Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz Province - Argentina. It is one of only three glaciers in Patagonia that is still growing, advancing more than 2 meters each day. It is 5 kilometers (3 miles) wide, with an average height of 74m (240 ft) above the surface of the water of Lago Argentino.
We started our journey by spending one night in a town called El Calafate. We stayed at the Hotel Mirador Del Lago, a beautiful wooden lodge overlooking Lago Argentino, the largest freshwater lake in Argentina. El Calafate is a small but rapidly growing town, down near the bottom of South America. It is very picturesque with many different kinds of stores filled with beautiful souvenirs, winter gear, mountaineering equipment, locally designed jewelry, and many others. We enjoyed a few very memorable meals at local restaurants, where many of them feature the Argentine specialty, grilled steak prepared on a parrilla grill.
Our excursion started early in the morning and lasted the entire day. Our shuttle arrived at 6 am at our hotel to pick us up. As we drove through one epic scale valley after another, I thought about the force of glaciers plowing through this very land in a different era. After less than an hour, we arrived at Los Glacieres National Park, where we were taken to a boat that would bring us up close to Perito Moreno Glacier, the largest glacier in Patagonia. The boat ride on Lago Argentina was amazing, though the weather was cold, no one seemed to be bothered at all. I got more excited as the boat kept getting closer to this incredibly beautiful blue glacier ahead of us. The blue color is so breathtaking, like no other blue I had ever seen before.
Once we arrived at the shore our guide was already waiting for us. He gave us a brief safety talk before the hike, I listened while admiring his high-tech carbon fiber ice axe. We walked along the shore for 20 minutes up to the last stop before the glacier. I called it the crampon station as there were two guys there that were strapping on crampons to peoples feet.
Once everybody was ready we started our hike. Quickly the snow cover disappeared and became ice as we set out onto the glacier. As we walked along, we could see holes and crevasses that went down hundreds of feet. The higher in elevation we climbed, the more blue it became. I was breathing hard, but I kept on going.
The whole hike took about 3 hours. Towards the end of it, our guide had a surprise for us! Tucked away in a hidden corner, there was a small table with glasses and a bottle of whiskey. Our guide took out his ice axe and started chipping off some ice from the glacier for our glasses. Whiskey on the glacier rocks! As I don't drink whiskey myself my husband was only too happy to drank mine as well, however I was still parched so I asked if there was anything else to drink. Our guide smiled and pulled out an empty canteen, carefully walked towards a crevasse, and filled the canteen with water from a running stream near it.
Maybe I was just tired from the hiking, but I've never tasted any water that fresh and delicious before. Water fresh from a glacier! Wow!
We started heading down to the shore where our lunches awaited us. We sat outdoors enjoying our meal in the picnic area. The air was so clean and crisp, you can only hear birds singing and the leaves rustles in the wind, with the occasional crash of ice calving from the glacier and crashing into the water. It was such an incredible experience for us.
Perito Moreno Glacier is becoming more and more popular each year. Make sure you put it on your bucket list, it certainly is a trip that you won't forget for the rest of your life!