Trekking on Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier
Photography by Will Warr
Perito Moreno Glacier is spectacular. It’s immense. It’s beautiful. It was a highlight of my recent trip to Argentina and is, without a doubt, worth a visit.
Located in Los Glaciares National Park, in the province of Santa Cruz, Perito Moreno is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Icefield. This is the third-largest icefield in the world after Antarctica and Greenland, expanding over an area of approximately 13,000sq km. Perito Moreno is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world and the terminus shifts at a speed of approximately two metres per day. However, it always remains a similar size, as the ice is simultaneously melting and moving.
On the day of our mini-trekking experience, we were picked up early from our heavenly lodge, EOLO – one of our favourites in Argentina – and driven to El Puerto Bajo de las Sombras, stopping off for our first view of this incredible glacier on the way. We then embarked on a 20-minute boat journey across the Brazo Rico section of Lago Argentino, eventually reaching the foot of Perito Moreno.
Nothing will quite prepare you for how colossal this frozen mountain is or how breathtaking it is to watch huge chunks of ice break off and crash into the water below. It’s incredibly dramatic – the sounds almost resembling thunder – and is something I felt I could have sat and watched for days.
After a brief safety introduction, and the application of crampons, we began our adventure. Having never trekked on ice before, and not having the best balance, I found the crampons a challenge to navigate at first, but soon got the hang of it. We climbed up the glacier, across cracks and sinkholes, and had truly spectacular views.
The ice is clear, but as blue light is absorbed less than other colours, it appears blue. As well as enjoying the incredible landscapes, we learnt from our guide about the fascinating flora, fauna, and glaciology of the region. After about 90 minutes of exploring, our expedition came to an end and we enjoyed a glass of whisky with fresh ice taken straight from the glacier. What a day!
For me, what makes Perito Moreno so astounding is its continuous movement. Gigantic chunks of ice are constantly breaking off and falling into the water below, causing huge waves and booming noises. It really is remarkable – and is an experience I would definitely recommend to any of our clients who are visiting Argentina.