Accommodations and Food
Hikers should note that campfires are prohibited—camp stoves are obligatory for cooking. Rangers assert that park water is potable throughout.
The only accommodations near the glacier, multiday packages with full board and excursions are the rule at the lavish Hostería Los Notros (tel. 02902/49-9510). It rivals Torres del Paine’s Hotel Salto Chico in the “room with a view” competition; all 32 rooms face the ice. Minimum two-night packages start at US$1,826 s, US$2,574 d; for details, contact Hostería Los Notros (Arenales 1457, 7th floor, Buenos Aires, tel. 011/4814-3934, www.losnotros.com).
Also at the glacier, Nativos de la Patagonia operates both a snack bar (sandwiches for US$5–7, plus coffee and desserts) and a separate restaurant with set meals (around US$20); there’s also an à la carte menu. A couple kilometers east of the park entrance, highly recommended by Calafate-based guides, Los Ventisqueros serves a limited lunchtime menu of pasta, chicken, lamb, or beef.
La Jerónima’s Camping Lago Roca (tel. 02902/49-9500, lagoroca [at] yahoo [dot] com [dot] ar, US$6 pp) also has four-bed dorm-style cabañas (US$37 d, US$48 quadruple) with exterior baths. Hot showers are available, and its confitería serves decent meals.
At the terminus of RP 15, southwest of El Calafate 56 kilometers, the casco at Croatian-founded Estancia Nibepo Aike (tel./fax 02966/42-2626 in El Calafate, www.nibepoaike.com.ar) preserves its original rustic style but is now a five-room guesthouse with contemporary conveniences. Rates are US$389 s, US$510 d, with half board, for a minimum two-night stay. Open October 1–April 30, it also has a newer Quincho Don Juan for day-trippers to lunch or dine; overnight guests can choose to dine there or in the main house’s dining room. “Day in the country” excursions cost around US$45 pp with either lunch or dinner and transportation.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition