Wednesday, March 25, 2009

El Calafate, Argentina

The flight to El Calafate was easy. Not quite as scenic as we'd hoped. We ended up on the wrong side of the plane as we took off and missed the views of Ushuaia, Puerto Williams, and Cape Horn (well in the distance).

The rest of the flight we were over the desert-like mostly flat terrain of southern Argentina.

Arriving in El Calafate, we were surprised to find that there is no public bus service from the airport to town. The only option was a shuttle bus for about $10 US, or a taxi for about $20 US. The new airport is strategically located about 15 miles out of town, so if you don't use these options, you are stuck.

Friends had given us the name of a hotel they used. It's not on the internet, so we didn't book ahead. We just used the Tourist Information service at the bus station. There are several small hotels right near the bus station that are nice and haven't jacked their rates up to full 'tourist' level yet. (see our Argentina Travel page).

Ours is an 'entirely adequate' facility a block from the bus station, and cost us $28.50 US for a room with twin beds and a shared bath, no breakfast (this is pretty cheap for Patagonia). It looks newly-built and well maintained, was quiet and had heat and hot water. Not a bad deal, but Dave found a cheaper one around the corner for only $22.

The first thing we did after getting settled in our hotel room, was to go look for Hostal del Glaciar, to book their 'Alternative Moreno Glacier Tour'.

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