Reasons to go

  • Perito Moreno is one of the safest and most easily accessible glaciers in the world
  • No experience is required for an ice hike: don crampons and feel the ice crunching under your feet
  • Watch chunks of the glacier crash into the water as it creaks and calves
  • Nowhere else in the world will you find a glacier that advances up to one metre per day and literally dissects a lake in half
  • Close proximity to El Calafate means you can spend the whole day exploring the surroundings

How can I experience Perito Moreno Glacier?

Illustrated Guide

Visit Perito Moreno Glacier

Ice hiking

If you've never donned crampons or used an ice axe before then this is a great opportunity, no previous experience is required!

Trekking over the glacier, you'll clamber over deep blue crevasses, witness incredible ice caves and seracs, and splash through rivers of meltwater with an experienced guide and all the necessary safety equipment.

There are two different ice hike routes; both take a full day and include your transport to and from El Calafate. The 'Mini Ice' route gives you about 1hr on the ice itself as part of a 3hr guided tour (age restriction 8-65 years). The 'Big Ice' route is aimed at more adventurous visitors and gives you 3hrs on the ice as part of a 7.5hr guided tour (age restriction 18-50).

Perito Moreno Glacier

Boat and hike

From Punta Bandera, 1hr from El Calafate, you'll board a boat and head out onto Lago Argentino to Bahía Toro. You embark there for a short, easy trek into the Patagonian forest and views of a 180m high waterfall.

The next stop is for a 1km trek through forest for views of the hanging glaciers of the Cerro Mayo and Cerro Negro mountains.

You then sail onwards to the northern face of the Perito Moreno Glacier where there is plenty of opportunity for photos and perhaps witnessing a calving.

Afterwards there is time to walk the balconies in front of the glacier and visit the cafés before returning to Punta Banderas.

Perito Moreno Glacier

Viewing balconies

Take in the sheer size and beauty of Perito Moreno from a network of viewing balconies.

This is the most affordable and time efficient option to see the glacier, and still allows you to get stunning photos and see/hear the glacier calve and crash up close.

There are 5km of balconies in total with three main walkways that intersect, from which you must not stray. There is wheelchair and lift access to the walkways if needed.

You can get to the walkways by car, or combine with a boat trip to take you up to the face of the glacier as well.

Perito Moreno Glacier

Kayaking

Perito Moreno Glacier

Jump in a kayak and paddle the pristine meltwater towards the glacier, where you can enjoy a silence not found on the boat trips or viewing balconies, only disturbed by the crashing of ice as it calves. Sitting atop the water allows you to explore from a unique position and experience a sense of scale as Perito Moreno towers impressively ahead. 

You can combine kayaking with a visit to the viewing balconies for varied perspectives of the glacier.

Touching the Ice

This excursion is for those aged between 6 and 70 years old and is ideal for families with young children, or for people with limited mobility, who would like to get up-close to the glacier, close enough to be able to touch it!

After a 20min boat trip across the lake from Puerto Bajo las Sombras, you will walk for 30mins to the face of the glacier where you can touch the ice and take photos.

There will be a 1.5km walk along the sand and stone, including some slopes and stairs, followed by a boat trip along the face of the glacier. Back at the port you'll take a bus to the balconies where you can spend 2hrs strolling before returning to El Calafate.

Note that this excursion does not include walking on the glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

The Pioneers' Route

This excursion starts early in the morning from El Calafate from where you travel for 60km along a dirt road to Estancia Nibepo Aike. Here you can watch a shearing demonstration and the gauchos going about their work. You’ll also have lunch here before embarking on a boat trip towards Brazo Rico.

You’ll stop at Playa de las Monedas for an easy hike through lenga forest to reach a lookout point only visited by people on the Pioneers’ Route. Back on the boat you sail close to the southern face of Perito Moreno Glacier while sipping whisky, with ice from the glacier, and enjoying some chocolate.

The boat then takes you to the balconies where you can stroll and perhaps watch ice calving. There will be fewer visitors here at this time of day. The final leg of the excursion is by road from here back to El Calafate.

Perito Moreno, Pioneers Route, Patagonia, Argentina
Swoop Says background image

Swoop says

Just observing Perito Moreno from the walkways is an unforgettable experience, but if you have more time or are feeling more adventurous we highly recommend a boat trip up to the face of the glacier, and an ice hike on it's surface.

FAQs about Perito Moreno Glacier

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What our customers think of Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier trips scored 4.4/5 from 155 reviews

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The hike on Perito Moreno glacier was so cool! I have hiked on other glaciers when the weather was bad, and we happened to get a bright and sunny day for this tour, so it made it very enjoyable.

Travelled: December 2017

Alysha - Colorado, USA

The trip to Perito Morino was excellent which also included two off shore walks through the really interesting woods which we didn't expect. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Peter Williams - UK

Must include a visit or trek at Perito Moreno Glacier. Another jaw dropping place and a site to behold. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Rozini Mohd Amin - Malaysia

Big Ice trek was an outstanding experience - staff were great! We would never have thought of such an experience and that’s a credit to Swoop! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2018

Anne Marie McGonigal - United Kingdom

The glacier was a surprise--we weren't expecting it to be so impressive. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2018

Jen Keister - United States Of America

The Perito Moreno Glacier is breathtaking and easily accessible from the raised walkway in the park. We also did the boat tour, which offers history and closer view of the glacier.

Travelled: October 2017

Richard & Susan - Canada

Review:

About Perito Moreno Glacier

Why is it special?

Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno Glacier

There are three reasons why Perito Moreno is so unique:

Accessibility: Very few glaciers are this easily accessible, whilst also being incredibly safe. It is close to the town of El Calafate, in a stable climate, viewable from walkways, by boat, and on the surface of the glacier itself.

Stability: Perito Moreno has been regarded as stable: it's surface, width and length have remained largely the same since 1971. This means that the snowfall in the accumulation zone is enough to balance out the mass lost from melting in the percolation zone.

Breaking: As it stretches into a rocky peninsula, the glacier literally cuts Lake Argentino in half. This causes the water levels on one side to rise, increasing in pressure and eventually leading to a break in the glacier. This can take anything from one day to an entire week, depending on the amount of water accumulated, but is always a truly spectacular event. These breaking cycles are irregular, happening every 2-16 years: the last one was in 2021!

Size

It's not hard to see why Perito Moreno is one of the best known glaciers in the world.

It is one of the largest glaciers of the Los Glaciares region – at a massive 254 sq km it's about the same size as Buenos Aires. It is 19 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 730m thick at it's deepest point. The glacier is fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the worlds third largest freshwater reserve. 

Perito Moreno towers an average of 55m above the surface of the lake at its face, and descends around 120m below the surface. Unlike most glaciers worldwide which are in retreat, Perito Moreno is believed to be advancing at a rate of 2.64m a day.

Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno Glacier

Swoop Says background image

Sydney says

Going to El Calafate and not seeing Perito Moreno Glacier would be like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. Sure, everyone does it, but there’s a reason for that.

Sydney Miller Patagonia Specialist

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