El Calafate, Argentina
Shopping in El Calafate, Argentina: Handcrafts, Souvenirs & Malls
El Calafate is full of small shops that carry all sorts of goods, from arts and crafts to camping gear. Because the city is quite small, you'll have plenty of time to see all the stores in a short time. Prices may vary from shop to shop, so it is always a good idea to browse around first and check the prices before you buy something.
The city features four banks with ATM machines, along with a currency exchange company where you can get Argentinian pesos. It's a good idea to bring cash with you when you go shopping since most stores don't take credit. Things are a little more expensive in El Calafate than in other Argentinian cities because it is quite a remote city. Remember to purchase at least a jar of jelly, an ice cream or the local liqueur made with the dark blue berries of the calafate shrub.
Paseo de los Pajaros
Located on Avenida 9 de Julio, this small shopping center features numerous stores selling all kinds of things. It resembles a small village with log cabins featuring slanted blue roofs. You can find gift shops, internet cafes, airline ticket offices, and many other stores.
Aldea de los Gnomos
There are a lot of legends in El Calafate, especially involving gnomes. Legend has it that gnomes are said to live in the mountains and the plains surrounding town. At the Village of Gnomes, you can find several shops selling arts and crafts, leather goods, wool clothing, and much more. It's located on Avenida Libertador.
El Paseo de los Artesanos
Located in the heart of the city, this open-air mall features fine Patagonian arts and crafts. You can find hand carved wooden objects, silver jewelry and items made of alpaca, as well as indigenous clothing created by the Tehuelche and Mapuche tribes. You'll definitely have no trouble finding a really unique souvenir to bring back from your trip to the Andes.
This family-run shop specializes in weaving cloth and making garments on traditional looms, just how the Tehuelche Indians have done for years. They weave wool from sheep, llamas, and alpacas. Many traditional and also modern designs are available for all tastes and sizes.
Nomade is an interesting workshop where you can find an array of local handcrafts featuring Indian motifs from the different tribes in Argentina. Come and see what they have in stock and take home one of the lovely handmade crafts made by El Calafate artists. This shop is located on a street called Campo del Desierto.
Paralelo 53 is an excellent store carrying apparel and camping gear for outdoor activities and excursions to the glacier. You can get everything you need to stay warm in this cold part of the world. They have snow pants, windbreakers, backpacks, and much more.
You can rent a bike at this shop and take a ride around the many trails that surround the city. They also sell camping gear, tents, thermal underwear, fleece jackets, and waterproof clothing for outdoor use.
Located in the center of El Calafate, this Kodak shop sells cameras and photography essentials. They have professional rolls of film, photo developing, digital printing, cameras, digital memory cards, and they also make photo CDs for you. This particular store has been in business for over thirty years.
Some of the shops in El Calafate might be a bit pricy compared to other parts of Argentina, so if you're on a tight budget, there a couple of supermarkets where you can stock up on supplies. La Tostadora Moderna, La Anonima, Alas, Stella Maris and Kuky Mini Market are all popular stores that sell basic foods, such as instant soup and TV dinners.
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