If you want super complete information to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, you are in the right place. You won’t miss a thing in this amazing place in Patagonia Argentina!
The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the best known glaciers in the world for its beauty and accessibility. It belongs to the Southern Patagonian ice field, where it originates and descends until it reaches the southern arm of Lake Argentino.
The origin of its name Perito Moreno is due to the Argentine explorer Francisco Moreno, who has traveled this area of the country in his role as scientist, naturalist, conservationist, politician, botanist and geographer.
Like the Englishman Charles Darwin a few years earlier, the geographical investigations and discoveries made by Perito Moreno during his travels in Patagonia have been of great importance. It has allowed him to know this region of the country in depth and to participate successfully in the defense of Argentine sovereignty of these lands by establishing the border limits with Chile. In addition, his study of the Tehuelche language, culture and traditions of the original indigenous people is very valuable. He became familiar with the ever-present problem of land dispossession and created schools to educate the youngest members of these families.
There are different ways to enjoy your visit to the Perito Moreno glacier, from its contemplation in the different viewpoints and walkways, a navigation with which you get very close to the glacier wall or even an unforgettable walk on the ice.
Below you will find everything you need to know to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.
🔝 Read this complete article about things to do in El Calafate.
Perito Moreno Glacier map
To see it, you have to get to El Calafate, in the province of Santa Cruz, and then drive about 80 km west to enter Los Glaciares National Park.
This national park has 724 thousand hectares and includes some 356 glaciers, so we also recommend that you take a look at another of the glaciers to visit in the area, the Upsala.
Provincial Route 11 that connects El Calafate with the glacier is paved and in good condition.
⚠️ Attention: do not confuse the Perito Moreno glacier with the town of Perito Moreno, which is also in the province of Santa Cruz. This small town is located on Route 40 and is one of the perfect places to make a base and visit the Cueva de las Manos.
🔝 Check out our article with everything there is to see in Patagonia Argentina and don’t miss anything!
What is the best month to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier?
The best time to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier is in the summer months (December, January and February), because the weather is more pleasant. But as it always happens in the high seasons, prices are also higher and there are many more people.
In the spring (September to November) and autumn (March to June) seasons, prices are more moderate and there are fewer tourists, although you should bring a little warmer clothing than usual. As you can see in the article on what to see in El Calafate, there are activities to do in the area all year round.
⚠️ Keep in mind that glacier hikes are done in the warmer months. Details of these excursions can be found below.
When does the Perito Moreno glacier rupture?
Thanks to the constant advance of the glacier, the Perito Moreno forms a dam at landfall. Lake Argentino loses the Rico arm on the other side of the glacier and a difference in level of up to 30 meters is formed with respect to the rest of the lake.
The lake generates pressure on the glacier and seepage occurs in the ice creating a tunnel more than 50 m high.
The collapse of this bridge is a natural spectacle that no one wants to miss and usually occurs in the month of March, at least every 2 years. The last one occurred in the early morning of March 11-12, 2020, with no witnesses. The previous one had been in 2018.
1) Curve of Sighs
At this point it will be the first time you see the glacier and inevitably, as its name suggests, you will sigh, exclaim and smile (and if you get a little teary-eyed it will be normal too).
It is a very nice viewpoint and a must stop whether you are traveling in your own car or on an excursion.
2) Coastal Promenade
I visited the Perito Moreno Glacier on a tour that included a short walk along the Paseo de la Costa before reaching the wooden walkways. It skirts the north side of the glacier on the so-called Canal de los Témpanos (Iceberg Channel).
During the walk I was struck by the sound of rumbling, as if a distant bomb was falling on the place. They were nothing more than ice sliding off the glacier wall into the water, which I would later see with my own eyes.
3) Wooden walkways
From the wooden walkways the view is closer. There are different walks, the Forest Walk, the central walk and the lower walk. The views are incredible from any of them and you can admire the extension of the glacier until it is lost in the horizon.
As you will not be able to avoid looking at the glacier at every moment, you are sure to see a block of ice breaking off. It is quite common. And every so often, the ice bridge that forms between the glacier and the land, also usually falls and there are many who seek not to miss this moment.
4) Lake Argentino Navigation
At one end of the Paseo de la Costa, on the Canal de los Témpanos, is the small port to embark and see the Perito Moreno glacier more closely. As the glacier is sensitive to the noise of the ship’s engine (producing unnatural landslides), it usually remains off for a long time.
There is also the Puerto de las Sombras to embark and see the glacier from the south wall, but it is usually done in conjunction with some other excursion.
5) Perito Moreno Glacier Hike
Our great pending. There are two types of treks, one longer and one shorter. Both excursions are full day trips, but what changes is the amount of hours you are on the glacier.
It should be noted that the trekking on the Perito Moreno glacier is not for everyone as it presents some difficulty. Depending on the type of hike you choose, ages are limited, but especially in terms of physical condition, is not allowed for overweight people, pregnant women or people suffering from diseases with cardiac risk or functional or organic deterioration or who have any coordination and motor skills problem.
One and a half to two hours of hiking on the glacier. From August 1 to May 31. The entrance fee to the glacier is not included. Eligible ages: between 10 and 65 years old. Difficulty: medium.
– Big Ice
The glacier hike is three and a half to four hours, with half an hour for lunch on top of the glacier. From September 15 to April 30. Eligible ages: between 18 and 50 years old. Difficulty: high.
📷 Book here the Perito Moreno Glacier hike, an adventure among blue lagoons, crevasses and sinkholes.
I have hiked on the Torre glacier (and also climbed on an ice wall) in one of the trekkings I did in El Chaltén. Find out!
6) Go on our own or hire a Perito Moreno Glacier tour
Each person can evaluate which is the best option to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. You can get there by car, rental car or just hire the bus to and from the site, being in charge of the visit. If you are not sure about hiring the navigation in advance, you can do it on the spot and go to the dock of the Icebergs channel to buy it.
You can also book the round trip bus to visit Perito Moreno at your own pace.
But if you want to take everything booked from home and go with a local guide who will explain everything in situ, there are different excursions available to do with a local agency.
📷 Check here the excursion to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. These excursions include the transfer and a guide, but not the entrance fee to the national park or the navigation on the Rico Arm (can be booked separately as it is optional).
Practical information to visit Perito Moreno Glacier
– How much is the entrance fee to Perito Moreno Glacier – updated August 2022
- General rate: AR$ 4.000
- Residents in Argentina: AR$ 1.200
- Children from 6 to 16 years of age residing in Argentina: AR$ 700
- Residents of Santa Cruz province: AR$ 500
There are other bonuses for students. Local residents, retirees and pensioners free of charge as long as they are Argentine residents.
If you are going to visit also the Upsala Glacier, you will have to buy again the entrance ticket to access the Glaciers National Park. A promotional 2-day pass can be purchased for this purpose and the second day costs almost half the price.
If you buy it at one of the ticket offices on site, the second ticket is to be used the next day. But if you buy it online, it can be used up to 72 hours after the first deposit.
[You can buy here the entrance fee to Los Glaciares National Park]. Note: the excursions do not include the entrance fee to the park.
🔝 Check out this article to visit the Upsala Glacier and other glaciers in the national park.
– How to get to the Perito Moreno Glacier from other cities
El Calafate has the Comandante Armando Tola International Airport that receives flights from many Argentine cities. From El Calafate it is 80 km along RP 11, which is paved.
✈️ Search here for cheap flights to El Calafate.
How to get from Bariloche to the Perito Moreno Glacier? If you are visiting Bariloche and want to visit the glacier, you should know that Patagonia is very large and there are almost 1500 km between the two cities by the scenic Route 40, which has a part of the route of gravel. It is estimated that it can take about 20 hours to make the trip by car. So the best option if you don’t have much time is to fly between the two cities.
How to get to the Perito Moreno Glacier from Buenos Aires? The same as for Bariloche but with more kilometers in between. In case you are curious, it is about 2800 km and about 35 hours of travel on Route 3, which is paved. So again, unless you have a lot of time to visit Argentina and want to visit other places in Patagonia, it is best to get to El Calafate by plane.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on the must-sees in Buenos Aires.
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