“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
Have you ever felt intimidated by a place? I don’t mean scared but more like overpowered. This was exactly how I felt when I first saw the Perito Moreno Glacier up close. I felt so small as if I will be eaten alive by the monstrous wall of ice in front of me. It was an inexplicable feeling of awe.
Perito Moreno Glacier
One of the many glaciers in the Los Glacieres National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier covers an area of 250 km2 across a length of 30 km. This impressive natural wonder is one of the few glaciers in Southern Patagonia that continues to grow instead of retreat for reasons yet to be uncovered by glaciologists. Above the surface of Argentino Lake, the glacier measure 5 km wide with an average height of 74 m (equivalent to a 24 storey high building).
Related Post: Laguna de los Tres: A Day Hike towards Mount Fitz Roy
Seeing Perito Moreno Glacier Up Close
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most sought after destinations in Argentina. Hundreds of tourists flock there daily but there is plenty of room for everyone. Several viewpoints and walkways are located across the expanse of the glacier. We took our time to walk along the different routes and stopped every now and then to enjoy the view and capture some photos. Snow-capped mountains and forests surround the imposing mass of ice, which makes for a truly picturesque scene.
As if the earth cried out a loud roar, shards of ice started to fall off the glacier in the late afternoon. We even saw a small glacial cave collapse. It was incredible.
If you are there in the right time, you can witness the famous Perito Moreno rupture phenomenon where huge chunks of ice collapse; this occurs every 4 to 5 years.
Video Credit: The Telegraph’s Youtube Channel
How to Get to Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier is located 80km from the town of El Calafate. There are many tours available from El Calafate but we chose to visit Perito Moreno Glacier independently since it was cheaper and more convenient. We booked the bus tickets with CalTur at the bus terminal in town for 450 ARS. The bus departed the next day at 8am from El Calafate and left at 4pm from Perito Moreno – even with the 1.5 hours travel time, we had more than enough time to explore the many viewpoints of the glacier. The Parque National de los Glacieres ticket entrance set us back 260 ARS.
Should you take a boat tour? We met some people that told us we don’t really need to. The boats don’t go close enough to the glacier so there isn’t much point in doing this. You actually get closer to the glacier from the viewpoints. Another tour option is the guided ice trek, where you can walk along parts of the glacier. We actually considered this but the price of around $100 USD each was too much for our backpacker budget. We will definitely do something like this at some point!
Have you seen the Perito Moreno Glacier or other glaciers during your travels? Let us know.
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