perito moreno glacier
facts & information
Official Name: Glaciar Perito Moreno
English Name: Perito Moreno Glacier
Year Established: 1917 (first break)
Area: 250 km2 (97 sq mi) ice formation, and 30 km (19 mi) in length
Max altitude: 74 m (240 ft) above the surface of the water. A total ice depth of 170 metres (558 ft)
The Perito Moreno Glacier is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. It is one of the most important tourist attractions for Patagonia travel.
The 250 km2 (97 sq mi) ice formation, and 30 km (19 mi) in length, is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field located in the Andes system shared with Chile. This ice field is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water.
The Perito Moreno glacier, located 78 kilometres (48 mi) from El Calafate, was named after the explorer Francisco Moreno, a pioneer who studied the region in the 19th century and played a major role in defending the territory of Argentina in the conflict surrounding the international border dispute with Chile.
Due to its size and accessibility, Perito Moreno is one of the major tourist attractions in southern Patagonia. It is less than two hours by our Jeeps from El Calafate. A large visitor center at the site features a walking circuit which allows visitors to view the southern flank and the east facing edge of the glacier.
The Perito Moreno Glacier Rupture
Perito Moreno Rupture
This glacier is one of only 3 Patagonian glaciers that are still growing and advancing today, while all other glaciers in the Southern and Northern ice fields of Patagonia are receding and shrinking. The reasons for this still remain an issue of debate among glaciologists. Every 4 to 5 years, a phenomenon known as a ‘rupture’ occurs at the glacier, and glaciologists of Los Glaciares National Park have recently confirmed that the cycle of the ‘closing of the glacier’, which eventually leads to its rupture, has officially begun. In rare occasions, such as the one of the last 2 ruptures, this phenomenon can occur within just a year of the previous one. The last recorded rupture of the bridge occurred on March 10, 2016.
Here are the years of the previous ruptures in the last 4 decades: 2016, 2013, 2012, 2008, 2006, 2004, 1988, 1986, 1980. Read more here –→ Perito Moreno Glacier Rupture Phenomenon.
Trekking on Perito Moreno
There are two types of trekking available to adventure seekers on the glacier. The first one is the mini-trekking option that takes about an hour and a half and the other is the big ice option that takes about 5 hours. It is up to you to choose how long you want to remain outdoors on ice.
Winter trekking is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have while in Patagonia. If you want to trek on ice on a glacier, why not do it on the most beautiful glacier in the southern hemisphere, the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina?