When we write about travel experiences we often feel the need for describing things in detail in order to transmit what we felt at a certain moment. We think that words are necessary to help the readers imagine something. However, there are cases when words are excessive and pictures tell more than enough. In our round the world trip, when we were standing at the foot of the majestic Perito Moreno glacier, we felt just this latter. We took loads of pictures to try at least to bring this natural beauty to you, as we knew words wouldn’t serve for that purpose.
Perito Moreno, probably one of the most famous glaciers in the world (not to be confused with the town of Perito Moreno located 300 km to the North) is situated 50 km from the small Patagonian town of El Calafate, which people use as a base for visiting the glacier. This enormous glacier is one of the really few ones in the world that actually is growing in spite of the global warming. The end of the glacier (bordering the Lake Argentino) is more than 5 km wide, and a 60 m tall part of it can be seen above the level of the water.
El Calafate was a small settlement that went through incredible growth (the population quadrupled in a decade) due to the tourism. We have a friend there, Rana, who told us that it was a little deserted village when they moved there at the end of the 90s and now it’s a town full of hostels, restaurants and even casinos. Finding a cheap hostel there is not a problem and the small buffet of “Doña Merché” with delicious empanadas, pizzas and giant “milanesa” sandwiches helped us out when we felt hungry.
The town is situated on the lakeside, and there are several nice walks to do in the surroundings. However, the best way to enjoy the Patagonian atmosphere is to go to the local camping, of course it is only an option in Summer. In Argentina campings are really cool, all parcels have their own barbecue, and Argentinean people really use it for an “asado” as they call it.
We took a tour from el Calafate to visit the glacier in the afternoon (there is usually less people then, as those who just spend a day in El Calafate go in the morning). The ticket for the bus and entrance ticket are really overpriced for foreigners, but in the case of this natural wonder you don’t see it that way.
We spent there five hours in the walkways looking at the glacier from all different angles. We looked at each other quite often, watching the amazement on the other’s face. We stood there next to this giant piece of ice and we felt incredibly small, it is probably the most impressive natural landmark we have ever seen. Visiting the Perito Moreno is undoubtedly one of the best things you can do in Argentina.
You can walk only in the wooden walkways since going closer than that to the glacier is really dangerous, many people were killed by thin ice needles that fly in every direction when pieces of the melting ice fall down. The day we spent there was a wonderful sunny day and quite warm for being in Patagonia. Due to the warm day, sometimes really large chunks of ice fell into the water. Every time it sounded like a huge explosion, and we felt lucky to assist this amazing natural phenomenon – in the end we were able to get even sequence shots of one of these detachments.
We have already talked more than necessary; now let the images speak instead of us for the rest of the post.
Want to read more about this beautiful country? Check out our short guide about traveling to Argentina with loads of useful tips and information. If you plan to travel for a longer time in the continent, check out this guide with great tips about backpacking in South America.