Looking for a Great Hostel in El Calafate?

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Hostel del Glaciar LibertadorSometimes a good hostel recommendation can go a long way. Most travelers have experienced those scary-to-sleep-in sheets, those refuse-to-be-barefoot bathrooms, and those sleepless-night beds at some point on our travels. It’s part of the life of a backpacker, but hey, if you can avoid it, you may as well. So if you are heading to El Calafate at some point in your Argentina adventures, a few nights at Hostel del Glaciar Libertador are the way to go.

At 3am, when my bus finally pulled into the El Calafate bus terminal, I was too tired to think straight, but thankfully I didn’t have to. A friendly man from Hostel del Glaciar Libertador greeted me as I stepped off the bus, loaded up my bags in a hostel vehicle, and before I knew it he had escorted me and a few other backpackers to the front steps of our hostel. It didn’t take long to get into a room and soon after into a bed.

I slept like a baby and into the following morning, when I had to force open my heavy squinty lids. But when I finally did take a look around, I was amused to see what a wonderful hostel I had stumbled into without even noticing. For starters, I was in a cozy bed, by myself in a room with four bunks. There were heated floors and large wooden storage closets, and the shower/bathroom was private and spotless.

A shared room at the Hostel del Glaciar LibertadorI was so comfy that for a second I considered sleeping in, but it didn’t take long for my adrenaline to start pumping in anticipation of everything that lay beyond the hostel doors, and that idea flew right out the window.

There is really only one reason that travelers to Argentina come to El Calafate (and it’s not for the night life). It’s for the Perito Moreno Glacier. Its ice cloak coves 600,000 hectares, the glacial front is 5km long, and it shoots up to a height of over 60 meters above water. All that heavy ice produces a never ending show of fractures and detachments of huge sheets of ice that tumble down into the water below with a mighty roar. It’s amazing, and that morning I was one of the eager tourists waiting to see it.

After hearing the hostel staffers’ description, I immediately booked an excursion and my excitement and little-kid-enthusiasm kicked into high gear. So I started a game of 20 questions with the staffer to see just how well-informed he was about Perito Moreno related topics. Needles to say, he passed with flying colors.


The excursion I took was nothing short of amazing, even better than the stories I had heard back in Hostel del Libertador. We traveled through the Patagonia valley and marveled at the roaming guanacos and pink flamingos until we arrived at the panoramic view of the frozen natural wonder. I was able to see it from the front, the back, the balcony view, the boat tour, and even right beneath my feet as I went on a mini trek on top of the glacier. I couldn’t get enough.

After all that excitement I had worked up an appetite, and was ready to do some cookin’. I headed to the grocery store with a few fellow travelers I had bonded with on my excursion, and we made our way up to the kitchen. Cooking space is somewhat limited, but I can’t imagine a better way to wait your turn than by sipping Argentine vino and hanging out with new friends on the hostel’s bean bags.

There is a large open room with a homey cabin-like ambiance and many picnic tables, high vaulted wooden ceilings, and televisions, where everyone gathered while eating. After we finished cooking our meal we joined the rest of the troops and unwound for the night.

Making the trek to Perito Moreno is perfectly complemented by a stay in one of Argentina’s coziest hostel accommodations, Hostel del Libertador.

Hostel del Glaciar Libertador
Av. Libertador 587
Z9405 El Calafate, Argentina
Tel: (02902) 491792
Visit their website

One Comment

mark on November 6, 07

Hi there, great article. im really lookin’ foward to go back home in january (after 6 years) and i defenitly will go to calafate. cheers!
btw: you are beautifull!

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