A Blue White Giant…
Our second visit to Los Glaciares National Park was by the southern entrance. We took a day trip from the much larger town of El Calafate to see the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier.
Its fame is due to the fact that it’s one of the few glaciers in the world that is both moving and maintaining in size, despite global warming. In Winter, the glacier even advances at around 5-10cm every day.
A blue white giant, the Perito Moreno Glacier has a 5 kilometre front which rises 60 metres above the water. It’s like looking at giant skyscrapers of ice along the waters edge. The well positioned viewing platforms enable you to see an incredible vista of the Perito Moreno. The glacier itself, with hardly any dirt, has a real pristine beauty. The colour is so intense, with eye-catching crystal blue icicles and turquoise cracks.
We stood mesmerised by the sheer size of it, waiting expectantly for some ice to drop. From the shoals of icebergs that cluster in the icy waters below, it’s clear that this is a regular occurrence. It really is a fantastic spectacle, especially if you’re lucky enough to witness huge chunks of ice falling and crashing noisily into the turquoise lake below, which is immediately followed by a unison of ‘ooh-aahs’ from the many onlookers gathered on the viewing platforms opposite.
Taking A Day Tour
There are numerous day tours departing from El Calafate, which may include a guided commentary and a boat ride to take you closer to the front of the glacier. You can also pay around 80 dollars to do an organised half day ice trek where you can walk on part of the Perito Moreno Glacier.
We organised the trip ourselves taking the designated Perito Moreno coach that leaves from the El Calafate Bus Depot every day at 9.30am. The coach costs 180 pesos per person (approx $22) with an additional 5 pesos to pay applied directly by the Bus Depot. The price is for a return journey as the coach then collects you later from the Perito Moreno car park at 3.30pm, returning to El Calafate by 5pm.
On the way into the National Park you are also charged an entrance fee of 130 pesos. (Approx $16) A ranger will board the coach you are travelling on to collect your money, give you an entrance ticket and a map of the park. When you arrive at the car park there is a small gift shop, a cafe (expensive so take a packed lunch) and a large, clean toilet block.
The park is easy to navigate following a simple colour coded system of walkways that take you around the left side and front of the glacier where you can see it up close but from a safe distance. There are numerous signs telling visitors not to stray from the boardwalks as there have been many deaths owing to ice blocks or waves hitting people who stray off the path.
We enjoyed a little over 4 hours at Perito Moreno, capturing its beauty from different perspectives in both the morning and afternoon light. Without a doubt it’s well worth a visit and a must-do if you venture into Patagonia and have time to explore the more southern regions of Argentina. These are some of our favourite images from the day…