El Calafate is located in southern Argentina 280 kilometers north of Puerto Natales and 220 kilometers south of El Chaltén. For those traveling by bus, El Calafate is a logical stopover between Torres del Paine and El Chaltén. El Calafate is also popular with Buenos Aires residents who escape the summer heat and fly south directly.

El Calafate Airport

El Calafate has a small but modern airport with a number of daily non-stop flights to and from Buenos Aires (3.5 hours), Ushuaia (1.5 hours), and Bariloche (1.75 hours). The majority of the flights are operated by Aerolineas Argentinas with some operated by LAN. The El Calafate airport is located 20 kilometers east of town and has a departure tax of $38 pesos ($8 USD).

By Bus

Buses between El Calafate and Puerto Natales (5 hours including the border crossing)

Turismo Zaahj - Departures from Puerto Natales to El Calafate
8:00am - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
7:00am - Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday
2:00pm - Monday–Friday

Turismo Zaahj - Departures from El Calafate to Puerto Natales
8:00am - Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
4:30pm - Monday–Friday

Buses between El Calafate and El Chaltén (3 hours)
A handful of companies offer bus service between El Calafate and El Chaltén including  Chaltén Travel .

From El Calafate to El Chaltén
08:00 - Daily
13:00 - Daily
18:30 - Daily 

From El Chaltén to El Calafate
07:30 - Daily
08:00 - Daily
13:00 - Daily
18:00 - Daily
18:30 - Daily 

Buses in Patagonia

Be patient when taking buses in Patagonia. They often arrive slightly early or late but the time frames are dependable. Rest stops are commonplace and calculated into the schedule. For individuals and small groups, bus travel is reasonably pleasant and the most convenient and cost effective form of transportation. Larger groups can consider hiring a private transfer. Although unlikely, buying bus tickets at least one day in advance can prevent getting stranded.

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