After seeing dozens of glaciers and icebergs in Antarctica, I began questioning my decision to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina. After all, it’s just another glacier. How different could it be? Eventually I decided to stick to my initial plan. At the very worst, I would have seen yet another glacier. I took a shuttle van from El Chaltén to El Calafate, gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier, and booked a day tour with one of numerous tour companies located in the city center.
The next morning I began the long trek down to observation decks on the shore of Argentino Lake, where the glacier terminates. The dense pine forest suddenly opened up and I stopped in my tracks. Mile after mile of ice flowed into a valley tucked between black mountain peaks. The towering 240-foot high face of the glacier teetered at the edge of the water. Its surface was riven by deep crevices and scores of fractures splayed across its face.
As magnificent as this first view was, I would soon realize it was only one small corner of the Perito Moreno Glacier. For the next three hours I climbed up and down staircases leading to myriad decks that faced the glacier. Even then, I hadn’t seen its entirety; the walkways stretch nearly 2.5 miles long as they wrap around the massive field of ice. Finally, I was forced to return to the van or miss my ride back to town.
I climbed aboard with a whopping smile on my face. How different was it from the glaciers I saw in Antarctica? Massively different, in every sense of the word. The glaciers I saw in Antarctica were dwarfed by the sheer size and majesty of the seventh continent. But here, the glacier was the star attraction. Thank goodness I hadn’t decided to skip Perito Moreno.
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15 thoughts on “PHOTO: Vast Face of the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate, Argentina”
Barbara, so glad you didn’t change your mind about visiting this amazing site! I have seen a few glaciers over the years but none compare to how beautiful the Perito Moreno Glacier looks here. Those observations decks and walkways for visitors are pretty fab too!
Hi Sylvia. Thanks so much. Afterward, I was really glad I stuck to the plan as well. Have you checked out my latest post – it has a video of a giant chunk of ice calving off the glacier!
Very interesting place to visit and it really tempting me to book a flight to this place and experience all the wonders listed in this blog. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome Ruma.
I was there in February on my way to Patagonia and the ice fields further on. As you say, the camera does not do justice to the sight. Breathtaking! Thanks for bringing back the memories for me.
You’re very welcome Ellie. Glad to have brought back those memories. Hope you’re doing well and staying safe. Still in Sarasota, I assume.
Still in Sarasota and hunkering down even more. I miss travel so much. Traveling in my mind… 🙂
Wow! That is magnificent! I’m so glad you saw it and were able to post those photos. Then I could see it through your camera lense.
Gosh Irene, the camera doesn’t even begin to do it justice. It’s so much more massive that the lens shows. But thanks – glad you enjoyed it.
That is pretty amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Corinne. It absolutely took my breath away. I couldn’t quite get over the immensity of it.
What a magnificent view, Barbara!
Just stunning right? I’m so glad I stuck with my plans to see it.
Why is it “dirty,” just blowing soil?
I assume it is surface dirt, Stuart. The glaciers crack and fracture, crevices form, and the entire block shifts, with some layers subsumed and others pushed up. At one point or another, each of those darker lines indicate ice that was at the surface at some point.