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Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier - Argentina

Argentine Patagonia is a vast and diverse region covering the south of Argentina down to the Magellan Strait, the passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The region is home Tierra del Fuego, an area famous for its history and national parks and reserves, and world-renowned natural landmarks such as Perito Moreno ice field and Fitz Roy mountain.

Quick facts

  • Principal attractions in Argentine Patagonia: Mount Fitz Roy, Perito Moreno, Los Glaciers NP, El Chalten, El Calafate and Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego
  • The main gateways to Argentine Patagonia are El Calefate and Ushuaia airports
  • Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego, is the world’s southern-most city
  • Perito Moreno glacier, 250 km2 (97 sq mi) and 30 km (19 mi) in length, is the world’s third biggest fresh water reserve
  • Mount Fitz Roy, close to El Chalten, was named after Robert Fitz roy, captain of HMS Beagle (made famous by Darwin’s presence on the ship)
  • El Calafate, used as a base for tourists visiting the region’s attractions, is named after the dark blue Calafate berries found in Patagonia

Geography, climate & weather

The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the saturated winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Also, the influence from the strong marine currents and South Patagonic Ice field make the weather hard to predict.
In Argentine Patagonia in spring or early summer fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rains and eventually snow. Even in summer (December to march) you should come prepared to find cold, strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfalls. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF (24ºC max, 2ºC min).  Rest assured, however, that just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become pleasantly warm! Night-time temperatures will most likely range from –1°C to -5°C (30s and 40s F) depending on the weather.