El Calefate is a small city in the Argentinian part of the Patagonia. It lies in the southern parts of the Lago Argentino’s lakeshore, in the Santa Cruise province. For those who want to escape from city crowd or for folks who want to be cured of the “madness” of the Buenos Aires, this can be an ideal destination.
Car rental in El Clafate is always a good option, because it is probably the best way of exploring all wonders of the Patagonia.
In the beginning, this small town was an ordinary shelter for local wool traders. The Argentinian government decided to found the city in 1927, as a part of the general plan of settlement of the whole area. It seems that people were not so interested in the new place in the beginning. However, things started to change after the foundation of the Perito Moreno National Park in 1937, when the state government decided to build new roads and connect the area with the rest of the country. Although it is still a small city with a population of 22.000 people, it is now the top tourist destination of the whole region.
The weather is characterized with extremely dry summers and wet winters. However, the climate is not so extreme because of the lake, which has the power to keep the temperature at the optimal range. There are a lot of the flamingoes, which are the symbols of the El Calafate. The other symbol of the city is the plant calafate, with distinguishing yellow flowers and blue berries. According to the local legend, everyone who eats these berries will return to the city and Patagonia.
However, the biggest attraction here is the Perito Moreno Glacier, a huge piece of pure ice that covers an area of more than 250 square kilometers. Car rental in El Calafate is the best solution if you want to enjoy in the frozen beauty of this glacier. It is located 78 kilometers from the city. As we said, it is now the main tourist destination of this part of Patagonia. Today, people from all parts of the world enjoy in its beauty and organized trekking tours. Many people who rent a car in Iguazu Falls come here as well.
Traffic And Car Rental In El Calafate
When it comes to the traffic and driving rules in this region, in Patagonia you have to drive on the right side of the road, same as in the whole Argentina. Although an international driver’s license is not required, we suggest you to get one, especially if you want to explore Patagonia little deeper. As you know, this region is not limited by the state borders, and if you want to check the Chilean part of this beautiful area, then an international license is definitely something you will need.
Of course, keep your headlights on even during the day. It is mandatory, so as seat belts. The same rules apply if you are going for car renting in Santiago de Chile.
Roads in Patagonia are in a pretty much good condition, the main ones at least. Almost all smaller roads and sideways are unpaved, which require extra caution.
Keep your fuel tank always full, because fuel stations are rare in the Patagonia. You can drive more than 150 kilometers before you get to the next one.
If you are looking for the car rental in El Calafate, try with agencies at the airport. The prices vary but you have to be prepared. They are not cheap and they can go up to $790 for just one day. On the other side, renting a car in Panama City is a whole lot cheaper.