The Perito Moreno Glacier is incredibly impressive. Considered an 8th natural wonder of the world, there are few glaciers this large and this active that people can get close to. At over 3 miles (5 km) in width, the glacier reaches heights of 240 feet above the surface of Lago Argentino. What you can see is just a tiny part of the glacier which actually descends 558ft below the water's surface. The glacier covers an area of 97 square miles, a fact that won't surprise you when you see the ice fading away into the horizon. The Perito Moreno is also one of the few glaciers that is stable worldwide, a glimmer of light in an otherwise bleak outlook for the glaciers of our world.
A favorite activity is trekking on the glacier, either minitrekking or Big Ice. These activities are a great option for a lot of people but might not be right for some. The trekking can feel crowded and they have very strict age restrictions for walking on the glacier (50 for Big Ice and 65 for minitrekking). If you find yourself wondering about other options here are some of our favorites:Pioneros Navigation: This is a great combination of estancia life, boat navigation, hiking, and viewing the Perito Moreno glacier from close range. Pioneros starts off with a drive to a completely different part of the park than most people venture to. After about an hour of driving, you'll arrive at Estancia Nibepo Aike. Here, you'll have some time to explore the estancia buildings and indulge in a parilla (Patagonia BBQ). After lunch, head out to the boat and navigate the waters of Lago Argentina to arrive at a peninsula with breathtaking views of the Perito Moreno glacier. A short hike across this beautiful peninsula will afford you unique views and angles of the glacier not usually seen. Hop back in the boat and navigate in front of the glacier to port where you will disembark. You'll have a couple of free hours to explore the catwalks of the Perito Moreno glacier before heading back to town.
Kayaking the Perito Moreno: A really unique experience in which you see the glacier from the water as well as from the catwalks. The Perito Moreno rises 240 feet from the water, soaring high into the sky. It's hard to appreciate the scale unless you're on the water in a tiny kayak! The kayaking is run by professional guides and you're given first class gear – dry suits, booties, and skirts. You spend about 2 hours on the water, seeing the main wall of the glacier from about 1600 feet away and exploring icebergs that have calved from the main body. After returning to base camp, you'll be given a box lunch to enjoy during your free time at the catwalks.
Aventura Hike: Sail through the Rico Canal towards Lago Argentino's southern end to begin you hike through the Patagonian forsest which leads to the picturesque Frías Lake. Zodiac boats will be waiting at this point to shuttle you across the lake to the next bit of the hike.The second leg of the hike through th eforest and along the flat river bed valley further into the Andes Mountain Range, until almost reaching the border with Chile to the final destination, the three glaciers of Grande, Cubo and Dickson. Enjoy your lunch and the view of the mountains, the glaciers, and maybe even some icebergs floating around before making you way back.
Upsala Glacier and Estancia Cristina: We've got an entire blog about the Estancia Cristina experience. An overnight is highly recommended but even if you only have one day, a visit to the Upsala channel and the Upsala viewpoint at the estancia is well worth a visit.