LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK
Access to the park is possible through a "comb-like" network of roads branching off National Route Nº40. This access network, basically motivated by the existence of the great lakes Viedma and Argentino, is indeed appropriate for the management of the area as it allows to control the access routes and to avoid the impact caused by land building in mountainous regions. The National Park can be accessed either by car or by bus from El Calafate, which can be reached both by land and by air.
The great distances are not an obstacle to enjoy the attractions of Los Glaciares National Park. Below, you will find different alternatives to access the main attractions: El Calafate, El Chaltén, Perito Moreno Glacier and the rest of great glaciers in the area.
You arrive at El Calafate International Airport. From this town, you can either join an organized excursion or rent your own car. Another alternative is arriving in Río Gallegos, the capital of Santa Cruz, from where many bus companies operate during the high season.
There are many alternatives for the ones who prefer undertaking the entire journey by car:
From Buenos Aires along the coast
After leaving Buenos Aires, take National Route (NR) Nº3, which runs along the entire coast of the Argentinean Sea. It goes past important tows such as Bahía Blanca, Trelew and Comodoro Rivadavia. On arriving in Comandante Luis Piedra Buena, Santa Cruz, you can choose to take National Route Nº288 (graveled), which runs across the Patagonian steppe desert and reaches National Route Nº40 (graveled). From this point, you take a north-south direction toward Lake Argentino and finally, you take Provincial Route (PR) Nº11 (paved), which ends in the National Park going past El Calafate. If from Comandante Luis Piedra Buena, you prefer to continue along the coast, you should continue up to Río Gallegos.
From Río Gallegos
You should take Provincial Route Nº5 toward the cordillera. Then, take Provincial Route Nº40 and finally Provincial Route Nº11. This route is completely paved and runs through the arid and monotonous steppe of the Santa Cruz river valley.
Starting off along National Route Nº258, which converges with Natioanal Route Nº40 (graveled) after going through El Bolsón, continue in a north-south direction parallel to the Andes cordillera until you get to its convergence with Provincial Route Nº11 (paved) shortly after crossing Santa Cruz river. This journey goes thorugh Perito Moreno, Bajo Caracoles and Tres Lagos, among other towns.
Vía Río Gallegos
From Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos along National Route Nº3. From Río Gallegos, many regular lines leave toward El Calafate.
How to get there
There are many airlines offering regular flights from Buenos Aires to El Calafate (80 km away from the glaciers). There you can find excursions and accommodations. The flight takes three hours.
The most convenient access to the National Park is from the north along National Route Nº3 up to Rio Gallegos, continuing along Provincial Route Nº5, National Route Nº40 and Provincial Route Nº11 up to El Calafate, which is 50 km away from the Park. Between these two cities, there is a distance of 316 km.
From El Calafate, you can arrive in El Chaltén in the northern part of the protected area along Provincial Route Nº11, National Route Nº40 and finally Provincial Route Nº23.
By plane, you can get from Buenos Aires to Río Gallegos, from where many domestic flights leave for El Calafate.