Mini Trekking in Perito Moreno Glacier

Glacier view from the side

Perito Moreno Glacier in Calafate, in the heart of Argentina’s Patagonia, is one of the most impressive natural attractions I ever visited. Together with Iguazu Falls, are by far the most beautiful places to visit in Argentina.

Both of them are simply breathtaking, you just need some time to stay on your observing, and feeling how little we humans are in respect to mother nature.

The main, cheapest and easiest way to enjoy the glacier is to enter the National Park and spend some time on the walkways. But this is not enough. If you want to appreciate the glacier even more, you can just walk on it, and end up enjoying a whiskey with its ice.

The tour can be hired on the official website Hielo y Aventura, or Viator, and comprises the following:

What should you bring?

Adjusting crampons before trekking
  • Food. Lunch is not included and you will get hungry, so a couple of sandwiches will do it.
  • Appropriate clothes and shoes. Although the trekking is of low to moderate difficulty and you will be given a helmet, crampons and gloves, it’s recommendable to have trekking shoes/boots and comfortable clothes. Bear in mind that your shoes may get slightly wet while you walk on the ice (you may be able to avoid but it could happen). You should also look at the forecast, as everything looks and feels different on a sunny day.
  • Water. The water from the glacier is distilled water, so it does not hydrate your body as it seems because it lacks minerals (so we were told).

Boarding at the port

Bajo de las Sombras port

The tour starts at Bajo de las Sombras port, inside the National Park. The park has an entrance fee, which is 50% only if you are Argentinean, so you will need to pay when you enter.

If you are driving, there is plenty of parking space in the port, and also facilities such as toilets and information offices. The tour has also the option to be picked up by a bus from a meeting point in El Calafate.

Multiple groups take the same tour so you will be given a starting time when you buy the ticket online. The boat will cross the Lago Rico in about 20 minutes, and you will enjoy the first views of the glacier.

Trekking in the forest

Heading to the edge of the glacier

Once you get to the opposite shore, you will be welcomed by the guides, who will form groups of 20 people (English/Spanish). You will have some time to go to the toilet in the shelter (a very comfortable wooden house) and leave your stuff, which should include food, in some lockers inside. You will also be given gloves, as the glacier can cut your hands.

You will then walk through the forest and along the shore of the lake, and the guides will talk about glaciology, which is very interesting. You will also have time to take pictures.

Trekking on the glacier

Trekking on the glacier
Trekking on the glacier
Trekking on the glacier
Whiskey plus chocolate at the end of the tour

Once at the edge of the glacier, they will fit your helmet and crampons and start the fun part. You will walk a bit more on the edge (not on the ice yet), but only for 5 minutes until you finally reach the ice, where you will also receive a safety talk.

The trekking is of low to moderate difficulty. There are ascends and descends and last approximately 1.5 hours. It’s quite easy to walk on the glacier and you won’t have problems at all. You will be able to enjoy a variety of formations such as cracks, sumps, seracs and lagoons.

The great surprise is that after the last hill and before starting the way back, you will be able to enjoy a glass of whiskey with ice from the glacier, together with a tasty Argentinean sweet. This will give you the energy to descend.

You will then return the helmet and crampon, and reach the shelter after a short walk (15 minutes) through the forest. You will have 40 minutes to have your lunch (there will be complimentary coffee), and you will wait for your boat to go back.

Back to the port

Navigating back

After another 20 minutes of navigation, this time with less curiosity about the viewings from the boat, you will get to the same port, Bajo de las Sombras.

Visit the glacier walkaways

Impressive view from the walkaways
The glacier walkaways

Once back on the port, you can use the restroom and get ready for the walkways. If you have your car, you can just drive 7 km and you will get to the walkway starting point, which comprises a parking lot and some facilities such as a souvenir shop, coffee and restaurant.

If you don’t have a car, the tour also includes a one-hour guided visit to the walkways of the Perito Moreno Glacier. You may think you had enough of the glacier but didn’t. The walkways offer a stunning view of the glacier, from a very different perspective of what you saw on the trekking.

There are multiple walkways of different difficulty to see the glacier from multiple angles and altitudes. This is a unique and unforgettable experience.


More tours on Perito Moreno Glacier

Other recommended tours of the glacier are:

Additional information

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