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Perito Moreno Glacier

Travel Guide South America Patagonia Perito Moreno Glacier

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Introduction

IMG_4831

IMG_4831

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The Perito Moreno Glacier is located about 80 kilometres from El Calafate, a town in the Santa Cruz province in Patagonia. El Calafate is an important base for trips to the glacier, and other sights in the Parque Nacional de los Glaciares, like Monte Fitz Roy (a.k.a. Cerro Chaltén).

The glacier is about 30 kilometres in length, and one of only a few glaciers that is not retreating. Measured from Lago Argentino it is 50 to 70 metres high. On other spots it can be up to 170 metres. The front of the glacier is a massive 5 kilometres wide. It moves with a speed of roughly 2 metres a day (700 metres in a year). From time to time, pieces of the glacier break off and plunge into the lake.

Included in the tours is a walk on the glacier itself. The company should provide you with crampons for your safety. Tours can last between 1 and 5 hours, depending upon your choice. Wear clothing that protects you from the cold, and bring hiking boots.

There are also tours that include a trip by boat, which start at the Rico arm of Lago Argentino. This is the only way to admire the front of the glacier, from very close by.

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Cost

Close up of Perito Moreno Glacier

Close up of Perito Moreno Glacier

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There is an entrance fee, that you need to pay (as a foreigner) to enter the national park at the Perito Moreno Glacier. In early 2012, the entrance fee was 100 ARS and is valid for one day. There are many tours and types of tours offered from El Calafate. Costs vary depending on the duration and the activities.

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Getting There

By Plane

Comandante Armando Tola International Airport (FTE) near El Calafte offers some flights. Aerolineas Argentinas flies to/from Buenos Aires, Trelew and Ushuaia. LADE has flights to and from Bariloche, Buenos Aires, Comodoro Rivadavia, Mar del Plata, Puerto Madryn, Esquel, Rio Grande, Rio Gallegos and Ushuaia. Finally, LAN Argentina flies to Buenos Aires and Ushuaia as well.

By Car

By car there are two routes that can take you to the glacier. Provincial Route N-11, connects El Calafate with Punta Bandera. A few kilometers before Punta Bandera, follow the road toward the Magallanes peninsula. If you follow this road you well get to the footbridges in front of the glacier. Route N-15, also leaves from El Calafate ends in the National Reserve by Lake Roca. Halfway there is a road that leads to the Magallanes peninsula.

By Bus

Chalten Travel offers connections during the summermonths (October - April) to El Chalten and the Perito Moreno Glacier, with onward connections to Bariloche (2 days!).

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Sleep

The best place to look for accommodation is the town of El Calafate, which is 78 kilometres, or less than 2 hours by bus away.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: -50.471819
  • Longitude: -73.045692

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This is version 14. Last edited at 8:09 on Jul 19, 12 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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