El Calafate is a small, bustling city that is the gateway to Patagonia. Home to many traditional restaurants that serve up regional delicacies such as Patagonia roasted lamb, empanadas and artesanal micro-brewed beer, Calafate is famous for its close proximity to the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier.
Perito Moreno Glacier is the most visited glacier in Patagonia and for good reason, it offers some of the most breathtaking views that one could imagine. Located on the shores of Argentina’s largest lake, Lake Argentino, and just two hours from El Calafate, Perito Moreno Glacier tours are a must for every visitor! Walk alongside the glaciers numerous viewpoints and take a boat cruise up close to the massive ice wall and watch as the ice breaks off and falls into the lake- it is spectacular. For even more adventure, strap on the crampons (spiked ice-shoes) and go trekking on the glacier itself!
Walking on a glacier is one of those experiences that southern Californians can only dream of, and the Perito Moreno glacier does not disappoint. There are two main Perito Moreno trekking options that are available. The first and easier of the two is called, “Glacier mini-trekking.” On this trip you will enjoy an easy walk (of approximately two hours) on the glacier (with spiked-ice boots / crampons), observing the colorful ice formations and glacial pools while the guide explains the history of the region and glaciology.
For those looking for a bit more of a physical challenge, the Big Ice excursion is for you. With seven hours walking along the glacier, you will feel like you have journeyed to the center of an icy world. In addition to the incredible views and learning about glaciology, you will have the opportunity to see some impressive ice caves and crevasses. This trip is is not for the faint hearted!
For either of these glacier walks, remember to bring comfortable walking shoes, a small pack, jacket, sunglasses, sunscreen.
If you find that you really love glaciers and want to experience even more of these icy beauties, we recommend exploring Los Glaciares Parque Nacional (Glacier National Park) the following day with a glacier cruise to Upsala Glacier and Oneil Spegazinni Glaciers. These are some of the most impressive glaciers in Patagonia and will be sure to impress.
After an exhilarating day (or two) at Glacier National Park, return to Calafate for a delicious meal and a sunset walk along the Nimez reservoir, or go horseback-riding with the gauchos at a nearby Patagonia estancia. And then, continue the southern journey to Chalten or Torres del Paine, Patagonia.
For more information about Perito Moreno trekking or about planning your trip or traveling in the region, contact Say Hueque and we will be glad to help you. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to visit our website for some inspiring trip ideas or join us on Facebook.