After a couple of days spent exploring the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, it was time to venture down to the deep south. First stop: El Calafate and a visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier.
The journey to Patagonia began with a 3.5 hour flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate, the gateway to the Glacier National Park (Los Glaciares National Park). I was lucky to have scored myself a window seat on the plane and was treated with breathtaking views overlooking beautiful mountainscapes and some of the bluest glacial waters I had ever laid eyes on.
Upon touching down at El Calafate International Airport and picking up our packs on the sole carousel, it was time to hit the road and head into town. The moment I stepped foot outside and caught breath of the crisp, fresh, mountainous air, I couldn’t have felt more elated to be out of the city and finally stepping foot into the wild.
Our second day in El Calafate kicked off with a journey to Los Glaciares National Park where we were to set our eyes and feet on the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier. The journey to the park took a couple of hours however, views were absolutely magnificent overlooking Lago Argentina (the largest freshwater lake in Argentina) and what seemed to be barren land, as far as the eye could see.
A couple of hours had passed and we had arrived at the national park. It was time to hop on a boat, cruise over glacial waters and make our way to the glacier itself for a day of ice trekking!
When we finally arrived at the glacier, it was time to strap on some crampons and get a brief rundown of how to walk on ice: knees apart, flat feet and basically like you’re stomping. The crampons we had on were mighty old-school and definitely not lightweight at all so, it did take a little while to get used to at first.
We were on the ice for about two hours in total, which was a little short for my liking as I would have gladly spent a whole day (or two) out there however, having said that – it was still a solid amount of time to get used to using the crampons and take in the beauty of our surroundings.
Once our time trekking the ice was up, we headed over to another section of the national park to a viewing point. Although it wasn’t as exciting as trekking the glacier itself, it was still an undoubtedly incredible experience seeing the glacier from another perspective.
There are a few different routes you can walk at this part of the national park, each of them leading to various viewpoints of the glacier. We took the ‘red’ route which was the longer route of all and covered it easily within the 90 minutes we had, with time to spare.
All in all, the day out to Perito Moreno Glacier was a great way to start my visit to Patagonia and definitely one to remember for a lifetime. I’ve vowed to go back to Patagonia already – to cover more of the glacier by foot, as well as take on a few more hikes I didn’t get to do this time around. More from the deep south soon.