If you’re in El Calafate, it’s probably for one of two reasons (or both!):
1. You’re traveling through Argentina on your way to Torres Del Paine; or
2. You’re on you way to El Chalten.
Regardless of your main destination, there is one thing you should reserve a day for out of El Calafate that you wont regret:
A day trip to the 3rd biggest glacier in the world, Perito Moreno Glacier!
Now, there are a number of ways you can go about your day trip to the glacier:
1. You can jump on a local bus that will take you out there for around ARS$320,000 return;
2. You can take a tour bus out there for ARS$500 return;
3. You can take a tour bus out there, see it from the platform, and also go for a hike on the glacier for ARS$1,500; or
4. You can spend the whole day out on the ice on the ‘Big Hike’ with a 4 hour trek deep into the glacier for ARS$2,200
The option you choose is totally up to you and dependent entirely on your value for money perspective.
If you just want to see the glacier, I’d advise hopping on the local bus and taking a walk around the platform, which gives you a great view and perspective of just how amazing the immense the structure is.
If you’d like a little more context and you’re totally fine paying a few more dollars to have a bus pick you up and take you back to your hotel on a comfy tour bus, then take a simple day tour with Hielo y Adventura.
And if you’re a total glacier/hiking nut and you want to fill your whole day out on the ice exploring every blue crevasse and waterfall, then you should totally invest in Hielo y Adventura’s ‘Big Ice’ package. You’ll be out all day from 7am-8pm.
However, if you’re like me and you’re super keen to see the ice berg and get a taste for what it’s like to walk on it. Check it out up close, and sip some whiskey on the ‘glacial’ rocks when the 1.5hour trek is done, then the ‘Mini-trekking’ tour is totally up your alley.
You’ll start the day getting picked up at 9:30am from your El Calafate accommodation, venture out to the national park, arrive for lunch, and enjoy the view of the glacier from the platform over a nice lunch you packed yourself for the day.
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At around 2pm, you’ll be led down to the ferry, which will take you across Lago Argentina to the glacier side where you will join your trekking leader, put your crampons on, and go wandering around the glacier for just enough time to fall in love, but not so long you get sick of it.
And by 8pm you’ll be back in your hotel ready for a nice warm dinner!
The only tour company out there doing this is Hielo y Adventura, and because of this, all of the prices are exactly the same wherever you book them.
Just make sure you don’t get charged extra for credit card fees! That’s a no-no!
The tours run daily, but can fill up the day before, so make sure to get your name down in the morning beforehand.
Whatever option you choose, it’s a day out that I highly recommend.
This beautiful labyrinth of ice will blow your mind, and the closer you get to it, then more you’ll realize what a force of nature it really is!
Check out the video above for some aerial footage I took of the glacier!
If you have any questions about the park, let me know in the comment section!
- Are you planning a trip to Patagonia?
- Did you know you could see the 3rd biggest glacier in the world in just a day?