Walking on Big Ice – a day on Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

You may recall the recent news about Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina—this enormous field of ice that encroaches on Lago Argentino, creating a natural damn that separates the lake into two sides—and this dam ruptured on March 2, 2012. Only missing this massive event by less than 45 days, we still, were able to experience the excitement of this glacier: ice ruptures, loud cracks echoing through the park, and large sections of ice splintering and falling to the lake. Our experience not only came with the site and sounds of this megalopolis of ice, but through the Hielo y Aventura Big Ice tour we were also able to explore the vast ice field.

We were lucky enough to join the Big Ice tour on a stunning day with crystal clear, bluebird skies. Our day started off observing the Perito Moreno Glacier from The Los Glaciares National Park observation decks. It is massive and you are quickly overcome by its size, beauty, and brilliance of blue colors. After a brief visit there, we took a short boat ride across the lake to the trailhead, where we were off trekking on the massive block of ice. Amazed by the plethora of winding rivers, crystal blue caves, massive crevasses, waterfalls, cracks, ponds and every other frozen form imaginable, we traversed the ice field with our guides for 3 hours. One interesting fact is the Perito Moreno glacier is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water, and while hiking you can drink straight from many of the available pure water sources. After many refills of fresh water and a long rewarding day of exploring this behemoth, we returned to the boat for a short cruise to get some up close views of the colossal southern wall of the Glacier, while enjoying as a glass of well-deserved whiskey.

We recommend the Big Ice if you are a moderate hiker: this was a strenuous hike and you will be tired and sore, but the views and experience of being on the ice are astonishing. If you are not up to the challenge then try the mini trekking also offered by Hielo y Aventura. You can find more technically information on the Glacier on wikipedia and at the Los Glaciares National Park website.

Eat, Love, Drink, Live, Be Merry, and Explore Curated!

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