How to visit Perito Moreno Glacier?
Visiting the Perito Moreno glacier is something you have to do at least once in a lifetime. It is an impressive place that nature has created and that we can still visit.
It is very close to El Calafate, which also gives access to Los Glaciares National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1981.
Los Glaciares National Park was created in 1937 with the goal of preserving its glaciers and surroundings. Among the most well-known glaciers we find the Uppsala which is the largest, the Spegazzini which is the highest and the Perito Moreno that is the most famous of all, thanks to the ice breaks that happen every few years, more or less by February.
Visit to Perito Moreno Glacier
To visit the Perito Moreno glacier, we traveled from Buenos Aires to Calafate. Our trip had a stopover in Ushuaia, so it took about 3 hours to arrive, the plane was tiny and noisy, and I never had so many turbulence in my life. But it was worth it.
Where to stay in Calafate?
We stayed at El Calafate for 3 nights, in the Hostería Puerto San Julián, which is well located in the village and is well priced, (or at least was ;)). Here you can see the hotels that are currently present and the prices they have.
The village of El Calafate, is “the base of operations” for the visit to the glaciers. It is a small town, with a lot of charm, with low and rustic houses, totally accustomed to tourism, with charming inhabitants.
We traveled in October for our honeymoon, already a few years ago (2006)… Travelling in early October is to travel in near-low season, as they are just coming out of a harsh winter. Therefore, there are some excursions that can not be done because of the weather, there is less accommodation available and best of all there are few tourists.
Excursions from El Calafate
We didn’t have contracted tours, we only had the flight and the accommodation. So our first day we used it to organize the next two days and visit El Calafate, since we depart at noon from Calafate to Buenos Aires.
If you want to go with the excursion to the Perito Moreno contracted from home,
you can visit this website
where you will find the best tours to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier and this entire area of the National Park.
At that time the Inn did not organize any excursions, so it recommended a place to hire them.
We did 2 excursions, one every day. The first day we went to the Perito Moreno Glacier and the next we went to the Uppsala Glacier and the Spegazzini. As I told you before, there were some excursions that we could not do, I was left wanting to trek over the Perito Moreno Glacier, I will have to return!
The excursion to Perito Moreno lasts all day, we leave early by bus. It is about 80 km of road, with lake Argentino on our right. The road has great views and we were lucky enough to see condors, they are some of the largest birds on the planet, pity that at that time our camera was not the best…
When you get to the Perito Moreno, you stay astonished, I had not been before on any glacier, and it is fabulous!
You hear the sound of ice coming off and falling into the water. You stare, waiting for it to be a huge piece of ice, because of the roar it’s made, but there were times when you didn’t even see the ice fall, other times it was small or at least it looked like it from where we were.
Which makes me imagine how impressive it must be to be there when the ice dam breaks… I’d love to see it even if it’s once live. Other times what sounds is the ice cracking inside, because the Perito Moreno is one of the fastest advancing glaciers in the world.
Visit All Glaciers
For the next day we had several options to choose from, we were hesitating between the excursion to the Upsala Glacier + Estancia Cristina (you visit the glacier, the Argentine lake and the Estancia) or Todo Glaciares, we chose the last one.
It is a very nice excursion, very quiet. We meet at the meeting point, to go to Puerto de la Cruz, where we embark on a catamaran. We sail towards the Uppsala Glacier, the largest of all, as we sail we find ice floes, many of the icebergs are much larger than the boat, we were one day cloudy, it snowed us during the trip by catamaran, but icebergs looked blue, awesome.
I don’t know how to say with words how spectacular everything is… We pass with the catamaran ahead of the Uppsala glacier, this glacier has a particularity over the others. Being the widest and the most ice-suspended in the water, it doesn’t break into little pieces like the others.
This glacier when it breaks, it is the entire front that has more than 13 kilometers. Breaking like this creates a fairly violent wave in the lake that can overturn the boat, so they don’t come within 600 meters of the glacier just in case. Apparently it’s spectacular and very few have a chance to watch it live.
On the catamaran we were about two hours, disembarked in Onelli Bay, walked through a forest until we reached Lake Onelli, where we saw three other glaciers, the Agassiz glacier, the Bolado and the Onelli. Then we saw the Spegazzini Glacier, which is the highest in the National Park, with about 130 meters above water level.
Then we go back to Puerto Bandera and start the return.
Note: I have been told that for environmental reasons it no longer lands in this area. We made the trip in 2006 and we were lucky enough to be able to see it and walk around as you can see in the photos.
If I remember correctly, when we hired the tours, we hired them with food. Although you have the option to take it yourself.
Where to dine in Calafate?
Then the 3 night dinners were magnificent, plus coincided one of the days with Fer’s birthday, we had dinner at the local restaurants.
Of course, we tried the Patagonian lamb at La Tablita restaurant. It is a classic of the city, the oldest restaurant in El Calafate and it is where we are told that we eat the best lamb and the truth is that it was very good.
We also try other local specialties such as salmon or trout and try the fruit of Calafate, which says the saying, whoever tastes the fruit of Calafate will come back for more!
Also, as it was Fer’s first trip to Argentina, I made him try the Fernet with coke. I recommend you try it too and make it more coke than fernet!
I hope that you all have the possibility to visit El Calafate and El Parque Nacional los Glaciares, it is an experience that must be lived even once in a lifetime!
Prepare your trip to Argentina
- My pre-trip to Argentina
- Buenos Aires Part 1
- Must-Visit Places in Buenos Aires
- Excursions in Buenos Aires
- Iguazu Falls
- Visit to Mar del Plata
Book Your Trip
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