5 ways to see the Perito Moreno Glacier
Every season we have hundreds of customers visit the glacier and everyone likes to do things differently. Let us know which of the below appeal most to you and we'll help you integrate that into your wider Patagonia itinerary.
1. Ice Hiking
If you've never donned crampons or used an ice axe then this could be your chance. Witness the glacier from the viewing balconies and then go and climb across it as well. See the crevasses and ice formations up close. No previous experienced required.
There are two different options for ice hiking, both of which require a full day and include your transport from/to from Calafate, the boat trip across to the glacier and time to enjoy the view from the balconies as well.
Option one gives you 1h 40mins on the ice itself as part of a two-hour guided tour (available August through June), and is available for those aged between 10 to 65. The second option, for more active visitors, gives you around 3h 30mins on the ice including your lunch (available September through April), and is available for those aged 18 to 50.
Some people seemed a bit worried about having to jump over crevasses that you can see going right down into the glacier, but I loved it. We were quite deep in so all you could see was the ice in front of you and the serac ridges reaching into the distance.
Chloe O'Keeffe Wildlife & Cruise Specialist
2. Tour to the viewing balconies
If you'd prefer to spend your time observing and photographing the frontage of the glacier and you want to make your budget work harder, then a standard tour is probably your best bet.
You'll be met at your hotel, driven out to the glacier aboard a bus and have several hours to enjoy the walkways with their different perspectives on the glacier. Chances are you'll get to see huge chunks of ice calve of the face of this advancing glacier and crash into the water below.
3. Private guide and driver
If you'd like to visit the glacier with fewer people around, or if your itinerary means you have only an afternoon to visit rather than a full day then a private trip might well be the answer. If for example your flight into Calafate lands around lunchtime then a private trip could allow you to really make the most of your first afternoon in Patagonia. A good option for groups of 4 or more, and can sometimes work for couples on a special trip.
4. Boat Trip
The boat trip up to the face of the glacier gives you a different perspective and allows you to get that much closer to both the icebergs and the glacier itself. The trip is only an hour long and you can book it when you arrive in the park.
5. Car Hire or Taxi
It's relatively easy to travel out to the glacier park more independently. Whilst it may not be all that cost effective to rent a car just to visit the glacier, those on a self-drive trip can easily make their way out. Some people have jumped in a taxi (and even asked it to wait for an hour while they explore the walkways).
6. Extended Boat Trip
Explore the surrounding fjords of Los Glaciares National Park before venturing to Perito Moreno. The fjords are home to ancient forests, black sand beaches, hidden waterfalls and massive hanging glaciers. Your guide will disembark with you along the way to hike amongst this unique wilderness.
Afterwards you will view Perito Moreno glacier from the water, gazing up at it's huge ice wall. You will then have time to admire the glacier from the viewing balconies by yourself before heading back to El Calafate.
Landmarks around the Perito Moreno glacier
Tours: Perito Moreno and El Chalten
An expansive experience combining the best hikes in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. Travel into the heart of Torres del Paine on a unique and dramatic Zodiac boat ride. Celebrate your final night in an authentic ranch…
This great value trip takes you to the best-known icy peaks and creaking glaciers of the area whilst staying in cosy hotels in El Chalten. You'll see Cerros Torre and Fitz Roy, pass over the walkways of Perito Moreno glacier,…
Be wowed by the Perito Moreno Glacier and enjoy 4 full day hikes in Chalten, seeing the highlights but also getting off the beaten track. You'll have the freedom to hike self-guided for 3 days with all your accommodation and…
Hike the two main trails in Los Glaciares National Park with a warm and comfortable hotel to return to in the evening. Visit Perito Moreno Glacier and the surrounding fjords on a boat trip. This is a flexible itinerary and…
Based in the cosy town of Chalten, trek to the top sights of Los Glaciares - Perito Moreno, Cerro FitzRoy, Paso Cuadrado and the Marconi Pass. The trip balances guidance on excursions with independence in travelling and free time for…
Trek, ice-trek, kayak and horse-ride around the highlights of Chalten, including the infamous Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro FitzRoy and Cerro Torre. Stay in comfortable hotels most nights, but spend one night camping under the stars to get the perfect…
Relax by the fire at a luxurious lakeside lodge on the shores of Lago Desierto after visiting the vast face of the Perito Moreno glacier and taking on Fitz Roy's most famous trek, as well as some wilder guided hikes…
“The Spirit of the Glaciers” is ideal for those who prefer to discover the magic of the most spectacular corners of the Los Glaciares National Park in a different way; the luxury of enjoying an exclusive cruise. You will spend…
4 Trips that can include Perito Moreno Glacier
The most popular way to experience what might just be Patagonia's best hiking. Great local guides, small groups, moderate comfort in refugios and an efficient itinerary help you get the most out of your time. Great for solo travellers or…
This route is the fastest, cheapest way to complete the full circuit that takes you to the less travelled northern side of the park, over the John Garner pass with the icecap laid out beneath you and then brings you…
Combine fantastic great day hikes around the Fitz Roy massif with the famous W trek further south. All travel, border crossings and accommodation are included and arranged for you by our trusted local operators, but hiking alone and unguided keeps…
A spectacular itinerary that takes you the length of Southern Patagonia in a specially-adapted expedition vehicle, exploring glaciers on foot and by boat, breaking Torres del Paine's W Trek into a series of day hikes, visiting a penguin colony, crossing…
Can I combine Perito Moreno with...
The Perito Moreno glacier may be Patagonia's most famous landmark but it only warrants a day and most people visit the region for two to four weeks. So how best to fit it in with your other plans?
If you are planning on hiking in El Chalten (around Mount Fitzroy) then a visit to Perito Moreno is a no-brainer. El Chalten is just 3 hours north of Calafate, and Perito Moreno just two hours to the south. So just be sure to allow half a day to a day at the start or end of your trip.
We tend to think that Perito Moreno is better as an introduction to region's glaciers as you're likely to have a more remote experience of the glaciers around FitzRoy.
Most of those trekking in Torres del Paine fly in/out of Punta Arenas, on the Chilean side. However, you might choose to fly into El Calafate (from Buenos Aires), visit the glacier at the start of your trip, then cross the border overland to Puerto Natales (or even directly into the national park). After your trek in Torres del Paine, you could either fly out of Punta Arenas or return to Calafate.
We can arrange for any of the Torres del Paine treks to start and/or end in Calafate. Just mention this when you get in touch.
The cruise through the Magellan Straits to Cape Horn is a unique way to see some of Patagonia's more remote glaciers. These trips start/end in either Punta Arenas (a day across the border from Calafate) or Ushuaia (a short flight from Calafate). So you can start your trip with a visit to Perito Moreno and then travel to the start of the cruise in either of the ports.
The Patagonian Lake District offers some very different landscapes from the glaciers and granite peaks of the south. Many of our customers have started their trip with a visit to the Perito Moreno glacier and then done a road trip up the Ruta 40 to Bariloche.
Nearby to Perito Moreno Glacier
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Patagonia is a vast and varied region, with a wealth of things to see and do, a range of places to stay and a limited transport network.
Why not let us do the hard work for you? Our team of experts will work with you to design a 2–3 week adventure to your exact requirements, from hiking and horse-riding trips to wine-tasting tours and undiscovered lodges.
We’ll work around your budget and arrange flights, transfers and buses, to create your perfect trip.