Trekking Perito Moreno: A Day at Los Glaciares National Park
One of my most memorable travel experiences in Patagonia was trekking across Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier, a 97 square mile formation that is part of the enormous Southern Patagonian Ice Field.
Once I arrived at the pier, the excursion started with a boat ride on Lago Argentino to the face of the Perito Moreno glacier. It was a gentle ride of about 45 minutes, and from the boat I had the opportunity to enjoy the scenery of Glaciers National Park. Perito Moreno loomed in the distance, but as the boat got closer, it soon became apparent just how huge the glacier really is. It seemed to grow larger and larger, until the massive wall of ice was towering over us. Our boat navigated along the face of the glacier, letting us take in the unique colors and texture of the ice.
We docked just south of the glacier’s face. As we disembarked, we were met by our guides, who gave us the metal crampons that we were to strap to our boots and took us through a quick safety briefing. Then we were off!
Trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier was a powerful experience. We were able to get up close and personal with the ice, peering into cracks and crevices, climbing through tunnels, and observing strange ice formations and beautiful cobalt blue colors.
After about three hours of trekking, our guide chipped ice directly from the glacier and poured us all a round of drinks. Enjoying a scotch with glacier ice, while taking in the atmosphere of the magnificent landscape, is something I will always remember.
After the trek we headed back to the boat and navigated to the viewing platforms. These platforms are a unique aspect of the Perito Moreno, set on a small peninsula just a couple hundred feet from the glacier. They put you so close to the action! Watching the Perito Moreno is like watching an ice show. When the glacier cracks, it makes a sound like thunder, and the falling chunks of ice create large waves in the lake below. There is a sense of anticipation among the travelers there, who turn eagerly toward each cracking sound to watch the ice move. I could have stayed all day watching it, and when my guide told me it was time to go, I was surprised by how much time had passed as I was absorbed in this show of nature. In my travels throughout Patagonia and to Antarctica I have seen many glaciers, but the Perito Moreno will always stand out for me. This is a special place, and a very special experience.
Important Travel Information: Due to the regulations of the park district, you must be 65 years or younger to do this mini-trek on the glacier. For the Big Ice excursion, a longer and more technical trek/climb on the glacier, you must be 45 years or younger. If you would like to see the glacier without trekking, you also have the option to cruise along the glacier face and then go directly to the viewing platforms.
If you are interested in adding the Perito Moreno Glacier to your Patagonia adventure, please just speak with your Destination Specialist or contact us today!