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How To Get To Perito Moreno Glacier And What To Do There


The ever incredible Perito Moreno Glacier towering above the walkway at Los Glaciares National Park. No matter how busy the place gets, you’ll always have a good view of the glacier.

If you’re traveling through Patagonia, then the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of those sights that just shouldn’t be missed. After our own incredible ice trekking adventure on this spectacular natural wonder, we decided to put a few tips on how to get to Perito Moreno Glacier and what to do there.

One of the experienced Hielo y Adventura guides ensuring our safety on the ice trekking part of the Perito Moreno Glacier tour.


Perito Moreno Glacier is undeniably spectacular and coming to Patagonia without visiting this blue-hued natural wonder would truly be a shame. Stretching 30 kilometers in length across Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province, Perito Moreno is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. This immense body of ice holds the world’s third largest reserve of freshwater – something that is almost beyond comprehension!

While you can just visit for a couple of hours and take in the views from the boardwalks that meander across the face of the glacier, we highly recommend you spend an entire day. You can witness Perito Moreno Glacier from the waters of Lago Argentino on a boat cruise, then don some crampons and get right up-close on an ice trekking adventure.

We highly recommend doing the boat ride right up to the glacier, it’s an experience that’s far more impactful than just observing it from the walkway.

During our Patagonia trip in January 2015, we took the bus from Puerto Natales in Chile over the border to El Calafate and decided to spend a full day at Perito Moreno Glacier, ice trekking with Hielo y Aventura. After this unforgettable experience we wanted to share some info on how to get to Perito Moreno Glacier and what to do there to help others make the most of their visit.

How to get to Perito Moreno Glacier:

Just got passed the entrance gate and only a few minutes away from witnessing Perito Moreno Glacier for the first time!

From Chile:

We flew into Punta Arenas, Chile, then took the 3-hour bus ride to Puerto Natales. After 9 days of trekking in Torres del Paine, we took the 5-hour bus ride to El Calafate, the gateway to Perito Moreno Glacier.

If you are exploring Chilean Patagonia and the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park, you can cross over the border into Argentina from Puerto Natales to visit Perito Moreno.

You would first need to get a flight from Chile’s capital, Santiago, to Punta Arenas, with regular daily flights available with both Sky Airlines and LATAM Airlines Chile (formerly LAN Airlines) starting from around $60USD. From the airport you can either get a taxi into Punta Arenas (if you plan on spending the night), or book a bus to pick you up directly from the airport and transport you to Puerto Natales.

From Punta Arenas it’s a 3-hour bus ride to Puerto Natales – the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park – where you can either stop and go trekking for a week or so (like we did) or overnight and continue to El Calafate the next day.

There are frequent buses (and numerous different companies) departing from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales central bus station and tickets can either be purchased online or at the individual bus terminals (there is no central bus station in Punta Arenas).

  • Buses Fernandez: 8:00, 9:00, 13:00, 14:30, 17:00, 18:30, 20:00 (7,000 Chilean Pesos).
  • Buses Sur: 10:00, 12:30, 15:00, 17:15, 19:00 (6,000 Chilean Pesos).
  • Buses Pacheco: 7:30, 11:00, 15:00, 18:00 (6-7,000 Chilean Pesos).

Tip: if you are traveling during the peak season (December-February) book your tickets online ahead of schedule to ensure you get a seat! Buses depart on schedule with assigned seating, but you need to get there about 1/2 an hour early to load luggage.

From Puerto Natales it’s a 5-hour bus ride to El Calafate, with around 1.5 hours spent at the Argentina/Chile border for passport control and customs formalities.

  • Cootra: 7:30AM departure (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays).
  • Turismo Zaahj: 8:00AM departure (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) and 2:00PM (Mondays and Fridays – November-March only).

Make sure you have your passport, with the required visa if necessary. If you are visiting from European countries or the United States you currently don’t need a visa, but if you are traveling from Australia or Canada you need to pay a reciprocity fee before you travel (around $100USD) and carry proof of payment with you.

Even if you take the early morning departure from Puerto Natales, you will only arrive by mid-afternoon, which isn’t really enough time to visit Perito Moreno Glacier (unless you only want to grab a few photos and come back again). We recommend you take a walk around El Calafate, grab some lunch, and book your Perito Moreno Glacier tour for the following day.

From Argentina:

Going through one of two customs checkpoints en route from Chile to Argentina. Be sure to have your passport and visa ready. Time here can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as a few hours!

If you are arriving into Buenos Aires, you can get a connecting flight to El Calafate with LATAM Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas, starting from $160USD. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos (36 hours!) and then connect on a local bus for the final 300km to El Calafate.

From the El Calafate airport it’s about a 20-minute taxi ride into town, with prices starting at around $9USD. Or there is also a new shuttle bus that will drop you to your hotel for around $4USD.

Once arriving in El Calafate, you have the option to hire a rental car to drive you the 80 kilometers out to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (traveling through some stunning Patagonian countryside) or go with one of the tour companies that operate out of El Calafate. Whichever you choose, you will need to pay your park fees (around $16USD) at the entrance to Los Glaciares National Park before continuing on to the carpark of Perito Moreno Glacier.

Visit Perito Moreno Glacier with a well-established tour company.

Going with a well-established (and pretty much only) tour company like Hielo y Adventura meant we could just sit back and enjoy the view on our bus ride to Los Glaciares National Park.

While renting a car and making your own way to Perito Moreno Glacier does give you flexibility, going with a well-established tour company takes the hassle out of the experience, with the tour bus picking you up from your hotel and dropping you back at the end of the day. Not to mention you’ll get lots of informative tidbits about Perito Moreno along the way!

We opted to go with Hielo y Aventura, one of the top tour companies in El Calafate. Although we normally prefer small group trips, in this instance it really didn’t matter that we were on a big tour bus as once we arrived at the glacier itself, there were PLENTY of other tourists to share the experience with!

Lunch is not included on most of the tours, so we recommend you have a big breakfast before you leave El Calafate and take some snacks to keep you going throughout the day. Alternatively, you can have lunch at one of the restaurants at Perito Moreno Glacier whilst taking in the spectacular views!

What to do at Perito Moreno Glacier:

Ice trekking along the glacier is the best way to experience this magnificent feat! If you look close enough, you’ll see two groups of trekkers!

Wander along the boardwalks.

If you’re short on time, on a budget, or prefer to just take it easy, the boardwalks are right by the main area of the national park, giving you a great view of Perito Moreno Glacier.

There’s a series of boardwalks at Perito Moreno Glacier that offer stunning views across the front of the ice mass from multiple vantage points (as well as wheelchair access!). After you’ve paid your park frees, it’s absolutely free to wander at your leisure and there are good maps indicating the extent of the boardwalks and what you can see. You can get fantastic photos and watch as the ice carves off Perito Moreno Glacier into Lago Argentino below.

Depending on the time of year you visit, it can get very busy along the boardwalks, but if you explore a little away from the main viewing area you will get unobstructed views and be able to soak it all up in peace.

Take a boat cruise along Lago Argentino.

We do recommend making it a day trip out to Perito Moreno Glacier, and going on a boat tour to get a great experience of this place. Just be sure to take some anti-nauseating medication if you’re prone to getting seasick.

After you’ve explored along the boardwalks, get a completely different vantage point of Perito Moreno Glacier from the waters of Lago Argentino below. Boat cruises will take you quite close to the glacier face, and the experience of watching ice carving into the water from so close-up is adrenalin-pumping!

Our boat cruise was only around 20 minutes as we did it in combination with our ice trekking trip. But you can take 1-hour boat cruises along the lake, which cost around $17USD (not including transport from El Calafate or park entrance fees).

Go ice trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier!

Why not make the most of your trip out to Los Glaciares National Park and do some ice trekking? Even in a somewhat-large group setting, we were still able to appreciate how massive the glaciers were, as well as capture some decent photos.

Without a doubt, the highlight of our trip to Perito Moreno Glacier was our ice trekking expedition. It took us onto the surface of the glacier to explore its dramatic crevasses, chasms, and ice formations, and really appreciate just how immense this natural wonder is.

After a brief history and geological lesson about Perito Moreno Glacier we were fitted with our crampons and given a safety briefing, before stepping onto the ice with our highly experienced guides. We followed our experienced guides carefully in single file across the glacier, stopping to capture photos and take in the awe-inspiring scenery along the way. The experience was all capped off with a shot of whiskey, served with fresh glacial ice!

Safety is the most important thing when ice trekking. Here’s one of the amazing guides putting crampons on Charlene…an absolute must!

The ice trekking is conducted in small groups, with two or three guides per group (safety is a big priority!). Despite the group experience, we felt like there was plenty of opportunity to take photos, without other ice trekkers getting in our way, and our guides were more than happy to get some snaps of us too!

1 1/2 hour ice treks cost around $85USD, with 3 1/2 hour expeditions (including lunch) costing about $155USD (not including transport from El Calafate or park entrance fees).

Our professional but very friendly trekking guide posing with Charlene and Mini G. We were glad we went with a well-established tour company for our Perito Moreno Glacier excursion.


Perito Moreno Glacier really is quite mind-blowing, and we know that if we had spent less time there (or only explored the boardwalks) we would have left feeling like we had only experienced a fraction of this incredible sight. It’s not just about the views, but the sounds and feeling of awe being in the presence of such an immense body of ice!

A side of the glaciers you won’t get if you just view them from the boardwalks. Try to go in the mid-late afternoon to get better lighting in your photos. And with some luck, you might have a bit of clouds in the sky for some contrast!

We hope that this guide on how to get to Perito Moreno Glacier and what to do there helps you plan your visit, and if you have further questions or want to leave a comment, please do so below.

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