Getting to Los Glaciares: travel essentials

  • El Calafate is the gateway city to Los Glaciares National park, both by air and for overland travel. 
  • Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate, with multiple flights daily
  • High season flights from Bariloche connect Los Glaciares with the Argentine Lake District
  • Daily flights from Ushuaia allow you to combine time in Los Glaciares with Tierra del Fuego or even an Antarctic cruise
  • Easy overland connections between Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares offer the chance to combine two world-class hiking regions

How do I get to Los Glaciares?

Illustrated Guide

How to get to Los Glaciares

Buenos Aires to Los Glaciares

The gateway airport for Los Glaciares National Park is El Calafate (airport code FTE). There are no direct international flights: travellers must travel via Buenos Aires.

El Calafate is a three hour flight from Buenos Aires. In the high season, there are up to eight flights a day operated by Aerolíneas Argentinas, the national airlines. Most flights leave from the domestic airport Aeroparque Internacional Jorge Newbery (AEP), close to the centre of the city. A smaller number of connections from Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport (EZE), mostly operated by the low-cost carriers FlyBondi and JetSmart.

El Calafate airport is 3 miles (21 km) east of the city, and 135 miles (215 km) by road to El Chaltén.

Aerolineas Argentina plane at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP)

Argentinian Patagonia to Los Glaciares

To get to Los Glaciares from Tierra del Fuego (or even connect to an Antarctic cruise) there are daily flights between El Calafate and Ushuaia (USH, 75 minutes).

To get to Los Glaciares from the Argentine Lake District, there are up to three flights a week between El Calafate and Bariloche (BRC, 1hr45).

To get to Los Glaciares from Peninsula Valdes, there are a small number of connections a week to Trelew (REL, 1hr35).

Overland travel to Los Glaciares is slow due to the massive distances involved. It takes around 18 hours by bus to travel from El Calafate to Ushuaia (545 miles/880 km), and around 27 hours from El Calafate via El Chaltén to Bariloche (880 miles/1430 km). Seats on buses come as either semi-cama (reclining seat) or cama (sleeper).

Aerial view from plane flying over Santa Cruz into El Calafate in Argentina

Chile to Los Glaciares

There are no direct flights from Chile to Los Glaciares.

To get to Los Glaciares from Chile by air, you must fly from Santiago to either Buenos Aires or Bariloche and catch an onward domestic flight from there to El Calafate. 

It's also possible to travel overland by road from Puerto Natales (the gateway to Torres del Paine) to El Calafate: see below for details.

Santiago city centre in December

Torres del Paine to Los Glaciares

Los Glaciares National Park and Torres del Paine National Park are geographically very close and it’s popular to combine the two into a single trip.

There are overland connections by comfortable and good quality public bus.  Early morning direct buses leave several times a day between El Calafate and Puerto Natales in Chile (167 miles/268 km), crossing the border at Cerro Castillo. The trip takes around 5–7 hours, depending on border control.

From Puerto Natales, it’s a further two hours by bus to Torres del Paine (70 miles/112 km). The majority of hotels in Torres del Paine include a complimentary transfer from Puerto Natales.  

Private transfers can also be arranged for the complete journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine, or from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine. Some luxury lodges in Torres del Paine may include a complimentary transfer from El Calafate when booking.

Cuernos at Torres del Paine

How to get around Los Glaciares

The FitzRoy massif overlooking the road from El Calafate to to El Chaltén

Most travellers to Los Glaciares choose to base themselves in either El Chaltén for its many hiking trails or El Calafate for its proximity to Perito Moreno glacier. El Chaltén is 135 miles (215 km) north of El Calafate. There are at least three scheduled comfortable daily bus services between the two each day in high season, but we can also arrange private transfers.

Travel between El Chaltén and El Calafate takes around three hours by road. The drive is one of the most spectacular roads in Patagonia and is not to be missed. Near El Calafate the horizon stretches out across the immense pampa, while close to El Chaltén the skyline is dominated by the jagged granite peaks of the FitzRoy Massif.

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Nicolas says

Is any road in Patagonia more spectacular than the highway from El Calafate to El Chaltén? The FitzRoy Massif rises from the pampa to dominate everything – by the time you arrive you'll be desperate to grab your hiking boots and hit the trail.

Nicolas Sorhaburu Patagonia Sales Consultant

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Swoop says

If you're travelling from Los Glaciares to Torres del Paine, check the time your cross-border bus arrives in Puerto Natales: onward hotel transfers depart at set times, so if you arrive too late to catch yours you'll have to spend a night in Puerto Natales. 

Explore more of Los Glaciares

Signs to EL Chalten and Laguna de los Tres in Los Glaciares, with the FOtz Roy massif in the background

El Chaltén

Sat at the base of Mount Fitz Roy in Los Glaciares, the town of El Chaltén is one of the world’s greatest destinations for spectacular mountain day hikes and rock climbing.

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Horse riding at Eolo near El Calafate in Los Glaciares

El Calafate

El Calafate is the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park and springboard to Perito Moreno glacier, located between El Chaltén and Torres del Paine.

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Hikers enjoying the view of Fitz Roy in Los Glaciares national park

Trekking in Los Glaciares

Argentina's Los Glaciares is full of jagged granite mountains, electric-blue lakes and sparkling glaciers: perfect for anything from short day hikes to epic wilderness treks.

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