Heading down south for the winter? Southern Argentina, that is! Most likely, if you are heading off for your adventure in the Patagonia region of Argentina, your journey might be getting started in El Calafate. El Calafate is the perfect starting point to explore the glaciers, snow-capped mountains, and winter sports that Patagonia has to offer. Since it is a considerably long bus ride from Buenos Aires, most visitors fly into the El Calafate airport. The El Calafate airport is officially known as Comandante Armando Tola International Airport. The airport is located in the Santa Cruz Province, about 13 miles (22 km) east of the city of El Calafate.
The El Calafate airport was designed by the famous Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott and inaugurated in 2000, replacing the older Lago Argentino Airport. Fun fact: the airport is the westernmost Argentine servicing airport and is the official entrance to the Los Glacieres National Park! Airline service is provided by Aerolineas Argentinas, LAN, and LADE. Direct flights connect to Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Cordoba, Iguazu, Rosario, and San Carlos de Bariloche. Entrance taxes may be charged to passengers upon arrival, so consult your airline to see what taxes apply.
The El Calafate airport operates a shuttle that brings passengers to and from the airport and El Calafate city. You can also take a taxi into the city center. Rates will be different for arriving and returning trips, since taxis need to pay airport parking while they wait for passengers. The trip will take about 30 minutes by shuttle and 20 minutes by taxi.