Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby

Located in Los Glaciares National Park, 80 kilometers from El Calafate, the Perito Moreno Glacier is a seriously spectacular chunk of ice.

About the size of Buenos Aires city (that´s about four times the size of Manhattan, for your northern hemisphere-ers), Perito Moreno is the only glacier in the world that is not shrinking.  So, there you have it - proof that global warming is a hoax.

That tiny looking boat holds hundreds of people.
Yeah, the glacier is really big.
It´s possible to sign up for a tour that takes you out walking on the ice.  Mindful, however, of our last glacier-trekking experience (a horrible rainy day at Franz Joseph in New Zealand) and the fact that I was fighting a bad cold, we opted to spend the day on the more than four kilometers of walking paths that allow for easy viewing of both the north and south faces of the glacier.

Doesn't look like a particularly easy mini-trek.
(Actually, you don't trek right at the glacier's edge).

We also took an hour long boat ride that brought us right up to the face of the glacier where we watched huge hunks of ice calving.  It sounded like thunder as the ice pieces cracked and separated from the glacier, and then crashed into the icy water below.

Cheering for a major crash, from the deck of the boat.
If you go:
The city of El Calafate, about 80 kilometers from the glacier, is the base for all Perito Moreno excursions and tourism (although there is one fancy hotel right at the glacier).  Tours are easy to book from any hostel or hotel, and all the packages seem to be the same: about 500 pesos for "mini-trekking" (an hour and a half walk on the ice) or 700 pesos for "big ice" (closer to four hours walking on the ice).  There´s also an additional 75 peso park fee.  Local buses go right from the bus station in El Calafate to the glacier for about 100 pesos.  The hour long boat ride is an additional 50 pesos.  Obviously we can't speak to the ice trekking, but the views from the boat and walking paths were awesome.

Here are some more glacier photos, and you can find even more here.

I am wearing 6 layers of clothes
(ie, every piece of clothing I brought on this trip, plus newly purchased long underwear).


  1. WOW!!! I guess to say that the glaciers are "cool" is an understatement!

  2. The glaciers look incredible, great pics! Did they actually address global warming?

  3. Wow, the colors in those pictures are incredible! Dare I say...better than a double rainbow even??

  4. Lynda -- hardy har har! :)
    Lauren -- Nope, no mention of global warming anywhere. That was just my wit.
    Sam -- Double RAINBOWWW!

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