Glaciers National Park, founded in 1937, is located
in the Province of Santa Cruz in the Argentinean Patagonia. It was
declared a Natural Heritage of Humanity (Patrimonio Natural de la Humanidad)
by UNESCO in 1981, and possesses a beautiful landscape and has an
extraordinary ecological value. It covers more than 600,000
hectares (1,482,000 acres), with its main attraction being the
majestic Perito Moreno Glacier, which stands 80 meters (262 ft)
tall and is 5 kilometers (3.1miles) long. The glacier is formed by
large blocks of ice that are always moving, being one of the few
glaciers with this characteristic. You can visit it by going on
lake excursions, and also by land as it is possible to even walk on the
glacier itself. There is a small runway from which you can also
view the glacier and its ice, revealing beautiful details of the
floating icebergs in the Lake Argentino.
Other glaciers are Upsala, Onelli and Spegazzini, surrounded by
the Onelli and Bertrand mountains.
The park also includes Lake Argentino, Lake Viedma, and the Fitz
Roy mountain, where you can go climbing, and will also see
abundant fauna and wildlife, including species that are endangered
such as the pudú pudú, the southern river otter, and
pumas, which are intensely pursued by local cattle raisers. Its
forests consist of lenga, false beech, other trees of the
northfagus family, and Cypress' from Guaitecas. At the highest
peaks of the area it is possible to catch of glimpse of condors.
The closest tourist destination to the park is El Calafate,
approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the glacier. El Calafate
has an important tourist infrastructure and from there you can
organize further excursions to the Perito Moreno Glacier and its
Province of Santa Cruz, Region of Pampeana of Argentina.
When to go
All year long.
Perito Moreno Glacier and Upsala Glaciers, Fitz Roy mountain.
How to get there
To arrive at the national park it is necessary to go to the
Intendencia del Parque (Park Management), which is found in
El Calafate, that has a recently opened airport with
connections to the rest of the country. Another access route
is from the north, through the Gallegos River. From here you
continue until El Calfate, a town only 50 km (31mi) from the
park. From there you can easily reach the town of El
Chaltén, which is within the protected area of the
Sport fishing, trekking, and nature observation.
In all the places mentioned there are accommodations, fuel,
and places to eat. There are also places to camp at Lake
Viedma and Lake Argentino.