The day after our memorable hike around Fitz Roy, we got to visit the famous Perito Moreno glacier an hour plus from the town of El Calafate, Argentina. I got to visit Perito Moreno back in December 2010 and never expected to ever come back, except this Trekking for Kids trek brought me there!
There were some key differences in this visit which made it certainly worthwhile to return. Starting with the fact I was about four years older and that my cell phone camera was much more advanced too…
Furthermore and more significantly, this time, I got on a boat to see the glacier from another perspective: from the south side of the Peninsula Magallanes. It was neat to get to the glacier from one of its sides and from water level where the height of the glacier is much more impressive than from the visitor center viewing platforms. As pure good luck, the skies cooperated with creating a nice backdrop for some of the pictures as you can see.
The Perito Moreno glacier is known for its progression crossing the full length of the body of water at its feet to “kiss” the other side of the lake. Eventually, the water creates a tunnel under the “front” of the glacier and, eventually, the bridge that forms over that tunnel collapses, a moment worth watching except that it takes years for that to happen and it is not really predictable as it can vary on how long (years) it takes. In any case, when I visited in 2010, I saw the bridge/tunnel and, now, in 2015, I saw the post-bridge scenario. Pretty cool.
Visiting Perito Moreno requires the drive over to the visitor center. Once you get there, there are facilities (coffee shop, clean bathrooms, and -of course- a gift shop). But the main attraction is right in front of you. I was impressed in 2010 and continued to be in 2015 with the great job done in building viewing platforms to appreciate the glacier in front of you from different angles and from different heights via a network of sidewalks, staircases (“pasarelas“) and viewing platforms.
There is an elevator shaft (appropriately designed to mimic one of the “icicles” of the glacier) that can take those with limitations a little bit further than they may be able to go on their own; additionally, to get to that spot, there are ramps (as opposed to stairs).
No matter how far you get to go and explore, this glacier is truly a marvel of nature worth the drive to see firsthand. Fortunately, I got to do that twice!