The majestic Perito Moreno Glacier

The majestic Perito Moreno Glacier

The majestic Perito Moreno Glacier produces one of the most impressive natural spectacles in the world, when large pieces of ice fall due to the effect of the advance of the glacier on the waters of the lake. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in Patagonia.

For reasons that still continue to cause debate in the scientific community and despite the fact that most of the planet’s glaciers are retreating due to climate change and global warming, the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the few glaciers that remains in a steady state because it continues to accumulate mass at a rate similar to its loss.

Perito Moreno Glacier
The water of the Argentine lake has a beautiful turquoise color product of the sediments brought by the advance of the glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier Location

The glacier is located within the Los Glaciares National Park, in the province of Santa Cruz, in the Argentine Patagonia region, 78 km (48 miles) from the Perito Moreno Glacier is the town of El Calafate, also located 320 km northwest of the city of Río Gallegos, the capital of the province.  Los Glaciares National Park covers an area of 724,000 ha and has 356 glaciers in total.

Unique show in the world

The glacier is an ice formation measuring 250 km2 (97 square miles), 30 km (19 miles) long, has a front of 5 km (3.1 miles) in length, and emerges above the lake level about 70 m (240 feet), plus the total depth of the ice is 170 meters (558 feet). It is one of the 48 glaciers that derive from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, this ice field constitutes the third largest freshwater reserve in the world.

The constant advance of the glacier at a speed of almost 2 meters per day and 700 meters per year, forms a dam with the waters of the Rico lake´s arm, producing a slope of the lake of up to 30 meters. Due to the pressure of the water, the ice leaks and then a tunnel is formed with a height of up to 50 meters. Every several years, -specifically in average of the last century; every four and a half years – the collapse of this vault occurs, producing an imposing and unique spectacle in the world, attracting tourists from different countries, being one of the greatest attractions of the Park. In recent years since the establishment of the international airport, there has been an important economic development in El Calafate, the international tourism represents an important source of income for the growing development in the region.

IMG 1698portada perMoreno2 1

Ice breaking process

The breaking process occurs at irregular intervals, the last time was on March 12, 2018, at dawn when the park was closed, therefore, there are no images or witnesses. The previous break occurred at 10:54 on March 10, 2016 and the previous one was on March 2, 2012. The list of records are from the following years, when breaks occurred: 2018, 2016, 2012, 2008 , 2006, 2004, 1988, 1984, 1980, 1977, 1975, 1972, 1970, 1966, 1963, 1960, 1956, 1953, 1951 (strangely in winter), 1947, 1940, 1934, 1917.

Life inside the Glacier

Surprisingly in the ice of the glacier lives a small insect called andiperla willinki. Also known as “the pearl of the Andes” or “dragon of Patagonia” it is a species of woodpecker, it spends its entire life on the ice. It measures about 15 mm and feeds on bacteria that live on ice brought by the wind. This insect was discovered in 1956 on the Upsala glacier by Aubert Willink, for many years it was believed to be extinct until 2001, it was found again, at a depth of 20m, in a Torres del Paine glacier.

IMG 1708
inside the ice of the glacier lives a small insect called “dragon of Patagonia”


Since its discovery and for many years, the area of ​​the glacier was in dispute between Argentina and Chile. Although in 1879, the British captain of the Chilean Navy Juan Tomás Rogers was the one who sighted the glacier for the first time and that some years later, Rudolph Hauthal, representative of the Argentine Limits Commission, also did. By the turns of history, when the boundary treaty between the two countries was signed, the glacier came under Argentine sovereignty. This was because certain norms were established, such as that the limit of both countries in the Andes mountain range is up to the 52nd parallel and that the lakes of the Atlantic slope would remain in Argentine jurisdiction and those of the Pacific slope, would remain in the territory of Chile.

In 1899 after several years of research, collection of archaeological material and survey of the area, the Argentine Lieutenant Iglesias, in charge of the studies for the Argentine Hydrographic Institute, called him “Perito Moreno”, in homage to Francisco Pascasio Moreno in charge in the Boundary Commission between Argentina and Chile, known as “the expert” for his extensive knowledge of the region. He was a pioneer who studied the region in the 19th century and his studies played an extremely important role in establishing the defense of Argentine territory in the border conflict with Chile.

Los Glaciares National Park facilities

The Glaciers National Park has specially designed walkways to view the glacier from 400 m away, this circuit allows visitors to see the southern flank and the eastern edge of the glacier. In addition, excursions can be hired to navigate in the vicinity of the glacier or to walk on the ice of the glacier with special clothing and footwear and the supervision of trained guides with extensive knowledge of the area. The tours are a “mini-trekking” option, with a short walk option of an hour and a half and another option that usually lasts about five hours.

IMG 1710

IMG 1697

Tourism of El Calafate

Gina Premici
Gina Premici
Me lleve una sorpresa Uno de los mejores lugares de argentina que siempre quise conocer. Sacamos el tour en despegar llegamos a horario, nos llevaron a distintos ángulos del glaciar para sacarnos fotos, hicimos la caminata de una hora aprox, y al final del mismo nos sirvieron un vasito con hielo y wisky y eso si, nunca me voy a olvidar este viaje, en el fondo del vaso, había una anillo ME CASO!!! ❤️.
sonho realizado incrível esse passeio, estar perto da grandiosidade de uma das geleiras mais importantes do mundo. Caminhar pela passarela é bem tranquilo, fui em outubro então não estava muito frio. O parque possui pequena lanchonete e banheiro.
Atemberaubende Natur Wir waren begeistert von dem sehr schönen Gletscher mit seinen ständigen Kalbungen. Wir hatten auch sehr viel Glück mit dem Wetter, denn wir hatten später so ein Sonnenschein das wir mit T-Shirts die Wege laufen konnten. Erklärt hat uns alles unser deutschstämmiger Guide.
Sencillamente espectacular Una maravilla, a más del famosísimo Périto Moreno, hay otros glacieras, excursiones en Catamarán. En plan montaña el famoso Fitz Roy. el glaciar Upsala, el Spegazzini,
El mejor lugar del Mundo Fue nuestra segunda visita. Y esta ves, a pesar de un clima hostil, pasamos todo el día disfrutando las vistas del Glaciar desde distintos lugares, recorriendo las pasarelas. Es para ir mil veces. Se debe visitar por lo menos una ves en la vida.
Experiencia de vida Visitar el calafate y el perito Moreno fue sin duda una de las mejores excursiones que he tomado !!!!!!
Breathtaking There are not enough adjectives to explain the natural beauty of the glaciers and the park. This definitely belongs on everyone's bucket list. If you have walking problems you won't be able to see all the sights. Their is a metal stairway/walkway that you follow throughout the park with many steps. There is a restaurant/bar with restrooms, drinks, and food. A wonderful day!
Cenicienta E
Cenicienta E
Glaciares unicos y absolutamente increibles Magia blanca y belleza pura de paisajes increibles,con iceberg,rompimiento y caida del glaciar y mucha naturaleza rodeando y enmarcando el paisaje
PARC SYMPATHIQUE Pour passer un petit moment dans un parc quand il fait bon , car à El Calafate , il n y a pas grand chose à faire
Larice P
Larice P
Imperdível! Fantástico! Esse passeio é imperdível, é lindo, é fantástico! Fomos buscados no hotel, antes de chegar no glaciar o ônibus faz paradas para fotos, onde podemos registrar ele no fundo. Fizemos o passeio de barco, incluído no pacote. É muito bonito, o guia vai dando explicações, e chegamos bem próximos do glaciar, ele fica navegando por lá tempo suficiente para tirar muitas fotos. Conseguimos presenciar a queda de um bloco de gelo que se desprendeu, foi incrível! Lá eles também dão explicações sobre a formação do glaciar e como ele tem se comportado ao longo dos anos. Após fomos de ônibus até as passarelas, lá no inicio possui um local com banhieros e lanches para comprar, bem como uma lojinha de lembranças. As passerelas tem diversas trilhas, de baixa a alta intensidade, e no inicio você pode ver o tempo que leva cada uma. São diferenciadas por cores, fizemos a mais leve, mas ela é linda. Chegamos até bem próximos do glaciar, no ponto mais baixo, ele é lindo e explendido! Inesquecível!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x