Ice Trekking in the Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

January 29, 2016

Trekking Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina

I arrived from Puerto Natales in Chile to el Calafate in Argentina to discover the Perito Moreno Glacier. The bus ride took about 5 hours. I happened to sit next to some really smelly people on the bus, who just got out of the Torres del Peine National Park after hiking there for five days. I was trying to hold my breath in the beginning, but then I gave up. In Argentina, the seats are always assigned on the buses, so I did not have the option to sit somewhere else.Visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier has been my long term dream and it has been the motivation for me to visit Patagonia. I was very thrilled to see this incredible glacier. If you want to read more about hiking a glacier in New Zealand by Passport Collective.

El Calafate

El Calafate is the closest large city to Perito Moreno. The city was established to host tourists who come here to see the glacier. The town is full of chocolate shops and souvenir shops and travel agencies. Most places were established to serve the needs of tourists and they were also priced for them. Everything was really expensive compared to the rest of Argentina. I walked around on the main road of el Calafate, flavoured some of the local chocolate and tasted the Calafate ice-cream, which was an ice-cream made out of the local berry. It tasted like a blueberry ice-cream.

Sweets in ElCalafate, Argentina

Sweets in El Calafate, Argentina

I quickly figured out that there were two ways to visit the glaciers. One was by taking the local bus to the site and walk along the terraces and take photos from the distance. This was designed for less adventurous tourists. I certainly don’t belong to this group and I was determined to trek the glacier. I found the only travel agency that offered ice-trekking in town. They were obnoxiously expensive, but I did not have any other options, but to pay if I wanted to accomplish this dream. They charged ARS1500 ($150) for a mini-trekking that involved 1,5 hour long trekking on the ice and they charged ARS 2500 ($250) for the big ice, which meant 4 hours of trekking on the glacier. These prices did not include lunch or entrance tickets to the National Park. All the tourists thought it was totally overpriced, but we we were all paid, because we were intrigued to try this new experience.

Trekking the Perito Moreno Glacier

They collected us early at the hotels and took us to see the glacier on the terraces. We could walk around and take pictures of the glacier from the distance from every direction.

Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina

We could hear large chunks of ice falling off the glacier. Every time we heard this really loud noise of falling ice, I thought it was a thunderstorm. The glacier was huge and absolutely beautiful.

Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina

I thought it was all worth it to come here all the way to Southern-Argentina to see this beautiful scenery. We ate our packed lunches while watching the ice shedding into the river. The sun was very bright. It was a beautiful day. Around midday, they drove us to the port, where we hopped on a boat to cross the river. The boat sailed along the beautiful blue glacier. The view was spectacular. After we got off on the other side of the river, we walked for about 20 minutes to reach the other side of the glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina

Before entering the track, the guides fixed crampons on our shoes and then we set out on our mini hike on the glacier.

Me with the Crampon on My Shoes Ready to Go

Me with the Crampon on My Shoes Ready to Go

The hike lasted for about 1,5 hour. We followed the tracks up and down on the ice mountain. The scenery was incredible from up there. There were ice puddles, where we could get potable water from.

Puddle in the Glacier

Puddle in the Glacier

The water was crystal clear. In the end of our track, the guide served us whiskey with ice from the glacier. They also had some local cakes called alfajores wrapped up. These things are filled with caramel and covered with chocolate. Argentinians love the caramel called dulce de leche and they put it into everything and anything. I enjoyed drinking whiskey on the glacier on this very beautiful and sunny afternoon. Hiking on the glacier was an incredible experience.

Restaurant Recommendation

Isabel in el Calafate serves a typical Argentine dish called Disco. The dish is usually a mix of meet, potatoes and vegetables in a flavourful stew. The portions are huge and a dish will easily serve two. They serve their own homemade bread. It was a great experience for me to try this great place. I absolutely loved the food and also the restaurant has a nice elegant vibe and attentive staff.

Isabel, El Calafate, Argentina

Isabel, El Calafate, Argentina

Hotel Recommendation

La Cantera Boutique Hotel overlooking the town and the river of El Calafate. Perfect location and beautiful view, stylish rooms and lavish breakfast with a wide variety of options.

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Summary

Article Name
Ice Trekking in the Perito Moreno Glacier
Description
Ice trekking in the Perito Moreno glacier in El Calafate, Argentina and recommendations for El Calafate.
Author

About Barbara

Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger. She started traveling through Paris, London, New York, Milan, Tokyo at the age of 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since, she has visited 67 countries. She writes about the most exclusive jet-set destinations such as Cannes, Venice Film Festivals, Monaco Grand Prix, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris as well as yacht parties in St-Tropez, Miami Art Basel, Biennale in Venice, Frieze in London or the Royal Wedding in Monaco.

  • Looks like an amazing trek just for the views along. I also think el Calafate would be a highlight with all those treats. Thanks for the wanderlust.

    • Barb

      Yes, I love the sweets in Argentina. Even though I try not to eat sweets otherwise. I m glad you enjoyed my post.

  • Reshma

    This place looks so gorgeous! Never heard of a story where glaciers fell! I so want to go there!

    • Barb

      Yes, it s because of global warming. Sadly one day all the glaciers will disappear from our planet. You should hurry up and see them.

  • This places looks incredible! I have never seen a glacier before so I am definitely adding this one to my bucket list!

    • Barb

      Glaciers are incredibly beautiful! I hope you will see it one day with your own eyes.

  • Tamara Wilcox

    So, after doing the ice-trekking, did you feel the price was worth it? Also, didn’t it concern you that pieces of the glacier were breaking off? Wasn’t trekking on the ice rather dangerous!? Anyway, it is definitely beautiful, and I’m glad you lived to write about it!

    • Barb

      Thanks Tamara! The guides didnt take us to dangerous places. There was a path for tourists, so we were safe. I am not sure if it was worth $100, but it was surely a once in a lifetime experience.

  • What a beautiful place! I love that blue water behind you in your picture! That ice cream with that vibrant color looks off the chain! Whiskey at the end of the day might be my favorite part!

    • Barb

      Hahaha…. you are funny with the whiskey. The blue water is melted glacier. It was so clear that we could drink from it.

  • Owl Over The World

    This is absolute awesome experience. Argentina is up, up on my bucket list, as well the glacier trekking. The whiskey in the end of the trek must andthe cakes must have been amazing.

    • Barb

      Yes, for sure it was fun! You should visit Argentina. It is such a huge and fascinating country.

  • Oh this is definitely one of the top things I want to do in Argentina (apart from eat a copious amount of steak!) Great photos!

    • Barb

      Thank you! Yes, eating steak and ice trekking sound like a great thing to do! You will love Argentina!

  • Wow, this really is a once in a lifetime experience, I want to visit Argentina and this would definitely on my list of things to do while I’m down there.

    • Barb

      It is definitely something you shouldnt miss out on.

  • Kavita

    What an experience! I’ve only been on one glacier walk in Alaska, and we were lucky to take a helicopter out onto the ice. The easy way but still amazing. I think your trek sounds fairly priced, enough people are booking at that price for them to make a business and they are in it to earn a living after all! And you did travel all the way to see it so it’s worth it right!?

    • Barb

      HI Kavita, Alaska sounds amazing. I thought it was pretty pricey in a third World country like Argentina, but the agency had a monopoly, so they could charge as much as they wanted.

  • Barb

    HI Cecilia, Thank you! I m glad you enjoyed my post. I was there in December which is their Summer. It should be colder and snowier in April, because it is their Fall then and the temperature drops. You will love it! It s beautiful.

  • cecilia

    Good afternoon, i wanna know when did u go to Calafate, because im going in april and y wanna know if there will be snow at tha time. Thank you, and very good article!

  • I recently tried ice trekking for the first time in Iceland and loved it, so I had to read your article. I really loved the photos although I’m surprised they let you drink the glacier water!

    • Hi Wanderlustingk, Thank you for your comment. I bet Iceland must have been amazing. I have yet to visit that beautiful country. Yes, the glacier was very clear in Argentina. It was a nice experience.

  • Beautiful photos! Very happy to read about the gorgeous cold places.

    • Thank you Jen. Appreciate your kind commentary.

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