Do you want to walk on the Perito Moreno glacier? There is the possibility to do an ice trekking. Not a cheap thing, but a unique opportunity. There is the shorter but cheaper Minitrekking and the longer Big Ice tour. Below I give you a short description about the Minitrekking and a detailed description about the Big Ice tour.
The glacier hikes are offered exclusively by Hielo y Aventura. Attention, the Big Ice hike is only possible if you are between 18 and 50 years old. The Minitrekking is possible from 10 to 65 years.
Prices and detailed information can be found here:
Big Ice Tour – https://hieloyaventura.com/en/tour/BigIce-en/
Minitrekking – https://hieloyaventura.com/en/tour/minitrekking-en/
Addtional to the Tourprice you need to pay the entrance fee for the Los Glaciares National Park.
The Minitrekking includes about 1-1,5h hiking on the glacier. The trekking takes place in the front part of the glacie and follows a fixed path. Some steps have been carved into the ice to make the path easier. In small groups of max. 20 people you walk along this path. Because the route is fixed, you will have groups in some distance behind or in front of you. The tour will offer many photo opportunities as they have tried to include many highlights in the trail.
In detail I cannot tell you anymore because I did the Big Ice Tour.
The Big Ice tour, compared to the Minitrekking, takes place further up the glacier. With 3-3,5h on the ice you also spend more time on the Perito Moreno. Altogether it was a full day tour.
Picked up at the hotel in the morning we went to Los Glaciares National Park. At the beginning we went to the viewing balconies. Here we had 1h time. Because the tour starts earlier than other tours, which only go to the glacier, there are relatively few people at the balconies.
Afterwards we went to the harbour and crossed in a small boat in about 10-20min to the other side. There we had the possibility to deposit not needed belongings.
Divided into small groups with max 10 participants + 2 guides we started. First we got a helmet and a safety harness and put them on. Here was also the entrance for the Minitrekking. For us it went on and we walked about 1h beside the glacier in the forest. On the way we passed a beautiful waterfall. Quite at the end of the way we got our crampons, which we carried for another 5min until we reached the glacier entrance.
The guides helped us with the crampons and then we started. No fixed paths, but up and down and left and right. From time to time we crossed another group, but rarely we walked exactly the same way. We passed glacier rivers, water-filled, as well as empty deep crevasses (or went above). We kind of disappeared in the endless ice. Lunch, which you had to bring yourself, we did at a small lake. We saw a glacier canyon, through which the water shot and we also walked through a small ice tunnel. Again and again we saw deep blue crevasses and holes. By the way, you do not need to take much water with you. Everywhere on the glacier you can fill up the bottle with fresh glacier water.
After about 3.5h our ice hike was over. The feet became already heavy, because I was not used to walk in the ice and with crampons. Afterwards we went through the forest back to the start. Had a coffee at the starting point before we got back on the boat and back to the other side. On the boat we had a whisky on the rocks (glacier ice) and got a little souvenir. That was the end of a fantastic tour and we went back to El Calafate.
Altogether not a cheap experience and I had thought a while whether I should afford it. I am glad that I did it. For me it was the highlight of my Argentina trip and one of the best things I ever did in my life.
Perito Moreno Glacier Overview