This post is also available in: Español
The Argentinean Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego enjoy some of the most impressive landscapes on the planet. Lenga forests, lakes nestled between high mountains or large ice fields, such as the Upsala glacier or the Seco glacier. But today we come to talk to you about the king of glaciers, the most imposing of all those that make up the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. And of course, we are here to give you all the technical details you should know about the Perito Moreno glacier in case you decide to visit it. And remember that if you want to know it even more in depth, we recommend you to do it with the mini trekking on the Perito Moreno.
Where is the Perito Moreno glacier?
The Perito Moreno glacier is located in Argentina. More specifically in the province of Santa Cruz, the second southernmost province of Argentina after Tierra del Fuego. These two provinces together with Chubut and Neuquén form the well-known Argentinean Patagonia. These provinces are dominated by a Patagonian steppe landscape that stretches for hundreds of kilometres. Patagonia is one of the most visited tourist destinations by nature lovers all over the world.
Within the province, the Perito Moreno is located in front of the southwestern part of the Magallanes Peninsula, which is surrounded by Argentinian Lake. The glacier is located just a few kilometres from the border with Chile, and in the past it was a bone of contention between the two countries.
Location above sea level
The Perito Moreno glacier is 180 metres above sea level, at the foot of Lake Argentino. Just in front of the glacier passes the so-called Canal de los Témpanos, which was once blocked by the glacier when it came into contact with the Magellan peninsula, causing the so-called Rico arm of Lake Argentino to rise.
The glacier is about 50 kilometres long, originating in the so-called Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Although it may appear quiet, the glacier is in continuous movement towards the valley floor at a rate of 2 metres per day. The best way to see the full extent of the glacier front is to see the glacier from the walkways.
Anyone who has visited Perito Moreno will know that the most impressive view of the glacier is from below, as it is 60 metres high. You can navigate through the ice by kayaking the Perito Moreno. Right at the end where it joins the Argentino Lake is where a unique spectacle often takes place, where large blocks of ice up to 50 metres high fall into the water: the famous Perito Moreno Icefall. If you have the chance to see it, it is impressive.
How to get to Perito Moreno
The main entry point to the Glaciers National Park is usually the city of El Calafate, located about 80 km from this geographical feature.
The Comandante Armando Tola International Airport receives flights from many Latin American countries, although the most common connection is from Buenos Aires, the country’s capital.
In El Calafate there are many options for getting to the Perito Moreno Glacier, whether by excursion, bus, taxi or rental car.
Getting there on your own
The most comfortable way to get there is with a tour that will take you there and back. But if you want to get to Perito Moreno on your own, you’ll have to take Provincial Route 11, which is currently in very good condition as many tourists use it to get here.
The entrance fee to the glacier is 1800 Argentinean pesos, 530 pesos for residents, 260 pesos for children between 6 and 12 years old and 100 pesos for residents of the province of Santa Cruz. In case you are also visiting other glaciers such as the Upsala, we also recommend buying a two-day combined ticket for the whole Glacier National Park, as the second day is half price. Another option is to book a Glacier National Park boat tour which allows you to visit several glaciers on the same day.
We hope you find this information useful when preparing your visit to this unique place in the world, and we hope above all that you enjoy it as it deserves.