Perito Moreno Glacier

January 14, 2006
Day 108

Perito Moreno glacier

People admiring the Perito Moreno glacier.

This was the day that I finally got to see the Perito Moreno glacier. This morning, John, from England, and I took a tour bus out to Los Glacieres National Park, where the glacier is located. On the bus, we also met Judy and Teri, a mother/daughter pair from New Zealand who are traveling in Chile and Argentina for a month or so. Judy's son has been studying in Punta Arenas, Chile for a year, and they wanted to visit him before he returned to New Zealand. That sounds like a fun excuse to explore South America to me.

When we got off the bus, we walked down to the lake that the glacier plunges into. Almost immediately, we heard a thunderous noise. A huge chunk of ice broke off the glacier and fell into the lake. We were still far away, but we could hear and see it clear as day. So much ice fell that the lake water became quite rough with waves for the next few minutes. I had only been in the park for five minutes, yet I had already seen one of the most incredible sights of my life.

For the next hour, our group walked closer and closer to the glacier. The cracking noises were almost continuous. Everyone's eyes were focused on the ice that they thought was about to fall. The glacier seemed to like to play games with the tourists, however, because while it rumbled all the time, it only gave us a show every half hour or so.

Next, we were led to the parking lot, where we had the chance to sign up for a boat tour on the lake near the glacier. I declined to go because the boats can't get too close for obvious reasons, so the view we had from the land was just as good, even though it was a higher perspective. Instead, all of us walked to the viewing platforms.

For the next three hours, Teri, John, Judi and I sat in awe as we watched the glacier work its magic. Perito Moreno is one of the few advancing glaciers that remains in this world of global warming. In an era where there's nothing left of most glaciers other than a few muddy puddles and maybe an ice cube, an average of two meters of ice still breaks off the 70-meter-high ice wall and falls into the water every day. Honestly, despite the hordes of tourists that surrounded us, I could've watched the glacier all day. It easily beats whatever they are showing on "Must See TV" nowadays.

After we got back to into town, John, Judy, Teri, and I went shopping for a feast. We had a big chunky chicken salad with all the fixin's. Tomorrow, John and I are going to head out early and go to Puerto Natales, Chile to prepare for a long trek through the nearby national park. I think I'll cross between Chile and Argentina several more times before I'm finished, so my passport is going to fill up with stamps quickly.

The photo album for this entry is here.

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4 thoughts on “Perito Moreno Glacier

  1. Nic

    Dan, is there a link error? The last three enteries with "photos here" have all linked to the same group from Day 1????

  2. Dan Perry Post author

    I put all of the photos from my 2-day trek in the same album, so that's why those two were the same. This entry was indeed wrong, and I have fixed it.

  3. Jim

    Cool glacier pics Dan. Enjoy them while they last.

    For anyone interested in US glaciers (and their disappearance) see

    Certainly global warming is wiping out the glaciers. What I found interesting from the above site is that the retreat of the glaciers has been progressing at a fairly steady rate since they started measuring in 1850 (long before the industrial output of the world was in full swing). I guess since I'm currently living on land that was completely covered by a glacier less than 10,000 years ago I shouldn't find this surprising.

  4. Dan Perry Post author

    Thanks for the interesting info. Sometimes I'm glad I made such nerdy friends at Big Blue. Even though most glaciers are going the way of the dodo, this one should be around for awhile because it's still advancing.

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