Ice trekkings over Perito Moreno Glacier: Minitrekking and Big Ice

Ice trekking at Perito Moreno Glacier

Let me introduce you to two fantastic opportunities to traverse the icy expanse of the Perito Moreno Glacier within Los Glaciares National Park: Minitrekking and Big Ice. These exhilarating adventures offer unparalleled experiences amidst the frozen splendor of the glacier. Here’s what to anticipate, the distinctions between the two, essential details, and more.

What is an Ice Trekking?

Ice trekking, also known as glacier trekking or glacier hiking, is an adventurous activity that involves walking or hiking on the surface of a glacier. It typically takes place in regions where glaciers are accessible and safe to traverse, such as in polar regions or high-altitude mountain ranges.

During an ice trekking excursion, participants wear specialized equipment such as crampons, which are metal spikes attached to their boots to provide traction on the icy surface. Additionally, they may use ice axes and ropes for stability and safety.

Ice trekking allows participants to explore the unique and captivating features of glaciers up close, including crevasses, seracs (tall ice pinnacles), ice caves, and meltwater ponds. Experienced guides often lead ice trekking expeditions, providing valuable information about the glacier’s formation, movements, and environmental significance.

Ice trekking experiences can vary in duration and difficulty level, ranging from introductory walks suitable for beginners to more challenging expeditions requiring physical fitness and stamina. Safety precautions are paramount during ice trekking adventures, as glaciers can present hazards such as hidden crevasses and unstable ice formations.


Perito Moreno Glacier Map




Minitrekking: Ice trekking over Perito Moreno Glacier

This outstanding program commences with the pickup from the agreed meeting point in El Calafate. Traveling in our comfortable buses, you’ll receive informative commentary via audio guides available in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, detailing the area, the glacier, and the tour.

Upon reaching the “Bajo de las Sombras” port (located at Ruta 11, km 70.9), you’ll embark on a boat to cross Lago Rico, arriving at the opposite shore after approximately a 20-minute voyage in front of the southern wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier.

After disembarking, experienced mountain guides will welcome you and lead you to a shelter equipped with sanitary facilities. Following this, a brief lakeside walk will commence, accompanied by a talk on glaciology in general and the Perito Moreno Glacier specifically. At the glacier’s edge, guides will form subgroups of up to 20 individuals each and equip you with crampons and helmets. A safety briefing will precede the commencement of the walk.

Guided by our mountain experts, you’ll explore this natural ice paradise. The trek’s difficulty is moderate, with the glacier route lasting approximately one and a half hours, during which you’ll encounter various typical glacier formations such as cracks, sumps, seracs, and lagoons.

Following the walk, a one-hour guided visit to the walkways of the Perito Moreno Glacier awaits, located 7 km from the port. Here, you’ll relish the spectacular panoramic vista of the glacier and stroll along some of the self-guided paths. Returning to the shelter, you’ll traverse a walkway through the lush Patagonian Andean forest. Shortly thereafter, you’ll board the boat for the return journey to the port, offering views of the glacier walls.

Groups: We offer multiple daily departures at different times. If you’re traveling with a group or companion, please inform us in advance so we can arrange for you to join the same group. This tour is tailored for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those eager to experience walking on the ice of the world’s most stunning glacier.


LIMITATION: Suitable for people between 10 and 65 years old, no exceptions.

Due to the level of effort and difficulty present in this activity, is not suitable for persons with the following conditions:
  • Overweight.
  • Pregnancy.
  • A physical or mental disability that affects attention, march or coordination.
  • Peripheral or Central Cardiovascular diseases, use of stent, by-pass, pace-maker or another prosthesis.
  • Use of anticoagulants or varicose veins degree III (tick and multiples).
  • Respiratory diseases (COPD, asthma, emphysema).

Not included: National Park’s entrance fee, garment, and personal equipment.


Book the Minitrekking: Ice trekking over Perito Moreno Glacier

Book Minitrekking Perito Moreno Glacier



Big Ice: A most intense ice trekking at Perito Moreno Glacier

Big Ice offers a more challenging experience for those interested in navigating the glacier with greater difficulty. The excursion commences with pickup from the agreed meeting point in El Calafate. In our comfortable buses, a bilingual tourist guide will provide insight into the landscape you’re about to explore.

The tour includes a guided visit to the walkways of Los Glaciares National Park, where you can marvel at the breathtaking panoramic landscape of the glacier and traverse some of the self-guided trails. Upon arrival at “Bajo de las Sombras” Port, just 7 km from the Glacier, you’ll embark on a boat to cross the Brazo Rico. After a 20-minute voyage, you’ll disembark on the opposite shore.

Organized into small groups of up to 10 people, the hike commences from the glacier’s southern moraine, reaching a spectacular viewpoint in just over an hour. There, mountain guides will explain basic safety rules and provide crampons, harnesses, and helmets to begin the journey.

Once on the glacier, adorned with crampons, you’ll witness a new perspective: azure ponds, deep crevices, towering glacier mills, enchanting caves, and the unique sensation of being amidst the glacier’s heart.

Accompanied by our mountain guides, you’ll explore the corners of the world’s most special glacier for approximately three and a half hours. Throughout the trek, guides will deepen your understanding of the ice, its surroundings, and the glacier’s dimensions, while enjoying views of nearby mountains such as Cerro Dos Picos, Cerro Pietrobelli, and Cerro Cervantes. You’ll also have a half-hour lunch break on the pristine glacier.

Upon returning to the moraine, a one-hour walk back ensues before embarking once again for the return journey to the port, sailing close to the southern wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier before returning to civilization after experiencing one of the world’s most spectacular ice treks!

Difficulty: High (7 hours of walking)
Duration: Approximately 12 hours (Full day)
Availability: From September 15th to April 30th

LIMITATION: Suitable for individuals aged between 18 and 50 years old, no exceptions.
NOT PERMITTED: Individuals with cardiovascular diseases, COPD, emphysema, asthma, or recent surgeries.
NOT SUITABLE FOR: Individuals with physical or mental disabilities, overweight individuals, and pregnant women.
DIFFICULTY: High physical demand (7 hours of walking).
TRANSFER: Optional land transfer with bilingual guide and a one-hour visit to the walkways.
LANGUAGES: Our mountain guides speak Spanish and English.
CANCELLATION: Online purchases can be canceled without penalty 48 hours prior to the tour.


Book the Big Ice trekking over Perito Moreno Glacier

the Big Ice trekking over Perito Moreno Glacier


Minitrekking vs Big Ice: what to choose?

Well, choosing between Minitrekking and Big Ice depends on different variables and your preferences, fitness level, and the kind of experience you seek. Here’s a comparison to help you decide:

Choosing Minitrekking

Duration: Minitrekking typically lasts around 1.5 to 2 hours on the glacier.
Difficulty: Minitrekking is considered moderate in difficulty, making it suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
Group Size: Groups can be larger, accommodating up to 20 people.
Highlights: You’ll have the opportunity to explore the glacier’s surface, encountering crevices, seracs, and small lagoons. It’s a more introductory experience, focusing on the beauty and accessibility of the glacier.

Choosing Big Ice Trekking

Duration: Big Ice involves a longer trek of approximately 3.5 to 4 hours on the glacier.
Difficulty: Big Ice is more challenging, requiring higher fitness levels and endurance due to the longer duration and more extensive exploration.
Group Size: Groups are smaller, with up to 10 people, allowing for a more intimate and personalized experience.
Highlights: Big Ice offers a deeper exploration of the glacier, including more remote and spectacular features such as deep crevasses, glacier mills, and larger ice formations. It’s ideal for those seeking a more adventurous and immersive experience.

So, what to choose?

If you’re relatively fit and enjoy more challenging activities, Big Ice might be the better option. If you prefer a more leisurely experience, Minitrekking is suitable for all fitness levels.
Time Constraints: Minitrekking is shorter in duration, making it a good choice if you have limited time. Big Ice requires a longer time commitment.
Comfort Level: Consider how comfortable you are with physical exertion, as well as your comfort level with smaller group sizes and more challenging terrain.


Comprative table: Minitrekking vs Big Ice

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Ramiro Rodriguez

25 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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