Viedma Glacier, situated in the 5,000-square mile (13,000 square km) Southern Patagonian Ice Field, sheds chunks of ice at its moraine-rich terminus, which flows directly into the western end of Viedma Lake. Located in Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the glacier is the largest in Argentina! Whether you opt for the boat cruise or combine it with an ice trek, you’ll enjoy magnificent close-up views of this natural phenomenon.
Option 1: Viedma Glacier Sightseeing Cruise
Upon hotel pickup, depart from El Calafate at 7am, arriving in El Chalten – known as Argentina’s trekking capital –at approximately 11am. From here, your guide will transfer your small group to Adventure EcoCamp for a three-course lunch, including one beverage.
In the afternoon, hop in your minivan to Bahia Tunel Port, where your 2.5-hour boat tour over Viedma Lake begins. Cruise right in the front of Viedma Glacier, which reaches 131 feet (40 meters) above the lake, and watch huge icebergs float by. Listen to fascinating lectures on glaciology as certified national park guides describe the natural phenomena within Los Glaciares National Park.
After taking in all the sights – including calving ice, debris-filled moraines and deep crevasses – return to El Chalten for transport back to your El Calafate hotel.
Option 2: Viedma Glacier Cruise plus Ice Trek
Upon hotel pickup, depart from El Calafate at 7am, arriving in El Chalten at approximately 11am. From here, transfer to Bahia Tunel Port and set sail over Viedma Lake to the glacier.
During your 1-hour cruise, admire gorgeous views of Mt Fitz Roy and Mt Huemul. Arriving at Hornos Cabe in the far southeast, your boat will turn west, offering stunning sights of Viedma Glacier. Next, disembark at a rocky promontory where certified national park guides will provide a safety briefing and lecture on glaciology and other natural features of Los Glaciares National Park.
From here, take a brief walk over terrain that just a few years before was covered by the glacier. You’ll reach the edge of Viedma Glacier within a few minutes and receive crampons to begin your 2-hour trek over the ice. Under the care and supervision of your expert guides, hike past magnificent forms on the ice mass, such as glacial moraines, deep crevasses and canyon-sized cracks formed between the ice walls.
After your ice trek, take a break for lunch (must bring your own) and return to the boat for your return trip El Chalten. From there, you’ll be transferred back to your El Calafate hotel.
Please note: Ice trekking is recommended for those in good physical condition, who are accustomed to moderate walking on irregular terrain.