Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

Located in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina’s Patagonia, Perito Moreno Glacier extends 19 miles long and 3.1 miles wide. It covers a large area of 97 square miles (for comparison Manhattan Island is 22.8 square miles.) Named after explorer Fransisco Moreno, the glacier is one of few in the World that has not retreated or lost mass despite global warming. Its height could reach 240 feet above water and extends an impressive 558ft below the water [3]. Along with other glaciers, it is fed by the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, the third largest body of fresh water in the world. The National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981, contains many glaciers. Perito Moreno is the most accessible and most visited. No Patagonia visit would be complete without seeing this impressive natural wonder.

We took a mini-trekking excursion on 2/27/2023. We were picked up at our hotel in El Calafate and driven to Los Glaciares where we cruised across Lake Argentina to the Perito Moreno refuge. At the refuge, we were met by German, our wonderful trekking guide. He relayed Perito Moreno facts as we made our way to the glacier. Following basic trekking instructions, we were fitted with crampons and proceeded onto the ice trail. Trekking on the ice was not easy, the crampons were rather heavy, but it did not take long to get the hang of it. We carefully filed behind our guide as he pointed out crevasses, caves and lagoons explaining that light refraction causes the blue ice we observed. The trekking adventure culminated with bonbons and a shot of Whiskey over ice from Perito Moreno.

After lunch, we cruised back to the park’s viewing platforms passing by the glacier’s South Wall. The balconies allow park visitors to see the glacier from different points of view. I enjoyed walking the balconies where I didn’t only get to see the glacier from different perspectives, but I also had the opportunity to hear the glacier as ice sheets cracked and resonantly fell into Lake Argentina. We were given about 45minutes to walk the balconies. They were crowded, but I was able to get through most of it in that time.

I loved the mini-trekking excursion with the balconies. It was by far the highlight of our Patagonia trip. We lucked out with beautiful weather that day, informative and helpful guides, a good lunch and not to forget whiskey and bonbons over glacier ice. I highly recommend this excursion to anyone physically able to do it.

Reference Perito Moreno[1], Wikipedia[2], Perito Moreno Facts[3]

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