En Route To Adventure In Los Glaciares National Park

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Discover Argentina’s Famous Glacier With A Perito Moreno Tour

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Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park is located in the Southwest of Santa Cruz Province in Patagonia. The park covers a total surface area of 101,843 acres and can be divided into two regions: forests and grassy plains in the east and peaks, lakes, and glaciers in the west. Many of the park’s glaciers are fed by the massive South Patagonian Ice Field, including the famous Perito Moreno Glacier.

Many activities in the southern part of Los Glaciares National Park revolve around the Perito Moreno Glacier. This glacier is one of the few glaciers in the world that is growing instead of melting! Perito Moreno routinely calves into Lake Argentino, creating incredible photo opportunities for tourists who can view it from the park’s many boardwalks or a boat out on the lake. The Perito Moreno glacier’s location makes it one of the most accessible glaciers in the world, with several tour options for the thousands of tourists visiting the park each year.

How Do You Get To Los Glaciares National Park?

If you are traveling to Los Glaciares National Park from Buenos Aires, the good news is that flights run daily from the capital city to El Calafate, just an hour and a half drive from the park. If you don’t want to rent a car, you can take a bus from El Calafate to the southern section of the park.  Daily flights also run from Bariloche and Ushuaia to El Calafate, making this town a jumping-off point to adventure in Los Glaciares National Park.

If you are not used to traveling in Argentina, here are three tips to get you started before you embark on a Perito Moreno tour!

  • Always carry cash! Most hotels and tour operators will give you a discount if you pay with cash. Bring U.S. dollars to Argentina and exchange them at the blue market rate in Buenos Aires before flying to El Calafate for the best exchange rate.
  • Keep in mind that pets are not allowed in Los Glaciares National Park. If you traveled with a pet, please make alternative arrangements for them during your trip to the park.
  • Pack for sudden weather changes! If you plan on taking a Perito Moreno tour, pack layers. The weather can be unpredictable with strong winds and rain even during the summer months – especially if you plan to hike across the glacier’s surface!

Five Fun Facts About The Perito Moreno Glacier

Perhaps the world’s most impressive glacier, Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park is a must-see phenomenon and a highlight for many on a luxury trip to Argentina. The glacier descends from the Southern Patagonian Icefield at 6,825 feet in the Andes Mountains down into the warm waters much lower altitude of Lake Argentino. Every year, thousands of tourists visit Los Glaciares to see this incredible natural phenomenon!

  • The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the largest glaciers in Patagonia, at almost 19 miles long!
  • The Perito Moreno glacier location is confusing to many tourists. No, the glacier isn’t located in the small town of Perito Moreno; instead, it is located more than 300 miles away, in Los Glaciares National Park.
  • Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the few glaciers in the world that is advancing – rather than shrinking. This means that as the glacier grows in size, cracks and crevasses appear at the terminus, resulting in chunks of ice breaking off and crashing into the ice field below.
  • This incredible glacier began to form during the last Ice Age, which started approximately 2.6 million years ago and ended around 11,700 years ago. Scientists calculate that the Perito Moreno glacier is approximately 18,000 years old.
  • About every five years, the advancing glacier will reach the banks of Lake Argentino. The glacier then dams the southern part of the lake, creating a separate body of water known as Brazo Rico. As the water level in Brazo Rico rises, it pushes against the glacier with great force. Eventually, part of the glacier ruptures, and huge chunks of ice fall into the lake.

When Is The Best Time To Visit The Perito Moreno Glacier?

The weather in Patagonia has a reputation for being quite unpredictable, but the region is beautiful come rain or shine. However, the best time of year to visit Los Glaciares National Park for a Perito Moreno Glacier tour is between November and March when you can enjoy sunny weather and higher temperatures. But if fighting crowds of tourists is not your idea of a good time, consider traveling during February. A trip during the shoulder season allows you to avoid large crowds, get the best views of the glacier, and enjoy all of the other activities close by in relative peace!

Three Perito Moreno Tour Options For Visitors

Perito Moreno Glacier has become a favorite Patagonian destination thanks to its impressive expanse, accessibility, and continuous movement. There are many Perito Moreno tours for visitors, including three of the most popular ones listed below.

  • Perito Moreno Big Ice Hike – strap on a set of crampons and grab an ice axe for this guided tour over the glacier’s crevasses. Witness incredible ice caves, cross meltwater rivers, and enjoy a full day on the ice (lunch included) with a guided tour unlike any other you’ve ever experienced!
  • Perito Moreno Mini Ice Hike – this guided hike is an abbreviated version of the Big Ice Hike, but also includes a walk along the shores of Lake Argentino to enjoy scenic views of the glacier cliffs from a distance.
  • Boat ride and hike tour – this Perito Moreno tour includes a boat ride alongside the Perito Moreno glacier. Marvel at the sheer size of the glacier as you glide past it, then dock at Bahia Toro, where you can walk through the forest to a towering waterfall and onto the Cerro Negra hanging glacier. Enjoy the boat ride back to shore, with the option to view Perito Moreno (once again) from viewing platforms on dry land.

Los Glaciares National Park is a destination well worth visiting. Tucked away in Patagonia, it is easily accessible by plane from Argentina’s major cities. If you are looking for outdoor adventure, a trip to this hidden gem is just the ticket. Pack your gear and get ready for an epic trek across the face of a world-famous glacier. Let’s go!

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