Patagonia is a region of land in southern Argentina and Chile. This area boasts some of the most serene landscapes on the planet, as well as world-class low elevation hiking. Despite it’s attractiveness, this area remains one of the lowest population densities on the globe. When you’re here you’ve come a long way south, so have the food and any other supplies you need. This area is even pricier than other parts of the country. With the long journey down, it is well worth your time to be here.
An unmistakable highlight of the Patagonia region in Argentina is located just outside of El Calafate at Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. The main attraction of the park, Glaciar Perito Moreno, is 35km in length, five kilometers in width, and has a blue-hued tint to it. With 60m jagged ice peaks this stunning glacier is overwhelmingly large in size.
It’s possible to watch massive pieces of ice shear off and cascade down into the water below, making thunderous noises. Most visitors hang around for a few hours hoping to catch a glimpse of the next calving (the term used to describe when a large piece of ice breaks off of the glacier). This glacier is one of only a handful that isn’t receding; it is actually advancing up to two meters per day! This makes it a healthy and stable glacier as well as an impressive site to visit.
Getting here from the town of El Calafate is easy. Take the bus as this will give you several hours to explore the different walkways before you have to head back. Make sure you sit on the left for the best views approaching the park. You will be asked to show your passport for your nationality as you enter as some nationals receive a discounted price. It is also best to visit in the afternoon after the crowds have disbursed and you are more likely to witness an ice calving. Make sure to bring a lunch, plenty of water and a jacket as it can get very windy! Optional boat tours are available and recommended to get closer to the glacier and give you a better sense of the colossal size. There are other more adventurous (and much more expensive) options of kayaking near the glacier as well as hiking in crampons directly on it!
Money Saving Tiplr Tip: Although Argentina is expensive, the Blue Dollar rate makes spending much more manageable (at the time visited it was very beneficial to bring new crisp $100 and $50 dollar bills for the best exchange rate).
Photo Credits: Author’s Own