Ever since I had known I was heading to South America I had heard one place on repeat over and over again. This was because my partner had always wanted to visit El Calafate and witness the amazing Perito Moreno Glacier. So once planning had started and we both knew Buenos Aires was our starting point El Calafate was almost a daily topic. The main question we wanted to answer was, how to see Perito Moreno Glacier?
Once we completed our research, we found out the end of April was coming towards the end of the tourist season, perfect we thought for the crowds but possibly an issue for the weather. We did a lot of research on how to see Perito Glacier and surrounding sites before we left and it seemed when we landed, we would opt to do the trip to Perito Glacier ourselves via public transport.
With this being said we thought we would talk to a few local tour operators as well as get an on the ground price of the buses.
What we found completely changed our way of thinking with how to see Perito Moreno Glacier.
How to see Perito Moreno Glacier:
The price of a round trip on a public bus was $800-peso, entry into the park was another $700 peso or $360 peso if you have an Argentinian passport. This soon raised the price higher than we initially were expecting and raised the question again, how to see Perito Moreno Glacier?
From there we began to look further into the tour options and when I mean look, I mean we spent a few hours going down the not so large main road of El Calafate. You see we had arrived just after midday with our flight, so we had no chance of doing a visit that day, so we set about planning our week instead and looking about the town centre.
We have eight months in South America so clearly the smarter we are with our money saving skills, the better it will be for us over the 8 months we are touring. Making wise money decisions early on will benefit us greatly over our journey.
After these few hours, I believe we answered our own question and possibly yours as well since you are reading this blog, how to see Perito Moreno Glacier? Drum roll please…. (in your own head of course).
Option one and the best in my opinion:
Do a tour which will combine your transport to the national park with the convenience of pick up from your accommodation, a lookout stop that also offers the chance for you to sample the famous Argentinian drink called Mate, a boat tour for one hour to get as close as possible with Perito Moreno Glacier and a local guide that speaks both Spanish and English who will impress you with incredible facts as well as answer any other questions you may have.
I wouldn’t have found out that the Glacier is actually made up of years and years of compressed ice rather than snow, the whole glacier is actually larger in size than the capital city of Buenos Aires or the story of if you sample the local El Calafate berry it is said you will be sure to return one day in the future to Perito Moreno Glacier if it wasn’t for being on a tour.
Plus, if you are wanting to really gauge the size of how big this amazing natural wonder is you simply must hop on a boat and share the water with Perito Moreno Glacier. The thunder like sound of ice cracking off the main Glacier and plummeting into the water while standing on the boat is a once in a lifetime moment.
After the boat ride, you get transported to the top of the walking path where you have completely free time to wander around the 4km path built around Perito Moreno Glacier. FYI this is the same path you would have used if you caught the local bus.
You have 3 hours to enjoy the incredible nature and the inspiring views Perino Moreno Glacier has to offer. You can find a place to have lunch, another great tip is to bring your own rather than buy there. This way you can enjoy your lunch while waiting for the next massive sheet of ice to drop into the chilly water below, not to mention the views are much better than a restaurant.
After the free time around Perito Moreno Glacier, you met at a designated spot and hope in the minivan to take your way back to your accommodation. Everything is well organised, never rushed and you see the Glacier both on land as well as up close and personal on board a boat.
Certainly, how to see Perito Moreno Glacier in my opinion.
The prices can vary a lot and some tours don’t even include the boat ride so take care when booking. The best company we found was Patagonia Dreams and you can find the exact tour we did here.
This is the original plan we had when we arrived in El Calafate. You can catch the local bus for $800 peso and visit Perino Moreno Glacier yourself. The bus station is a while out of the main street so depending on where you are staying will determine how long the walk is or if in fact a taxi is required.
You can catch an early morning bus out to the Glacier and a later afternoon bus home to enjoy the whole day out there. This was our original plan but now having visited I believe the 3 hours you have on the tour is enough time.
You can also buy the ticket for the boat at the Perino Glacier but be aware that if you do this it will become more expensive than the tour mentioned above.
For the location of the bus station just follow this link.
I’m usually pretty independent when it comes to travelling and I like to do most things away from tours where possible but having now been and visited the impressive Perino Moreno Glacier I honestly believe option one provides you with the best option on how to see Perito Moreno Glacier.
Remember you can find the exact tour I did which includes the boat ride next to Perino Glacier here. If you are going in tourist season it is certainly best to book these tours in advance as they sell out months in advance.
Also don’t forget to use EBATES when booking any tours, accommodation or most flights so you can receive the cash back in your pocket after you complete your booking. Not sure what EBATES is? Check out this blog where I explain exactly how I earn money back from my own travel bookings, free and easy.
For some inspiring photos from my time on this tour just head over to @travel_pics_bjdeverell or @checkin_together on Instagram. Give me a follow while you are there as well as introduce yourself so I can follow back.
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Happy Travels, Brodie