If you are traveling to Patagonia, one of the tasks that you should not want to miss is visiting the glaciers. Walking near them, observing them from a prudent distance or passing close to them, are unique experiences.
Los Glaciares National Park
Los Glaciares National Park is the area where all the glaciers in the Argentine Patagonia are protected, along with their lakes, mountains and forests You can access the park in different ways, if you prefer to go by plane you can do it with different companies that take you to Calafate. In this city you can hire the tour and the accommodation.
On the other hand, if you are going by vehicle, you must connect the National Route N ° 40 with the Provincial Route N ° 11 to get to Calafate. Once in the city, you will be only 50 km from the Los Glaciares National Park.
How is the weather?
Generally the climate in southern Patagonia is cold. In spring you can find low temperatures with strong winds, while in autumn the temperature is lower, but the winds are not as strong. From March to May it tends to rain a lot and in winter the snow can complicate the excursions.
Flora and fauna of the Patagonian glaciers
Most of the territory of the park is covered by ice, another large part is occupied by lake and the last one is full of wooded areas where the lenga and the guindo predominate. The forests of lenga, ñire and guindo arrive up to the level of the lakes, next to several bushes like the notro composed by beautiful red flowers or the calafate, highlighted by its yellow flowers and its violet fruit. As for its fauna, there is not much precise data beyond the birds that they inhabit it. In the lakes, fish such as Perca and Puyen are usually found. While in the forests around these lakes you usually see different varieties of toads. In the highest pastures, some lizards and pampas grassland mice have rarely been registered.
Some park rangers assure that from time to time they usually see red and gray foxes. The Huemul is the animal that can be seen most in the northern area of the park, near the lakes.
Unlike other species, the information you have about birds is quite complete. More than 100 species can be seen flying through the skies. From the condor and the white carancho, to a shielded eagle.
Excursions in glaciers
There are many ways to enjoy the Patagonian glaciers. Next, we name you the one that for us are the best and we recommend you to try: Trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier. If you see the Perito Moreno Glacier, it is something unique, now imagine walking on it. The tour service is responsible for making you cross the Rico arm to start the walk through the forest. From there, two hours of walking await you between large ice towers and small lagoons. The hike is not difficult to do and is recommended for all ages.
Kayaking around the Perito Moreno Glacier
If you are a lover of adventure, you should definitely try this experience. Before the trip, some guides will teach you how to use the kayak and put on your suits. Then a two-hour tour will make you know the Canal de los Tempanos, where you can see the wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier. A trip that you can not miss.
Navigation Rivers of Ice
A state-of-the-art catamaran awaits you to navigate the North Arm of Lago Argentino. From there you will cross Boca del Diablo until you reach the Upsala canal. A place where the boat will be introduced in beautiful icebergs making stops and obtaining excellent panoramic views. A totally different experience than usual.
Trekking Glaciar Sur Aventura
If the trekking by the Perito Moreno Glacier seems too short, then the South Adventure Glacier excursion will be ideal for you. An 11-hour trip will get you to know the Frías Glacier by trekking and sailing routes. Very few explored and unusual landscapes can be enjoyed with this journey.
How many glaciers are there in Argentina?
In total there are more than 14,000 glaciers in Argentina. But only 13 of them are tourist. In the Patagonian Ice Mantle, to the south of the continent, the first glaciers are born, to end in Viedma. The names of these tourist glaciers are: Marconi, Viedma, Moyano, Upsala, Agassiz, Bolado, Onelli, Peineta, Spegazzini, Mayo, Ameghino, Moreno and Frías. The largest are the Upsala with 870km2, Viedma with 575km2 and Perito Moreno with 250km2. The latter being the best known and visited, for the spectacle it gives when it is about to break.