glacier view

Perito Moreno Glacier – How to Visit This Natural Wonder?

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Perito Moreno Glacier lies within Glacier National Park which is in the South of Argentina on the border with Chile. We went for a day trip to the park for an ice walk on the world’s only growing glacier, Perito Moreno.

Parques Nacional Pick Up in El Calafate

We booked a guided tour with an agency on the main street and their shop was our meeting point for the bus the next morning; due to it being near our hostel. It was the only shop that was open the day we turned up. Again, we didn’t have anything booked in advance as our plans are never set in stone when we travel. There were plenty of busloads of tourists in the park so I don’t think you will miss out if you book last minute as we did.

Exploring the North Wall of Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier is very impressive, I’ve seen many glaciers and this one by far stands out the most. I would definitely rank this as my number one. The glacier covers a total of 100 square miles and is 3 miles wide. It raises 78 metres above Argentino Lake with a total ice depth of 170 metres. Not only is it this big but it’s advancing, moving forward around 2 metres a day.

Me on a balcony overlooking North Wall of Perito Moreno Glacier
Looking Over The North Wall

Firstly, was exploring a series of boardwalks split into different sections yet all loop together. On the tour, apparently, there wasn’t enough time to do them all but we did… maybe because we were the youngest!

However, we did walk at a fast pace but still managed to take in the pure beauty of mother nature. The walking was light and nothing too strenuous, very easy to complete. Along the way, there are different balconies to admire this impressive glacier.

A chunk of ice falling of the North wall of the glacier into Lake Argentino
Big Ice Chunks Falling

The best balcony is the one in the picture above. This gives you the greatest view and the perfect spot to eat some lunch. We are always hungry and with a view like that… who would say no!! This growing glacier can lose up to 20cm in a single day from the top and today was no different. Ice chunks were falling left, right, and centre as the sun beamed resentfully down on Perito Moreno. Not just small chunks some quite large as they fell into Argentino Lake also known as iceberg alley. The sound of this process was deafening as it sounded like gunshots ringing deep into the valley.

Boat Ride on Argentino Lake

The view of the South Wall of Perito Moreno Glacier from the boat ride across Lake Argentino
The South Wall Viewed from The Boat

After the official lunch stop, we went back to the bus. After a short drive, we arrived at the boat for a ride across the lake for our afternoon session of ice walking. As we set across the lake, we saw the South Wall of the glacier. A different perspective from Perito Moreno but no less spectacular.

Ice Walk on Perito Moreno Glacier

me having ice crampons fitted to my shoes ready to walk on the ice of the glacier
Getting the Crampons On

This was our reason for visiting, my friend never got to do an ice walk in New Zealand so here we were. After a short walk to the starting point, we met our ice walk guide. Crampons are metal spikes that go over your own shoes. So, don’t panic you don’t have to use stinky shoes used by thousands. Although, the crampons do feel strange and take a little time to get used to. Yet, it does mean that you are less likely to fall and bruise your bum.

The walk was amusing as we waddled uphill like ducks and leaned slightly back as we descended downhill. As we went around the carved-out loop, we witnessed crevasses, sinkholes, and standalone blocks. A quick whiskey over glacier ice at midpoint kept us going. Also, with freshwater on offer, my thirst was over in seconds with the purest and tastiest water (well, in my opinion, anyway).

Leaving Perito Moreno Glacier

The boat trying to dock on Lake Argentino with large icebergs in the way
The Boat Getting Stuck Whilst Docking

The boat that was taking us back struggled to dock for a while because icebergs were in the way. It was quite amusing watching the deckhands grab whatever object was on offer to try and move the icebergs out of the way. After what felt like forever the boat was able to dock and we were on our way back across the lake. On to the bus and back to El Calafate.

Summary of Perito Moreno Glacier

Overall, it was a good day trip. We went with a company to make sure the ice-walking tour was possible. Although, it was possible to explore this national park at your own pace and visit many more areas it has to offer. Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina is well worth spending many days visiting. We only touched the surface, there is still plenty more to explore. Nature here again like most areas across the globe was truly breathtaking.

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