The Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina has become a popular way to start any trip to Patagonia. Located about an hour drive from El Calafate, you can easily catch a flight from Buenos Aires and even visit the glacier in the same day. There are a few different Perito Moreno Glacier tours to choose from depending on your budget and allotted time. We decided to go with the half day Perito Moreno Glacier boat tour with transportation included. In this guide we cover where to book your tickets, additional tour options, all the best Perito Moreno Glacier facts, and essentials to know before your visit!
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Perito Moreno Glacier Tour Breakdown
Trip Cost & Timeline
- Perito Moreno Glacier Tour: $1200 Pesos
- Perito Moreno Glacier Boat Tour: $1000 Pesos
- Glacier Park Entrance: $800 Pesos
- 8am: Pickup from Hotel
- 10am: Boat ride to Glacier
- 11:30am: Walkways and Lookout Points
- 2pm: Drive back to Hotel
Common Perito Moreno Glacier Tours to Consider
Self Guided Tour: If you have a car and want to visit the park there is no need for a tour. Just pay the $800 Peso entrance fee when you arrive. We still recommend the 1 hour boat tour from the small port inside the park which you can book when you get there.
Moreno Glacier Tour: We booked through our accommodation at Calafate Hostel. Morning and afternoon tours are offered daily with the ability to add on the boat tour. The guide will share some awesome Perito Moreno Glacier facts on your way there to get you hyped to see it! Book a Glacier tour!
Big Ice vs Mini-Trekking: Hielo & Aventura runs the only tours in town that allow you to hike directly on the ice. The tours are similar with the main difference being how long you spend walking on the ice. Book your ice trekking tour!
Full Day Boat Tour: If you prefer a more relaxed way to see the Perito Moreno Glacier and lakes look into the Glaciers Gourmet Tour. You will spend all day cruising through the channels and getting a different view of the park. This is a high end boat tour with a price tag to prove it.
Getting to the Perito Moreno Glacier
Your journey will start from the town of El Calafate. This is where everyone stays, and it’s a great jump off to your Patagonia tour. If you’re not one to plan ahead (like us!) and traveling in the fall or spring you can easily book a Perito Moreno Glacier tour through your hotel when you arrive. However, in high season make sure to book this before if you are on a time crunch. Also, check out our hotel recommendations at the bottom of this post for where to stay in town!
The drive from El Calafate is about one hour and fifteen minutes. Yet, you will probably be in transport longer than that depending on when you’re picked up from your hotel. We started our journey to the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina at 8am, and we were back to our accommodation by 3pm.
Know Before You Go
Entrance Fee: To enter the park there’s an $800 peso entrance fee which is not included in your ticket. Be sure to bring cash for this!
Second Day Return: If you return for a second consecutive day and save your park ticket the entry fee is half price.
Weather Warning: The weather changes very quickly in Patagonia. In town it was sunny and warm, but when we got to the Glacier we had sun, wind, rain, and clouds. Pack warm layers especially if you’re doing the Perito Moreno Glacier boat tour.
Lunch Time: You can bring your own lunch into the park, and there is also food available inside the welcome center.
Must Pack: Pack sunglasses and warm clothing including hat and gloves, chapstick, sunblock, water, and snacks.
5 Quick Perito Moreno Glacier Facts
1. The glacier is named after a famous Argentinian explorer! Perito Moreno discovered many of the famous landmarks of the region, and even helped settle a 19th century border dispute between Chile and Argentina.
2. The Perito Moreno Glacier covers a mind blowing area of 98 Square Miles. That makes it bigger than the entire city of Buenos Aires! The Southern Andes is also home to the largest area covered in ice after Antarctica.
3. Despite it’s massive size, Perito Moreno is not the only glacier in Patagonia. There are several others inside Los Glaciares National Park that are even bigger including Upsala and Viedma.
4. The glaciers play many important roles on our planet like keeping it cool and providing fresh water. Only 3% of all water in the world is fresh, and Perito Moreno is part of what makes up the 3rd largest reserve in the world.
5. Perito Moreno is VERY old. In fact, scientists estimate it started forming during the last Ice Age 18,000 years ago!
Perito Moreno Glacier Boat Tour
The hour long boat tour is a must do, and the perfect way to start off your visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier. Also called the Nautical Safari, it should be offered with your tour of the glacier for an additional $1000 pesos.
From the small port it only takes about 10 minutes to get directly to the glacier, and then you’ll spend the rest of the time cruising in front of it. We spent most of our boat trip running around the vessel as it turned so we could get the best views. If you’re traveling all the way to this part of Patagonia you might as well see it from all angles!
Perito Moreno Glacier Walkways
Walking through the National Park was by far our favorite part of the Perito Moreno Glacier tour! You’ll have about 2.5 hours to explore the catwalks and take it all in. The sturdy metal and wooden platforms make for the perfect viewing trails and there’s many benches throughout the park to enjoy a packed lunch.
There’s a building in the main parking lot that sells lunch, coffee, and has restrooms as well. All the walkways are color coded and offer different views of the glacier. In reality, to finish most of the walkways it would only take about two hours. So take your time at all the viewpoints, get your pictures, and enjoy this magnificent wonder of nature!
Look Out Below!
One of the Perito Moreno Glacier facts we didn’t mention yet is that the ice is continually falling into the water. Not to worry though… This is actually a normal process for the glacier!
Especially on a sunny day, you’ll hear the thunderous roar of the glacier starting to crack every few minutes. From above this was thrilling to watch. However, if you’re on your Perito Moreno Glacier boat tour you’ll have to speed away as the falling ice can create massive waves in the lake!
Have any questions about the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina? How about any helpful tips to share about your own adventures visiting the park? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In El Calafate Argentina
Ultra Luxury – Xelena Hotel & Suites – Just outside of town, the Xelena Hotel & Suites is where you’ll want to go if you’re looking for a little luxury! This wonderful accommodation is complete with a swimming pool, gorgeous lake views, and a shuttle service into town.
Fun Vacation – Patagonia Queen Hotel Boutique – In terms of quality, you won’t find a better place to stay in El Calafate than Patagonia Queen. The fun atmosphere includes a full bar, pool table, and other fun activities to take part in before you head out to the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina.
Hostel Life – Calafate Hostel – Featuring both private rooms and dorms, this popular hostel is a great spot to plan your adventures from. We loved the upstairs common room area as well as the restaurant connected to the property.
For more places to stay in El Calafate you can explore the latest prices here!
Argentina Travel Planning
Flights: We always find the best flights using Skyscanner. Remember that a lot of the time it’s cheaper to fly between cities in Argentina than driving or taking the bus!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling in Argentina. It is especially fun to have a car in scenic regions like Patagonia.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Argentina. Attend a tango show in Buenos Aires, visit Iguazu Falls with an epic boat tour, or go glacier trekking in El Calafate!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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Thank you for these great info. We will be going to see the glacier in Feb 2020. Do you happen to know how far is the walk to the boat docks from where you buy the tickets to ride the boat? Your photos are beautiful! Thank you.
Hi Divina! Glad you found the post helpful for travel planning! 🙂 Under the section “Perito Moreno Glacier Boat Tour” the first photo is actually where you get the tickets so the walk is a very short distance. If you have your own car you can also get tickets and drive down directly to the boat ramp. Hope that helps and let us know if you have any more questions!
This was very useful information (and great pictures!) Thank you!
Hi Antigone! Glad you found it helpful, we had a great day exploring the Glacier! 🙂