Glaciers National Park/El Calafate

Old Mar 8th, 2005, 10:12 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glaciers National Park/El Calafate

We just returned from our trip to Argentia part of which included four nights/three days at National Park La Glaciares. It was just great.

We stayed at Hosteria Los Notros which is very expensive, but it was a perfect splurge. The staff is helpful, gracious, and the food is elegantly served. Our room overlooked the Perito Moreno glacier and we would just stare at it when we woke up. One morning, we were awed by a magnificent rainbow over the glacier. This is an all-inclusive hotel and the excursions are also part of the package. We went to the balconies three times, a boat ride along one of the faces of the glacier, a hike near the lake, a all-day 4WD in a Land Rover over the steppes and through the mountains, and an all-day three glacier cruise. This last cruise was probably the highlight of our entire trip. We passed floating blue icebergs, saw more than 3 glaciers, walked through a forest to a magnificent sight and had a picnic. Los Notros arranges seats in the VIP area of a new boat, the Upsala Connection, and it was as grand as sitting in first class of an airline.

Every day was sunny. It rained the one morning very early (the day of the rainbow), but cleared by the time we had finished breakfast.

The hotel also arranges trekking tours on the glacier, but we were unable to go because of my husband's bad knees. When we talked to people when they returned from this hike, they agreed that it was a strain on their knees so we definitely received the appropriate advice from the hotel staff.

It took us an entire day to get to Los Notros because we came from Iguazu and had to stop in Buenos Aires and change plans. We were not charged for our very overweight baggage.

You will have a truly terrific experience if you go.
evelyntrav is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2005, 08:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,347
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Evelyn, how did you make your arrangements for the trip to the park?? Internet, Travel Agent in BA? It really sounds like something I would like when we go next Nov or Jan. What was the weather like in Feb? Was everything crowded because of their vacation time?
JaneB is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2005, 09:18 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Although we made our arrangement through Cintia at WowArgentina, you can make them with H. LosNotros without a travel agent. They have a website and are very prompt in answering EMail. The hotel has several vans which do airport and excursion transfers. These transfers and excursions were included in the price. Actually, everything is included in the price. Our only expense was tips which are pooled and we gave the office envelops as we left.

Our weather at the end of February was terrific, as I mentioned. My hunch is that January is much like February, but I don't know about November. Weather is always a matter of luck. The hotel might be able to help you with this query as the staff is extraordinarily helpful.

We did not experience any crowds. The balconies are so spread out that a lot of people can be accommodated at one time. It is a 45minute to 1 hr ride from the town to the balconies. The road is currently under repair and subject to closures, but the hotels know the schedule and they work arount it. Perhaps it will be completed by next year. Los Notros is not in town, but in a remote area very near the balconies. The hotel is expensive, yet I would stay there again in a heartbeat. It was really grand.
evelyntrav is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2005, 05:42 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello Evelyn:

I hope you remember me. We were "talking" before your trip to the Glaciers National Park and Los Notros. I had been there in October and I was wondering how you and your wife finally did there.

Believe it or not, as you may had been noticed, I am in love with that place and I went there again and stayed again at Los Notros from March 16th to the 20th. We were there almost at the same time! I spent 3 days in BA and was tempted to stop in Bariloche but I donīt regret I didnīt.

The landscape was somewhat different from that in October and the weather was very changing. Two days very sunny, two days cloudy and 1 day with rain. The glacier was not blocking the flow of the Lago Argentino anymore although a "Great Rupture" didnīt happen but it was interesting to see how different the Perito Moreno is in a relatively short period of time, 6 months. The surrounding mountains had not snow at the top. No better or worse, simply fifferent from October

I got a terrible cold for two days but that didnīt prevent me to enjoy the excursions. This time I went with an old friend of mine taking advantage of a business trip of my wife to the US. She gave me "permission" to go without her because she knows how crazy I am for this. I took the pictures I missed the last time and now, I can wait longer to return.

This time I took the excursion of the Riding in the Nibepo Aike Estancia which was great, then the All Glaciers excursion to the Upsala, Spegazzini, Onelli Bay in the new boat you mention (with the business class yellow seats) that cuts the time by 3 hours compared to the one I took in October.

We made again the flight over the National Park, the mini trekking over the glacier and of course, spent hours and hours in the "Pasarelas" in front of the Perito Moreno. The first day, we stayed there until 9:00 pm (right after sunset) and returned to Los Notros walking on the road. We spent 1:30 hrs in the darkness and lifting all the stuff that we were carrying, mostly cameras and equipment.

Another nice difference was that there was a 150 mts long cave in the glacier, very tight at some points, that one can walk through. To be in there is simply undescriptible.

Tell me, what about the night sky and tyhe magic of the Onelli Bay and all the icebergs that are floating there between 3 hanging glaciers?

Hope we keep in touch and we can exchange some pics by e-mail.

Cheers!
fernando is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2005, 01:49 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fernando, how grand that you were able to go to see the glaciers again. We took many photos, but they don't even compare to seeing them in person. I just bought a digital camera (after the trip), so I cannot easily put them on-line. Do you have a website? I'd really like to see them. Alternately, you can send them to my screen name at Yahoo.com

The new 3-glacier tour boat really is terrific. Did you have drinks cooled by glacial ice? I think that particular day was the highlight of our entire vacation. The sky was bright blue, and the icebergs and glaciers had perfect reflections in the water. We were awed by the sight of the three glaciers after the brief walk through the woods.

Thanks for keeping me posted on your second visit. Isn't it interesting that there is not a lot of information on the spectacular place on this forum?
evelyntrav is offline  
Old May 30th, 2005, 09:38 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My wife and I were at Los Notros the 1st week in May. To say it is expensive is putting it mildly, at $4000 for a double room for 3 nights, but as a once in a lifetime experience, what the hell.
The excursions have been covered above but the food when we were there was more than elegantly served,I can truthfully say that it was the most
inventive and the best presented I have ever had in a restaurant or hotel, and I have had some! It should be in Fodors top 50 in the world.

Pity I won't be able to afford it again.
whealan is offline  
Old May 30th, 2005, 09:43 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
P.S. The weather was perfect. A bit above freezing but absolutely still and brilliant sunshine for most of the time. Shirtsleeves and jersey stuff unless outside on the catamaran.
whealan is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2005, 06:31 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
whealan,

Given the rate you paid, does that mean that you chose a "premium" room?

If so, how does the premium room differ from the "superior" room?

The superior room does not seem too bad at $1,868 pp for a 4 night stay. Yes, it still works out to $467 pp per night, but this would more than likely be a small price to pay for what would the highlight of the holiday.

I am strongly considering a visit to Argentina next February or early March and Los Notros would be a must-see for my wife and I. We were in Torres Del Paine in Chile in 2002 and we passed on Explora and still regret it to this day.

I am just wondering if 5 nights would still be appropriate? It sure seems like there are more than enough activities to occupy four full days.

If you or anyone else reading this has also visited Bariloche, I would appreciate your thoughts. Bariloche looks beautiful, but not quite like Patagonia.

I want to spend a maximum of about 14 nights in Argentina, and so far this is all I have:

Four Seasons Buenos Aires (4)
Los Notros (4) (maybe 5)

and then I am wide open.

Llao Llao in Bariloche looks good, but I must be able to do better. I don't really want to spend the limited time I have remaining visiting Iguazu Falls. I have visited Victoria Falls and while I enjoyed it, part of the enjoyment was also staying at a nearby safari lodge.

Evelyntrav...thanks for sharing your experience at Los Notros. Funny thing is that I just started communicating with Cintia at Wow Argentina this morning, before I even read this thread just a few minutes ago. They seem like a good company...were you completely satisfied (feel free to e-mail me if you don't wish to share your opinion of W.A. on the board).

Last question...forgive my ignorance, but where are the Winelands in Argentina, and are they marketed as a tourist attraction the same way the Winelands in Chile are? (wine tastings, lodging, restaurants, etc.)

Thanks for any feedback.
Roccco is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2005, 07:36 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Rocco,
My hunch is you are the same Rocco that is active on the Africa board. We have corresponded before and here we go again.

We were at Los Notros for four nights (3 days) and it was ideal for us. Did you look at the Los Notro website? The activities available used to be listed there. The "must dos" are the balconies, the 1/2-day cruise and the full-day cruise. We didn't think the 4WD was wonderful, although we did enjoy it. As I recall, the other activities were hikes near the lake (we did a short one), an all-day visit to an estancia, and glacier trekking. The amount of days you spend there is really dependent on the activities you want to include. It is so expensive, that I suggest you think about what you really want to do.

Cintia arranged our room and and I don't know what grade it was called. It overlooked the glaciers. I think almost all of the rooms have this view. Cintia will advise you.

I thought Cintia and her husband were just terrific. She gave personal opinions and even discouraged us from some activities we were considering. We had no glitches.

I have visited Victoria Falls, Niagara, Plitvice Lakes and Iguazu Falls and they are very different from one another. Don't discount Iguazu so quickly. The walks and hikes through the area are terrific and the boat ride is really a lot of fun. We were there for four nights, but I think 2 or 3 is more reasonable. Unlike Victoria Falls, the views change as you walk along the pathways, cross over to the island, and go to Brazil. I did a write up on Iguazu also.

Another idea that worked for us was breaking up our visit to BA. Since we had to fly in and out of the city, we spent the first and last three nights there. This plan was not by choice, but it was great as we did not get museum burn out. In addition, we were able to leave our city clothes in the hotel so we traveled light the rest of the trip.

The way you feel about the falls is the way I felt about the winelands and Bariloche so they were not in our plans. I have seen wine areas all over the world and they start to look alike to me. And the lake region must look like many othe lovely lake regions I have seen in NY state, Ireland, Europe. When I planned the trip to Argentina, I wanted to see things that were unique to Argentina.

Yet, I did not go to the wine area or Bariloche so what do I know. People do love these trips.

We went mid-February and returned early March. The weather was great every day.

Have a grand time.
evelyntrav is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2006, 09:24 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
are 2 nights enough at Los Notros?
rhabend is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 06:07 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 145
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Did you land up paying the rack rates as stated on the Los Notros web site or did you get any discount of it? I am wondering if I go through a travel agent if there would be any advantage to it from a price stand point vs. make a reservation directly with Los Notros?
Vacationer1 is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 05:43 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If I remember correctly, we paid less with a travel agent than doing it on our own. However, it was almost two years ago and things change and I might not remember accurately/
evelyntrav is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Patty
United States
8
May 23rd, 2017 05:54 PM
inspiredexplorer
South America
40
Feb 22nd, 2016 02:23 PM
enzian
United States
14
Jul 23rd, 2007 04:17 PM
Vacationer1
Mexico & Central America
4
Feb 3rd, 2007 06:45 AM
evelyntrav
Mexico & Central America
7
May 5th, 2004 10:52 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:13 AM.