If you go to “The End of the World” you can’t really expect to stay in the kind of places you are used to, can you?
Well, of course you can. This is a gift shop in El Calafate!
It’s quite civilized in El Fin Del Mundo.
In the two places we stayed, El Calafate home of The Glaciers National Park, and Ushuaia home of Tierra Del Fuego National Park, we stayed in two very nice places.
Every sort of lodging option is available. There are bustling youth hostels. There are a few mid range large hotels focused on the package tour traveler, the least interesting accommodation in my opinion. There are family run B&B’s and small hotels, and estancias out-of-town. There are eco-oriented accommodations, and one or two super luxury accommodations in each locale that costs a ridiculous amount daily.
But I would say the best options for staying in either place are:
If you are under 30: Youth hostels Fun, family owned in these places. Very inexpensive.
Small family owned B&B’s and hotels: Charming, centrally located, you can walk to everything. Very inexpensive.
Out of town estancias: Working ranches, incredible, affordable and unique.
Eco-accommodations: Where we stayed. Somewhat pricey but amazing.
I would ditch the organized travel, large hotels that were so out-of-place, and I would ditch the type of gig that is ridiculously expensive and leaves you hostage to the owners because you are in the middle of nowhere.
This same lodging dilemma happened in Kruger National Park in Africa, but was even more pronounced. Many of the lodging options were ridiculously expensive, with things like private plunge pools and personal butlers, that are really out-of-place in the bush. We stayed in National Park lodging and were quite pleased with the accommodations and very inexpensive rates. We would like to return to Kruger and stay in the northern parts of the park.
This is what happens with bucket lists by the way. You just keep adding places you want to return to, so it is never-ending!
Much of the fun of traveling is in the planning. We choose where we are going together. Jim then plans the itinerary and modes of transport. He gives me the itinerary and I choose the accommodations. Jim is amazing at finding discounted air deals. I am quite good at booking accommodations at far below their publicized rates. This is fun to do and I only screwed it up once!
In Calafate we stayed at Los Sauces, reportedly owned by the female president of Brazil. It is now quite pricey. When I booked originally in 2010, the place was new and unpublicized. It is always a great deal to book a new hotel, because the prices are lower until a reputation is established, and the prices jack up.
There were around eight of these “houses,” each had private rooms en-suite, with a shared living room area. There was a separate restaurant and spa. This was definitely not roughing it! The breakfasts were included in the room rate. The baked goods in Argentina are to die for and always house made from scratch. Delicious!
In Ushuaia we stayed at Los Cauquenes. This hotel is right on The Beagle Channel and we got a channel view room for the mountain view rate. Wonderful!
Southern Patagonia can basically accommodate any traveler’s preferences and budgets. So if you want to go, check it out and be sure and post your photos on your blog!