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Experience top-notch customer service with our car rental in El Calafate. Our knowledgeable team is dedicated to delivering a seamless travel experience, regardless of your destination - be it Perito Moreno Glacier or Los Glaciares National Park. With the unique beauty of El Calafate, our comprehensive customer service covers everything you need to enjoy your journey.

Car Rental in El Calafate

Exploring the Breathtaking Beauty of Patagonia by Car

City car amid Patagonian steppe, glaciers, traditional houses

Welcome to El Calafate, a picturesque town located in the Patagonia region of Argentina. This small scenic paradise is gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Within a day’s drive of El Calafate, you can spot diverse wildlife, gaze at magnificent glaciers, and walk through an unspoiled landscape of peaks and forests. The word "Calafate" refers to a local berry, known for its supposed magical properties to ensure your return to Patagonia once consumed.

While in town, you'll definitely want to plan a trip to the Los Glaciares National Park. Known for its incredibly beautiful glaciers, particularly the Perito Moreno and Upsala Glaciers, it is the perfect place to experience the raw beauty of untamed nature. Make sure to also include El Chaltén, Argentina's trekking capital, to your itinerary - reachable by car in less than three hours. El Chaltén is a veritable paradise for trek lovers, offering trail paths with all kinds of difficulties and duration.

The immense expanse of the Patagonian wilderness is best explored by car. The distance from El Calafate to major highlights are moderate; for instance, it is 80 km to Perito Moreno Glacier, 220 km to El Chaltén, and 310 km to Torres del Paine in Chile, establishing El Calafate as an ideal base for exploring. Top it all with the authentic Patagonian gastronomy, warm welcome and cozy accommodations that El Calafate offers, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.

Car Rental FAQs

El Calafate Car Rental

1. How much does it cost to rent a car in El Calafate?

Car rental costs in El Calafate typically start from $35 per day for economy cars. However, prices may vary depending on the time of the year, car model, and rental duration. It's advisable to book in advance to secure the best rates.

2. Which car model is the most popular rental in El Calafate?

The most popular rental car in El Calafate is the compact car, particularly because of its ability to navigate the city's terrain. These cars are fuel-efficient, making them an ideal choice for travelers who plan to explore the region extensively.

3. Where are the most popular locations to rent a car in El Calafate?

The most popular locations to rent a car in El Calafate are the city center and the El Calafate International Airport.

4. Is there a 24-hour pickup and drop-off service?

Yes. Most car rental companies in El Calafate offer 24-hour pickup and drop-off services for the convenience of their customers.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

Typically, the minimum rental period for cars in El Calafate is one day. However, some rental companies may have different policies, so it's recommended to check beforehand.

6. What is the minimum age requirement to rent a car in El Calafate?

The minimum age requirement to rent a car in El Calafate is usually 21 years. However, drivers under 25 may be required to pay a young driver fee.

7. What documents do I need to rent or drive a car in El Calafate?

Generally, you'll need a valid driver's license, passport, credit card, and proof of insurance to rent a car in El Calafate.

8. When is the best time to visit El Calafate and drive around?

The best time to visit El Calafate by car is between November and March. During this time, the weather is warmer and road conditions are more favorable for driving.

9. What are the main airports in El Calafate?

The main airport in El Calafate is the El Calafate International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Comandante Armando Tola).

10. Can I pick up the car in El Calafate and return it in another city?

Yes, you can. Most car rental companies offer one-way services, allowing you to pick up a car in El Calafate and drop it off in another city. However, this service might incur an additional fee.

Customer Experiences


El Calafate – 01-01-2024. Best car rental experience in El Calafate to date! These guys were fast, friendly and the pricing was transparent and fair. The car was impeccable and provided a smooth ride through Patagonia.


El Calafate – 15-11-2023. I am a 65-years-old woman and my husband and I had a pleasant experience with this company. Picked up a nice and comfy car for our trip around the glacier region, all at a reasonable price. Certainly a relief in our golden years!


El Calafate – 29-09-2023. Car rental was a total breeze with these folks in El Calafate. Speedy service and the car was in excellent condition. Loved driving through the beautiful landscapes with the car we rented from them. Price was good too!


El Calafate – 07-07-2023. Great car rental company in El Calafate, cars are well-maintained and clean. We were on a tight budget, so we were really happy to discover they had some of the most affordable prices in the area. Totally recommend!


El Calafate – 19-04-2023. I had never rented a car before and I was a bit nervous, but the process was simple and the staff was very helpful. The car itself was perfect for getting us around El Calafate, particularly for our visit to the Perito Moreno glacier.


El Calafate – 07-02-2023. We were pleased with the car we rented and the service we received. Excellent company! It was a lovely bonus that they also offered useful tips for our journey around Los Glaciares National Park.

El Calafate Road Connections

Essential Road Routes for Tourists

  1. El Calafate - Los Glaciares National Park: A 78 km drive on Route 11, taking about 1.5 hours, this road is typically in good condition and offers splendid glacial views.
  2. El Calafate - El Chalten: Covering a distance of 214 km on Route 40, expect to drive for about 3 hours pass through the iconic Patagonian scenery.
  3. El Calafate - Rio Gallegos: This 315 km journey on Route 3 will take roughly 4 hours, offering views of the expansive Patagonian steppe.
  4. El Calafate - Torres del Paine: A long 400 km drive on Route 40, prepare for approx 5 hours road trip, breathtaking views of the Andes will make it worthwhile.
  5. El Calafate - Ushuaia: A vast 866 km journey on Route 3, it takes about 12 hours. The road condition is generally good but can be challenging in winter.
  6. El Calafate - Perito Moreno: The journey covers 56 km via Route 40, usually about a 1-hour drive. The primary attraction of this road is the incredible Perito Moreno glacier.
  7. El Calafate - Puerto Natales: A 362 km trip and roughly a 5-hour drive on Route 40, renown for its panoramic mountain views.

El Calafate Must-Sees

Top 8 attractions for road trippers

  1. Perito Moreno Glacier: The world's most famous glacier that's still growing.
  2. Los Glaciares National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site with breathtaking landscapes.
  3. Walichu Caves: Unique ancient caves featuring indigenous cave paintings.
  4. Laguna Nimez Reserve: Ideal spot for bird-watching with local and migratory species.
  5. Estancia Cristina: A historical ranch revealing Patagonian rural life.
  6. El Calafate Historical Interpretation Center: Museum offering valuable insights into the local history and culture.
  7. Puerto Bandera: Perfect destination for boat trips around the Argentino Lake.
  8. Rios de Hielo Express: Boat tour for exploring the major glaciers of Lake Argentino.

Relish the Roadtrips

South Argentina Best Routes

  1. El Calafate to Perito Moreno Glacier: A must-do 80 km scenic drive offers stunning views of gorgeous landscapes and the massive Perito Moreno Glacier itself.
  2. Circular Route of the Glaciers: Covering 220 km, this circuit takes you past turquoise lakes, mountains and the Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers exposing you to the tranquil nature of Patagonia.
  3. Route 40 to El Chaltén: An easy 220 km drive broken up with postcard-worthy views of Viedma Lake and Mount Fitz Roy, ideal for a day trip from El Calafate.
  4. El Calafate to Torres del Paine: This 400 km drive takes you across the border into Chile to the stunning National Park Torres del Paine, known for its towering mountains and bright blue glaciers.
  5. El Calafate to Rio Gallegos: A 300km journey that gives you an authentic taste of the Patagonian steppe, wind-sculpted landscapes and the view of the Atlantic Ocean from the coast.
  6. El Calafate to Ushuaia: A true adventure awaits on this 562 km drive towards the 'End of the World', Ushuaia, Argentina's southernmost city. You'll see stunning landscapes and a diversity of wildlife along Ruta 3.
  7. El Calafate to Peninsula Valdes: This 1140 km journey offers daring adventurers the chance to see an array of marine wildlife, such as whales, penguins and sea lions.


Driving FAQs

El Calafate Driving Guide

1. What is the driving side in El Calafate?

In El Calafate, as in the rest of Argentina, you must drive on the right-hand side of the road.

2. What is the speed limit in El Calafate?

The speed limit in urban areas like El Calafate is typically 40 km/h (25 mph), but it can vary, so it's crucial to look for signposts. On highways, the maximum speed is usually 130 km/h (81 mph).

3. Do I need an international driving license in El Calafate?

A valid driving license from your home country is acceptable. However, if your license is not in Spanish, it's recommended to have an International Driving Permit.

4. Are there speed cameras in El Calafate?

There can be speed cameras, so it's important to adhere to the speed limits at all times.

5. Do I have to pay tolls when driving around El Calafate?

While there are no tolls in El Calafate itself, some highways in Argentina do have toll booths. It's best to have some cash to hand for this reason.

6. What are the general driving rules in El Calafate?

Standard international driving laws apply - obey speed limits, avoid use of your phone while driving, and always use your seatbelt.

7. How is traffic in El Calafate?

El Calafate is not a major city, so traffic is typically minimal. However, it may increase during peak summer tourist season.

8. How to handle driving and parking in snowy conditions?

El Calafate can have harsh winters. Good winter tires and careful driving are crucial. For parking, it's better to choose well cleared areas and avoid steep hills.

9. Are there roundabouts in El Calafate?

Yes, there are. The general rule is vehicles inside the roundabout have the right of way.

10. What should I do if I get involved in a road accident?

Contact your car rental company and the local police right away. Also, it's important to get complete details of the other party.

11. Do pedestrians have right of way?

In Argentina, by law, pedestrians do have the right of way./p>

12. Are seat belts compulsory?

Yes, the use of seat belts is mandatory for all individuals in the car.

13. Is it mandatory to have a fire extinguisher in the car?

Yes, according to Argentinian law, cars are required to have a fire extinguisher.

14. Can I turn right on a red light in El Calafate?

No, in Argentina it is generally prohibited to turn right on a red light unless there is a sign permitting it.

15. Do the police in El Calafate undertake random breath tests?

Yes, the police in Argentina can stop drivers for random breath tests, so it's essential not to drink and drive.