Overview

Introduction

Los Glaciares National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno glacier is undoubtedly one of the wonders of the world. Los Glaciares National Park was created in 1937 to preserve the wonders of this section of the Austral Patagonian Andes. The protected area covers 6,000 sq. kms.

To the north of the park is the Chalten region (225 kms from Calafate) a hikers paradise and where two of the world’s most spectacular peaks can be seen (Fitz-Roy and Cerro Torre).

To the south, the Patagonian plain slowly rises from the Atlantic to the shores of Lake Argentina which, like a giant squid, has tentacles of fjords and glaciers which reach deep into the Andes.

The deep blue ice walled Perito Moreno glacier stretches down 30 kms from the Patagonian icefield, a 17,000 sq. kms block of ice as big as Israel. The glacier has a surface of 257 sq. kms and, where it ends in Lake Argentina, has a width of 4 kms. It stands 50 m to 70 m above the lake and reaches 137 m below the surface. With the movement of the glacier, enormous pieces (as big as blocks of flats) break off and create icebergs which float in the lake. It is a spectacular and unforgettable sight.

Set in sheep farming country, the nearest town is Calafate (population 4,000), which is 80 kms east of the glacier and is the base for viewing the region and also for excursions to Chalten and boat trips to view the Upsala Glacier and Onelli Bay which are only accessible by boat.

March and April (autumn) and October (spring) are good months to visit the area as the weather is good in Calafate and there is relatively little wind. June, July and August are months when the road to the Perito Moreno might well be closed by snow. January to mid February are the peak summer months.

The whole region is one enormous glacial valley controlled by the sheep farming Estancias which can be visited while staying in Calafate. Here, the crested caracara and the condor are regularly sighted, soaring above the peaks and Patagonian plain.

The Upsala Glacier is the largest of all four glaciers which feed the fjords at the north western end of Lake Argentino. Its surface area of 870km squared covers three times the area of the Perito Moreno glacier. Some 60km in length, it is the longest glacier flowing off the southern Patagonian ice-fields.  

The full day Upsala excursion departs from Calafate and involves a comfortable cruise among icebergs up to the front of the Upsala Glacier. Upon arrival at the Estancia Cristina, enjoy an activity (horse riding, hiking, 4x4 adventures) and then have lunch. Take an evening cruise back to Calafate. For those who love nature and the simplicity of the Patagonian landscape, stay overnight at the Estancia Cristina (all food/activities included). Please enquire for further details.

El Chalten

Located within Los Glaciares National Park, 3 hours from Calafate, this area is famous for the granite peaks of the Torre and Fitzroy Mountains in addition to numerous glaciers including the Viedma and Moyano Glaciers. Surrounded by spectacular and unique landscape, this young village serves as an ideal starting point for expeditions to both mountain ranges and the Continental Ice Fields. Activities include trekking, mountain climbing and horse riding.

Approximate driving distances  

Km

Hrs

Calafate – Cancha Carrera

320

4

Calafate – Perito Moreno

80

1.5

Calafate – Upsala Glacier to Punta Bandera pier

50

0.45

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Argentina’s contrasts never cease to amaze me. One day you could be walking across the sculpted surface of a vast creaking glacier and the next visiting an evocative Jesuit ruins at San Ignacio in Misiones.

Will Rist
Will Rist
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT -5hrs

Currency

Argentine Peso

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

13 hours 30 minutes. BA direct flight from London Heathrow

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Argentina expert

Will Rist
Will Rist

Argentina’s contrasts never cease to amaze me. One day you could be walking across the sculpted surface of a vast creaking glacier and the next visiting an evocative Jesuit ruins at San Ignacio in Misiones.

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Los Glaciares National Park, Calafate, Argentina

Calafate

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

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