Located in the Argentinian section of Patagonia, Los Glaciares National Park, also known as Glaciers National Park, is home to some of the most spectacular glaciers in Patagonia. The Perito Moreno and Viedma glaciers are on the roster of impressive residents here. Los Glaciares National Park is what Torres del Paine National Park is for the Chilean Patagonia. It combines stunning scenery, adventure activities such as ice trekking, and crisp, fresh air. Prepare yourself to be thoroughly amazed.
There is no shortage of activities in Los Glaciares National Park. The perfect destination for lovers of the great outdoors, its main attractions are all natural and involve some physical activity. Nonetheless, there are plenty of boat tours available for those who prefer to take it easy.
- The glaciers
The most popular attraction in the park is the Perito Moreno Glacier. Visitors can take a boat to its immense icy wall and watch chunks of ice crash into the milky water in front of it. Thrill-seekers should consider doing an ice trekking expedition across the face of the glacier. Trekkers will get the chance to explore icy caves and lagoons as they traverse Perito Moreno.
Other glaciers worth visiting include the Upsala Glacier, Spegazzini Glacier and Viedma Glacier. These glaciers will have smaller crowds than Perito Moreno but are more difficult to access.
- Mount Fitz Roy & Mount Torre
Situated in the very North of the park, Mount Fitz Roy and Mount Torre are the two most formidable mountains in Argentinian Patagonia; astounding to behold and notoriously difficult to climb. Most visitors will not attempt to reach their summits. But, there are numerous easier day hikes and multi-day treks in the vicinity of the peaks. These usually start in the village of El Chaltén.
- Lago Argentino
There is nothing quite like the blissful tranquility that surrounds a glacial lake. The misty water of Lago Argentino, Argentina’s largest lake, is completely unique and works well as a backdrop to your photos. There are a variety of boat tour options to explore the lake as well as walking trails around the lake.
- Ice trekking along the top of the Perito Moreno Glacier
- Rugged landscapes boasting virtually untouched nature
- Hiking through the forest to Laguna de los Tres
- Sailing cruise of Lago Argentino
- Trekking along the South Patagonian Ice Cap
- Visiting the park is expensive as are all the tours and activities once you're inside
- Transportation can be a challenge as the road conditions here are bad and the local population is small
- The weather can be extreme and prone to change at a moment’s notice
The best time to visit Los Glaciares National Park is from December to February. This is the Southern Hemisphere summer. If you can’t get away during these months, November and March are usually reasonable in terms of weather. Outside of this window is not recommended for travel as the rain and snow make many of the attractions inaccessible.
From Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, you can fly to El Calafate directly. There are multiple flights per day, serviced by LATAM and Aerolineas Argentinas. Once in El Calafate you will need to take a bus from the bus terminal to the entrance of Los Glaciares National Park.
It is possible to do Los Glaciares National Park as a day trip from El Calafate. This will give you enough time to do one activity (the Perito Moreno Glacier for example). However, in order to make the most of everything the park has to offer it is better to spend 2–3 days there. This will give you a chance to see multiple attractions and to really immerse yourself in the beautiful nature.
The majority of the accommodation available is in El Calafate. There are numerous hotels, homestays and estancias (rustic lodges in the countryside). Within the park there are plenty of designated camping areas, particularly near Lake Viedma and Lake Argentino.
There are no permits required to enter the park but you will need to pay an entry fee of roughly USD 28*. You will need to acquire permits for certain climbing routes and fishing.
*Note: Permits are as per 2017 pricing.
- The weather in Patagonia is unpredictable so pack for rain, snow, wind and sunshine. We recommend you find out the best time to visit Patagonia before making plans.
- It is important to protect the nature here so if you decide to camp, make sure you take all your litter with you when you leave.
- Tours can all be booked once you are inside the park.
- Accommodation can fill up in El Calafate during the high season so it is a good idea to book in advance.
Los Glaciares National Park is the pride and joy of Argentina’s nature scene and is always a hit with visitors from all over the world. So, book a trip to Argentina, grab your hiking boots, put on some warm clothes and get ready to discover the icy fields of Patagonia.