Updated post: 17/11/18 | November 2018
“A man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificant by and by”
Everyone should visit at least one glacier in their life, and the Perito Moreno Glacier is a fantastic choice. Stretching back as far as the eye can see above the turquoise water of Argentinian Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park, it is an extraordinary sight. Here’s what to expect when you visit Perito Moreno Glacier and some tips on how to do it.
Perito Moreno Glacier – some facts and figures
Here’s the section for you data geeks out there. If this doesn’t rock your boat, scroll on.
Glaciers are dynamic systems, growing as a result of precipitation and shrinking because of melting. Most glaciers are receding because they are melting faster than they are growing. Climate change is a major cause of this. Perito Moreno is rare because it is an advancing glacier, creeping forward by 2 meters each day. Think of it as an ‘ethical glacier’.
This glacier is over 30km in length, 5km wide and towers 70 meters above the surface of Lago Argentino. All in all, it covers an area of 250 square kilometres.
And in case you were wondering, Perito Moreno was a 19th-century explorer
What to expect from your visit to Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier is nature’s sight and sound show. Multiple viewing platforms, connected by colour-coded walkways, provide different vantage points, each one seemingly better than the last.
Although its beauty means you can barely tear your eyes away from it, what makes it so spell-binding is its activity. As it advances, immense ice chunks break off, plummeting into the lake, a process called calving. This is extraordinary to witness. First, there is a low rumble, like thunder. Visitors wait in eager anticipation, cameras at the ready. Then as the ice mass fractures and crashes into the water, there is a collective gasp of awe.
There is also a one-hour boat trip that takes you around the base. This is well worth the ticket price, stopping a mere 100 meters from the ice wall. You can almost feel the glacier’s icy breath! This affords yet another perspective of the glacier, its jagged peaks reaching skywards like giant icy fingers striated with irregular blue veins. Just stunning.
This may have been my most expensive day in Argentina. However, it is certainly a day that I will never forget. And as for that gin and tonic water … that would have made it a perfect day 🙂