When was the Perito Moreno Glacier discovered?

The Amazing Perito moreno Glacier in Patagonia

Undoubtedly, Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentine Patagonia is one of the greatest attractions and you will surely visit it. But perhaps you want to know a little more about its history, about how and when it was discovered. Imagine for a moment, arriving for the first time to that remote place on the planet and discovering such a vast whiteness for the first time. Undoubtedly, it must have been a fascinating experience. So, let’s review a bit about the history of Perito Moreno Glacier.

A bit of history: the discovery of the Perito Moreno Glacier

In October 1867, a land expedition was organized and financed by Cap. Luis Piedra Buena to explore the headwaters of the Santa Cruz River. Guillermo Gardiner and his companions navigated the south bank of the river, taking 33 days to go out and 16 to return. They crossed the Bote River, passed near the present-day location of Calafate, found a stream that came from the hills, and saw a regular-sized island, Isla Solitaria, in front of it. They passed through Chorrillo Malo and reached Lago Roca, where they made a partial reconnaissance and believed it possible to find a passage to the Pacific. This expedition was essential for the discovery of Lake Argentino, which was baptized by Moreno, and it identified conditions that would facilitate future expeditions, such as water sources, pastures, trees, and hunting.

In November 1873, Second Lieutenant Valentin Feilberg was appointed to explore the headwaters of the Santa Cruz River. He and his crew members traveled in hammocks and completed the journey in 22 days. Due to incorrect information, they believed it was the Viedma. They hoisted the flag on a pole-like oar and left a bottle with a document to prove their feat.

In late 1876 and early 1877, Carlos Moyano and Francisco Moreno made the first exploratory trip from Pavón Island, navigating the Santa Cruz River. On February 15, 1877, Moreno baptized the lake that originates from the river as Lake Argentino. They continued north along the La Leona River to Lake Viedma, and they reached the Chalía River, San Martín Lake, and Tar Lake (the name given by the natives). This expedition allowed for a general understanding of Lake Argentino. They gave the place where the North Arm and South Arm divide the name Punta Bandera and deposited the national flag there. They also named the Frías, Buenos Aires, Moyano, Stokes, Fitz Roy, and Punta Avellaneda mountains.

In 1879, the Moreno Glacier was sighted for the first time by the English captain of the Chilean Navy, Juan Tomás Rogers, who named it after the Director of the Hydrographic Office of the Chilean Navy, Francisco Gormaz, for sponsoring the expedition. Years later, Hauthal, attached to the Argentine Limits Commission, would call it Bismark in honor of the Prussian Chancellor.

In 1887, Agustín del Castillo was at Lake Argentino and at the foot of the Payne. In 1892, Alcides Mercerat, a French scientist, made an excursion across the Santa Cruz River to Lake Argentino and the Cordillera del Payne, making geological observations and gathering archaeological material.

In 1895, Carlos V. Burmesteir, an engineer in charge of the measurement of public lands and a collector of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Buenos Aires, traveled to the Argentino, Viedma, and San Martín lakes. In 1901, he explored and surveyed the southern area of the Santa Cruz River, covering 800 leagues.

In 1899, the Glacier was named Perito Moreno in honor of Perito Moreno by Lieutenant Iglesias, who was in charge of studies for the Argentine Hydrographic Institute.

The Los Glaciares National Park covers approximately 600,000 hectares, with 47 glaciers emerging from the great ice field, including Marconi, Viedma, Moyano, Upsala, Agassiz, Bolado, Onelli, Peineta, Spegazzini, Mayo, Ameghino, Moreno, and Frias, all of them belonging.

Book an excursion and visit the amazing Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia!

Picture of Ramiro Rodriguez

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.

Table of Contents