Calafate

Calafate - is a pleasant but uninteresting town located close to the Los Glaciares national park. Most people come here to see the Perito Moreno and Upsala glaciers. These glaciers, like the Iguazu Falls in the north, are the most spectacular sights in a land full of spectacular sights. Consequently, in the summer months the park is a very busy place. The name of El Calafate comes from the small berry-bearing bush typically found in southern Patagonia and whose fruit is used to make jam. Legend has it that who ever eats calafate jam will always come back for more.

Los Glaciares National Park

Los Glaciares national park - away from the famous glaciers the park is full of beautiful flora and fauna and good walking trails. Southern plum trees flower red in spring while in summer yellow and white orchids bloom in the crooks of gnarled grey trees. On the trails shy red and grey foxes keep their distance; placid guanaco graze on the slopes; large Patagonian hares leap from bushes and scurry off; small armadillos, whose meat is highly prized by the locals, crawl by; and if you are lucky you might just catch a glimpse of a puma. Flamingos wade in shallow water, while hawks, kites and condors hover and circle above.

Chalten

El Chalten - The name "Chaltén" (blue mountain that smokes) derives from the Tehuelche name for the distinctive mountain peak, an extinct volcano, now called Fitz Roy, which always seems to have a blue sheen to it and is surrounded by clouds, no matter the weather. The jagged peak at 3300 metres high is an unforgettable sight and a magnet for climbers. Chalten is an excellent base for walkers and climbers alike to explore the park.

Walichu

Walichu Caves - just 8km from Calafate by four-wheel drive or on horseback are the Walichu caves that contain Tehuelche cave paintings some 3000 years old. Other than place names these are almost the only testament to the former inhabitants of this region.

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