MyHotel is a budget hotel and hostel and it is absolutely fantastic! I think it is a new facility because everything was very new and modern. If you book online, the price is about AR$70 per person for a 12 bed dorm, if you walk in and reserve a room it’s about AR$100 for the same room. You can also rent private rooms that are a bit pricier. We saw many families there so we assumed that it’s not so expensive for a private room.
The hostel is located less than 1km from the city center of El Calafate, which is so extremely cute. There are many restaurants and stores nearby. The hostel also has many services that are decently priced. Laundry service is AR$40 per grocery bag, they can also make a “lunchbox” for you with prices ranging from AR$55-65, depending on the sandwich you choose, and they can arrange many tours for you in the area. This hostel also has a small breakfast included, with toast, cereal, cake, coffee, juice, milk and delicious dulce de leche. On the second floor there is also a community kitchen which helps a lot when you want to save money. The bathrooms are also very nice with hot and spacious showers. If you do not bring a towel (which I definitely recommend that you do to save money) you can rent one from the hotel for AR$10. I highly recommend this hostel to travelers because it is a great place! Definitely one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in!
So after a great night’s sleep (the best one I had on the whole trip up until then) we woke up and went to search for a mechanic. We managed to find one after about 45 minutes of walking around town (note: gomerias are not car mechanics, they just work with tires) and he took a look at our car. Our car was fixed to the best of their ability because the part we needed is special to Peugeot so they fixed it and told us that there was a dealership in Rio Gallegos we should stop at when we pass through there.
We then managed to go to the grocery store, buy car oil and figure out hostel reservations for the rest of our trip by 3PM. It was recommended that we go to Laguna Nimez, the national bird reserve in El Calafate. The price is AR$40 for everyone over 18 years old but when we arrived there was a sign saying that it was free for the Christmas holidays! So we walked in and started the nature walk around the reserve. It was a very beautiful place with many different birds. The most famous birds are the Austral Flamingoes and there were about 7 when we went. It was my first time seeing flamingoes and I was very happy and they were very beautiful! I highly recommend bringing binoculars on the walk (and for the whole trip) because the walk doesn’t take you very close to their natural habitat, but it is a very nice place to stroll around for an hour or two.
After the reserve we decided to walk around the city. It’s very cute but there aren’t many touristy things to do in the city, just a lot of shops, restaurants, and travel agencies. But we walked around and enjoyed looking in the camping/outdoors stores and artisan shops. We bought a few things but El Calafate is very expensive so we didn’t want to spend much because we heard Ushuaia is worse so we kept it cheap. We had a nice relaxing day just walking around and figuring things out, it was a nice change of pace.
- AR$120 = Fixing our Car
- AR$101 = Market
- AR$638 = Oil
- FREE = Laguna Nimez
- AR$26 = Empanadas
- AR$48 = Tent Stakes
- AR$80 = laundry
- AR$82 = contact solution
- Total = AR$457