Darwin Experience tour group
group starting the Darwin Experience
girls paddling in the kayak
people kayaking in the river
two kayaks sailing
roasted eggplant focaccias
couple observed the fauna of the patagonian steppe
guide explaining to a couple about the kayak
4 people in double kayaks on the Santa Cruz river
two boys in the kayak
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Darwin Experience: Kayak in Rio Santa Cruz

Kayak Day Trip through the Patagonian steppe along the mouth of Argentino Lake from El Calafate

El Calafate
1 day
Spanish and English
Starts: From your accommodation in El Calafate at 9:00 a.m.
Ends: To your accommodation in El Calafate at 3:00 p.m.
Free cancellation!


Get to know the Darwin Experince with this kayaking activity on the Santa Cruz River. You will have the opportunity to explore and experience the natural landscapes that inspired Charles Darwin during his famous journey through Patagonia in the 19th century. Navigate through Paraje Charles Furh and discover the different geological formations and variety of fauna.

Afterwards, you will enjoy a delicious lunch on the banks of the Santa Cruz River to recharge your batteries and return to El Calafate along the famous Route 40.

Are you up for it? 馃殻 Keep reading:

Tour details


  • Round-trip 4x4 transportation
  • Technical talk
  • Certified guide (Spanish/English)
  • Lunch at Estancia El Rinc贸n with a beverage.
  • Gore Tex drysuit, lifejacket, boots and gloves
  • Single or double kayak

Not included

  • Other meals

Important information

馃懍 LIMITATION: Only allowed for people from 12 years old (up to 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult).

馃毇 NOT SUITABLE: People with heart or respiratory problems, recent surgeries, pregnant women, reduced mobility, obesity or vertigo.

鈿狅笍 You must be in moderate physical condition to perform the activity.

Cancellation policy

Free cancellation! If you cancel at least 9 days before the tour starts, you will receive 100% of the amount paid. After this time, or in case of no-show, no refunds will be given.

Tour itinerary

Darwin Experience: Kayak in Rio Santa Cruz

Duration: 6 hours

Difficulty: medium - high

Group size: maximum 8 people

Pick up in El Calafate 馃搷

The Darwin Experience: Kayak in Rio Santa Cruz tour will start with a 4x4 pick up from your accommodation in El Calafate at around 9 am. You will head towards Charles Furh, located 40 km from the city.

Technical talk

Once there, you will help unload the kayaks from the vans and do some warm-up exercises while the guide gives you a technical talk on how to do the activity properly.

guide explaining the kayaking activity

Kayaking Santa Cruz River 馃殻

Ready, get in the kayak and let the adventure begin! You will embark on an exciting 80-minute kayak tour on the Santa Cruz River. During this stretch you will have breathtaking views of the Patagonian steppe with unique geological formations and a great variety of wildlife.

two people kayaking down the river watching sheep

Lunch at Estancia El Rinc贸n 馃嵈

You will arrive at Estancia El Rinc贸n where you will enjoy a riverside lunch while you relax after the activity. After lunch, you will head back along a gravel road and the mythical Route 40 until you reach El Calafate where the Darwin Experience tour will end.

lunch by the Santa Cruz river

What to bring to Darwin Experience: Kayak in Rio Santa Cruz

  • ID card or passport
  • Camera
  • Warm and comfortable clothes
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen

Where does the tour Darwin Experience: Kayak in Rio Santa Cruz start

The city of El Calafate is located 3,000 km from Buenos Aires, and 325 km from the city of R铆o Gallegos, capital of the province of Santa Cruz. The airport has direct daily connections with Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Bariloche, Trelew, C贸rdoba and Rosario. Several airlines operate this route, being Aerolineas Argentinas the most frequent one. From Howlanders we also recommend you to check LADE airline.

If you want to arrive by land you can do it by bus. The trip between Buenos Aires and El Calafate takes about 36 hours. From R铆o Gallegos, the trip takes 4 hours. If you come from Puerto Natales we recommend you to take a bus that arrives to El Calafate in about five hours or hire a private service with us. Finally, if you are traveling from Ushuaia, please check the waiting times due to the crossing of the Strait of Magellan or stopover in Rio Gallegos.

Questions & Answers

  • Will I be picked up at my accommodation in El Calafate?

    Pick up is included in any accommodation with reception located in El Calafate. If, on the other hand, you are staying in an Airbnb, or in an accommodation without reception, they will not be able to pick you up. In that case, a meeting point in downtown El Calafate will be indicated.

  • What does lunch include?

    The menu you will taste at Estancia El Rinc贸n consists of focaccia with pickled eggplants, provoleta, steaks, salads, chocolate mousse and beverages (wine, water and juice).

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