Updated December 26th, 2019.
The Alternative Perito Moreno Glacier Tour only runs during the months of October to March with a minimum of 8 passengers.
Why Is This Tour ‘Alternative’?
- The tour takes a dirt track up to the National Park which is used by virtually no-one else. This allows visitors an authentic look at the Patagonian Steppe and offers plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities.
- The path for the hike is not commonly used which means that backpackers are able to enjoy the glacier in peace while taking in this special experience.
Alternative Perito Moreno Glacier Tour – Itinerary
- Pick-up from your accommodation between 7.30am and 8.00am.
- During the ride to the glacier, it is possible to see a whole manner of wildlife, including guanacos, a type of camelid closely related to the llama. As you take an alternative route to the glacier, it is likely that you will see more wildlife due to the lack of disturbance along this trail.
- Instead of taking the normal paved route, you will follow a dirt track for the entire journey, which gives way to some stunning scenery. Hardy vehicles are used to take the stress of the Patagonian gravel tracks. You will be able to admire the beauty of the Patagonian Steppe commonly known as the Patagonian desert which is uniquely dry and also has a cold climate.
- Along the way, there will be scheduled stops for photo taking and enjoying the wildlife. However, if you see something that catches your eye en route, just say and this can be accommodated for. During your journey, you will pass by Estancia Anita, a hugely important historical site. The ranch is known for the people that died there defending their right to strike. It is still possible to see gauchos (South American cowboys) in and around the area today.
- Once you arrive at the entrance to Los Glaciares National Park, you will pay your entrance fee. This costs 700 ARS which is around $16USD and is not included in the tour price.
- Before reaching the glacier, you will walk downhill via a path which is not traditionally used by tour groups. As such, this will feel like a very personal and private experience, shared only with your guide and tour mates.
- As you arrive at the beach overlooking the southern glacier wall, you are provided with the opportunity to spot woodpeckers, parrots and more. Your specialist guide can help point out this wildlife to you, as well as provide additional information about the Perito Moreno Glacier. In total, this hike takes around 45 minutes over an uneven terrain with some steep downhill.
- The difficulty of this trek is rated medium but should prove no problems for the average adventure-seeking backpacker!
- Once you have completed the trek, there is the option to book a boat (not included) which will take you closer to the wall of ice. Stare up in wonder as the glacier crunches and creaks before dramatically plunging into the water below.
- After spending around two hours admiring the glacier, the bus will depart to head back to El Calafate. The return journey will use the conventional asphalt road. You will arrive back in the city of El Calafate around 17.00pm.
Please note: National Park fees, a boat trip, food and drink is not included. This trip could be suspended due to flooding or bad weather.
What Do You Need To Bring?
- Footwear with rubber soles
- Cash for entrance fees, meals etc.
- Outdoor clothes with layers to keep warm!