This protected area to be enjoyed by everyone was named after the ‘expert’ Pascual Moreno (in Spanish, ‘Perito’, hence the name of the glaciers) who discovered it. This incredible place is a gem for tourists who come to contemplate it, but is also famous for its scientific and educational purpose.
People realized quickly that what Moreno had discovered was in fact a very small part of a huge area full of glaciers crossing the Andes Range from one end to the other, extending all over both South and North of Patagonia. It should be noted that most of the glaciers are gathered in places forming a triangle, composed of El Calafate, El Chaltén (both in Argentina) and Glacier Torres del Paine, in Chile. All three places can be visited in one trip, as they are pretty close to one another.
Here is all you need to know about these Glaciers:
- Glacier Perito Moreno – El Calafate
Main attraction of the area, the Glacier Perito Moreno is a must do. One day is enough to visit it, whether you chose to do a trek over the ice or not. It is also the easiest glacier to reach in the whole world: 70km of driving gets you to a cat walk, where this giant made of ice stands right before your eyes.
The different ways to reach it include navigations on the lake Argentino, which are full day excursions leaving from El Calafate. You could even leave to another place on the same day if ever you have a very tight schedule!
This chain forms the UNESCO – recognized National Park Los Glaciares, but is unfortunately slowly reducing because of different factors, such as global warming. The giant barrier of icebergs composing the Glacier Upsala, which is part of the Park, is particularly threatened.
Another must see Glacier is the Glacier Spegazzini, forming one big river of ice joining the lake down the mountains.
Take into account the fact that not all glaciers are easy to reach, so you might need a little more preparation for some of them.
- The ‘mini-Antarctica’ – El Chalten
Capital of Trekking in Argentina, El Chalten is located a few hundred kilometers north of El Calafate, in-between Argentina and Chile. The area is composed of lakes, forests, rivers and mounts, and offers a wide range of stunning views with its different Glaciers, such as the Glacier Torre, the Glacier de los 3, the Glagier Viedma… Called the Continental Ice Platform, the place is a huge block of ice from which the glaciers were born, and actually looks like a mini Antarctica.
- The secrets of the Chilean side – Torres del Paine
Absolute gem of Nature, the National Park Torres del Paine is massive and if ever you feel adventurous enough to visit it all, then you might need a fair few days. Located 5 hours away from El Calafate and on the Chilean side, it is host to the famous Glacier Grey, offering plenty of activities, as well as the Glacier Dickson, the Glacier Francés…
Put together, the Argentinian and Chilean sides of Patagonia provide us with the most spectacular views and atmosphere, guaranteeing an amazing trip.