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If you want to know what it’s like to get to the Perito Moreno glacier and discover how to make the most of your trip there, you’re in luck!
Our colleague Javier Moliner explains first hand in this post how was his experience doing the Minitrekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier.
How to get to Perito Moreno
My adventure begins by waiting at the door of my accommodation. In my backpack, I carry something to eat, water and more shelter to make sure I won’t be cold during the day.
It is then when a few minutes before the scheduled time a bus picks me up in which we are 10 people and the adventure of Minitrekking on the Perito Moreno glacier begins.
Although before reaching our final destination we make a stop to change to a bigger bus in which we all get on.
After less than an hour of journey, we observe how we are approaching the glacier, and for the first time in my life, I see a glacier from so close. What an incredible sensation!
The first stop is to pick up the access tickets to the Glacier National Park. Although it is our guide who is really in charge of picking them all up and handing out to each one his own.
A couple of minutes later we arrive at the final stop, get off the bus and get on a boat that crosses the river. There the young guides are waiting for us and they remind me to ski instructors (nice and eager to teach everything they know about the glacier). There we are divided into two groups of approximately 12 people, one will do the tour in Spanish and the other in English.
The front of the glacier seen from the boat.
The Minitrekking to the Perito Moreno Glacier
After another couple of minutes walking you can already see the glacier from the edge of the bed, a few meters away. Although we continue walking until “the cramponers” where we sit down and a couple of kids put the crampons.
In case you haven’t heard it before, crampons are small iron structures in the shape of spikes that are tied to the boots so that they can hold on to the ice and not slip. It is very important to wear boots that are hard and resistant!
When we put them on, they explain that we must walk with our legs slightly apart and then we start walking to the glacier and we “climb” into it. It is striking to see how the colour changes between dark blue and radiant white creating some very curious shapes.
During the tour two guides are watching over us at all times, one in front and one behind, this gave me a lot of security.
The glacier is huge and gives an incredible feeling of freedom, but it can be dangerous, so there are different options to visit the Perito Moreno.
In fact, it is mandatory and at essential that a guide goes with you during the whole tour. Besides, who doesn’t want a guide to explain all the details about the Perito Moreno?
We follow the path and… If any of you have seen Game of Thrones you will know why when we entered a crevasse of ice the jokes started… If the glacier seems to be taken out of film!
After walking for an hour and a half approximately 3 kilometres over the Perito Moreno glacier, we return to the starting point where we are all reunited. There the guides give us a pleasant surprise that I will not tell you in order to not make you a spoiler, so if you want to know it, you will have to do the tour!
Finally, we leave the glacier, take off our crampons and say goodbye to the nice guides, we also return the gloves, another essential for walking on the glacier, but our excursion is not over yet! We start walking through a small forest until we reach this wonderful place that has unique views:
From Perito Moreno to El Calafate
From this place a guide picks you up at a determined time, in my case at 3 in the afternoon and with a boat we reach the footbridges of the Perito Moreno glacier. During this tour, you can see the front of the glacier from the boat and not only that, also listen to it!
When we arrive at the footbridges we stay in the main area as we have a little more than an hour to visit it. There you can walk along the footbridges, approach the glacier and get to a viewpoint from where I took some pictures. Believe me, in pictures it doesn’t really show how impressive and imposing the Perito Moreno is in person.
The Perito Moreno glacier advances constantly and during the thaw, the area that acts as a “closure” between the two glasses of water decreases. But in the zone of the footbridge, the distance to the glacier is practically the same, since it is formed in the ice fields at the same time that it melts in the front. This phenomenon makes the footbridges of the glacier always a perfect place to appreciate it, regardless of the time of year.
When we return to the bus, we go back the same way with our guide but instead of leaving us at the hotel, they take us to the bus station. The good news is that there I found a couple that I met during the tour and that also had to buy the tickets to El Calafate, where our hotel is.
We met again for dinner at the “Parrilla Don Pichón”, a restaurant that had been recommended to us by more than one person. And the truth is that it didn’t disappoint, its food was delicious and its views were amazing. 100% recommended if you are there.
With a good dinner and a bottle of wine, a whole day ends, without a doubt one of my greatest adventures!
I return to the hotel to rest because the next day I have another intense day ahead of me. I will get up early and take a bus from El Calafate to Puerto Natales, where I will start another of my biggest experiences, the W Trek Torres del Paine.
Now that you know my experience on the Perito Moreno glacier, I hope my recommendations have been helpful for your trip! And you, would you dare to walk on the Perito Moreno?