Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring natural wonders in Argentina. Located in the southern Patagonian region of Santa Cruz province, the glacier is a major tourist attraction that draws visitors from around the world. With its breathtaking views and stunning natural beauty, it’s no surprise that many travelers are eager to plan a trip to see this glacier.
However, choosing the best time to visit can be a daunting task, with many factors to consider, such as weather conditions, crowds, and activity availability. In this article, we provide an exhaustive guide to help you plan the best time to visit Perito Moreno Glacier, ensuring an unforgettable experience of this natural wonder.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Perito Moreno Glacier?
The best time to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier is during the spring/summer season, which runs from mid-September to mid-April. When deciding on a travel date, it’s important to consider factors such as temperature, available daylight hours, and tourist traffic.
While the peak season for visitors is typically from November to February, it’s worth noting that the shoulder season – September, October, March, and April – can also be an excellent option. During these months, the number of tourists decreases, but the weather remains favorable for visiting the glacier.
To sum up, if you want to avoid the crowds and still enjoy good weather, consider visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier during the shoulder season from September to April, with the exception of the peak months of November to February. You can always check our article about how many days to stay in El Calafate.
Climate and Weather in Perito Moreno Glacier
During the spring months, we can observe an increase in the amount of daylight, which provides a total of 11-12 hours. This duration progressively extends until reaching its peak during the summer, in December and January, when we can enjoy up to 16 hours of daylight. However, after the summer solstice, the amount of daylight gradually decreases, and by March, we return to 12 hours of daylight per day.
When considering the temperature, it is evident that the most favorable weather occurs between September and mid-April. During this period, the minimum temperature hovers around 0°C, with cooler temperatures observed in the mornings and nights, but pleasant, warmer temperatures during the day, reaching up to 20°C. This makes it an ideal time for outdoor activities and sightseeing, without having to endure harsh weather conditions.
High Season vs. Low Season of Perito Moreno Glacier
Another important question is whether there will be a lot of people at the Perito Moreno Glacier and what is considered the “high” season in terms of tourism. We must say that the high season, when the largest number of visitors come to the area, is undoubtedly the period from November to February. This is due to the influx of international tourists who choose Patagonia as their destination, in addition to the local and regional visitors who usually take vacations in January and February. Therefore, the season with the highest influx of tourists in the area of Perito Moreno Glacier is from November to March.
Wildlife and Natural Phenomena of the Perito Moreno Glacier
The Perito Moreno Glacier is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, fish, and mammals. You may encounter Andean condors, black-necked swans, Magellanic woodpeckers, and southern river otters. Additionally, several species of fish, such as salmon and trout, inhabit the waters around the glacier. Guanacos, a type of South American camelid, and grey foxes can also be spotted occasionally. The wildlife in the Perito Moreno Glacier area is an essential part of the local ecosystem and adds to the natural beauty of the area.
To witness the spectacular rupture of the Perito Moreno Glacier, plan your visit between November and March, when the weather is more stable and the ice-melting process is more likely to occur. Keep in mind that the exact timing of the rupture is unpredictable and can happen at any time during this period. However, visiting during these months increases your chances of experiencing this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.
Events and Activities
El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier offer a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular:
- El Calafate International Festival: This festival takes place every February and features music, dance, and cultural events celebrating the region’s indigenous heritage.
- Semana Santa: Holy Week, or Semana Santa, is celebrated in El Calafate with processions and religious services. This is usually in March or April, depending on the date of Easter.
- National Glacier Festival: This festival takes place in November and celebrates the glaciers of Argentina, including the Perito Moreno Glacier. There are cultural events, concerts, and other activities that highlight the beauty and importance of the glaciers.
- Winter Festival: During the winter months, El Calafate hosts a winter festival with snow sports, ice skating, and other winter activities.
- New Year’s Eve: New Year’s Eve is a big celebration in El Calafate, with fireworks and parties in many of the town’s restaurants and bars.
These events provide a great opportunity for visitors to experience the local culture and traditions of the El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier region.
Definitely, the best season is from middle September/October to middle April. You will find better temperatures, more sunlight to enjoy various activities, and a fully functioning tourist infrastructure. Although the entire period mentioned is excellent for visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier, it is worth noting that from November to mid-March, there is the highest influx of international tourism. Therefore, September, October, March, and April are also excellent if you want to avoid crowds.