El Calafate, © Can Stock Photo / alfotokunst
Visit El Calafate – Perito Moreno Glacier
When you Visit El Calafate, you are just two hours from the famous Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Los Glaciares National Park. Tour buses stream to the glacier on a daily basis. The glacier is named after the Argentine explorer of Patagonia named Francisco Moreno. Ironically he never saw the glacier on his expeditions to secure the Argentine border along the Andes. The name “Perito” is an honorary title referring to his expertise. Perito Moreno Glacier is one of 48 glaciers that make up the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, which is the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world. Only Antarctica and Greenland have more continuous ice. The ice face is approximately 240 feet high, with an even larger amount of ice below the surface.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
Perito Moreno is one of the few glaciers in the world that is advancing. The Brazo Rico arm of Lake Argentina gets blocked by the ice flow every few years. Eventually the backed up water bursts through the front of the glacier in spectacular fashion. The 2004 collapse of the freshwater tunnel through the face of the glacier was filmed and is widely available on the internet. There are also a few videos of the more extensive collapse in 1988, which lasted the full day. Since the glacier is flowing directly on to a point of land, a fabulous series of observation decks allows visitors amazing close up views of the ice.
Visit El Calafate – Tour Options
- At Perito Moreno, take a boat along the Brazo Rico base of the glacier. You can also hike on the glacier. Try the Full Day Tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier from El Calafate or Hiking Across El Perito Moreno Glacier.
- Travel north to El Chalten and take day hikes to view Mount Fitz Roy and Laguna de los Tres, plus visit the Viedma Glacier.
- Cross the Andes south of El Calafate on a 4 hour bus ride to reach Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine in Chile.