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“Though unique but great experience”

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El Galpon del Glaciar
Ranked #12 of 38 El Calafate B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stood for 2 nights at this Hotel and enjoyed every second. Location is perfect, 15 minutes outside the City of El Calafate, in a breathtaking surrounding. Easy to tour the glacier from there as you will be the last to be picked up in the morning and first to be dropped off in the afternoon. Rooms are pretty unique and individually designed, I guess one could call them "quaint", though really nice. Breakfast is fine and dinner very good. You can do horsebackriding right from the Hotel but you could also just sit outside and enjoy an incredible view to the Lago and the mountains. Carola and the rest of the staff are very nice and helpful and with Sonia they even had one who spoke fluent German (plus 4 more languages). We do highly recommend this place.

Room Tip: choose the Lake view
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank StephanLab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 - 62 of 139 reviews

Reviewed April 5, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights at the beginning of our Patagonia adventure and loved it!! Wished we could have stayed longer. The setting is spectacular with amazing views of Lago Argentina. It is outside of El Calafate but we did not mind at all and preferred to be away from everything with the peace and tranquility. The staff were all so warm and friendly and we loved the sheep herding dogs, learning all their names and enjoying playing with them. During our stay we took a wonderful horseback ride with Mary Jo as our guide. My husband had never rode before and learned to gallop. We enjoyed the sheep herding and shearing demonstration, lamb BBQ and short tango show our first night ending the evening with a lovely malbec by the fire in the main area. Heaven!! The next day we did the mini-trekking at Perito Moreno Glacier which is a must see! So cool. And after a long day at the Glacier we enjoyed a lovely dinner and relaxed by the fire. It was hard to leave and say good-bye and we do hope to return some day.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CLNYC85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2012

What a treat...watching a gaucho move a herd of sheep or a herd of horses with the help of a border collie while eating breakfast. Listening to the birds in the morning while getting ready for the day and witnessing a flock of pink flamingos take to the sky! A very convenient location to get a jump start on the drive to Perito Moreno glacier before the tour buses arrive. We met the mini-trekkiing at the boat launch so had time to walk the board walks in front of the glacier before the crowds arrived. Breakfasts were ample...no hot dishes...but otherwise ample. We had dinner one evening at the estancia and it was fantastic...honey varnished pork with whipped apples. Dessert was yummy. The rooms had their own sitting room which allowed for more space...for suitcases and to use as a dressing room. The staff was very generous in allowing me to use their internet service during quiet times. The drive on a gravel road for the opportunity to hike to Cerro Crystal....through fall colour Beech forests, views of Perito Moreno glacier and Lago Roca and best of all, an encounter with a herd of guanacos was worth the effort. Very few hikers! The estancia is truly a jewel in Patagonia.

Room Tip: Select a room overlooking the pastures...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Cascadetrailhopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

My husband and I stayed at El Galpon during a 6-week backpacking tour of South America and splashed out on two nights at this estancia. We were looking for a haven of peace after bustling cities and hostels and found more than we could have wished for.

The staff were extremely friendly, easygoing and accommodating and the estancia was beautifully peaceful. The views were amazing from all angles and left us gazing into the distance. The estancia was right on the lake, much closer than some of the other estancias or 'lake view' hotels/hostels. The activities (horseriding, walking, fishing) were gentle and the pace slow. The food was good for the price although lunches worked out to be quite expensive, and the only option as the town was far away. A little forward planning is a good idea. One night we were the only guests and we had the lounge to ourselves which was pure bliss!

Our room was really comfortable, with a lovely bath and everything we needed. The view looked out across the lake. Wifi was only available in the lounge but worked really well.

If you're looking to escape and find a slow pace of life, this is the place for you. The only problem for us was such a short stay!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank National_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2011

We arrived friday evening after a long day of travelling (30 hrs of flights and layovers). A driver met us at the airport carrying a sign with our names on it. Its about a half hour drive from the airport to el galpon. We drove thru el calafate on the way ( more on this later).

We stayed in mid november, and it wasn't busy at all. A few nights, we were the only guests.

We were greeted at the front desk by Carolina, who explained to us the activities, meal times, etc. She then showed us to our room.

The room was small, but cute, neat and clean. No tv or other distractions. The view out the window was of the lake (very lovely). The walls were a bit thin, but this wasn't really much of a problem for us. The bathroom was small but nice, and the showers were hot.

The first day we had breakfast, and then took a long nap (still recovering from the travel). The breakfasts were simple - corn flakes, a few varieties of sweet breads and normal bread, some sliced ham and cheese, coffee, orange juice, etc. Nothing fancy, but it was nice.

After our nap, we went horseback riding with Maryjo ( our guide). It was just the three of us, and two dogs (for those dog lovers out there, the ranch had at the time 14 dog, all kelpies, which are a herding breed. A few of them roam around the grounds, but they were very friendly. We love dogs, and were always trying to get them to come over to us -usually they were too busy chasing rabbits or bothering the sheep!). There was actually a lamb that was bottle fed and thus very tame that we saw every so often as well.

The horseback ride was great, even though neither of us had much experience riding. We went out for a couple of hours, and Maryjo explained some of the nature and history of the area.

That evening, we had a program that included a sheep shearing demonstration, herding demonstration, and nature walk to the bird watching house. Most of the participants spoke spanish, but the guide (javier) repeated everything in english. Side note - most of the staff spoke very good english, and communication was not a problem. The sheep shearing and history of the estancia was very interesting. After that, there was a lamb roast (several different cuts of lamb were served) and a short tango show. Overall, this program was a good blend - just enough information and activity to keep you engaged, but not so much that you were overwhelmed or bored. Most of the people who were on this weren't actually staying at el galpon, but came as an excursion. All of the days activities were included in our package, so there was no extra cost.

The next day we did mini trekking to the glaciar. It was amazing. I thought that paying the extra money to walk on the glaciar wouldn't be worth it, but it really was. We were picked up in a large tour bus, taken to the glaciar overlook (about 45 min away). Note that the bus starts in el calafate, so we were the last ones on the bus and the first to get off -a nice bonus. The glaciar was amazing, After a few hours of walking the trails that overlook the trail, we took a boat to the other side of the lake where we could walk on the glaciar. This was an organized tour, with guides for groups of 10 - 15 people. They gave us crampons to strap to our shoes in order to be able to walk on the glaciar. It was very cool -i wouldnt miss it.

We spent the next day at el calafate, walking around the shops. Carolina arranged a taxi (transfer) for us, which brought us to el calafate, to the ice museum, and then back to el galpon. El calafate was fun, but not too exciting - like any tourist town anywhere. Note: pizza in argentina is not their best food - we tried it in the airport, and chalked it up to being airport food, but the cafe in el calafate had very similiar pizza, and peeking in the windows of other pizza places confirmed that the same formula was used.

We went to the ice museum just outside of town. It was interesting - not so big that you feel like you need to spend hours, but enough to keep you engaged. The really big draw is the ice bar - it was really cool. In the basement of the museum, it's a bar where the floor, walls, furniture, and even the cups are made of ice. All you can drink in 20 minutes for 70 pesos! My wife found her new favorite drink. (hesperidina - an argentinian liquor- and 7up). The bartender was really friendly and fun.

The last evening we had dinner back at el galpon, and talked quite a bit to Carolina - she was a lot of fun to talk to, and it was great getting to know her (much easier to do since only a handful of the rooms were booked while we were there). We also ran into Maryjo and her kelpie dog simone (did i mention yet that we love dogs). Of course, simone recieved many pets from us.

Friday was a travel day. We said goodbye to the staff at el galpon, checked out of the room, and took a taxi to the airport. Luckily, this airport was not nearly as chaotic as aep when we flew in.

Overall, the trip was fantastic - definitely recommended.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mlarson100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2011

Eight North American friends spend three days at El Galpon del Glaciar (Nov 2011) and loved it. It is a huge former sheep ranch that now caters to Agrotourism. Fabulous surroundings with many activities available including horse riding, mountain biking and hiking. Great wildlife with many close photo opportunities. The food was very good, but remember Argentinians eat sugar stuff at breakfast with little protein only ham, cheese, yogurt. Be sure to try the house wine it was a loved surprise "Familia Gasgon Malbec." WiFi is available in the lounge area, so if you must you can email. Only one caveat, during our stay there was sediment (sandy bits) in the bath and shower water. It was tolerable, but a bit weird for pampered Nor. Americans. Do Not Miss seeing the nearby Moreno Glacier. It will take your breath away.

Room Tip: Choose a room nearer the office/lounge. The ranch dogs do a fair bit of barking at the other end of...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ABHIL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2011

We had 3 nights almost on our own here (April 2011), and it almost felt like we were just friends calling in at the ranch. It's a great location out of the touristy bustle that is now El Calafate, and is nearer to Perito Moreno in any case. It also has great views across the lake to the north, and the landscape of Patagonia everywhere else.
The girls looking after the place were very friendly and helpful, the food was great, and having breakfast watching the ibises on the lawn, a whole new experience!
The rooms are a little small and basic, and wi-fi only in available in the restaurant.
With more time, we could have exploited the location even more, but the ranch tour is well worth doing to see something of the traditional existence and the sheep farming that is the staple here.
Perito Moreno is fabulous, but the all-day boat trip to the Upsala and Spagazzini glaciers is even more awesome - don't miss it!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Klinton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Galpon del Glaciar

Address: Ruta Provincial 11 Km. 22, El Calafate Z9405DHC, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Patagonia > Province of Santa Cruz > El Calafate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in El Calafate
Price Range: $125 - $499 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — El Galpon del Glaciar 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only 20 kilometers away from El Calafate, on the same way to the Perito Moreno Glacier, is an old sheep farm named "El Galpon del Glaciar". The establishment is surrounded by 3,5 kilometers of shore of the Lago Argentino and by 1,5 kilometers of riverbank of the Centinela River: both offer an ideal environment to enjoy activities in contact with nature. Welcome. We will be waiting for you to know and to enjoy Patagonia. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Galpon Del Glaciar Hotel El Calafate
El Galpon Del Glaciar El Calafate, Argentina - Patagonia

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