The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Glacier National Park, El Calafate, Argentina. Sitting just north of the southern most inhabited place on the planet (Ushuai), it is the jewel in the crown of the park. El Calafate is served by a small airport, and several bus links from Buenos Aires, Santiago and other smaller Patagonian towns.
Getting to the Perito Moreno Glacier
From El Calafate bus terminal several shuttle buses depart throughout the morning and early afternoon, on a roughly ninety minute trip to the jump off point for the glacier. The shuttle buses then depart back for the town at roughly 16.00 and 19.30 respectively.
Perito Moreno Glacier Price
Tours are available readily in and around the hostels and hotels, although they can be a little pricey. It is simple enough to take the pleasant stroll to the bus terminal the day before and book a return shuttle for around $30.
An entrance fee of $20 is payable at the entrance to the park (the drop off point for the bus), and the boat trip that takes you up and close and personal with glacier is an extra $20. There are several eateries at the site, although quite expensive, so bringing some snacks of your own would be advisable to keep a backpacker budget from spiralling completely.
Where to stay
El Calafate is the only real access point for the park, the pretty little two story lakeside town has plenty of accommodation ranging from budget to luxury. I Keu Ken was a beautiful place on a budget, with a terrace that looks out over the town and lake, great areas for socialising, and a mouth watering outside BBQ.
How much time do you need there
A one day round trip is more than enough, pick up slots allow plenty of time for the highly recommended boat tour, and for navigating the paths that lead you around every corner of the glacier.
When is the best time to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier
Summer time would be advisable, although given the nature of the attraction you can expect cold weather almost year round. Summer boasts more hours of daylight and highs of 20C, and winter hits home with considerably shorter days and a fresh -3C average temperature. El Calafate has plenty of outdoor shops, should you arrive ill prepared.
What to do
The boat that takes you up close to the glacier can seem pricey, but you’re probably only here once, and it truly is a spectacular way to hear the orchestra of creaks and groans as the ice shifts forward glacially slow, and to witness the serenity of the water be destroyed as house sized chunks of ice crumble and fall from it’s face.
The walking platforms are vast enough that it is easy to find a peaceful spot to spend some time relaxing, reflecting and enjoying all this place has to offer.
Why should the Perito Moreno Glacier be on my bucket list?
The Perito Moreno Glacier truly is a wonder of nature. Given its location and climate chances are it will be a completely new, and alien experience. The colours are majestic, the sounds eerie and at times deafening, scanning the face to see where the next giant chunk of ice may crash from is dizzying and hypnotic.
How can something that seems so steadfast and unmoving, be so alive. It’s nature at its most peaceful, most destructive and most beautiful all at once.