Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina – All About this Attraction!
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the highlights in Patagonia. If you are planning to visit Argentina, this incredible attraction should be on your top list. People from all over the world travel to South America to witness this astonishing thick mass of ice.
Description about Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier is a massive glacier which is located in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentino Lake, in El Calafate city in Argentina.
This imposing glacier receives thousands of tourists every year due to its unique characteristics. It is one of the few glaciers in the world that is growing instead of retreating.
Why is the Perito Moreno Glacier important and special?
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most important glaciers in the world due to its special characteristics. It is one of the few glaciers that is growing and advancing each day, instead of retiring.
Here are some reasons why you should visit this stunning ice blue mass of 70-metre high which is crumbling and crashing into the waters.
- The access to this massive glacier is one of the easiest in the world. It is located in Los Glaciares National Park, and once you arrive you will be standing right in front of the Perito Moreno Glacier.
- While watching the glacier, you will experience a unique sensation hearing the creaks of the ice and pieces falling down into the lake.
- For adventurous people, there are some trekking over the glacier which does not require experience. It is an unrelated activity feeling the ice crunching under your feet.
- During a specific period of time, there is an irregular breaking cycle, where the glacier grows and makes an obstruction in Rico Lake, producing an increase of the water levels and pressure causing the famous break of the glacier.
Is Perito Moreno Glacier affected by climate change?
One of the most characteristic features of Perito Moreno Glacier is that it has been declared as stable. The surface has remained the same since 1971, meaning that the glacier is balanced. Unlike other glaciers in Patagonia, which have been retreating and disappearing due to global warming, Perito Moreno is an exception for now.
History of Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier was seen for the first time in 1879 by Juan Tomás Rogers, a British captain of the Chilean army.
In 1881 Argentina and Chile, delimited the border with the Andes Mountain Chain. In 1899, after research and studies of the glacier, it was finally named as Perito Moreno Glacier in honor of the explorer Francisco Pascasio Moreno. He played an important role in the dispute in Argentina and Chile border conflict. The word “Perito” came from the Spanish Language, which means “specialist”.
How was Perito Moreno Glacier formed?
This famous glacier has its formation from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. This is a large area of continental ice located in the Patagonia Andes, which is considered the third largest in the world after those in Antarctica and Greenland.
This ice field has a total of 49 glaciers emerging, including the Perito Moreno, Upsala and Viedma glaciers in Argentina, and in Chile, O´Higgins, Gray and other glaciers.
Much of its extension is protected by different National Parks. In Argentina, we have Los Glaciares National Park, and in Chile Torres del Paine and Bernardo O’Higgins National Parks.
How old is the Perito Moreno Glacier?
This glacier began to form during the last Ice Age, which started around 2.6 million years ago and ended 11.700 years ago. According to scientific studies, the Perito Moreno Glacier is approximately 18 thousand years old.
Location of Perito Moreno Glacier
If you are willing to visit Perito Moreno Glacier you should travel first to Argentina. The best way is to arrive in Buenos Aires city, and then take a flight to El Calafate city. The glacier is located in Los Glaciares National Park, which is approximately 80 kilometers from El Calafate city along the N° 11 Provincial Route.
Airports close to Perito Moreno Glacier?
The closest airport to this attraction is in El Calafate city. The “Comandante Armando Tola” International Airport is located approximately 20 minutes from El Calafate city.
This airport has services such as taxis and buses to go to El Calafate city. Although, you can book them in advance with us, and our driver will be waiting for you with a signboard with your name on it on the arrivals at the airport, and then take you to the hotel. You can book the transfer out to the airport on your last day additionally.
Important places close to Perito Moreno Glacier
As we mentioned before, Perito Moreno Glacier is located approximately 80 km from El Calafate City, in Santa Cruz province. Near this city, around a 4 hours journey, there is El Chalten village, where the Mount Fitz Roy Massif is located. This is an incredible attraction, and considered the trekking capital city of Argentina. If you are a hiking lover and adventurous, you should add this destination to your trip. There are different circuits to take in this area, and all of them have astonishing landscapes.
Another great destination is Torres del Paine. This National Park is located in Chile, so you will need to cross the border to visit this protected area. Anyway, it should be also on your list if you are organizing your trip in Patagonia.
Perito Moreno Glacier - Los Glaciares National Park
Los Glaciares National Park is located around 80 km from El Calafate city, in the argentinian Patagonia. It was created in 1937 by the argentinian law.
Due to its incredible natural beauty and landscapes, it is considered a unique destination in the world. That is why it was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1981.
This Natural Park is substantially bigger that it seems. It is not only where Perito Moreno Glacier is, although it is the most recognized. The National Park has a surface of 731.932 hectares. For this reason, if you travel to El Chaltén, which is approximately 3 hours and a half from El Calafate, you will still be in Los Glaciares National Park. The main attraction in this small village is The Fitz Roy Massif hill. El Chalten is known as the national capital for trekking. If you are a nature lover and adventurous person, this village should be on your list.
In Perito Moreno Glacier there are five alternative circuits to enjoy from different perspectives this massive and posing glacier. Each one is distinguished by a specific color.
This circuit allows you to have a panoramic view of the left side of the Perito Moreno Glacier. It has a distance of 1000 metres, with plenty of stairs to go up and down, making it with a higher difficulty.
Along this pathway, you will have four viewpoints where you can stop to take photographs of the glacier.
Distance: 1000 metres.
Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes.
The Entry Fee to the National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier could be added with us when you book the guided visit. Another option is to purchase the ticket fee online on the National Park official website. Either way, we recommend booking the entrance fee in advance.
If you are planning to visit Perito Moreno Glacier two days in a row, you have the following option:
Two-day promotional pass
Select this option if you want a two-day promotional pass. (selected day + the next day with a 50% discount)
Valid for entry to both covers and in accordance with the conditions specified for both. The use of the ticket for the 2nd. Entry can be made up to 72 hours after the 1st. Entry.
The price for no residents in Argentina is approximately USD 20 (last update, September 9th 2021) Keep in mind that the price could suffer modifications.
The opening hours of the National Park could change depending on the season.
From September 1st to April 30th: from 8:00 hs to 18:00 hs.
From May 1st to August 31st: from 9:00 hs to 16:00 hs
Tourism in Perito Moreno Glacier
Thousands of travelers came to Argentina from all over the world to witness this unique glacier. Perito Moreno Glacier is the main attraction if you are traveling to El Calafate, Patagonia. Otherwise, there are plenty of other incredible places, activities and landscapes to visit.
One of the things that make it become such a tourist attraction is the easy access to it. Unlike other important glaciers in the world where you need to hike to reach them, the Perito Moreno Glacier is right in front of you when you enter the National Park Los Glaciares.
The best way to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier is with a guided tour, accompanied by a professional guide who will explain to you about the formation, history and curious facts about the glacier. This excursion is suitable for everyone, and you can choose which trails to take once in the park.
If you are an adventurous person, you can opt for an alternative option. MiniTrekking over the Perito Moreno Glacier is an amazing activity for those who love to explore nature. It is of moderate difficulty and has many ascents and descents. A specialist guide will accompany you with the required equipment, and you will experience what it is like to walk on the pure white ice of Perito Moreno Glacier. Another similar option, is the Big Ice Trekking which the physical demand of this trekking is higher and takes more time. This activity is designed for trekking fans, explorers and people in good health condition.
Why should you visit Perito Moreno Glacier?
This destination is a must-see on your top list if you are planning your trip to SouthAmerica, and more specifically, to Patagonia.
Perito Moreno Glacier, is a unique glacier which is still in constant advance every day. Due to its unceasing movement, you can witness the clangour ice´s pieces falling down and crashing into the water, creating a stunning spectacle.
The first sensation you will experience is breathtaking. Staying in front of this impressive ice mass makes you feel the imposingness of nature. Surrounded by silence, you will witness the strendous of the ice breaking and moving forward. You may watch pieces of ice falling down and collapsing into the water.
What destinations can combine with Perito Moreno Glacier and El Calafate?
The best way to get to El Calafate is flying from Buenos Aires, which with different airline companies, has a lot of frequent flights non-stop to this destination. Depending on how much time you have available for your vacances and interests, we recommend some of the following options.
A very complete program to visit the best of Argentina, including Buenos Aires, a complete tour to visit Patagonia with Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, El Calafate, Bariloche, and nally, one of the new 7 wonders of nature: Iguazu Falls. Enjoy this incredible 18-night tour
This program combines Buenos Aires with the best of Patagonia in Argentina. During this tour, you will enjoy the amazing gastronomy and rich culture of the capital city, with two of the main destinations in Patagonia. First you will visit Ushuaia, the southern city in the world, where you may navigate the Beagle Channel Navigation and visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. Then El Calafate, gate to visit the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier.
Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Patagonia in this 9-nights tour to visit Ushuaia, El Calafate, and Puerto Natales.
Wildlife in Perito Moreno Glacier
The emblematical animal in this park is the huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus) is a robust deer and short-legged, very useful for climbing up the mountain slopes. The males possess antler characteristics of two tips. Feeds on herbs, grasses, leaves bushes and trees. It is a species considered endangered, declared a Natural Monument National in 1996.
Weather in Perito Moreno Glacier and El Calafate
Before organizing your trip to Patagonia, we recommend checking the weather and season to make sure you will be able to do as much as you want in this destination.
Here you have complete information with average temperatures, humidity, rainfall days, daylight depending different seasons and more.
Is Perito Moreno Glacier growing?
Perito Moreno is one of the few glaciers in the world that is growing instead of retreating. It moves forward at an average rate of two meters per day, besides it loses proportional amounts of mass each day. Consequently, this ensures the equilibrium and stability of the glacier.
However, sometimes with its constant advance, it forms a dam with the waters of the Rico arm, generating an increase of the level of water. As a consequence, it causes the rupture of the glacier, creating a unique show.
Is the Perito Moreno Glacier melting?
With global warming, most of the glaciers are retreating. Subsequently, melting polar ice caps and glacial recession in different parts of the world and Patagonian Field, cause a serious threat to our ecosystem.
Anyways, Perito Moreno Glaciar is an exception. This massive glacier is advancing and moving everyday.
Is Perito Moreno Glacier worth it?
Perito Moreno Glacier must be in your top list if you are planning a trip to South America. All the characteristics and its imposing scale makes it unique and breathtaking.
It is completely worth it to visit Los Glaciares National Park, and witness this impressive ice mass with the creaks and crushing into the water.
We highly recommend taking a guided tour, so you will learn about the history, formation, characteristics and particularly facts of this amazing glacier.
Why is the Perito Moreno Glacier blue?
One of the most recurrent questions is why this glacier is blue. Standing in front of the Perito Moreno glacier, you will notice that its color is mostly blue, and this is produced when the snow is deposited on the glacier, compresses and becomes part of the glacier that drags it into a body of water. During the journey, the air bubbles that were trapped in the ice are expelled, and the ice crystals increase in size, making it clearer.
The blue color is wrongly attributed to sun reflections. Actually, the bluish color of ice is due to the same reason that water is blue: it is the result of an overtone of the hydroxide (OH) molecule contained in the water that absorbs the red light from the end of the water.
How to pronounce Perito Moreno Glacier?
This is a very frequent question. Here you have the phonetic of this name.
Is there a live cam of Perito Moreno Glacier?
Unfortunately, at the moment there is no live cam available of the Perito Moreno Glacier.
When to visit Perito Moreno Glacier?
Los Glaciares National Park is open during the whole year. You can visit it anytime, although, during the winter season (June – July – August) the weather is rigorous and some activities are not available.
The best season is during spring, summer and beginning of autumn (September to April), as the weather is less cold. Also, many of the excursions are available during these seasons.
How cold is Perito Moreno Glacier?
Perito Moreno Glacier, in its frontal area, the average maximum summer temperature is about 17 ° C (62.2 ° F) and the average winter minimum is about -2 ° C (28.4 ° F). The annual average is 7 ° C (44.6 ° F).
How much does the Perito Moreno Glacier advance daily?
Perito Moreno Glacier is moving forward approximately 2 meters per day in the central area.However, it loses proportional amounts of mass everyday. This ensures the equilibrium and stability of the glacier.
How tall is the face of the Perito Moreno Glacier?
This glacier has an impressive size. It has an area of 100 square miles, and 3 miles wide. It rises up to 78 meters above the lake Lago Argentino, although the greatest depth measured was approximately 700 meters (2,2297 feet).
Perito Moreno Glacier is bigger than Buenos Aires city. While the glacier size is around 250 km², the capital city size is 203 km².