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Best use of time at the end of Dec in El Calafate and TDP

S J
12 posts
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Best use of time at the end of Dec in El Calafate and TDP

We will arrive in El Calafate around 5:30pm on 12/29 and fly out at noon on 1/3 for a total of five nights and four days.

One option is to spend one night in Calafate, visiting the Glacier and Laguna Nimez Reserve. Will we be able to see Moreno Glacier the night we arrive or do we need to wait until the following morning? Would we be able to get a cab to drive us to the glacier and the reserve?

Or should we rent a car and do it ourselves.

Is it best to rent a car online before we go, or wait and do it when we get there at the airport or at the hotel? Which option would cost the least? What should we expect to spend for a rental car for four days? Will we need a four wheel drive?

How much is the full day excursion from Puerto Natales to TDP? Can you recommend a good company that sells the tour. I know it's a long day, and wonder if it's better done by renting a car?

The other option is to spend two nights in Calafate and on the 31st drive to Puerto Natales. On the 1st do the full day excursion to TDP or use a rental car to drive to the park.

We want to be back in Calafate on the night of the 2nd so we can fly out the next day.

Will we be able to book an all day excursion or any excursion on the 1st or on the 31st, if we leave a day earlier? Will everything close for New Years Eve and New Year's Day?

I have most of the planning for our trip done, but this part is frustrating me. Any help would be appreciated.

Cerro Frias
Horseback Riding Tours, Sightseeing Tours, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours, Eco Tours, Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
TodoCalafate
Sightseeing Tours
Mundo Austral
4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours, Boat Tours, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Bus Tours
Singapore, Singapore
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97 reviews
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1. Re: Best use of time at the end of Dec in El Calafate and TDP

Laguna Nimez is within El Calafate itself. Your hotel is probably walking distance to reserve. It is a gated sanctuary so you walk inside the reserve instead of driving. You will need about two hours to see the birds and flamingos. I think they open till pretty late. Or you can spend the evening exploring the pretty town the day you arrive. You can go to Perito Merino and Laguna Nimez the next day. You can do daytrip to Torres del Paine. Your hotel probably can arrange a tour for you. If you have extra day you can also go to El Chalten.

Mendoza, Argentina
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2. Re: Best use of time at the end of Dec in El Calafate and TDP

El Chalten is a waste unless you spend a full day there at least, and then only if the skies are clear. There is no better fantastic day hiking than in El Chalten!

bay area, ca
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3. Re: Best use of time at the end of Dec in El Calafate and TDP

Like others mentioned , Laguna Nimez is within the city . Find out the timings and you cand rop in anytime. Only make sure you don't end up there too early or too late.

The hostel you stay at should have tours for Moreno Glacier , or you can take a cab( we spoke to one at the bus stop) . We took a cab and spent more than 5 hours there at our will and got to do and see everything . The park closes around 6pm , so there is no use going there the evening you arrive.

Nimez and the Glacier are do-able in a day if you rent a car or take a cab.

Roads to Moreno glacier are not too bad ,you can drive there if you wish. However , to TDP is whole other story. I suggest you take a bus if you want . Also, you need to cross the border for TDP and sometimes that has delays. So i would not suggest you drive by yourself to TDP.

Chalten is a great place to visit again , bus ride is about 2-3 hours (anyway the days are longer there , so make use of it). There are again tours to Upsala glacier and such if you want to go there . Most spots and tours get sold out for December pretty fast , so make sure you plan well ahead.

4. Re: Best use of time at the end of Dec in El Calafate and TDP

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