El Calafate, Perito Moreno Glacier

Wednesday July 13, my dad and I went to visit one of the treasures of the Argentinean Patagonia, the Perito Moreno Glacier located in the Glaciers National Park.

We booked a excursion with the agency “Hielo & Adventura” in El Calafate, there are two offices in the Main Street of the town. The price was 900 Argentinian pesos per person with a boat cruise. The entrance fee to the park wasn’t included in the exclusion so we had to pay another 330 pesos per person when we got there.

A bus came to get us at our hotel in the morning around 9am, we then drove for one hour to the park entrance located 78 kilometres away from the town. On the way, the guide gave us some really interesting information about the region. We could see he loved living here and he liked his job.

The bus dropped us at the entrance of the mirador. For the next two hours, we were able to walk along the bridges installed to overlook the very impressive giant of ice. The central part of the glacier is about 70 m high, the sides about 50 m high and it’s 30 km long. On that day it was quite cloudy so we did not see the top of the glacier but in the afternoon the clouds dissipated and we saw the snowy mountains around it.

This part of the park is well made. The bridges are installed on a higher level from the ground so that the vegetation can still grow. The annoying point is that there are a lot of trees and they hide the view over the Perito Moreno.

At 2 pm we went back to the bus as we’d booked a cruise on the lake to go near the glacier. We boarded a catamaran and we went cruising on the lake for one hour.

Although Perito Moreno is only the third largest glacier of the park, it’s the most famous one as it is the easiest to access. There is another very interesting phenomenon that happens once in a while. As the glacier moves forward 12 m a year so the ice touches the land and makes a natural dam which cuts the lake in two parts. The water flows from one side to the other and digs an arch. With the pressure of the  glacier moving forward, the arch breaks and it creates the point of rupture. It happened in March 2016. Take a look at this video, it’s very impressive.

The cruise was lovely although it was cold. It’s very impressive to see this vertical wall of ice just a few metres away from us. We were cruising through the icebergs which were floating in the water. Unfortunately we didn’t see any big pieces of ice fall into the water due to the clouds hiding the sun rays. When we got back to land, we hopped on the bus which took us back to town.

Again, it was an incredible day in Patagonia. The weather wasn’t great but at least we could see the main attraction without a barrier of fog. The landscapes are amazing and it’s so special beling in this part of the world. I was also really happy to live this with my dad.

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