Self-Drive: Perito Moreno Glaciar (Extension)

Itinerary

This short itinerary can be added on to the Chilean Patagonia itinerary to combine a fantastic Patagonian experience on both sides of the border. First, visit the awe-inspiring Torres del Paine National Park, then drive across the border and through the Argentinean pampa to El Calafate for a short visit of to the Los Glaciares National Park and its highlight, Perito Moreno Glacier.

Day 1

TORRES DEL PAINE – EL CALAFATE (252 KM / 157 MI)
During this peaceful drive, you will pass the village and natural landmark known as Cerro Castillo and then cross over into the neighboring country of Argentina. After clearing the border your drive will mostly consist of the vast and desolate pampa landscape until reaching the town of El Calafate, known for its excellent location near the Los Glaciares National Park. Overnight in or near El Calafate. (B)

Day 2

PERITO MORENO GLACIER 
This morning, we recommend taking advantage of your surroundings and visit the Los Glaciares National Park. It is the second largest national park in the country and home to the breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier that will leave you astounded. It is a 250 km2 (97 sq. mi) ice formation and measures 30 km (19 mi) in length. Additionally this spectacular park t houses a representative sample of the Magellanic Subpolar Forest and western Patagonian Steppe biodiversity. Overnight in or near El Calafate. (B)

 

Day 3

EL CALAFATE – PUERTO NATALES (272 KM / 169 MI)
Today make your way back to Chile by following the legendary Argentinean Route 40 to Puerto Natales. On the way, make sure to take time to visit the Mylodon Cave. This Natural Monument is comprised by several rock formations and includes a cave, which is notable for the discovery of a giant ground sloth. Overnight in Puerto Natales. (B)

Day 4

PUERTO NATALES – PUNTA ARENAS (248 KM / 154 MI) 
The journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas will take approximately 3 hours. Along the way enjoy beautiful Patagonia scenery and take a few last pictures before you drop off the car at the indicated car rental office. (B)

Rates in 2018/2019

valid thru to April 30, 2019

Self-drive itineraries are highly flexible and can be adjusted to your preferences. The rates below are sample rates for this itinerary with the specific car types and hotels mentioned in the table. However, Hotels are subject to availability as well as your choice. The final rate of this itinerary will reflect the specific options you have chosen in the course of developing your itinerary.

The rate is per person, based on double occupancy. For single or triple rates, different hotels or extra nights, please inquire.

 

Car TypeStandardSuperior
Europcar cat I3$552$600
Europcar cat J3$627$675
Hertz cat G$535$580
Hertz cat J$520$566

This itinerary is conceived as an add-on to the Chilean Patagonia self-drive itinerary. Instead of returning to Punta Arenas on the last day of that itinerary you’d just continue on, across the border from Puerto Natales and head for El Calafate in Argentina. We would take care of the necessary paperwork to take the rental vehicle into Argentina and back as part of the package. The drive takes approximately 5h, depending on how busy it is at the border. Get there early to beat the crowds! It can get quite busy, especially at peak holiday times.

  • 3 nights including breakfast.
  • 3 days car rental including unlimited free mileage.
  • Local tax.
  • Full CDW coverage with a deductible (for details see rental contract) for any damage that may occur during the rental period.
  • International permission to cross into Argentina.

  • Roadmap and descriptions.

Chile car rental companies charge an additional airport service fee when the vehicle will be picked up from the airport. This service charge is not included in the published rates. This extra fee has to be paid upon returning the car.

Weather
The weather in Patagonia is notoriously unpredictable, or, as they say, ‘if you don’t like the weather, just wait 30min.’  However, there are some general things that can be said about it. Patagonia lies very far to the south.which means, the summer season is short. Spring starts around November, summer begins in December, and it is all over by March. The winter is harsh and few places stay open year-round.
Temperatures, even in the summer, are never really high and it gets cold at night. The region is also known for its fierce winds, which are worst during the summer months. Rain can just appear out of no-where.
Best time to visit
Most people visit during the summer months when it is warmest. But spring and autumn are better for those who appreciate the calm after the crowds have left (or before they arrive) and prefer a close-to-nature experience.
This itinerary is only available during the Patagonian summer season, from December – April.

Due to the variable weather conditions, it makes sense to pack for all weathers and to think ‘layers’.

  • thermal underwear
  • fast drying, weatherproof outdoor pants
  • warm socks (preferably woollen)
  • breathable Shirts (e.g. merino wool)
  • wind and weatherproof jacket
  • warm hat and scarf and gloves
  • sun protection, lip balm, sunglasses
  • comfortable, non-slip hiking boots
  • day pack
  • flashlight and spare batteries

Car types

Europcar

cat I3: Mitsubishi L200 Katana (Mt) or similar (Pick-up)

cat J3: Mitsubishi L200 Katana Crt 4×4 (Mt) or similar

Hertz

cat G: Toyota RAV4 or similar

cat J: Mitsubishi L200 4×2 Katana or similar (diesel)

Standard

 Hotel Kau Yatun (Superior room)

A country-style hotel located at an authentic Argentinean ranch. close to El Calafate. The hotel has a restaurant and bar and offers a delicious breakfast with fresh farm produce. The Superior rooms are clean, comfortable and quite spacious with a king size bed and safe deposit box, a desk and seating area. It also includes WiFi, individual heating, shower, bathtub, hairdryer, ecological amenities, minibar, tea service and coffee shop free of charge.

Hotel IF Patagonia (Standard room)

This minimalistic designed hotel, which uses solar energy, is located in the city centre of Puerto Natales. A warm and relaxed atmosphere invites travellers to stay in one of the 15 modern styled rooms. Each features a private bathroom, heating, Wi-Fi and is decorated with local artisanal elements. The hotel’s restaurant Santolla serves fresh Patagonian seafood and lamb. In addition, the property features a sauna, a wooden outdoor Jacuzzi and magnificent views of the surrounding landscape.

Superior

Calafate Parque (Standard room)

Situated in the heart of El Calafate, the Calafate Parque Hotel is a 4-star property with comfortable, spacious rooms and all amenities, such as  Cable TV, Wi-Fi, Minibar, Individual heating, King Size mattresses, Hairdryer and Safe deposit box. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, as well as a sauna, a spa with massage service and a gym.

Costaustralis (Standard city view room)

The Costaustralis is located in the middle of Puerto Natales, right next to the bay. The hotel is known for its grandiose style and panoramic views of the Patagonian Andes. The accommodation features 110 comfortable rooms with all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. Common areas include a fireplace, reading area, restaurant, bar and lounge.