Choosing the right hotel in El Calafate
El Calafate is a tourist hub and so there is no shortage of places to stay for everyone: from backpacker hostels to 4* hotels.
- For something special and to get out of the city into the wilds then there is a luxury lodge 11km out of El Calafate.
- There is little in the way of good 5* hotels in El Calafate but a number of upmarket 4* options. For good views you'll want to venture a little way out of the town centre.
- In central El Calafate we love the family run boutique hotels which have a little more character and the owners will help you work out where to eat and what to do with a spare afternoon.
- Backpacker hostels and B&Bs line the streets around El Calafate's central avenue and are only a short walk from the restaurants and bars.
If you're looking for a place of luxury, and hosts who will pamper you and provide private guides for excursions, Eolo lodge is the place for you. Go horse riding (for a small additional cost), trekking and mountain biking, or wildlife spotting amid the great vistas of La Anita Valley and Mount Frias, knowing that a tasteful and comfortable home is awaiting you at the end of your day.
US$900 for a double room, per night.
Located 4 blocks uphill from the main avenue with its bars and restaurants, the Esplendor is a sophisticated upmarket hotel with spacious communal spaces and views across El Calafate to the mountains. The Esplendor is one of the few hotels in El Calafate with a Spa and indoor pool.
US$220 for a double room, per night.
A small, colourful hosteria located on a quiet residential street just one and a half blocks from the main avenue. Madre Tierra is beautifully decorated using local recycled and antique objects from the era of estancias, mines and explorers. It also offers trips with experienced guides.
US$200 for a double room, per night.
The incredibly friendly staff and playroom (table football, pool, and table tennis) make the Kosten Aike a highly child-friendly hotel. It's location is just 200m from the main street making it an easy walk home each day.
US$210 for a double room, per night.
A friendly B&B with simple, perhaps slightly dated rooms. The dining and communal areas give a warm ambience and are ideal for travellers to sit, relax and meet others. It is located two blocks from the main avenue on a fairly quiet residential street and very close to the supermarket.
US$80 for a double room, per night.
Del Glaciar Libertador
A centrally located albergue ideal for backpackers or couples (in the private rooms) who are looking for a bed and the flexibility to prepare meals or eat out depending on budget. Located on the main avenue it's convenient for restaurants, cafes and shops and six blocks from the bus terminal. The staff are helpful and friendly.
US$120 for a double room, per night.
Although El Calafate is fine for a 1 or 2 night stay we suggest if you plan to be in Los Glaciares any longer you stay in El Chalten or one of the estancias closer to the mountains which are more authentic and less touristy.
FAQs about hotels in El Calafate
Many of the boutique and no thrills B&Bs are located within walking distance of the bus station. All other options located in town are a 5 minute taxi journey from the bus station.
Please note the bus station is due to move out of town in the next year or so.
The airport is 30 minutes from the centre of El Calafate. You can either jump in a taxi or get a shared transfer with VES Patagonia or El Condor. The transfer counters are located immediately after you leave the baggage claim area. These will drop you at your hotel but be warned you may have to stop at everyone else's hotels first.
It is 1.5 hours from El Calafate to Perito Moreno Glacier. Most tours to Perito Moreno glacier will collect you from your hotel early in the morning at between 7am and 8.30am.
It’s likely that you’ll be heading off early in the morning to see the glacier or head deeper into the Andes - so maybe you’ll want to save the more expensive hotel nights for other parts of your trip.
Luke Errington Founder, Swoop Patagonia
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