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Other typical excursions from El Calafate include El Chaltén, for trekking beneath the famous peaks of Cerro Torre and Mt. FitzRoy in 1 day, or a jampacked day visiting Chile's Torres del Paine National Park. For either of these, try Patagonia Extrema, Av. del Libertador 1341 (tel. 02902/492393; www.southroad.com.ar), or Los Glaciares Turismo, Brown 1188 (tel. 02902/498320). More and more adventure activities and excursions are popping up in El Calafate, capitalizing on the tourism boom.

Fishing

Calafate Fishing, Av. del Libertador 1826 (tel. 02902/496545; www.calafatefishing.com), has half- and full-day fishing (mainly fly-fishing) trips in remote areas of Los Glaciares National Park, in search of brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Full-day trips start at $225 (£152).

Horseback Riding

Patagonia is horseback-riding heaven, and a number of agencies offer good trips. Whenever possible, try to get away from tours that depart directly from El Calafate. A company called Cerro Frias, Av. del Libertador 1857 (tel. 02902/492808; www.cerrofrias.com), offers half-day horseback riding trips in the wide-open plains of Patagonia that take you up to a gorgeous view point. Excursions include a spectacular barbecue lunch or dinner. Cabalgata en Patagonia, Av. del Libertador 4315 (tel. 02902/493278; cabalgataenpatagonia@cotecal.com.ar), offers a 2-hour ride to Bahía Redonda for a panoramic view of El Calafate ($70/£47).

Off-Roading

Four-wheel-drives have become a popular way to explore the wilderness around El Calafate. Mil Outdoor Adventure, Av. del Libertador 1029 (tel. 02902/491437), takes you across rivers, over boulders, along ridges, and up to the El Calafate Balcony for a panoramic view. There are also fossils and rock mazes en route. Patagonia Extrema, Av. del Libertador 1341 (tel. 02902/492393; www.southroad.com.ar), has 4X4 trips in Land Cruisers to the Cerro Huyliche, with a stop for an afternoon yerba mate break.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.