Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (The Glaciers National Park) protects Argentina’s wild Patagonian expanses of icy glaciers and mountain lakes. With a massive 47 glaciers, the Andean ice cap is the largest outside Antarctica and Greenland. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to several natural wonders, including Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the world for its spectacular trekking, mountain climbing, and sport fishing. Most visitors come to see the majestic Perito Moreno Glacier, often on a day trip from El Calafate; other day-trip options include a trek to El Chaltén or guided horseback ride at Estancia Nibepo Aike. Those with more time can opt for a multi-day journey to some of the area’s other peaks and glaciers.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Parque Nacional Los Glaciares is a must-visit for all first-time visitors to Patagonia.
- Choose from among a wide variety of park activities, including boat rides, glacier treks, and horseback rides.
- A full-day tour to the park from El Calafate typically lasts eight to 10 hours, depending on the option chosen; multi-day itineraries last anywhere from three to six days.
- Remember to dress in warm layers, as conditions in the park can be chilly, even during summer.
How to Get There
The park’s main entrance lies 30 miles (49 kilometers) from El Calafate. While it’s possible to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier visitor center by driving, it’s more convenient to join a guided tour. Twice-daily buses take passengers from El Calafate to the glacier-lookout area.
When to Get There
Most travelers choose to explore Parque Nacional Los Glaciares during the Argentine summer, when the weather is at its warmest. Temperatures tend to run a bit cooler during the months of October, March, and April, but sparser crowds make for a more peaceful visit.
Other Glaciers in the National Park
While Perito Moreno is the most famous glacier in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, it’s not the only one—or even the largest. That distinction goes to the Upsala Glacier, South America’s largest, which is only accessible by boat from Punta Bandera. The Spegazzini Glacier boasts the biggest snout, with a wall measuring 440 feet (135 meters) tall.