Travel Budget for El Calafate

Provincia de Santa Cruz, Argentina

How much does it cost to travel to El Calafate?

How much money will you need for your trip to El Calafate? You should plan to spend around AR$1,077 ($15) per day on your vacation in El Calafate, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, AR$158 ($2.14) on meals for one day and AR$133 ($1.81) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in El Calafate for a couple is AR$938 ($13). So, a trip to El Calafate for two people for one week costs on average AR$15,076 ($204). All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

In recent years, the Argentine Peso has been very unstable. Therefore, travel cost estimates can sometimes be inaccurate for this country.
  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

A vacation to El Calafate for one week usually costs around AR$7,538 for one person. So, a trip to El Calafate for two people costs around AR$15,076 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs AR$30,153 in El Calafate. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in El Calafate can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is El Calafate?

How much does a trip to El Calafate cost? Is El Calafate expensive? The average El Calafate trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these El Calafate prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

While meal prices in El Calafate can vary, the average cost of food in El Calafate is AR$158 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in El Calafate should cost around AR$63 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Calafate is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

The cost of a taxi ride in El Calafate is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent AR$133 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Calafate.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
  • Food2 Meals for one day
  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
Last Updated: Dec 18, 2019
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El Calafate
How much money do I need for El Calafate?

Typical travel prices in El Calafate are listed below. These actual costs can give you an idea of the price of travel in El Calafate. Please keep in mind that the cost of travel in El Calafate can vary depending on your specific style of travel.

  • Beer
  • Dessert
  • Taxi
  • Glacerium Museum
  • Toiletries
  • Water
  • Dinner
  • Dinner
  • Alcohol
  • Laundry
Typical tour prices for El Calafate

How much do tours to El Calafate cost? Multi-day tours can often be an effecient way to see the highlights of a country or region.

  • Contiki Tours for 18-35 year olds
    9 days
    $ 1650
  • G Adventures Adventure and cultural tours
    17 days
    $ 1990
  • Intrepid Small group tours for everyone
    12 days
    $ 1675
  • Trafalgar Award-winning tours
    9 days
    $ 1400
Flights to El Calafate

How much does it cost to go to El Calafate? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend SkyScanner because they can find the best deals across all of the airlines.

El Calafate On a Budget
El Calafate Moreno Glacier near El Calafate, Argentina
Located in Patagonia, El Calafate has become a popular tourist destination in Argentina because of its beautiful setting on the stunningly blue Lago Argentina. The town sits on the southern border of the lake in the southwestern part of the Santa Cruz Province. It's about 320 kilometers from Rio Gallegos.

The rise in popularity of Patagonia as a tourist destination has truly put this small town on the map. You'll find no shortage of trekkers in the town and it makes an excellent base to explore different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park. Popular places to visit include Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro Chalten, and Cerro Torre.

El Calafate has a cold semi-arid climate. The summers are cool to warm and very dry while the winters are cold and damp. Lago Argentino has a significant influence over the town's climate. The shallow bay where the town is located is usually frozen during the winter months.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.
El Calafate and the surrounding area is all about natural beauty. Perito Moreno Glacier is a must see in the area. It's located about 80 kilometers away from town and has a costly entrance fee, which allows you to stay for just one day. Camping is not allowed. The glacier is incredibly impressive, particularly as it falls. There are viewing platforms and hiking trails that help you enjoy the area.

There is also a recently built museum about the area's glaciers. The museum, the Glaciarum, is located just a few kilometers outside of town and has a variety of exhibits and information on the area's history and geography.
El Calafate is a small town. Most visitors use it as a base for exploring the surrounding area and it's relatively easy to arrange tours into the national park.

Although the town is small, it is a significant destination for budget travelers. There are a decent number of hotels and hostels of varying budgets and quality around town. Budget options do fill up early during peak season so it is best to plan ahead.

A visit to El Calafate is all about the excursions. Most people use the town as a base for exploring Los Glaciares National Park. The most popular excursions are to Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro Chalten, and Cerro Torre. It is easy to arrange an excursion from town to Perito Moreno Glacier. You can catch a bus from town, or there are plenty of tourist agencies that run tours to the glacier.

Another fun experience is to visit a ranch, which can be arranged by any travel agency. It's also fun to rent a bike in town and take a ride along the lake. There is a paved road that you can follow and the views are amazing. Make sure you pack a lunch.

If you're in town during the winter months, then you can rent ice skates and skate in the shallow bay near the town center.
Food and Dining
Because of the town's remote location, food in El Calafate is very expensive. If you're on a particularly tight budget, then you can pick up supplies at one of the four supermarkets around town. You will not find any good fresh food, but packaged food is available.

There are some decent restaurants throughout the town, most of which specifically cater to tourists. You can find pizza and pasta, as well as local specialties such as Patagonia lamb. There are also plenty of restaurants that offer empanadas as an affordable option. There are also a couple of bars in town where you can buy a beer and relax with fellow travelers.

You can reach this town by flight from a handful of destinations around Argentina. Most flights take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and during the peak season the flights are usually full. It is necessary to make reservations well in advance. The only other option to reach El Calafate is by bus. The trip can be cumbersome and slow on challenging roads. It does offer some incredible views, but only when the weather allows.

One impressive trip is along Ruta 40 between El Calafate and Bariloche. If the weather cooperates you will see some dramatic and impressive scenery. It is important that you book bus tickets out of town immediately after you arrive, as the tickets sell out quickly.


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1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

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El Calafate Travel Cost - Average Price of a Vacation to El Calafate: Food & Meal Budget, Daily & Weekly Expenses |
Travel Tips

Food Options

By backpackguru in Food
Because of the town's remote location, the food can be quite expensive. It's best to shop at the supermarket near the end of the main street which has reasonable prices. If you're going on a tour be sure and buy your food in advance because there are almost no places to buy food in route, or within the national park.

If you're eating out there are some descent options. Patagonic Lamb "cordero patagónico" is the area's main dish. You can get typical barbecue (asado) which is very good, or if you're looking for something differe there is descent pizza or empanadas at the La Tolderia bar.

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