El Calafate or Torres del Paine?


May 26th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 149
El Calafate or Torres del Paine?

3 week trip
Will be staying in: Trelew, Bariloche, Iguazu, and Buenos Aires.

We are flying to Calafate in the middle. We have two options:

1.One night El Calafate to see the Perito Moreno glacier. 5 - 6 hr bus to Torres del Paine for 3 nights.

2. All 4 nights in El Calafate. No Torres del Paine

Which would you choose and why?
KWP is offline  
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May 31st, 2008, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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We have not been to El Calafate but we ahve been to Torres del Paine and loved it. Why? The mountains covered with snow, lakes shimmering with soft green waters, the wind blowing hard enough to rattle your teeth (okay, that is a slight exaggeration)and the vistas that just plain captured our spirits. There were very few tourists and at times it felt like we owned the park. We would definitely return there, but we also want to visit El Calafate area. Don't spend less than 3 nights at Torres.
MnJ is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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we went to el calafate, did the ice trekking tour on the glacier, which was an all day event but awesome. we also went to el chalten (which we loved, small town) and we hiked the trails to fitz roy, which was great! i want to go to torres del paine also but didnt have time so we will have to focus on that next time. argentina will be alot cheaper than chile plus you may need a visa for chile.
fluke is offline  
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Jun 9th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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I have been to both El Calafate and Torres del Paine on different trips. I would say there is plenty to do in Torres del Paine to spend all 4 nights there. It really depends on what you want to do. While the Perito Moreno Glacier was spectacular, there was much more to do, especially in the way of hiking, views and wildlife in Torres del Paine (very little hiking or wildlife in the Argnetine park). There is also a glacier at TdP, Glacier Grey, which while not as massive, is still quite impressive. Note also that there were many more bus tours and larger crowds in El Calafate/Perito Moreno (n.b while we visited El Calafate last year, we were at TdP in 2003, and it may be more crowded now with greater lodging available at Puerto Natales).

In sum, if I had it to do over, I would skip El Calafate in favor of Torres del Paine. However, if you need to fly back to Argentina after visiting Patagonia, that is probably easier from El Calafate than flying out of Punta Arenas. Depending upon the time of year, you can see penguins from Punta Areas, but you probably will see them at Trewlew.

Hope this helped.
traveler318 is offline  
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Jun 15th, 2008, 03:46 AM
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It's up to you but...if you have so few days...much better stay at El Calafate and then go to Chalten. If you like Hiking make the tour of Parque Los Glaciers and enjoy Fitz Roy!!!...Great place (but don't go in Argentinean Winter) The Camping is wild, no toilets, nthing but the experience is GREAT...or...you can stay at Chalten and go just for small walking tours. Enjoy your trip
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