A man doing the "Big Ice" trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier.
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El Calafate Special Adventure Program: Big Ice Trekking and Horseback Riding or Trekking in Estancia Cristina

Enjoy a wonderful 3-night tour walking over the ice of the glacier in a hard trekk and then, a wonderful horseback riding or hiking in a remote estancia
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El Calafate Special Adventure Program: Big Ice Trekking and Horseback Riding or Trekking in Estancia Cristina

Overview

Enjoy visiting Perito Moreno Glacier, walking over the ice of the glacier and a wonderful trekking or horseback riding in a remote estancia in the national park

This is a special program designed for adventurous passengers. It includes the traditional visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier, as well as a walk on the glacier itself, in an activity called Big Ice. Good physical condition is required to participate. The next day, you will enjoy a boat ride on the waters of Lake Argentino, to discover some glaciers and wonderful views of Patagonia. You will then reach Estancia Cristina, where you will disembark and enjoy a marvelous horseback ride, or if you prefer and don’t like horses, a trek through the Patagonian fields of the ranch. Are you ready to enjoy this wonderful experience?

 

 

 

 

itinerary

Day 1 🛬

Arrival to El Calafate Airport or by bus from Puerto Natales

Arrival in Iguazu. This is the gateway to one of the most spectacular natural wonders in South America and indeed the world! Yes, the amazing Perito Moreno Glacier and the glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park. Once you arrive to El Calafate, check in the selected hotel and free time to enjoy. If you arrived early, some optional activities can be added. Check the list below.
Free time and overnight.

Day 2 🛫

Excursion to the amazing Perito Moreno Glacier + Big Ice over the ice of the glacier

Early pick up in the morning, to enjoy a full day visit to the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier.

The excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier, including the Big Ice experience, is an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Argentine Patagonia. Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world, located in Los Glaciares National Park near the town of El Calafate.

The excursion typically starts with a scenic drive from El Calafate to the glacier, offering breathtaking views of the Patagonian landscape along the way. Upon arrival at the glacier, visitors are greeted by the imposing sight of the massive ice wall, which stretches for miles and rises hundreds of feet above the surface of Lake Argentino.

The highlight of the excursion is the big ice experience. The Big Ice excursion is a full-day tour that begins with the pick-up of passengers in El Calafate. In our comfortable buses, on the way to Los Glaciares National Park, tour guides will provide information about the activity, the location, and the glacier.

Upon arrival at the “Bajo de las Sombras” port (Route 11, 70 km from El Calafate), passengers will embark to cross Lake Rico, reaching the opposite shore after approximately 20 minutes of navigation facing the imposing south face of the Perito Moreno Glacier.

Upon arrival at the refuge, the group will be greeted by expert mountain guides, who will divide them into subgroups and accompany them throughout the journey. The trekking begins with a hike along the moraine for approximately 2 hours, where different panoramic views of the glacier and the forest can be observed.

The Big Ice excursion is highly personalized: the groups on the ice will be up to 10 people, accompanied by two mountain guides who will fit them with crampons, helmets, and harnesses and explain the basic safety rules.

Physical demand is high both in the forest and on the ice, where the surface is uneven but firm and safe.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE BIG ICE:

Wear comfortable and warm clothing. A waterproof jacket and pants, sports shoes, or waterproof trekking boots are recommended. The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared to stay dry and warm. Sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves, and a hat are also essential.

Bring food and drinks for the day, as the company does not provide food or beverages.

You will need to present your entry ticket to the National Park. You can purchase it here (Select: ‘Access Corridor Rio Mitre and Perito Moreno Glacier’) or pay in cash (in Argentine pesos) upon arrival at the National Park.

  • I want a box lunch
    Order a box lunch for you during your visit!

DAY 3

Full day boat navigation to Estancia Cristina with trekking or horseback riding

After breakfast, we will enjoy another unforgettable experience in Los Glaciares National Park.

The excursion to Estancia Cristina is a classic option with a touch of adventure. Estancia Cristina is a historic ranch located in a remote and stunningly beautiful area within Los Glaciares National Park, accessible only by boat across Lake Argentino or by hiking trails.

The journey typically begins with a scenic boat ride across Lake Argentino, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. As you approach Estancia Cristina, you’ll be greeted by the sight of the rustic ranch buildings nestled amidst the rugged Patagonian landscape.

Upon arrival, visitors have the opportunity to explore the historic estancia and learn about its fascinating history. Founded in the early 20th century by Joseph Percival Masters and his wife, the estancia played a significant role in the region’s sheep farming industry and is now a living museum, preserving the traditions and way of life of Patagonian pioneers.

Lunch is included of course, but first you have to choose from these two options:

HORSEBACK RIDING:

Ride through remote country and mountain ranges, meandering through the pristine and expansive glacial landscape of Río Caterina.

This outing through the Río Caterina Valley is open to all riders. The mountains and lagoons will lead us to Lago Pearson, where we will rest at the hut and revel in the freedom this wild immensity provides. When we return to the estancia, if the schedule permits, we will visit the Pioneer History Museum before boarding the catamaran back to Puerto Punta Bandera.

The order of the visit:

  • Sail across Lago Argentino among the iceberg clusters to reach Estancia Cristina.
  • Meet your specialized guide.
  • We welcome the group at the Monturero.
  • We mount our horses and will have a brief introductory talk.
  • Ride through the valley.
  • Relax and enjoy the scenery at the mountain refuge.

 

TREKKING ACTIVITY

Hike through ancient territories, contemplate the remains of the ages. Discover the tracks and traces left behind by the ancient glaciers.

In a small group, we will head off in a 4×4 vehicle for 9.5 kms, climbing through the Feruglio mountain range to a panoramic viewpoint overlooking Lago Guillermo, where our 4 ½ hour hike begins. We will visit Glaciar Upsala’s privileged lookout point and walk down over the eroded trails with exposed fascinating marine fossils.

The order of the visit:

  • Sail across Lago Argentino among the iceberg clusters to reach Estancia Cristina.
  • Meet your specialized guide.
  • Ride in a 4×4 vehicle up to the privileged Glaciar Upsala land-based lookout point to begin the hike.
  • Hike along the canyon in a gradual descent to the flatter lands below.
  • Enjoy the last part of the hike through the valley.
  • Take a break for lunch.

 

After lunch and relax, return to the boat to navigate back to origin and take transfer back to your hotel.

 

DAY 4

Goodbye El Calafate

After breakfast, free time until transfer to airport. If your flight leaves later in afternoon or in the evening, some optional activities can be added. Check the list below.

What is Included

  • Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport
  • Excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier + Big Ice Activity
  • Excursoin to Estancia Cristina, Trekking option or Horseback Riding option
  • 3-nights of accommodation with breakfast in selected hotels
  • English-Speaking Guides during excursions
  • Entarance fee to national parks
  • Air tickets (flights can be included if you want, just let´s know)
  • Lunch and Dinners During Tours (except when it's included)
  • Tips

Faq

On arrival to airport, or bus station, a guide will be waiting for you with a sign with our name to inform pick up time for all activities in El Calafate. Usually, activities start early in the morning, around 7-730 am, to finalize around 7 pm

Yes! We can convert any small group tour during your visit into a private tour, with a english speaking guide just for you.

Yes! we can quote and add internal flights, just let ´s know.

Absolutely, the program is 100% flexible, so let´s know if you need any change on the program.

The, the tour is only available from October to March/April. Check with us to see if the tour can be done during your visit.

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