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Calafate is a small town in the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina. It’s a gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, which is famous for the Perito Morena Glacier. 

Thousands of tourists come to Calafate each year to experience the city’s rustic charm, stay in one of the friendly local hostels, and go on adventures in the surrounding mountains, lakes, and natural reserves.

Sightseeing, hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking, ice treks, and even sport fishing are all on the list for popular activities. Calafate is a paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. 

Check out also: Best Hostels in BarilocheBest Hostels in Bariloche

The Perito Moreno Glacier is the primary attraction, crushing its way across the landscape about 40 kilometers from Calafate. It’s in the Los Glaciares National Park, which is also home to some of the region’s tallest mountain peaks, including Cerro Chaltén and Cerro Torre. 

Consider one of these six hand-picked hostels for your next Calafate getaway. 

America Del Sur Hostel

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from $20 / 4-dorm 4.6/5 Map

Highlights of hostel:

  • This place has immense windows that offer an unforgettable view of the surrounding mountains.
  • The under-floor heating ensures you’re always cozy and warm.

America Del Sur is a rustic hostel with a cabin-like atmosphere. Its wood construction frames beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and lake.

Inside, the hostel is spacious and warm — there’s a huge ding area where they serve delicious food and a cozy fire pit close to the huge windows where you can sit and warm yourself while taking in the scenery.

There’s also a fully-stocked bar if you care to warm your insides. The rooms themselves are comfortable and clean with soft beds that give you a good night’s sleep. And the staff is friendly and as warm as the hostel, lending a personable charm to the overall atmosphere. This is a great hostel for those looking for a cheerful and cozy experience when visiting Calafate.

Hostel Nakel Yenu

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from $15 / 6-dorm 4.6/5 Map

Highlights of hostel:

Hostel Nakel Yenu is a cozy hostel located not far from the main city center and bus stop, so getting around town is easy.

It’s a cozy hostel with a laid-back atmosphere where there’s always good music playing to raise your spirits. It has a great little common area, the Quincho, where you can share tales with fellow travelers and get together and barbecue.

The bilingual staff is friendly and always willing to help plan your next adventure in El Calafate. They offer a delicious breakfast of fresh bread, jam, coffee, tea and juice to get you going in the mornings.

  • They have a great common area for mingling and barbecuing. 
  • Their complimentary breakfast is fresh and delicious.

Schilling Patagonia Travellers

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from $23 / 5-dorm 4.5/5 Map

Highlights of hostel:

  • This place has an amazing outside garden area for relaxing when the weather is permitting. 
  • They have their own restaurant that serves a delicious menu for lunch and dinner.

This is a large, comfortable hostel with lots of space, clean rooms, and cozy beds. There are plenty of common areas to mingle in with your fellow travelers, and when the weather is nice, there’s a lovely garden outside to relax in.

They offer free breakfast and there’s also a restaurant in the hostel that serves lunch and dinner, so if you want to focus on your excursions and adventures without worrying about food, this hostel has you covered.

The staff is helpful and attentive, and they’re quite knowledgeable of Los Glaciares National Park, so they can help you plan your outings.

Albergue and Hostal Del Glaciar Libertador

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from $80 / 3-ensuite 4.3/5 Map

Highlights of hostel:

  • This hostel has an amazing turn-of-the-century atmosphere that makes it unique.
  • They have movie nights every evening in one of their spacious common areas.

Albergue is an atmospheric hostel that was once a spacious house. Its brick and wood construction gives it a rustic atmosphere, and you’d swear you went back in time a hundred years when you enter this place.

It’s roomy and open with plenty of common areas to socialize, and they have an area where they show movies every evening. The rooms are comfortable and clean and each one has its own private bathroom. It’s a memorable hostel with a unique ambiance you won’t soon forget. 

Hostel de Las Manos

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from $9 / 6-dorm 3.5/5 Map

Highlights of hostel:

  • This hostel has a very remote vibe and wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and nature.
  • They offer a delicious Patagonian breakfast free of charge.

Hostel de Las Manos has a secluded and serene ambiance, even though they’re only four blocks from the main city square. When peering outside through their oversized windows, you get an amazing view of the Laguna Nimez reserve, giving the whole place a very remote vibe.

They offer a free breakfast to travelers every morning in their spacious dining area, and you’ll also have access to the kitchen where it’s prepared if you want to do your own cooking. 

Patagonia Republic Hostel

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from $15 / 8-dorm 4.2/5 Map

Highlights of hostel:

  • This place has an amazing location if you’re looking to experience Calafate.
  • The common area, with its wood stove and guitars, is cozy and relaxed, great for chilling with fellow travelers.

Patagonia Republic is a downtown hostel that’s literally feet away from the main street. It’s a cozy and colorful hostel with a bright and welcoming vibe. It’s not a large place, but the use of its space gives it a very intimate atmosphere. The rooms are clean and comfortable and there’s a fully-equipped kitchen for meal prepping.

There’s a lovely dining area with a wood-burning fireplace, and a comfortable common area with plenty of couches, a wood-burning stove, and guitars for getting together and playing some music together.

Things to Do in Calafate

For the outdoor enthusiast, there are countless activities to do in and around Calafate. Here are just a few of the ones you shouldn’t miss out on when visiting.

Visit Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno Glacier is the primary attraction for the travelers that visit Calafate, and with good reason. It’s not the biggest glacier in the region but it’s easily accessible and offers some unforgettable scenery. 

The visitor center has great balconies for getting some fantastic views of the glacier, but if you want to get in even closer, there are boat tours available where you can get right up next to it. 

Go Ice Trekking

If a boat tour doesn’t get you as close to Perito Moreno Glacier as you’d like, you can strap on your ice boots and take an ice trek in an unforgettable guided tour.

There are two options for the would-be adventurer: There’s an all-day tour for those that really want to push their limits, and there’s a shorter tour that takes about two hours and is modest enough that you can bring the whole family along. Either one offers an unforgettable experience where you’ll traverse the frosty environment, listen to the ice crackling and popping as the glacier moves imperceptibly across the terrain, and even get to sample a taste of glacier water. It’s a truly magnificent experience.

Visit Laguna Nimez

Laguna Nimez is an ecological reserve near Argentino lake, and it’s a wondrous place to visit for the nature lover. A vast array of protected birds reside here, including the beautiful Chilean flamingo. The environ is a recreation of Patagonia wetlands and desert steppes, and this is another great place to take the whole family.

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