August 31, 2023

Perito Moreno Glacier: No such thing as too much ice

El Calafate pre or post-Antarctica is the perfect fit. This is all totally different to the Antarctic experience. This area of Patagonia is covered in forests, lakes and mountains which make the landscape entirely different.

Perito Moreno Glacier is so unique, in that you can approach it from way up close, from the wooden walking paths very close to the front of the glacier, to a boat ride also way up close, or on top of it – trekking across the glacier. It is truly breathtaking.

There are also several other remarkable glaciers to be seen from El Calafate, in the region covered by ‘the Glaciers National Park’.

The keen hiker can find some great hiking and trekking opportunities in nearby El Chalten, and El Calafate can be the gateway to an overland trip into Chilean Torres del Paine National Park, where one could spend a few more days soaking up the incredible sights of Patagonia.

Hiking in Patagonia (Roderick Eime)

Of course, you don’t need to be going to Antarctica to put El Calafate perfectly on your list. It combines perfectly with any kind of trip to Patagonia. A popular circuit is El Calafate, Torres del Paine, a cruise with Australis, Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, then a few days in Ushuaia. Or in reverse.

The ice is calling you.

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Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most famous glaciers in the world and a natural wonder located in the Los Glaciares National Park in the southern part of Argentina, specifically in the Patagonian region of South America. Here are some key facts and details about the Perito Moreno Glacier:

Location: The Perito Moreno Glacier is situated in the southern Andes Mountains in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. It is part of the larger Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which is one of the largest ice fields outside of Antarctica and Greenland.

Size: The glacier covers an area of approximately 250 square kilometers (97 square miles) and is approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) in length. It's one of the few glaciers in the world that is still advancing, meaning it continues to grow and push forward into Lake Argentino.

Advancement and Retreat: Perito Moreno Glacier is known for its unique pattern of advancement and retreat. It advances at a rate of about 2 meters (6.6 feet) per day, which is quite fast for a glacier of its size. This constant movement leads to the formation of ice dams, which periodically cause spectacular ruptures and calving events.

Calving Events: One of the main attractions for tourists is the dramatic calving events that occur when massive chunks of ice break off from the glacier's front wall and crash into Lake Argentino below. These events can be both mesmerizing and deafening, making it a popular destination for visitors.

Accessibility: The Perito Moreno Glacier is easily accessible from the town of El Calafate, which serves as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. There are well-maintained walkways and viewing platforms that offer visitors stunning views of the glacier and opportunities to witness calving events.

Conservation: The glacier and its surrounding area are protected within the Los Glaciares National Park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The park is home to numerous other glaciers, lakes, and stunning natural landscapes.

Tourism: Perito Moreno Glacier is a major tourist attraction in Argentina, drawing visitors from around the world who come to witness its beauty and unique features. Tourists can take boat tours to get closer to the glacier or even participate in guided trekking tours on the ice.

Climate Change: Like many glaciers worldwide, Perito Moreno Glacier has been affected by climate change. While it is still advancing, scientists are monitoring its behavior closely as rising global temperatures are expected to affect the glacier's long-term stability.

Perito Moreno Glacier is not only a natural wonder but also a significant scientific and environmental asset. It showcases the dynamic nature of glaciers and serves as a reminder of the impacts of climate change on Earth's ice masses. Visitors to the glacier can witness the power of nature and gain a greater appreciation for the need to protect our planet's fragile ecosystems.

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