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.
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).
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; email@example.com), offers a 2-hour ride to Bahía Redonda for a panoramic view of El Calafate ($70/£47).
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.