The El Calafate Glacier Hiking Tour is a Bucket List Adventure
Have you always been intrigued on what it might be like to walk on a Glacier? On the massive Puerto Moreno in Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park - Argentina you can strap on a helmet and a pair of crampons with the help of your local glacier guide and walk on one of the most iconic glaciers in the world. No previous skills or knowledge necessary.
On a recent visit to El Calafate the FlashpackerConnect team strapped on the gear and ventured out onto the seemingly endless mass of ice that spans over 100 square miles and is still growing!
The Big Ice Trek departs from the town of El Calafate around 7am with around a 1 hour drive to the park entrance. Upon arrival to the park you get to explore the labyrinth of trails that wind to many different viewpoints for views of the iconic Perito Moreno glacier face. The impressive walls have a thickness or height of 170 m (560 ft), at the lower viewing decks the face of the glacier seems to stretch into the sky. After doing a couple of the trail circuits it is time to jump onto the passenger boat that will take you across the lake to the edge of the glacier where you begin the trekking.
The Perito Moreno glacier hike or “Big Ice Trek” will have you hopping over cravases, exploring ice caves, witnessing glacial rivers and electric blue lagoons. The trip has you on the ice for around 3.5 hours, and includes a stop for lunch on the glacier. You are led the entire time by a professional glacier guide who explains his knowledge of glaciers, and provides you with some basic skills for walking on the glacier. The “Big Ice” is aimed at more adventurous travelers and has an age limit of 18 - 50 years old. Alternatively you can opt for the “Mini Ice Trek” which gives you 1.5 hours on the ice itself, age limit 10 - 65 years.
Following your time on the glacier you will hike back to the on site mountain shelter and enjoy some warm coffee or tea, before you board the boat back to the port. On the boat ride back you will have the opportunity to enjoy some whisky served over glacial ice, a nice way to cap off an epic day!
If you only have 1 day in El Calafate this is the best way to visit the park, and explore the glacier. The best part is there no previous experience is required, and the professional mountain guides are there to give you the necessary knowledge to make you feel comfortable on the ice.