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Visiting Perito Moreno Glacier – All You Need To Know For A Day Trip


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Thomasine Hughes



Perito Moreno Glacier, located in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, is one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world. This massive glacier, spanning over 97 square miles and standing over 200 feet tall, draws visitors from all over the globe who come to witness its breathtaking beauty and marvel at its sheer size.


The Perito Moreno Glacier is a unique phenomenon, as it is one of the few glaciers in the world that is actually advancing rather than receding. Its distinctive blue hue, caused by the compression of the ice crystals, adds to its allure and captivates visitors at first sight.


Visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier is not only a visual spectacle but also an opportunity to witness the power and grandeur of nature. The constantly shifting ice, the thunderous sound of calving, and the stunning ice formations make it an unforgettable experience.


In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know for a day trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier. From how to get there to the best hiking options and tips for wildlife watching, we’ve got you covered.


So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure to one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders, where you’ll witness the beauty and majesty of the Perito Moreno Glacier up close.


Getting There

Reaching the Perito Moreno Glacier is a relatively straightforward process, with the nearest city being El Calafate. El Calafate is well-connected to other major cities in Argentina, including Buenos Aires, by both air and bus services.


By Air: The most convenient way to reach El Calafate is by flying into Comandante Armando Tola International Airport (FTE). The airport receives several daily flights from Buenos Aires, as well as other major cities in Argentina. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a shuttle service to reach the Perito Moreno Glacier.


By Bus: If you prefer a more scenic journey, you can opt to travel to El Calafate by bus. There are regular bus services connecting El Calafate to major cities in Argentina, such as Buenos Aires and Bariloche. The bus journey takes longer but offers stunning views of the Patagonian landscape along the way.


Once you reach El Calafate, you will find several tour operators and transportation options to take you to the Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier is located approximately 50 miles west of El Calafate, and the journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes by road.


It is highly recommended to book your transportation in advance to ensure availability, especially during the peak travel season.


Additionally, if you prefer a more independent travel experience, you can also rent a car in El Calafate and drive to the Perito Moreno Glacier. The journey is straightforward, well-signposted, and offers the flexibility to explore the surrounding area at your own pace.


Keep in mind that there is a park entrance fee that needs to be paid upon arrival at the glacier, and it can be paid in cash or by card. Having some cash on hand is advisable, as some smaller vendors may not accept card payments.


Now that you know how to get to El Calafate and make your way to the Perito Moreno Glacier, it’s time to start planning your adventure to this spectacular natural wonder.


Entrance Fees

When visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier, there is an entrance fee that needs to be paid. The fee supports the conservation efforts and the maintenance of the national park. The entrance fee is subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the official website or inquire with tour operators for the most up-to-date information.


For international visitors, the entrance fee is typically higher compared to Argentine residents. The fee is usually charged in the local currency, Argentine pesos, but some places may also accept US dollars or credit cards.


It’s important to note that there are different fees for different visitor categories. The fees are usually categorized into three main categories:

  1. General Admission: This category applies to international visitors who are not residents of Argentina.
  2. Mercosur Residents: This category applies to visitors who are residents of countries within the Mercosur trading bloc, including Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
  3. Argentine Residents: This category applies to visitors who are residents of Argentina.

The entrance fee allows access to the designated viewing areas and walking trails around the glacier. It is important to keep your ticket with you at all times, as you may be asked to present it at various checkpoints within the national park.


Some tour operators may include the entrance fee in their package price, so it’s worth checking with them before purchasing separate tickets.


Keep in mind that the entrance fee is separate from any additional activities or services you may choose to participate in, such as boat tours or guided hikes. These activities may have their own fees, which are not included in the basic entrance fee.


By paying the entrance fee, you not only gain access to the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier but also contribute to the preservation and protection of this natural wonder for future generations to enjoy.


Exploring the Glacier

Exploring the Perito Moreno Glacier is an unforgettable experience that allows you to get up close and personal with this incredible natural marvel. The glacier offers various options for visitors to immerse themselves in its beauty and grandeur.


One of the best ways to experience the glacier is by walking along the designated viewing platforms and trails. These well-maintained paths offer stunning panoramic views of the glacier from different angles. You can witness the massive ice formations, listen to the crackling sounds of the ice, and feel the chill in the air as you get closer to this magnificent glacier.


For a more intimate encounter with the ice, you can take a boat tour that navigates through the icy waters of Lago Argentino. These boat tours bring you right to the face of the glacier, offering a unique perspective and allowing you to witness the calving process up close. It’s an awe-inspiring sight to witness chunks of ice breaking off and crashing into the water.


Another popular activity is ice trekking, which gives you the opportunity to strap on crampons and walk on the glacier itself. Led by experienced guides, these excursions take you onto the icy surface of the glacier, allowing you to explore its crevices, walk through ice tunnels, and marvel at the mesmerizing blue hues of the ice formations.


It’s important to note that for safety reasons, ice trekking tours are only available as part of organized group tours, and participants are required to be in good physical condition. These tours provide all the necessary equipment and expert guidance to ensure a safe and memorable experience.


Exploring the Perito Moreno Glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and waterproof outerwear are recommended, as the weather can be unpredictable and chilly even during the summer months.


Whether you choose to admire the glacier from the viewing platforms, take a boat tour, or venture onto the ice with an ice trekking excursion, exploring the Perito Moreno Glacier will undoubtedly leave you in awe of the power and beauty of nature.


Hiking Options

For those seeking a more immersive experience, the Perito Moreno Glacier offers several hiking options that allow you to get closer to its icy terrain and explore the surrounding natural beauty.


The most popular hiking trail in the area is the Perito Moreno Glacier Balconies Trail. This trail, approximately 1.5 miles long, takes you to a series of strategically positioned platforms that offer breathtaking views of the glacier. Along the way, you’ll witness the constantly changing ice formations and have the opportunity to admire the impressive ice wall up close.


Another option for hiking enthusiasts is the Los Témpanos Trail. This trail, around 3.5 miles long, allows you to explore the southern part of the glacier and offers stunning views of icebergs floating in Lake Argentino. The trailhead is located near the main visitor center, and it’s advisable to check with park officials for the current trail conditions and any restrictions.


It’s important to note that both the Perito Moreno Glacier Balconies Trail and the Los Témpanos Trail require a certain level of physical fitness and sturdy hiking shoes. The terrain can be uneven and slippery, so it’s essential to exercise caution and follow any safety guidelines provided by park authorities.


If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, you can consider taking part in an ice trekking excursion. Led by experienced guides, these tours provide the opportunity to walk on the glacier itself, exploring its crevasses, ice caves, and stunning ice formations. These excursions typically last a few hours and require a moderate level of fitness.


It’s important to remember that weather conditions can change rapidly in Patagonia, so it’s advisable to be prepared with appropriate clothing, including layers, a windproof jacket, and sturdy hiking boots. Additionally, bringing water, snacks, and sunscreen is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience.


Whether you choose to hike the viewing trails, explore the Los Témpanos Trail, or venture onto the ice with an ice trekking excursion, the Perito Moreno Glacier offers hiking options that cater to a range of fitness levels and interests. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature, experience the vastness of the glacier, and create lasting memories amidst the stunning Patagonian landscape.


Boat Tours

Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier from a unique perspective by embarking on a boat tour that takes you up close to the icy walls and magnificent formations of the glacier. These boat tours offer a thrilling adventure and a chance to witness the grandeur of the glacier from the water.


There are several boat tour options available, and each provides a different viewpoint and experience. One popular option is the Safari Nautico boat tour, which takes you on a 1-hour journey around the front of the glacier. On this tour, you can witness the massive ice walls, listen to the sounds of ice cracking and calving, and capture incredible photos of this natural wonder.


For a more immersive experience, you can opt for the Rios de Hielo boat tour, which explores other glaciers in addition to the Perito Moreno Glacier. This full-day excursion takes you on a journey through the icy waters of Lake Argentino, passing by stunning glaciers and icebergs. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the vastness of the glacial landscape and witness the diverse range of ice formations.


During the boat tours, knowledgeable guides provide information about the significance of the glaciers, their formation, and the surrounding ecosystem. They also share interesting facts and anecdotes about the Perito Moreno Glacier, enriching the experience and deepening your understanding of this natural marvel.


It’s worth noting that boat tours operate seasonally and are subject to weather conditions. It’s advisable to check the availability and schedule in advance, especially during peak tourist months. Additionally, it’s recommended to bring warm clothing and rainproof gear as the weather can be unpredictable on the water.


Boat tours offer a unique vantage point of the Perito Moreno Glacier, allowing you to appreciate its immensity and marvel at its beauty. Whether you choose a short boat ride or a full-day excursion, the boat tours provide an unforgettable experience that complements the panoramic views from the viewing platforms.


So, hop aboard a boat tour and get ready to witness the splendor of the Perito Moreno Glacier from the shimmering waters of Lake Argentino.


Wildlife Watching

The Perito Moreno Glacier not only boasts spectacular icy landscapes but also provides a habitat for a wide array of wildlife. From bird species to marine mammals, this region offers opportunities for unforgettable wildlife encounters.


One of the main attractions for bird enthusiasts is the sight of majestic Andean condors soaring through the sky. These massive birds can often be seen gliding above the glacier, showcasing their impressive wingspan and grace in flight. Keep your eyes peeled for their distinctive plumage and watch as they gracefully ride the thermals.


Another notable bird species in the area is the Chilean flamingo. These beautiful birds can be spotted near the glacial-fed rivers and lakes, wading through the shallow water in search of food. Their vibrant pink plumage stands out against the snow-white backdrop, creating a picturesque sight.


For those interested in marine mammals, the waters of Lake Argentino are home to South American sea lions. These agile creatures can often be seen basking on the rocky shores or swimming alongside the boat tours. Witnessing their playful behavior and hearing their distinctive barks is a true delight.


If you’re lucky, you may also catch a glimpse of the southern river otter. These elusive creatures can be spotted near rivers and lakes, swimming gracefully and foraging for food. Their cute appearance and playful antics make them a favorite among wildlife enthusiasts.


Additionally, keep an eye out for other native wildlife such as guanacos, the wild cousins of llamas and alpacas, as well as the elusive puma. Though sightings of pumas are rare, their presence adds an air of mystery and excitement to this already magnificent natural setting.


When exploring the Perito Moreno Glacier, it’s important to remember that wildlife should be observed from a distance and their natural behavior respected. Do not attempt to feed or approach any animals encountered in the area, as it may disrupt their natural habits or pose a danger to both them and yourself.


So, as you marvel at the grandeur of the Perito Moreno Glacier, keep your eyes open for the incredible wildlife that calls this region home. From soaring condors to playful sea lions, these encounters will add a touch of magic to your visit and create memories to last a lifetime.


Visitor Facilities

When visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier, you’ll find a range of visitor facilities that are designed to enhance your experience and provide necessary amenities during your trip.


The main visitor center is located near the entrance to the national park. Here, you’ll find information desks where friendly staff can provide you with maps, brochures, and details about the various activities available. They can also answer any questions you may have about the glacier and the surrounding area.


The visitor center also houses a restaurant and cafeteria, allowing you to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a hot beverage while taking in the stunning views of the glacier. It’s a great place to recharge and refuel before or after your exploration.


For those interested in learning more about the glacier’s history, formation, and environmental significance, there is an educational museum within the visitor center. The museum provides informative displays and interactive exhibits, offering a deeper understanding of the glacial ecosystem.


Public restroom and restroom facilities are available throughout the park to ensure your comfort during your visit. These facilities are well-maintained and equipped with basic amenities.


Additionally, there are designated picnic areas where you can enjoy a packed lunch or snacks amidst the beautiful natural surroundings. These spots are perfect for taking a break and savoring the peaceful ambiance of the Patagonian landscape.


Should you need any assistance or have specific accessibility requirements, the visitor center has provisions for people with disabilities. Accessible paths and ramps are available to ensure that everyone can enjoy the glacier and its surroundings.


It’s important to note that due to the remote location of the glacier, there is limited mobile phone reception in the area. However, the visitor center provides free Wi-Fi for visitors, allowing you to stay connected and share your incredible experiences with friends and family.


Overall, the visitor facilities at the Perito Moreno Glacier aim to provide convenience, comfort, and educational opportunities, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable visit to this natural wonder.


Safety Precautions

When visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a pleasant and secure experience in this remote and natural environment.


Here are some essential safety precautions to keep in mind:


1. Stay on designated paths and platforms: To preserve the delicate ecosystem and for your own safety, it’s crucial to stick to the designated trails, viewpoints, and platforms while exploring the glacier. Venturing off the marked paths can be dangerous and may cause harm to both you and the environment.


2. Follow park regulations: Familiarize yourself with the park regulations and guidelines provided by park officials. These include rules regarding waste disposal, wildlife interactions, and other important considerations. Adhering to these regulations helps protect the natural beauty of the park and ensures the safety of all visitors.


3. Dress appropriately: The weather at the Perito Moreno Glacier can be highly unpredictable, so it’s important to dress in layers and wear appropriate clothing. A windproof and waterproof outer layer, warm layers, hats, gloves, and sturdy footwear are essential to keep you comfortable and protected from the elements.


4. Be cautious near the water: When taking part in boat tours or viewing the glacier from the shore, be mindful of your surroundings and exercise caution near the water. The edges of lakes and rivers can be slippery, so maintain a safe distance and follow any safety instructions provided by tour guides.


5. Listen to the advice of park officials and tour guides: Park officials and tour guides have extensive knowledge and experience in navigating the glacier and its surroundings. Listen to their instructions and follow their advice to ensure your safety. They can provide valuable insights, assist in emergency situations, and help make the most of your visit.


6. Stay hydrated and bring snacks: The Patagonian region is known for its unpredictable weather and strenuous activities, so it’s important to stay hydrated and bring snacks to maintain your energy levels. Pack a water bottle and some nutritious snacks to keep yourself nourished while exploring the glacier.


7. Respect wildlife: While wildlife encounters can be a thrilling part of the Perito Moreno Glacier experience, it’s crucial to maintain a respectful distance and not disturb the animals or their habitat. Remember that you are a guest in their natural environment and observe wildlife from a safe distance.


By following these safety precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier while minimizing risks and respecting the fragile ecosystem of this natural wonderland.


Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier largely depends on your preferences and what you hope to experience during your trip. Each season in Patagonia offers unique advantages and considerations, so it’s important to consider different factors when planning your visit.


Summer (December to February): This is the peak tourist season in Patagonia, including the Perito Moreno Glacier. During summer, the weather is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 25°C). The longer daylight hours allow for more time to explore the glacier and enjoy outdoor activities. However, it’s important to note that this is also the busiest time, with larger crowds and higher prices. Advanced booking for accommodations and tours is highly recommended.


Fall (March to May): Fall brings cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, making it a favorable time to visit. The autumn foliage adds a vibrant touch to the landscape, creating stunning photo opportunities. The average temperatures range from 35°F to 55°F (2°C to 13°C). It’s a great time for hiking and wildlife spotting, although some services and tour options may have reduced availability compared to the peak season.


Winter (June to August): Winter in Patagonia brings colder temperatures and the potential for snowfall. The average temperatures range from 25°F to 45°F (-4°C to 7°C). Visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier during winter offers a unique and tranquil experience with stunning icy landscapes. However, it’s important to note that some hiking trails may be closed, and boat tours may have limited operation or require special arrangements. It’s also important to be prepared for the cold weather and plan accordingly.


Spring (September to November): Springtime in Patagonia brings milder temperatures and the re-emergence of vibrant plant life. The average temperatures range from 35°F to 55°F (2°C to 13°C). Spring offers the opportunity to witness the transition from winter to warmer months, with the possibility of seeing some early wildlife activity. It’s a less crowded time to visit, but it’s advisable to check for the availability of services and tours as some may still be gearing up for the busy summer season.


No matter the season you choose to visit, it’s important to keep in mind that weather conditions in Patagonia can be highly unpredictable. It’s advisable to pack and dress in layers, have waterproof clothing, and be prepared for changes in weather throughout the day.


Ultimately, the best time to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier is subjective and depends on your personal preferences. Whether you seek milder temperatures and longer days or a serene winter wonderland, the glacier offers its majestic beauty year-round, providing a truly unforgettable experience.



A visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina is an extraordinary experience that will leave you in awe of the natural world. Its massive size, striking blue hues, and ever-changing ice formations create a captivating spectacle that draws visitors from near and far.


From the moment you arrive in El Calafate and make your way to the glacier, you’ll be immersed in the beauty and grandeur of Patagonia. The various transportation options make it accessible to travelers, whether by air or bus.


Exploring the glacier offers a range of activities to suit all levels of adventure, from walking along the viewing platforms to embarking on boat tours or trekking on the ice. Each experience offers a unique perspective and allows you to appreciate the glacier’s magnitude and intricacy.


As you explore, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls this region home. From soaring condors to playful sea lions, these encounters add a touch of magic to your visit and offer a deeper connection to the natural world.


The visitor facilities at the Perito Moreno Glacier ensure a comfortable and informative visit, with amenities such as a visitor center, restaurants, picnic areas, and restroom facilities. The helpful staff and educational exhibits provide insights into the glacier’s history and environmental significance.


While visiting, it’s essential to prioritize safety by following park regulations, sticking to designated paths, and dressing appropriately for the weather. By respecting the environment and wildlife, you can contribute to the conservation efforts of this incredible natural wonder.


When it comes to timing your visit, each season offers its own unique charm, from the vibrant colors of fall to the serene beauty of winter. Consider your preferences and plan accordingly, keeping in mind the availability and potential crowds during peak tourist seasons.


Whether you visit in the summer to witness the glacier’s majesty amidst bustling energy or in the quieter seasons of fall, winter, or spring, the Perito Moreno Glacier promises an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression. So, embark on this incredible journey, connect with nature, and create memories that will stay with you forever.