When you’re in Patagonia, everything is bigger and better. That includes glaciers, and Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina is no exception. This massive glacier can be viewed from a platform, but the more adventurous can ice hike on it!
How to Get There
You can easily reach Perito Moreno Glacier from the main town of El Calafate in southern Argentina. It’s about an hour and a half drive from the town, so bring some snacks and a lunch. You’ll pass through beautiful landscape on the way there, so I also recommend bringing your camera. Bring cash, as you’ll need to pay an entrance fee (5oo pesos) to Los Glaciares National Park.
You’ll have to take a 20-minute ferry to the glacier, so you can park your car in the parking lot closest to it. To access the glacier, you’ll need to go through the company Hielo y Aventura. You can book your ticket online and choose from three different experiences depending on how long you want to hike for.
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There are two small lodges once you get to the land by the glacier. I took my lunch out and put it in one of the cubbies to have when I got back. Our group then set off for a 10-minute walk to the side of the glacier to get fitted for crampons.
It felt funny to walk around in them at first, especially since we weren’t on the ice yet, but I was glad to have the once we got on the glacier. The staff said the key to walking successfully in them was to always keep your feet flat and apart so you’d never catch them in each other. I definitely tripped several times, but overall did pretty well walking in them.
As we started to walk up the glacier, I noticed beautiful blue water in some of the crevasses. Our guide told us to go ahead and fill up our water bottles with it. It was by far the freshest water I’ve ever had in my life! I understood what “bottled at the source” meant now.
Halfway through our ice hiking, we suddenly saw a table with glasses and what looked like alcohol bottles. After getting closer, we saw our eyes weren’t deceiving us and the guides were ready to give us some whiskey for our hard work.
They reached down on the ground and got ice from the glacier to put in our drinks and then handed us them. I’m not a whiskey drinker, but I enjoyed the few sips I had. I loved the concept of having glacier ice in my drink, though!
After the whiskey, we went down to where the ice met the barren part of the land. It was amazing seeing how blue some of the ice was – it almost looked like it was glowing! Our guide said it was due to a lack of air bubbles in the ice.
When we were done, we hung up our crampons and went back to the lodge for lunch. It was one of the best views I’ve ever had for lunch!
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Book this trip months in advance. You’ll want the first tour of the day if you’re interested in taking photos (later in the day will be too bright). There will also be fewer tours walking around, which you’ll want both for your pictures and because it’ll be easier to walk around the ice.
Dress in layers. It’s obviously cold since you’re walking around in ice, but you’ll warm up fast. My tour was about an hour and a half, but there are longer tours you can choose. You’re putting in a lot of effort to walk over some of the icier spots and down hills, so you’ll need to start taking off layers.
Drink plenty of water. I didn’t expect I’d get as dehydrated as I did, but I was in the sun and walking around quite a bit. Luckily you can fill up your bottle plenty of times on the glacier when there are pools of water, so just bring a reuseable water bottle with you.
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