- How to Reach El Calafate: There are multiple bus companies in El Chaltén running buses to El Calafate.
- Cost: Most of the buses cost ARS 600. But Taqsa runs buses for ARS 450.
- How to Reach the Glacier:
- I took a tour from my hostel that cost ARS 945.
- The bus from the terminal was ARS 450 (This was in December 2016. All the prices have increased now)
- If you’re not going any further south then a good idea would be to take a tour directly from El Chaltén. I later met two women checking prices for this and it was much lesser than going to El Calafate and taking the tour
- Park Entry fee: ARS 330 (As of Dec 2016)
** Cost Saving Tip: Hitchhike to the glacier and carry your food.`
There’s nothing much to do around here except a trip to this magnificent glacier. I booked a tour at my hostel. I usually try to avoid tours if it’s possible to go to the place using public transport or any other way which is even slightly cheaper. I booked this tour only because a friend I had made earlier on the bus was in the same hostel and he had already booked the tour. I often get carried away when I’m in good company so without much thinking I booked the tour as well.
The tour company was at our hostel at 8 a.m. and I felt completely out of place in the tour. Everyone else seemed to be on a fancy, luxurious trip. One American family of 4 was on an RTW trip, One guy from Korea was traveling in Argentina without taking any buses, and similar stories. The only good thing about the tour was that we could stop at the picturesque landscape and get some tidbits of information here and there but it’s definitely not that much extra money I would say.
Everyone (minus me and my friend) from our bus went for the boat ride to the glacier which costs an additional ARS 350 (As of Dec 2016). I was absolutely certain about not taking it. It looked pretty amazing though.
Not taking the ferry meant more time to explore the park though. We did the entire loop at a slow pace which was nice.
The glacier is nothing like what I’ve seen before. It’s absolutely magnificent esp. with the dramatic sound of ice falling and the splashing of water. It’s one of those places that make you realize what tiny place you occupy in the universe and how silly your problems are.
It would be amazing to see all of it from up close but I also feel that there’s no end to wanting more. Had I taken the ferry ride, I would have probably wanted to hike the glacier or something. Man keeps coming up with ideas to make more money out of nature. On this trip, I surprised myself with not wanting more and making my peace with whatever I could do.
Do you have any regrets from any of your trips? Like a place you didn’t go to or an activity you missed, to save some money and later regretted not going?