El Calafate Balcón Experience
El Calafate Balcon Experience is an outdoor activity center located in Huyliche Hill, whose height is 1.050m.a.s.l, that invites to enjoy nature in an environment surrounded by breath-taking views of the Argentino Lake and the Andes Mountain Range.
A wide variety of options are offered, including activities for all ages, with different levels of difficulty.
From October to May, Summer programs are organized, being 4×4, quads and mountain bikes circuits the traditional ones.
From July to September the place turns into a Winter activity center where snow is the natural main character. The program offers varied options as skiing, snow mobiles, tubbing, snow racquets and alpine skiing circuits on the slopes of the hill.
All options include shuttle service from El Calafate until reaching Huyliche Cafeteria, just a few meters away from the “Stones Maze”. This meeting point is a shelter that becomes all visitors’ must!
Program “El Calafate Balcon Experience”
Including: Trekker transfer from El Calafate + 4×4 circuit + Snack + English-Spanish Guide + Descent through Mexican Hats
Departing from El Calafate, touring 15km through the Eastern face of Huyliche chain over gravel and clay roads, the off-road path allows to appreciate a diverse high altitude vegetation, reaching a height of 1.050mts.
The first stop will be done at a natural viewpoint of El Calafate and Argentino Lake’s main body. Along the circuit, it will be possible to admire the Andes, the glaciers’ accumulation area, the lake’s narrowest area leading to Upsala Canal that is called Boca del Diablo and, on clear days, even Fitz Roy and Torre Mounts eventually accompanied by condors flying high.
The ascent continues until getting to the “Stones Maze”. It is a fragment from the Cretaceous period dated 85 million years old, once riverbed, where it is possible to find fossils that bring that time to the present.
Returning back to El Calafate through the chain’s northern slope, the group will make a stop at the famous “Hat Stones”, curious formations over stones that resemble Mexican hats.
The activity is done over innovative TREKKERS, XL vehicles whose holding capacity is of 27 passengers, and Toyota 4×4, whose holding capacity is of 4 passengers. It is possible to book them for groups or any exclusive service (check extra price).
With a holding capacity of 100 people (IN/OUT), this is the place where participants enjoy the snack included in CMP program. Special lunch service available for private groups if asked in advance.
Including: Transfer from El Calafate + 30-minute-long Quad Crossing + Snack + English-Spanish guide
This activity is a complement to El Calafate Balcón Experience and begins with hotel pick-ups until reaching Huyliche Hill’s base. The 4×4 vehicle ascent starts and, after an hour driving, the group reaches 950m.a.s.l, departure point of “Quads” crossing program. The guided circuit stretches along 8km, done over 4×4 quadricycles carrying a maximum of 2 people. It will be possible to explore this millennial geography and have access to the most incredible Huyliche Hill’s spots, being the never-explored-before “Mega Maze” amongst them.
NOTE: Minimum age required – 16 years old.
Program “Mountain Bike Cross Fire”
Including: Transfer from El Calafate + Equipment + Mountain Bike Crossing + Snack + English-Spanish guide
This program is designed for those who enjoy outdoor activities, having minimal experience in mountain biking. The circuit stretches along 13km in constant decline over smooth paths. The excursion begins after picking up passengers in the hotels in town, ascending over a Trekker until reaching 950m.a.s.l, where the guide will be waiting for the passengers. Once at the departure point, the group will do some warm-up and stretching exercises, while receiving instructions about safety rules and checking the delivered equipment. Some stops will be done along the circuit to consider some interesting information about the surroundings and to re-check the equipment and participants’ state.
Once back at Huyliche Hill’s base, the last stage goes through the urban area until the whole group reaches Viva Patagonia office, where participants will share a snack to conclude the excursion.
NOTE: Minimum age required – 14 years old
Activity available for 4 persons only. Departures subject to prior bookings.
Calafate’s Balcony: Daily 10:00 (with lunch) and 15:00 (with snack) Low Season
Quads: 09:00 – 14:30hs
Mountain Bike Cross Fire: Check availability
NOTE: The reported schedule is estimative and it may be modified for a better activity development. Shuttle service begins 15 minutes prior to activity departure time.
Calafate’s Balcony: 3 hours approx.
Cross Fire Mountain Bike: 4 hours approx.
– Trekkers (XL 4×4 vehicles): 27 passengers
– Toyota 4×4: 2 vehicles with a holding capacity of 4 passengers each.
– Quad: 5 vehicles with a holding capacity of 2 people each.
– Mountain Bikes: 13 bikes available.
These are outdoor activities over irregular terrain. Thus, it is recommended to wear comfortable light warm clothes and proper footwear (with no heels).
A snack is offered during the activities: coffee, tea and muffins.