El Calafate, one of Argentina’s most southern towns bordering Lake Argentino, is one of the world’s best entry points into the icy and adored Patagonia region. With access to Patagonia’s Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, its glaciers, and the rest of the frosty region’s remarkable creations, El Calafate is not only the perfect base to explore Patagonia but also to relax, make friends, and learn about southern Argentina’s culture before continuing your treks. Thrill seekers and adventurers will feel right at home in El Calafate, and with so many hostels to choose from in this small but charming town, here are Hostelgeek’s recommendations for the best hostels in El Calafate.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check-Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Additional Information about El Calafate: Of course, Patagonia is famous for its strikingly white glaciers. The Perito Moreno glacier, which is best seen by boat, is one of the most famous glaciers in the world and can be found at Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. For such an incredibly rare sight, transportation to and from the park is relatively simple, with buses running continuously throughout the day. Bookings for boat tours can be made the night before. Visitors can also hike the glaciers, with hiking tours available from almost anywhere in the city.
Fortunately, El Calafate is walkable, and there are plenty of sights to keep your afternoon busy. After viewing Patagonia’s glaciers, return to El Calafate and unwind at Glaciarium Ice Bar. The bar doubles as a museum, and at the end of the tour transforms into a unique bar where drinks are both cold and unlimited. Another popular glacier-themed bar that attracts tourists is the Yeti Ice Bar in the center. After warming up with a few drinks, you can enjoy El Calafate’s nightlife, which consists mostly of bar hopping and ending the night at a lounge or two.
Head to Nimez Lagoon to see Argentina’s many natural birds, including Chilean flamingos, for a spectacular display of pink. The park is less than twenty minutes from El Calafate’s center and is a great way to spend a hassle-free, relaxing day in town after a long trip around Patagonia.
If you want to extend your stay in El Calafate, El Chaltén, known as the trekking capital of Argentina, is four hours north of the city. There are many beginner to advanced hiking trails in the small village along with stunning scenery. Tours are frequently twelve hours or more in length due to the time it takes to get there and back, so make sure to get up early!
A shorter excursion option is a visit to the La Leona Petrified Forest, which contains dinosaur fossils from the area. The La Leona Petrified Forest, located between El Calafate and El Chaltén, is only accessible by tour, which can also be booked in the city.
While beef is a staple of Argentine cuisine, El Calafate is known for its lamb. Lamb al asador, a slow-roasted lamb dish served with potatoes, is a popular dish to try while in the area and can be found all over. Don Pichon is a local favorite that serves not only some of the best lamb in town, but also some of the city’s best food in general.
The summer months of December to February are ideal for visiting El Calafate. El Calafate’s weather remains cool all year, especially at night. Bring a waterproof jacket to protect yourself from the infamous Santa Cruz wind. To warm up, try Argentina’s national drink, yerba mate, which is a mixture of yerba mate leaves crushed into hot water, resembling a sort of tea.
El Calafate berry products are a hit for those with a sweet tooth if you’re looking for a unique souvenir to bring home. This berry can be found all over Patagonia and is used in alcoholic beverages and desserts. The center’s Artisanal Market is a great place to find El Calafate berry items as well as other handcrafted trinkets made by locals.
It’s easy to pass through Patagonia-adjacent towns and then leave, but spending a few days in the communities that make your trip possible is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture while viewing some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes. While two days is more than enough time to explore El Calafate, the natural surroundings make an extension of your stay worthwhile. El Calafate will undoubtedly become the highlight of your Argentina itinerary, with days spent exploring Patagonia and nights spent gazing up at the pollution-free starry night sky.
America del Sur Hostel is a wonderful lodge-like hostel that is only seven minutes on foot from the city center and ten minutes from the bus stop, making your trip in and out of El Calafate that much easier. This hostel has everything the typical traveler requires to feel comfortable and accommodated, particularly those who prefer larger hostels with multiple amenities.
This hostel has several common areas scattered throughout the property and is filled with comfortable couches and seating areas where guests can mingle while warming up by the hostel’s nightly fires. The large dining area with views of the mountains and lake is one of the hostel’s best features. If you get hungry, there’s no need to leave the hostel; the restaurant and on-site bar provide a variety of food options. Dormitories are divided into 6-bed and 4-bed rooms. Private rooms sleep two to four people and can accommodate couples. Breakfast is included in all reservations.
Excursions and day trips can be booked directly from the hostel, which is preferable for the average traveler who wants to see the main points of El Calafate without making too much effort. The hostel, unlike many large hostels with restaurants, also has a large kitchen.
America del Sur is the best social hostel in El Calafate, with clean rooms and common areas, a panoramic view, and a lively ambiance. Because it is large enough to meet new people while also providing solitude when needed, the hostel is perfect for all types of travelers. The environment is suitable for those who don’t mind a slightly noisy hostel with people coming and going all day.
Location: This hostel is located in El Calafate, 6.9 km from Argentinean Lake and within 3.5 km of El Calafate Regional Museum. Nimez Lagoon is 4 km from the accommodation, while El Calafate Bus Station is 4.5 km away. The nearest airport is Comandante Armando Tola International Airport, 22.5 km from Titan Hostel y Cabañas Del Titan.
Folk Hostel serves visitors the traditional hostel feel. This classic backpacker hostel is ideal for solo travelers looking to spice up their El Calafate trip by meeting new people at this extremely social hostel. Folk Hostel is a cozy hostel in a quiet neighborhood ten minutes from the city center, right next to the bus station. The hostel has mixed dormitories for four to eight people as well as private rooms with bathrooms that can accommodate two to three people.
The kitchen has everything you need to cook, and on warm days, the courtyard is a great place to hang out, where you can BBQ and play games with other guests. The staff at the hostel takes pride in providing hospitality to all guests, and they can assist with booking excursions, transportation, and laundry services. You will definitely feel as if you are in your own little sanctuary of El Calafate.
Nimez Lagoon and Argentino Lake are both thirty minutes away by foot, making it a pleasant stroll across town. Guests can enjoy a gorgeous view of the city from the Mirador de la Ciudad, an observation deck where they can watch the sunrise or sunset. Folk Hostel is great for those looking for a youthful hostel close to the city center.
Location: The property is around a 5-minute walk from El Calafate Bus Station, 366 m from El Calafate Regional Museum and 2.6 km from Nimez Lagoon. Isla Solitaria (Lonesome Island) is 9.3 km from Folk Hostel, while Puerto Irma Ruines is 11.7 km from the property. The nearest airport is Comandante Armando Tola International, 19.3 km from the accommodation, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Titan Hostel y Cabañas Del Titan is a large hostel located a bit outside of El Calafate’s city center, so plan on taking a taxi to and from town. Visitors will be impressed from the moment they enter the hostel, with an elegantly decorated lobby awaiting those who are ready to check in. Independent backpackers who prefer exploring on their own terms while still enjoying the comfort and amenities of a high-quality hostel will appreciate their stay at Titan.
Because of the rural location, there aren’t many nearby activities, but the on-site restaurant and bar will save you trips to the supermarket. The lake, on the other hand, is less than ten minutes away on foot and promises a spectacular view from any point in the hostel. The area is excellent for hiking and taking nature walks.
In this large, 21-room hostel, guests have plenty of options when it comes to sleeping. Titan Hostel has seventeen dorms that host six to eight people, as well as four private rooms that sleep couples and groups of three. If guests prefer to cook their own meals, the kitchen is modern and big enough to accommodate multiple people.
A hostel favorite is the game room, which has ping pong, a pool table, and other board games to play on lazy afternoons inside. There are several quiet areas in the hostel where you can meet new travelers or read a book. Titan is an excellent communal hostel with plenty of options for entertainment and a good time, from barbeques to lunch on the beautiful terrace.
Location: This hostel is a 7-minute walk from downtown Calafate, 14 mi from the airport and 50 mi from the beautiful Perito Moreno Glacier.
This is one of the best hostels in El Calafate for
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in El Calafate.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in El Calafate
add your dates
Order the listings by price
Simple as that.
Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.
Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of El Calafate best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/ bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.
The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app
What is the best hostel for solo travellers in El Calafate?
The best hostel for solo travellers in El Calafate is Folk Hostel.
What is El Calafate best known for?
Here are the El Calafate main tourist attractions:
Reserva Laguna Nimez
Glaciarium Patagonian Ice Museum
Centro de Interpretación Histórica Calafate
Yeti Ice Bar
Plaza de Los Pioneros
Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier Walkways
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Walichu tip (Cuevas Gualicho)
Are hostels in El Calafate safe?
Not all hostels in El Calafate are necessarily safe, especially the one that offers the cheapest price in sketchy areas. It might be an illegal hostel, without proper license to run and safety measures.
So in all fairness, it is best to check out Hostelgeeks.com because we feature safe hostels in El Calafate. You can find backpacker hostel with top ratings! Keep a close eye on the overall ratings on booking platforms!
If you are not secure, you can also send us an email and ask us!
How much are hostels in El Calafate?
Hostels in El Calafate cost 16€ – 58€ per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room starts from 44€ up to 185€ per night. This is a rough average just to give you an idea.
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Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.
Safe travels, The Hostelgeeks
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