A glacier tour is a unique experience to live all in one breath, a dream come true, a wonder for the eyes and for the senses. Adventurous spirit and a flight to Argentina are the two things you need to set off to discover the Perito Moreno Glacier.
The Perito Moreno is the magnificence of the Patagonia, a breathtaking beauty of nature; the world's continuously changing blue glacier represents the third largest freshwater reserve. Here are some useful tips to follow if you want to visit the Perito Moreno, how to organize a glacier hike and how to book a glacier tour.
How to get to Perito Moreno: bus or car from El Calafate
The most popular route to Perito Moreno is from El Calafate, city in southern Patagonia, in the Argentinian province of Santa Cruz.
Because of its geographical location, El Calafate is a door to Los Glaciares National Park so it is chosen as a starting point by many travellers who want to reach this wonderful park in Argentina, located at less than 80 km from the town.
Once in Calafate, you can choose to book a guided tour to Perito Moreno Glacier or to get there by bus: the route crosses a long scenic road along the Patagonian Steppe and an arm of Lake Argentino. If you prefer to travel by car, instead, you can surely rent a car in Calafate.
In about a hour and a half you will get to the entrance of the park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Keep in mind that the last part of the route is a bit winding and full of turns but as you get to the famous "Curve of Sighs" a spectacular view of the ice will give you an astonishing emotion.
Tour to Perito Moreno in Argentina among the beauties of nature
The structure of the park is well organized and allows you to make some wonderful day tours; there are several different types of tours of the glacier but, regardless of which one you choose, the route generally runs at a good pace and the staff is super prepared and always attentive to every need of the tourists.
- The price of the glacier guided tours generally do not include meals and drinks and the entrance ticket to the National Park in Patagonia, which can only be paid at the park ticket office (the price is about 25€).
- To fully enjoy the place, devote at least 8/10 hours for the visit, almost a whole day to be clear.
- Of the various available tours to the patagonian glacier of Perito Moreno, the most complete and comfortable tour for families includes a free return bus transfer to the hotel and an optional boat trip to discover the glaciers. The bus makes several stops along the way to allow visitors to enjoy the immensity of the glaciers, its streams, canals and small lagoons and take panoramic photos of such amazing landscape of Argentina.
- Follow the instructions of the guides and walk on the walkways arranged on several levels and in various strategic points to enjoy the blue wonder of the Patagonian glacier from every angle.
- Although optional, we definitely recommend you to enjoy a glacier boat tour (the trip lasts about an hour or so); you will sail around the glaciers, stop on the walkways face to face with the ice walls, which you will also admire from some balconies located at different heights.
- A walkway is installed right in front of Perito Moreno: walk along it and take your camera with you, it will be one of the most beautiful memories of the trip.
Trekking on Perito Moreno: mini or big circuit?
If you have an intrepid spirit, abandon comfort and choose a more adventurous tour.
After a quick navigation, a boat will take you to the opposite bank of Perito Moreno: once there, with a special equipment (included in the price of the tour) and guided by expert guides you will start your Perito Moreno hike.
There are several tour options for Perito Moreno glacier hike, including the Mini Trekking and the Big Ice.
The Mini Trekking is not that short: about 2 hours of guided tour made up of a hike in the woods to reach Perito and a path of medium difficulty on the ice with crampons. In addition to the circuit of Mini Trekking, tourists are also accompanied to the boardwalks from which you can witness the phenomenon of breaking of the ice blocks.
Although a bit tiring, the Mini Trekking is an unmissable experience (just imagine how spectacular it is to sip a glass of whisky with ice taken directly from the source!)
The Big Ice is a much more difficult trekking trail, a challenging 4-hour glacier hike through crevasses, caves and waterfalls. For this reason, Big Ice is not recommended for people with back pain, heart problems and other serious illnesses as well as pregnant women or generally for untrained visitors. The degree of difficulty is high, but with the help of the guide you will experience an exciting adventure and at the end of the excursion you will realize it was worthy.
- The necessary equipment for the Perito Moreno glacier hike is provided on site and is included in the tour. You must wear sports shoes or hiking boots.
- Sporty and comfortable clothing is recommended, as well as wearing several layers of clothes so as not to be unprepared for the whims of the weather on the glacier. You will also find raincoats and anoraks, sunglasses, sunscreen and hand gloves very useful.
- Bring a packed lunch since meals and drinks are not included in the tour and the only café in the place is always super crowded.
Is it possible to organize a self-guided tour of Perito Moreno?
If you want to travel independently and visit Los Glaciares National Park of Argentina without booking an organized excursion, the best option is to rent a car from El Calafate.
Moving through your own means of transport allows you to be independent and to be able to enjoy the view from the walkways, the sounds of nature and the dizzying scenery as much as you want. Once you have parked your car and purchased tickets to the park, walk down the boardwalks: they will lead you very close to Lake Argentino shore. You will also find a centre equipped with baths and souvenir shop; if you decide to buy a Perito Moreno glacier boat tour, the excursions start from the landing stage.
- Renting a car at El Calafate Airport will cost you no less than 90/100€ per day.
If you travel by car, go early in the morning in order to make it there earlier than buses. The Patagonian park opens at around 9 am and at that time you won't find too many people; in the silence of nature, your glacier hike will be even more exciting.
Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina looks like the set of a science fiction film, where reality surpasses imagination; over 200 square kilometers of ice, imposing icebergs and sudden breaks that cause unbelievable noises and sensations. A place that cannot be told but only experienced: pack your bags and leave for Patagonia!