The Perito Moreno Glacier is a must-see destination in Argentine Patagonia, offering a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy during their visit to El Calafate. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone. Let’s explore some of the exciting activities you can enjoy during your visit.
Top Things to Do at Perito Moreno Glacier
The colossus of ice offers a range of activities to suit all preferences, from the most traditional to the most adventurous. Take a look at our list of options, which includes ice trekking, boat tours, and visits to nearby forests and lakes.
See the Perito Moreno Glacier From the Catwalks
The Perito Moreno Glacier is a must-see destination in Patagonia, drawing countless visitors to Argentina each year. One of the most popular activities is taking an excursion to see the glacier, and experiencing the stunning views from the catwalks is an unforgettable experience. From this vantage point, you can take in the entire 70-meter-high mass of ice looming before you. The excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier begins in El Calafate, and after an 80 km journey, you’ll arrive at Los Glaciares National Park where you can marvel at the glacier.
The national park’s glacier walkways offer a range of options, each with different durations and levels of difficulty. There are panoramic circuits that provide incredible views of the glacier from above, as well as circuits that approach the front wall from different angles. Additionally, a specially designed walkway is available for those who may have difficulty walking, and it’s suitable for wheelchairs as it has no stairs.
Walk Over the Glacier: A Unique Experience
One of the most thrilling activities to enjoy at Perito Moreno Glacier is the famous Ice Trekking, also known as the Mini Trekking Excursion. This adventure begins at the “Bajo de las Sombras” port, which is located 7 km before the glacier walkways. You can either opt to add transfers to the activity or go on your own with your rental car to the pier.
Upon arrival at the port, you board a boat that will take you across Lake Rico, reaching the southwest coast after approximately 20 minutes of navigation in front of the southern wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier. You will then reach the refuge where the guides organize groups of up to 20 people.
Next, you’ll start a walk along the lakeshore for about 35 minutes to the glacier. Upon reaching the edge of the ice, the guides will provide crampons and instructions on how to move on the ice.
The tour on the glacier lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, and during the trek, you can appreciate a variety of ice formations, such as crevices, seracs, sinkholes, small lagoons, and more. The hike is moderate, and the ice surface you walk on is uneven but firm and safe. You will receive explanations about the flora, fauna, and general glaciology of the region, as well as the particular phenomenon that occurs in the Perito Moreno Glacier that eventually leads to its rupture. At the end of the tour, you return to the refuge through the exuberant Magellanic forest and then take the catamaran back to Puerto Bajo de Las Sombras.
Kayak on the Turquoise Waters of the Glacier
If you’re an enthusiast of kayaking, you’ll find this activity a must-do. The waters around Perito Moreno are highly protected, and we take pride in stating that we have received permission to operate in this area due to our team’s expertise, professionalism, and interest in environmental care, particularly in such an extremely sought-after location.
The Perito Moreno Kayak Experience starts with free exploration. First, you can take in the breathtaking scenery as you walk across the footbridge and admire the incredible viewpoints along the way. Then you will head to the meeting point of the Perito Moreno Kayak Experience, located near the main parking area, where our team will greet and brief you.
You will be welcomed into our Operations Area, where we will provide you with state-of-the-art gear and an in-depth safety briefing from our guides. No past kayaking experience is necessary. Our kayak experts will explain how to paddle in the astounding glacial waters.
Once you are prepared and briefed, we depart, kayak in hand, to Los Templanos beach. We will paddle down towards the glacier, facing it the whole time. We will stop for a postcard picture moment and learn more fun facts about the fascinating Perito Moreno area in Patagonia. Don’t worry if you have no kayaking experience; our guides will teach you how to move safely within the astonishing glacial waters.
The Big Ice – Ice Trekking With More Difficulty
If you’re an adventure lover seeking something more intense, the Big Ice Trekking is an excellent option. The excursion begins with an early morning pick-up at the agreed meeting point in El Calafate. Our comfortable buses will take you through the landscape while a bilingual tour guide provides information about the area you’re about to explore. The tour includes a guided visit to the walkways of Los Glaciares National Park, where you can enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the Glacier and walk on one of the self-guided trails.
Once you arrive at the port “Bajo de las Sombras,” located just 7 km from the Glacier, you’ll take a boat to cross the Brazo Rico and disembark 20 minutes later on the opposite coast. Small groups of up to 10 people are organized, and the hike begins on the southern moraine of the glacier. In just over an hour, you’ll reach a spectacular viewpoint where you can access the ice. Here, the mountain guides will fit you with crampons, harnesses, and helmets to begin the journey and explain basic safety rules.
Once on the glacier and with the crampons on, the world takes on a new perspective: blue lagoons, deep crevasses, huge sinkholes, magical caves, and the unique sensation of being in the heart of the glacier. Accompanied by mountain guides, you’ll explore the corners of the most special glacier in the world for around three and a half hours. During the tour, the guides will help you understand the ice, its surroundings, and measure the magnitude of the glacier. You’ll be able to enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains, such as the Dos Picos, Pietrobelli, and Cervantes hills.
Additionally, you’ll have half an hour to have lunch on the white mantle and be amazed by the incomparable beauty of the location. Once back on the moraine, you’ll walk for another hour to take the boat back. You’ll sail very close to the south face of the Perito Moreno Glacier before returning to civilization after experiencing one of the most spectacular ice treks in the world!
Take a Boat Tour for a Different Perspective
Adding a boat tour to view the Perito Moreno Glacier from the lake is an excellent way to enhance your experience. The Nautical Safari, also known as Safari Nautico, is a popular and highly recommended boat tour departing from the “Bajo de las Sombras” port, located only 7 km from the Glacier Viewpoint. During this one-hour tour, you will navigate through the Rico Arm of Lake Argentino, providing breathtaking views of the glacier and its surroundings.
The tour offers the opportunity to witness the magnificent icebergs that have broken off the glacier and the landslides that occur on the south face of the Perito Moreno Glacier. You will also have the chance to appreciate the impressive height and size of the glacier from a different perspective, as it towers above the water.
With several daily frequencies available, the Nautical Safari is a convenient activity to include in your itinerary. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning views and unforgettable moments during the boat navigation.