "they were brought down by a glacier."
The tourist peered up the mountain and said, "But I don't see any glacier."
"Oh, really?" said the guide. "I guess it has gone back for more rocks."
Mount Fitz Roy stands 3,405 meters above sea level, and together with mount Torre (3,102 m.), is a must-do trek that you shouldn't miss for nothing. You'll start your trek at El Chalten (there is a regular bus connexion to and from El Calafate, some 220 km. away) on the northern margin of Lake Viedma. Is an amazing trek where you'll see glaciers, hidden lagoons, estancias (ranches) and the majestic presence of mount Fitz Roy.
During summer (December-March) is the best moment to do it, but weather is unpredictable in the area, so rain is possible at anytime. Be prepared.
Since November 2000, El Calafate has an airport that regularly receives from within Argentina as well as Chile.
Previously, the main airport connexion for international travelers was the city of Rio Gallegos - capital of Santa Cruz province - around 300 km. from El Calafate.
There is also a regular bus connexion from Buenos Aires's Retiro Bus Station to just about any destination in Argentina and neighboring countries.
It's a long ride to travel Patagonia by land, but you'll "feel" and "breath" this extraordinary region like no other way.
Whether hostels or hotels, there is plenty of lodging options in El Calafate.