The Perito Moreno Glacier

For sure the most famous attraction that the area is known for, is the Perito Moreno glacier within Los Glaciares National Park. The National Park is a beautiful combination of glaciers, Patagonian steppe and forest, situated in the southwestern part of the Santa Cruz province. Perito Moreno isn’t the only glacier in the Park – there’s also Upsala, Viedma and Spegazinnni.

The Southern Patagonian Icefield is the starting point for most of the glaciers in the National Park and this icefield is the 3rd largest in the world, after Antarctica and Greenland. Other glaciers in the National Park are formed by the accumulation of snow on the mountain tops.

I always find it difficult to realize the magnitude of these things. To give you an idea: the Perito Moreno glacier itself is a bit larger than the size of Buenos Aires – imagine that!

There’s lots of activities to do around the glacier. As we already did a tour on the icefield itself (in New Zealand), we skipped that one. Same for the kayak trip – and I’m glad, as with the strong winds and pieces of the glacier falling down like all the time, you can’t go too close and the boats are hindering your sights, so I don’t think it would give you the experience you might have hoped initially.

So we kept it pretty basic: a boat trip of an hour to see the northern part of the glacier. That’s certainly enough. Most of the time you spend is on finding a way through the cameras and tourists gone crazy to get THE perfect picture (selfie that is). The things I’ve seen! Anyway… For those who suffer from motion sickness: I forgot to take a pill, so I just ate 2 cookies right before entering the boat and I made it without much effort.

After the boat trip, the bus took us to the cafeteria, which is also the place where the different walking routes start from. There’s 4 of them: the yellow route (Central Route), which is the most popular one as it’s very short (not even 1km) and overlooks the central part of the glacier, with different balconies that have benches so you can gaze upon all that beauty comfortably. Then there’s the green (Del Bosque Route) and red one (Inferior Route), which are focusing on the southern part of the glacier. We started with green (mostly in the forest, with only limited views on the glacier) and switched to red along the way. Again, also this part is just a little more than 1km, so quickly covered. And then there’s the blue route (De la Costa Route) which is aiming at the northern part of the glacier. We didn’t do that one, as we had already seen it from the boat. The walkway is very easy and wheelchair friendly, so accessible to all ages and fitness levels.

The sights of the glacier are marvelous, of course. But the most exciting part is waiting for pieces of the glacier to fall down and – on top of that – catching that on camera. As that happens so quickly, I didn’t think we would be able to, but we did (check out the video below)! Just before getting back on the bus, a huge chunk was tumbling down. And not much afterwards, another one. Incredible. And the noise that makes, amazing. Apparently that’s just the natural way – as the glacier is constantly moving (and actually growing, in contradiction to all other glaciers), the pressure of the snow pushing everything further down should me immense. And so the whole time we were there every few minutes smaller or bigger pieces were coming down.

So, definitely an area to check out. It takes you about 1,5 hour max one way by bus, so again very convenient. Ruth and Oscar from Mundo Austral were our guide, respectively driver and were amazing. Thanks for the great experience, guys!

Other Countries we visited
Have a look at the other countries we ‘achievied’ to visit, and other Achievies