Exploring Perito Moreno Glacier: A Comprehensive Guide from El Calafate

Welcome to the stunning region of El Calafate, the perfect base to see the truly impressive Perito Moreno Glacier.

Located in the Los Glaciares National Park, this colossal ice formation is a must-see for any traveler seeking a unique and awe-inspiring experience.

Exploring Perito Moreno Glacier: A Comprehensive Guide from El Calafate

Welcome to the stunning region of El Calafate, the perfect base to see the truly impressive Perito Moreno Glacier.

Located in the Los Glaciares National Park, this colossal ice formation is a must-see for any traveler seeking a unique and awe-inspiring experience.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

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Perito Moreno Glaciers views

In this travel blog, we’ll explain how to visit Perito Moreno Glacier independently on a public bus and then stroll along the walking paths.

We will also highlight the best tours that combine hiking, boat excursions, and kayaking. So you can choose the best option based on your preferences.

Why is Perito Moreno Glacier so special?

Perito Moreno Glacier is nestled in the heart of Argentina’s Patagonia, and it is on a bucket list for many.

Getting here is easy; the closest town is El Calafate. You can fly to El Calafate on a domestic flight from Buenos Aires in Argentina for a very affordable price.

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If you are visiting Buenos Aires, don’t miss our 2 Days in Buenos Aires itinerary.

And if you are travelling across Argentina, you can also get to El Calafate on a bus. Check Bookaway or Busbud for details.

But why is Perito Moreno Glacier so special?

This enormous glacier stands proudly in Los Glaciares National Park with its stunning blue ice and towering walls. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What sets Perito Moreno apart is its dynamic nature. It is one of the few glaciers that is still advancing, creating a breathtaking show as the ice moves and even breaks off into the water.

The accessibility of well-maintained walkways and boat tours allows travellers to witness the glacier up close. And you can even get here by public transport from El Calafate.

Or you can rent a car or join an organised tour.

We recommend this popular Perito Moreno Guided Day Trip OR this Day Trip with an Optional Boat Ride.

Perito Moreno Glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for those seeking the beauty of untouched wilderness. We had this on our bucket list for a while, and we were both amazed by the glacier’s size and beauty.

How to visit Perito Moreno Independently: Public Bus and Walking Paths

Getting To Perito Moreno by public bus

The journey to Perito Moreno from El Calafate is convenient and budget-friendly, using the public bus from the main bus station.

Regular buses depart from El Calafate’s bus terminal, taking you on a scenic ride to the glacier.

The Perito Moreno location is approximately 80 km away, and it takes about 1.5 hours. The journey is gorgeous, offering a view of the Patagonian landscape.

Try to sit on the left side of the bus when heading to the park so you get the best views of the glacier.

Booking the bus ticket is easy at the bus station. We recommend booking your tickets as soon as you arrive as it can get busy during the peak season, between December -January.

Buses usually depart around 09:00 and return at 14:30, OR the afternoon bus departs at 13:00 and returns at 18:00.

There are three bus companies that offer the bus journey from El Calafate to Perito Moreno: Marga TAQSA, Chalten Travel, and CalTur.

Some of them also offer this as a day trip with a guide which costs a little bit more. You will also need your passport to book these tickets, a copy of your passport is OK.

We went with the Marga TAQSA bus company, which left at 09:00, and the price per person was 24,000 Argentinian pesos (USD 25). You can pay cash or by card, and you need passport details.

It left the park at 2.30 pm, and we made it to El Calafate at 3.30 pm. The afternoon bus left at 1 pm and returned at 6 pm.

Arriving at Perito Moreno – Walking Paths:

Upon arrival inside the Los Glaciers National Park where Perito Moreno Glacier is located, you will be dropped off at the parking.

You will stop before that at the entrance to purchase the entry ticket to the Los Glaciers National Park (cash or card is accepted).

The price was 12,000 Argentinian Pesos in December 2023.  

Once you get dropped off at the parking/entrance, your bus driver will tell you what time you need to be back there. 

We took the 9.30 am bus and arrived at 10 am. We were given free time until 2.30 pm for departure back to El Calafate.

From here, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of Perito Moreno.

Follow the well-maintained walking paths that provide various viewpoints of the Perito Moreno glaciers. You will see a map of all paths near the parking with 4 different colours, and they are straightforward to follow.

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As you walk along the Perito Glacier paths, listen to the occasional thunder as ice chunks break off and, if you are lucky, crash into the turquoise waters of Lake Argentino. This usually happens on a very sunny day in the middle of the summer.

The walking paths offer different perspectives as you walk along. We managed to walk all four of them during our time here and even had time to eat our lunch at the cafeteria near the main viewing point.

You can take a free shuttle from the parking directly to the cafeteria. We walked along the paths to start from the parking, but we caught the shuttle bus back so as not to be late for the bus back to El Calafate.

The weather here changes quickly, we went from sunglasses to rain quickly, so come prepared.

Walking paths at Perito Moreno Glacier
Walking paths at Perito Moreno Glacier

Guided Tours: Hiking, Boat Tours, and Kayaking

Perito Moreno Mini Hike

Mini trekking Perito Moreno – Ice hiking – Discover the highlight of Los Glaciares National Park up close from three perspectives. This trekking tour reveals panoramic views of the incredible landscapes. This tour allows you to hike at your own pace on the ice using the provided equipment and enjoy the convenience of pickup and drop-off in El Calafate.

For a more immersive experience, consider joining a Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking Tour and boat cruise.

You will be picked up in El Calafate and brought into the park. You can choose to add on a boat ride (more info below).

Hike with crampons on the Perito Moreno Glacier on this incredible adventure. During the walk, you will learn more about crevices, moulins (glacier sinkholes), small blue lagoons, and landslides.

Appreciate the magnificent ice mass from new angles during a boat cruise in front of the glacier. VIEW this tour.

Perito Merino Boat Tours

Another fantastic option is to do a boat tour, and you can do so even if you come here by public bus; ask your driver.

To witness the glacier’s grandeur from a different angle, doing a boat tour is the perfect option as you can get up very close. A few companies offer this; usually, it takes 90 minutes, and some provide whiskey served over the glacier ice.

You can also book a day trip to Perito Moreno Glacier that starts in El Calafate, which includes a pick-up, a local guide, and a boat tour at Perito Moreno.

Perito Moreno Big Ice Trek:

The biggest adventure and if you are seeking something special, then check out the Perito Moreno Big Ice Trek.

This challenging trek takes you onto the glacier, equipped with crampons and guided by experienced professionals. 

Perito Moreno Kayak Tours:

For a unique perspective, opt for a Perito Moreno kayak tour. Paddle through the icy waters while being surrounded by the glacier’s imposing presence.

Guided kayak tours offer a serene and intimate encounter with Perito Moreno. It is a nice way experience away from the crowds.

While you can book directly once you arrive at the National Park, I recommend pre-booking your ticket online here

When is the best time to visit Perito Moreno Glacier?

The best time to visit Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina is during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, which typically run from November to March.

During this period, the weather is sunnier and milder. You’re more likely to experience comfortable temperatures for exploring the glacier and its surroundings.

January and February are the most popular months for visiting as the weather is great. These months align with the holiday season as well so the season is in full swing.

Keep in mind that weather conditions can still vary, and it’s essential to be prepared for the possibility of rain or wind even during the summer months. If you’re interested in witnessing in large chunks of ice breaking off the glacier and fall into the lake below.

Visiting Perito Moreno glacier should be on your bucket list. You can explore Perito Moreno independently or join one of the many guided tours available; this natural wonder promises an unforgettable experience.

Perito Moreno was, without a doubt, one of our highlights when travelling to Argentina.

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If you’re up for the ultimate adventure, have you considered visiting the least visited continent in the world, Antarctica? 

Many Antarctica expeditions begin with an easy flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world – and it is from here that you will embark on your expedition ship to explore this pristine environment. 

We loved our trip to Antarctica, and you can learn more about this fascinating place in our post – 10 Best Tips for Travel in Antarctica.

Travel Tips for South America

We have many travel guides and tips for South America—a colourful and vibrant continent!

We believe these are the 15 best places to visit in South America.

Are you travelling on a budget? These five cheapest countries in South America will help you plan an itinerary that lets you see as much as possible.

Furthermore, if you plan to travel long-term (or at least until the money runs out), these 21 cheapest countries to visit will help you make your hard-earned dollars stretch a bit further.

Delicious cuisine can be enjoyed across South America. There’s Colombian cuisine, Venezuelan food, the food in the Dominican Republic, Brazilian cuisine, and even Guyanese cuisine to inspire you on your culinary journey.

For food lovers, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for food.

Would you like some suggestions for packing for your South American adventure? Our ultimate packing list for travellers has you covered for the essentials. 

These top 6 travel hacks to save money are great to read when planning your travels. Try these 5 popular foods in South America; they’re delicious!

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in South America. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual countries, or consider a regional eSIM for Latin America (which covers 19 countries).

If your travels in Latin America are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. View the best deals on group tours in Latin America.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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👫 Group ToursG Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar.

📸 Day Tours & TripsGetYourGuide & Viator are the only two platforms you need.

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✅ Check out our Travel Gear and Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

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