Located in the southwest province of Santa Cruz in Argentina, the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the biggest attractions for visitors to Patagonia, the southernmost region of South America. Just shy of 1100 square miles, Perito Moreno is one of 48 glaciers fuelled by the Southern Patagonian ice Field. Its impressive size, combined with the fact that it is relatively easy to reach by road, have helped to make it one of the most popular natural wonders anywhere in the modern world. If you are thinking of booking a South America tour in the near future, you should make sure that the Perito Moreno Glacier is on your itinerary.
Viewing the Glacier
Following a two-hour bus journey from the city of El Calafate, travellers can follow the walking circuit at the visitor centre, which offers views of the southern and eastern edges of the glacier. Surrounded by forested mountains and pushing its way across the southern arm of Lake Argentino – the biggest freshwater lake in Argentina – the Perito Moreno Glacier is in a location that is equally as impressive as the ice mass itself, making the area a dream destination for amateur photography enthusiasts and anybody who appreciates natural beauty. For those who wish to view the glacier close up, operators of South America tours in the region such as ourselves can arrange treks of varying lengths across the ice.
The slowly but inexorably advancing front of the glacier stretches for over 3 miles, and rises over 200 feet above the sea. Gazing upon this breath-taking demonstration of the power and timeless quality of nature in action, you cannot help but dwell upon the relative insignificance of man’s short existence, when set against the billions of years of history that this planet of ours had already experienced before we arrived on the scene. Ice blocks regularly detach themselves from the wall of the glacier, falling into the freezing cold waters of the lake with a thunderous roar and providing visitors with a dynamic show of nature in action. If you are very lucky, you may be there to witness one of the occasions when the glacier actually ruptures, under the pressure of the water that it has dammed in the southern portion of the lake. However, this only happens once every few years so you would have to be extremely fortunate.
Other Nearby Attractions
The Los Glaciares National Park, in which Perito Moreno Glacier is situated, covers an area of more than 2,800 square miles, and features a subpolar forest, many other glaciers, and an abundance of wildlife. On your arrival in the city of El Calafate, you will be able to see flamingos on the shores of Lake Argentino, before travelling through the Patagonia Valley, which is renowned for its biodiversity: foxes, ostriches, the Andean Condor, and guanacos are just a few of the species you may come across in this area.
If you would like to see an active glacier that is still advancing rather than melting away, we can unreservedly recommend joining a South America tour featuring the Perito Moreno Glacier.