How Old is Perito Moreno Glacier? Exploring Its Age

Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier is more than 18.000 years old! Learn more about this interesting fact in this article.

In Los Glaciares National Park, it is found the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier, being one of the most important attractions in Argentine Patagonia. This astonishing mass of ice is one of the largest glaciers emerging from the Southern Ice Field in South America. Due to its special characteristics, this glacier was declared “World Heritage ” by UNESCO in 1981. 

How old is Perito Moreno Glacier?

This is a very frequent question, and the answer is surprising. Perito Moreno Glacier began to form during the last Ice Age, which started around 2.6 million years ago and ended around 11,700 years ago. During this time, the earth’s climate changed between very cold periods, in which glaciers covered large parts of the world, and afterward, extremely warm periods in which many of the glaciers melted.

After research, scientists calculated that the Perito Moreno Glacier is approximately 18,000 years old. By then, the glaciers covered much of South America´s western edge.

Other interesting facts about Perito Moreno Glacier

Due to its unique characteristics, Perito Moreno is visited by thousands of tourists every year because it is growing and advancing every day. Here are some interesting facts about this glacier.

This famous glacier belongs to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which is a large area of continental ice and the third-largest in the world after Antarctica and Greenland, although it is the largest non-polar glacier. This is the only remnant of the continent´s frozen past. It is located in the Patagonian Andes, in Argentina, and shared with Chile, having a total of 49 glaciers emerging from there. Perito Moreno Glacier is the third largest in Argentina with 258 km², the first one is Viedma with 978 km², and the second one is the Upsala with 902 km².

This famous Ice Field is an enormous reserve of fresh water, and the third-largest reserve on the planet.

One of the main reasons this glacier is unique and famous is because instead of retreating, it is growing every day, and it is very easy to witness this thick mass of ice from a small distance. Its easy access makes it possible to be right in front of it after an hour and a half journey from El Calafate city, and enjoy the outstanding landscape from the balconies and trails. One of the best ways of visiting this National Park is with a guided visit where you will be accompanied by a professional guide who will give you important information and facts of this attraction. Also, if you are an adventurous person, you could even walk over the glacier! You can do the MiniTrekking or the Big Ice activity and enjoy walking over the pure white ice.

You can visit Perito Moreno any time of the year, and witness this amazing flat mass with its internal ruptures.

Picture of Ramiro Rodriguez

Ramiro Rodriguez

20 years working in travel market, as Sales & Marketing Manager in RipioTurismo, Marketing Manager in Nuevas Ideas Travel Consulting Group. Writer and travel lover.

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