My second full day in El Calafate was also about glaciers, though a different view of them. This trip took me further afield, but provided some really nice views. I knew from my research, I wanted to take a cruise on Lago Argentina, and get views of the Upsala Glacier. I wanted to get as many glacier views as possible, since that is not something I readily have access to at home.
My travel agent recommended an all day tour that incorporated a boat tour of the lake with glacier views, with the afternoon at Estancia Cristina, which is an old isolated sheep farm that has converted into a hotel. I figured why not.
The morning started with a gray, chilly (the clouds were low and rolling in) boat cruise on Lago Argentina as we traveled all the way up the lake where the Uppsala Glacier is breaking off into the lake. The glacier views weren’t as big as the Perito Moreno Glacier from the day before, but we were able to get pretty close to the icebergs and glacier chunks floating in the lake. Some of them had the bluish tint of ice and were in a wide variety of shapes. It sorted of reminded me of Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in Iceland.
After the glacier viewing, we boated up to the dock of Estancia Cristina. We had a very nice, leisurely lunch at the hotel.
After lunch we boarded these converted 4×4 vehicles for the slow, at times precarious trip up for a short hike. The road was very rutted, and the vehicle swayed a lot, which could be a bit nerve wracking at times, since I was seated on the side with the steep drop off. Even though I pictured us losing control and rolling down the hill, nothing of the kind happened, and eventually we arrived at the continental ice shelter where we started our walk.
The walk wasn’t especially difficult, though it could be a bit tricky at times, just because of the rocks. Plus the whipping wind didn’t help matters, but it was all part of the experience. After about a 30 minute walk, we arrived at the overlook of Lake Guillermo. It was quite the sight to behold, even with the low clouds obscuring the sun. The lake was this brilliant shade of blue. Off in the distance, we could see the icefield, which was the starting point of the Upsala Glacier that we saw breaking up in the lake earlier in the day.
This particular trip will result in a very full day, because we didn’t get back to El Calafate until later in the evening before dinner. But the sights you will see make it worth it for a long trip.