The largest glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere outside of Antarctica can be found nowhere else than Patagonia. Just seeing the glaciers is a great reason to visit Patagonia. Glacier hikes in Patagonia are a truly thrilling and humbling experience, which you cannot mis out on when you’re visiting the area.
The incredible 3-mile wide Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park cannot be captured adequately in a picture. Its vast, icy blue beauty can only be truly experienced firsthand, from viewing platforms or, ideally, the trails that allow hikers to get up close and personal with the glacier. If you dare to step onto part of the glacier, you’ll be amazed by the lagoons and ice caves you’ll encounter.
Be sure to keep your eyes out for the deep cracks in the ice that appear every now and then on the otherwise solid face of the glacier. But don’t worry; Perito Moreno is the world’s 3rd largest freshwater supply, and seems to have no intention of retreating or melting.
Exploring the Viedma Glacier in Chalten is an unforgettable experience for hikers of all different skill levels. After sailing across the beautiful Lake Viedma, you’ll head towards the impressive glacial structure. Many visitors report that it’s the first experience they’ve had climbing or trekking on top of a foundation made entirely of ice. However, the majority of these first-timers find the trail to be very easily navigable.
Having an experienced and knowledgeable guide trekking along with you, explaining the nature of the glacier and leading you around, is extremely beneficial. With the guide, you’ll probably be able to venture down into the depths of the glacier itself, inside an ice cave. Transforming the glacier hikes in something even more special. Within the ice caves, water from the lake gushes across the banks of a natural river, reflecting a spectrum of blue across the walls.
Exploring these natural wonders can trigger mind-boggling questions in the minds of many visitors. For example, how can a huge chunk of ice reside in the water for so many years and never melt? But most visitors decide, especially in the case of the Perito Moreno glacier, it is best not to consider these kinds of questions too heavily, but rather to simply accept the glaciers as they are and be grateful for them.