Looking for the best Perito Moreno Glacier tours? You’ve come to the right place!
Taking a Perito Moreno Glacier tour is a must-do activity for anyone visiting El Calafate! This is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world and it is a behemoth that is fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the third-largest reserve of fresh water on Earth.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is located in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province, and it’s one of the most important tourist attractions in all of Patagonia. The national park itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognizing its exceptional natural beauty and importance.
The glacier itself covers an area of 250 km², is 30 kilometres long, and the ice reaches a depth of up to 170 meters. It is one of 48 glaciers that are fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field!
The magnitude of this glacier is hard to put into words, but it moved me to tears and I count standing in front of the glacier as one of the highlights of my travels across Patagonia.
In fact, I enjoyed my experience seeing Perito Moreno Glacier by boat so much, that I went back to Los Glaciares National Park a second time to see the glacier again from a different perspective.
The thing about visiting Perito Moreno Glacier is that you can experience it in so many different ways and it’s almost a little hard to choose because each option is more epic than the last! You can see the glacier by boat, by kayak, on an ice trek or from the boardwalks and balconies in the national park.
Experiencing the glacier is one of the best things to do in El Calafate and we’re going to help you choose the best Perito Moreno Glacier tour for you. Let’s get started!
My Top 3 Picks: Perito Moreno Glacier Tour
Best Perito Moreno Glacier Tour
I’m starting off with my personal favourite: a full-day boat tour of the glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park.
The beauty of this tour is that you don’t only visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, but also the other glaciers in the park. This is something that can only be done by boat as you need to cruise the waters of Lago Argentino to reach the other glaciers.
During this glaciers boat tour, we got to see Spegazzini Glacier, which rises 135 meters above sea level; Upsala Glacier which measures 53 kilometres in length; and of course Perito Moreno Glacier, which is the most famous glacier in Argentina. Just to name a few!
Other highlights included seeing glacial waterfalls cascading down the mountains, fishing chunks of icebergs from the lake (for drinks), and disembarking at Puesto de las Vacas for a guided hike.
We had beautiful weather with sunshine and blue skies, so we spent most of the day out on the deck ohh-ing and ahh-ing at the landscapes around us and relishing the icy air every time we got close to a glacier.
This tour is called Glaciers Gourmet and you travel aboard Maria Turquesa. We opted for the basic option which includes a packed gourmet lunch box, however, you can also choose the premium tasting menu which is a more high-end experience that also gives you access to a private deck.
This excursion was our big splurge of the trip, but we were so happy to do it! It exceeded our expectations.
- Visit multiple glaciers by boat
- Sail past icebergs
- Disembark for a guided hike
“FANTASTIC what a terrific, organized , efficient and super friendly tour. We saw ALL 5 glaciers, all of them! We left about 730 am and returned around 630 pm If you are in CALAFATE, this is your tour!” -Farhad MReview via Viator
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 10 hours | ✅ Book it!
This next Perito Moreno Glacier tour is the most adventure-filled way to experience the glacier. I mean, you can’t get any closer than actually walking on the glacier itself!
This tour includes transportation, so you’ll be picked up from your hotel and make your way to Los Glaciares National Park. Once you reach the park, you’ll have 1 hour to explore the Pasarelas – these are the boardwalks and balconies that offer beautiful views of Perito Moreno Glacier. This is your chance to snap some photos!
This glacier trekking tour also includes a 20-minute boat ride because in order to reach the glacier, you first need to cross the Rico Arm. There’s a small dock area at Bajo de las Sombras where this crossing takes place.
Once you reach the other side, you’ll have a briefing session with a professional ice trekking guide who will explain how things work on the tour – that means no deviating from the path the guide sets and everyone walks in a single file.
You’ll gear up with helmets, crampons and ice axes, and then the fun begins. You’ll embark on a guided 3-hour trek first along the coast, next moraine, then on the glacier itself, and finally through the woods.
The level of difficulty is considered moderate; the glacier’s surface is irregular but safe and firm.
The glacier trek is a unique way to explore Perito Moreno’s blue-hued crevasses and seracs. So if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, this activity certainly ticks the boxes!
Glacier treks are an expensive item and that’s because there’s only one tour operator for this activity in El Calafate and a limited number of people can participate each day. Tours are divided into a maximum of 20 people per group and there is 1 guide for every 10 participants.
You can probably get this tour for a bit cheaper if you book locally once you arrive, however, keep in mind that this tour can also sell out days in advance during high season, so if you want to organize it locally do so as soon as you get into town!
- Trek on the Perito Moreno glacier
- 20-minute boat ride
- Time to explore the boardwalks
“Highlight of our trip. Highly recommend if you are coming to El Calafate. No word to describe when you see the glacier right in front of you. Make everything worth it” -Christine H (Read more reviews)Review via Viator
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 10 hours | ✅ Book it!
Another unforgettable way to experience Perito Moreno Glacier is on a kayaking tour. I bet you didn’t think that was possible!
The nice thing about this tour is that aside from kayaking, you also get 2 hours to enjoy Los Glaciares National Park. You can use this time to walk the boardwalks and balconies for incredible views of the Perito Moreno Glacier.
Since you are kayaking on glacial waters, there’s a bit of prep work that goes into this tour. For starters, you’ll have to wear a Gore-Tex dry suit, a thermal suit, boots, gloves and a life jacket.
After selecting your suits and getting dressed, we’ll head to the shores of Lago Argentino for a safety briefing – you can’t get too close to the glacier since calving events occur quite frequently!
You’ll then do some warm-up exercises and enter the water at Playa de los Témpanos or Iceberg Beach. From this point, you’ll begin paddling towards Perito Moreno Glacier.
The maximum distance you can approach the glacier is 600 meters and this is because when a chunk of the glacier breaks off, it produces a large wave. But we’re talking about a glacier that stands over 60 meters tall from the water line, so this is a case of objects appearing a lot larger even if they’re not that near.
The actual kayaking time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. This Perito Moreno Glacier tour is a great option for travellers who want an active experience.
- Kayak in front of Perito Moreno Glacier
- Time to walk the boardwalks and balconies
- Includes snacks and lunch
“This day was incredible, and the glacier exploration was one of the best things we did on our trip to Argentina. The staff was communicative before and during our trip, and made special arrangements for our hotel pickup. Then, all the details like the drive into Parque Nacional Los Glaciers, the lunch and the timing were done well. And the actual adventure kayaking to the glacier was fun and stunning. We had more than enough time to explore the glacier walkways afterward as well. Perfect day.” -Geremy B (Read more reviews)
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours | ✅ Book it!
I would say this is the classic day trip to Perito Moreno Glacier where you get to experience the park from two perspectives: first exploring the park on foot and then boarding a vessel that brings you closer to the glacier.
The boardwalks and balconies offer panoramic views of the glacier and if you stick around long enough, there’s a good chance you’ll get to witness a calving event – this is when large pieces of the glacier break off and fall into the water causing a thunderous roar that echoes across the park. The subsequent waves that form are nothing short of impressive.
Aside from the boardwalks, you can also enjoy hiking some of the forest trails or visiting the Iceberg Lagoon.
This is followed by a 1-hour boat journey so you can appreciate the intricated details of the glacier from a bit closer. This is a nice alternative to the full-day boat tour, if you don’t want to commit to a long journey.
This tour to Perito Moreno Glacier provides ample time in the park so you won’t feel rushed and it means you can cover all the park highlights.
- See the glacier from the boardwalks
- 1-hour boat trip to the glacier
- Full-day tour
“We were very lucky with the weather, not a cloud in the sky, just blue and sunny all day. Julieta was a great guide explaining everything in Spanish and in English for the travellers on the comfortable bus. The first sight of the majestic glacier as we went round a curve was exciting. The boat ride up close to the glacier was marvellous, so were the pasarelas. The national park is well kept and preserved as it should be, a lot to learn from Argentina and Chile Patagonia parks. It was the hightlight of our visit to Argentina. Thanks to Cristian, the driver also.” -Jane Marylin P (Read more reviews)
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 7-8 hours | ✅ Book it!
This Perito Moreno Glacier tour option is essentially transportation to and from Los Glaciares National Park with free time to explore as you please.
You’ll be picked up from your hotel (or a pre-defined meeting point if you’re staying in an AirBnB or private apartment) and you’ll then drive out to the park, which is a 1.5-hour journey.
Pick-up in El Calafate is at 10:30 and you can expect to be back in the city around 5:00 pm. Always confirm the schedule on your booking as these times could be subject to change.
This gives you plenty of time to walk the boardwalks, balconies and trails. Plus, you can visit Laguna del los Témpanos or Iceberg Lagoon – this is where the chunks of ice that break off Perito Moreno Glacier end up!
If you get hungry over the course of the day, you can visit Nativos de la Patagonia, the only restaurant inside the park. It has beautiful views of the glacier, and you can choose between a la carte or buffet dining.
This is the most budget-friendly way to visit Perito Moreno Glacier, plus it gives you a lot of independence once you’re in the park.
- Transportation to the national park
- Free time to explore the boardwalks and trails
- A budget-friendly way to see Perito Moreno Glacier
“On time pick up and the guide gave a lot of information during the bus ride. Free to explore the glacier walkways at your own pace. Smooth trip back. Would recommend for an easy way to visit. Thanks!” -Ckmalita (Read more reviews)Review via Viator
Admission fee to Los Glaciares National Park
It’s important to note that most of these day tours do not include the admission fee to Los Glaciares National Park in their tour price.
This is because the admission fee varies depending on whether you’re an in-province tourist, out-of-province tourist, or out-of-country tourist.
The park fee for foreign visitors as of 2024 is $12000 ARS which at the time of writing is just under $15 USD per person. You can view the most up-to-date rates here.
The Los Glaciares National Park website also says that they accept payment by Visa, Mastercard, debit card or cash. My tip is to bring cash!
As someone who has travelled across Argentina extensively, I can tell you first-hand that it’s very common for the internet connection to be down in these remote areas, which means payments can get processed! This is something that has happened to me on more than one occasion.
The bus transporting you to your Perito Moreno Glacier tour will stop at the park entrance so you can pay your admission fee.
If you choose a tour that doesn’t include transportation, you can read about how to get to Perito Moreno Glacier here.
You can view the trails and boardwalks in Los Glaciares National Park’s south sector here on AllTrails.
FAQs About Perito Moreno Glacier
Yes, Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most iconic landmarks in Patagonia and it’s worth visiting this natural wonder.
The distance from El Calafate to Perito Moreno Glacier is 106 kilometres and the drive is 1.5 hours.
You can book glacier trekking tours, scenic boat tours, kayaking tours and hiking tours to visit Perito Moreno Glacier.
The most sought-after tour is the Perito Moreno mini trek where you get to walk on the glacier.
You can visit Perito Moreno Glacier independently by paying the admission fee at Los Glaciares National Park and viewing the glacier from the boardwalks.
Choosing a Perito Moreno Glacier Tour
So what’s the best Perito Moreno Glacier tour for you?
I would say if you’re looking for an active and adventurous experience, opt for the glacier trek or the kayaking tour.
If you want a full day of soaking in some of the most beautiful views in all of Patagonia, then go for the boat tour that visits all the glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park.
And if you want something a bit more low-key where you can explore at your own rhythm, choose one of the tours that focuses on the boardwalks (one is strictly boardwalks and the other includes a short navigation).
At the end of the day, you’ll get to witness the magic of Perito Moreno Glacier with all of these tours, so you really can’t go wrong with your selection.
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GROUP TOURS – If you’d rather join a group tour to travel in Argentina, check out Gadventures.
CAR RENTAL – To explore Argentina beyond the cities, the best way to do so is by renting a car. Discover Cars offers rentals across the country.
BUS TICKETS – Bus travel is a great way to see Argentina. BusBud offers numerous routes.
TRAVEL INSURANCE – Don’t leave on your trip without booking travel insurance. You can get a quote on SafetyWing.
HOTELS – Booking.com offers accommodations to suit all budgets and travel styles.
TOURS – For a variety of tours and activities, have a look at Viator.