Perito Moreno is Patagonia's most accessible and most famous glacier. Visitors can witness the vast frontage of the glacier (some 5km wide and nearly 60m high in places) just a few hundred metres from the park entrance. The glacier lies just 50 miles from the major hub of El Calafate (which has an airport).
Find out 5 different ways to see the glacier, ideas for including Perito Moreno in your itinerary, tours that include Perito Moreno and El Chalten, and check out the Perito Moreno map.
For some inspirational images of the great glacier, check out our Pinterest photo boards.
5 ways to see the Perito Moreno Glacier
Every season we have hundreds of customers visit the glacier and everyone likes to do things differently. Let us know which of the below appeal most to you and we'll help you integrate that into your wider Patagonia itinerary.
1. Ice Hiking
If you've never don'd crampons or used an ice axe then this could be your chance. Witness the glacier from the viewing balconies and then go and climb across it as well. See the crevasses and ice formations up close. No previous experienced required.
There are two different options for ice hiking, both of which require a full day and include your transport from/to from Calafate, the boat trip across to the glacier and time to enjoy the view from the balconies as well.
One one option you'll have around 1h 40mins on the ice itself as part of a two hour guided tour (available August through June). The other option for more active visitors gives you around 3h 30mins on the ice including your lunch (available September through April).
Unfortunately they have rather narrow minded age restrictions: 10-65 years for the shorter trip, 18-50 years for the longer.
Here are two trips that include the Perito Moreno ice hike:
2. Tour to the viewing balconies
If you'd prefer to spend your time observing and photographing the frontage of the glacier and you want to make your budget work harder then a standard tour is probably your best bet.
You'll be met at your hotel, driven out to the glacier aboard a bus and have several hours to enjoy the walkways with their different perspectives on the glacier. Chances are you'll get to see huge chunks of ice calve of the face of this advancing glacier and crash into the water below.
This 7 day Los Glaciares tour includes a visit to Perito Moreno on day 2.
3. Private guide and driver
If you'd like to visit the glacier with fewer people around, or if your itinerary means you have only an afternoon to visit rather than a full day then a private trip might well be the answer. If for example your flight into Calafate lands around lunchtime then a private trip could allow you to really make the most of your first afternoon in Patagonia. A good option for groups of 4 or more, and can sometimes work for couples on a special trip.
For example check out this Luxury Perito Moreno and Chalten tour
4. Boat trip
The boat trip up to the face of the glacier gives you a different perspective and allows you to get that much closer to both the icebergs and the glacier itself. The trip is only an hour long and you can book it when you arrive in the park.
5. Car Hire or Taxi
It's relatively easy to travel out to the glacier park more independently. Whilst it may not be all that cost effective to rent a car just to visit the glacier, those on a self-drive trip can easily make their way out. Some people have jumped in a taxi (and even asked it to wait for an hour while they explore the walkways).
Tours: Perito Moreno and El Chalten
Mount FitzRoy: Hike and Ice Hike
Designed to keep costs down, this great value trip takes you to the best-known icy peaks and creaking glaciers of the area whilst staying in cosy hotels in the mountain town of El Chalten. You'll see Cerros Torre and FitzRoy,…
Best of Los Glaciares: Perito Moreno & 4-Day Hike
Be wowed by the Perito Moreno Glacier and enjoy 4 full days of trekking in Chalten, seeing the highlights but also getting off the beaten track. You'll have the freedom to hike self-guided for 3 days with all your accommodation…
Highlights of Los Glaciares
Experience the best of Los Glaciares in just 5 days: ice hiking on Perito Moreno glacier (no previous experience required) and 2 days of hiking to the best viewpoint of Mount FitzRoy and…
Los Glaciares Explorers
Based in the cosy town of Chalten, trek to the top sights of Los Glaciares - Perito Moreno, Cerro FitzRoy, Paso Cuadrado and the Marconi Pass. The trip balances guidance on excursions with independence in travelling and free time for…
Multisport in Los Glaciares National Park
Trek, ice-trek, kayak and horse-ride around the highlights of Chalten, including the infamous Perito Moreno glacier, Cerro FitzRoy and Cerro Torre. Staying in comfortable hotels most nights, you'll also camp under the…
Glaciers, Trekking & Luxury in Los Glaciares
Challenging and remote hikes, combined with a luxurious lodge. Hike off the beaten track, spend 2 nights at a wonderful lake-side lodge that is so remote and secluded that a boat is required to reach it, and then finish with…
Map showing landmarks around the Perito Moreno glacier
Including Perito Moreno in a Patagonia Holiday
The Perito Moreno glacier may be Patagonia's most famous landmark but it only warrants a day and most people visit the region for two to four weeks. So how best to fit it in with your other plans?
Trekking in El Chalten / FitzRoy
If you are planning on hiking in El Chalten (around Mount Fitzroy) then a visit to Perito Moreno is a no-brainer. El Chalten is just 3 hours north of Calafate, and Perito Moreno just two hours to the south. So just be sure to allow half a day to a day at the start or end of your trip.
We tend to think that Perito Moreno is better as an introduction to region's glaciers as you're likely to have a more remote experience of the glaciers around FitzRoy.
Trekking Torres del Paine
Most of those trekking in Torres del Paine fly in/out of Punta Arenas, on the Chilean side. However you might choose to fly into El Calafate (from Buenos Aires), visit the glacier at the start of your trip, then cross the border overland to Puerto Natales (or even directly into the national park). After your trek in Torres del Paine you could either fly out of Punta Arenas or return to Calafate.
We can arrange for any of the Torres del Paine treks to start and/or end in Calafate. Just mention this when you get in touch.
Tierra del Fuego Cruise
The cruise through the Magellan Straits to Cape Horn is a unique way to see some of Patagonia's more remote glaciers. These trips start/end in either Punta Arenas (a day across the border from Calafate) or Ushuaia (a short flight from Calafate). So you can start your trip with a visit to Perito Moreno and then travel to the start of the cruise in either of the ports.
Bariloche and the Patagonian Lake District
Itineraries including the Perito Moreno Glacier
Below is one suggestion for visiting several regions of Argentinian Patagonia, including the Perito Moreno glacier. We can fully tailor this to suit your budget, time frame and interests. Also take a look at out other inspirational itineraries which allow you to explore Patagonia.
Argentina: Landscapes, Culture & Cuisine
17 nights, from USD $4,500 to $6,000
Experience the very best of Argentina. Drive through the multi-coloured mountains of the north, enjoy sun-drenched vineyards, hike, kayak and ride from an estancia in the lake district, and experience the dramatic wilds of Tierra del Fuego. Ideal for those wanting to experience the highlights of Argentina yet with time to delve a little deeper.
4 Trips that can include Perito Moreno Glacier
The Original Torres del Paine W Trek
Swoop's no.1 recommendation for Patagonia's top trek, Paine's 'W': small groups, highly rated guides, a great itinerary, excellent value for money, and full support before and after your trek. Ideal for solo travellers looking to join a group, and pairs…
The Classic Full Circuit
Camp under the stars in small, guided groups whilst completing the Full Circuit of Torres del Paine in just 7 days. A great value trip with superb customer-feedback, this is for those on tight schedules and budgets, or who…
Independent Trek in Paine & Chalten
Trek Paine's ""W"" and best trails around Mount FitzRoy without a guide/group, but with all transport, accommodation and logistics pre-arranged for you by trusted local operators. All travel arrangements across Chile/Argentina border included…
South America - Southern Explorer
See the highlights of Southern Patagonia in just 2 weeks, including 4 days in Torres del Paine. An overland trip in a specially adapted vehicle for max 16 people. No camping & exceptional…