Among the Earth’s most dynamic and accessible ice fields, Glaciar Perito Moreno is the stunning centerpiece of the southern sector of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Locally referred to as Glaciar Moreno, it measures 30km long, 5km wide and 60m high, but what makes it exceptional in the world of ice is its constant advance – up to 2m per day, causing building-sized icebergs to calve from its face.
In some ways, watching the glacier is a very sedentary park experience, but it manages to nonetheless be thrilling.
Glaciar Perito Moreno is as much an auditory as a visual experience when huge icebergs calve and collapse into the Canal de los Témpanos (Iceberg Channel). This natural-born tourist attraction at Península de Magallanes is close enough to guarantee great views, but far enough away to be safe.
A series of steel catwalks (almost 4000m total) and vantage points allow visitors to see, hear and photograph the glacier. Sun hits its face in the morning and the glacier’s appearance changes as the day progresses and shadows shift. A closed refugio with glass walls allows for glacier viewing in bad weather.
Some 18 times since 1917, as the glacier has advanced, it has dammed the Brazo Rico (Rico Arm) of Lago Argentino, causing the water to rise. Several times the melting ice below has been unable to support the weight of the water behind it and the dam has collapsed in an explosion of water and ice. To be present when this spectacular cataclysm occurs is unforgettable.