The National Park Glaciers, southwest of the Province of Santa Cruz.
Icefields houses occupying 2,600 km2 (more than 30% of the area of the Park), advancing on two large bodies of water, Lake Viedma and Lake Argentino.
The best known is the Perito Moreno glacier, which expands on the waters of the South branch of Lake Argentino, with a front of 5 km. and a height, above the lake level of between 70 and 60 meters. This majestic wall of ice covers an area of 230 square kilometers.
Upsala Glacier, located on the north arm of the same lake, is the largest; It exhibits a length of 50 km. and a width of about 10 km.
In the northern sector of the Park, opposite the glacier Viedma, is the imposing massive stone Fitz Roy or Cerro Chalten (as it was called by the Tehuelches who inhabited the area) which stands out for its height of 3,375 meters and its monumental aspect with the environment of the surrounding mountain ranges.
The area of continental ice and glaciers is a natural treasure, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981.
This ancient ice forming an angry white is crossed by glistening cracks engamadas between blue and violet. From the depths gush sounds immersed in the restless inside the glacier rivers.
Perito Moreno glacier slides at a speed of 100 meters per year, forming a barrier between the Brazo Rico and the Canal of the Icebergs Lago Argentino, which ends up producing so famous break its walls because of the great pressure water exercises.
Every four years about large blocks of ice break off with a similar magnitude shocking thunder roar, creating icebergs that are dispersed in the lakes by the action of wind and water. Pieces of ice can reach and lift large waves, so it should not get out of the observation area.
Due to changing climatic effects of the past decade, glaciers in general are at an increasingly accelerated extinction, these detachments not always happen every four years.
On the south bank of Lake Argentino, the tourist town of El Calafate is the gateway to Glacier. 80 km from the park entrance, this small town of 6,000 inhabitants has a variety of accommodation and food.
From El Calafate up to the town of El Chalten, 240 km in the northern part of the protected area. Nestled at the confluence of the rivers De las Vueltas and Fitz Roy, Patagonia small and colorful village has only 300 inhabitants and about 600 hotel beds.
This population of only 15 years, is prepared for rest, sport and adventure; It is known as the capital of trekking and is the basis of those climbers who want to climb the Fitz Roy or sheer vertical granite wall of Cerro Torre (3,128 m). The hills dominate the landscape and can be seen from various strategic points in the area, even a few kilometers before reaching the town.
The austral summer is the most favorable time to visit this area, the high season from November to late March. It is convenient to make reservations in advance if you plan to travel on that date.
Excursions from El Calafate
The most relevant sites are the trails and balconies on the Perito Moreno Glacier. The walk on one side of the glacier. land excursion to Lake Roca, from early morning, when many eagles, owls and condors are.
Trekking in the park and hike to Lago del Desierto (outside the park) from El Chalten. Catamaran sailing on the lakes near the Spegazzini and Upsala glaciers, or the trip to the bays Onelli (filled with three glaciers Icebergs lake) and Estancia Cristina.
Other activities from El Calafate
Stay Alice (the Galpón Glacier) makes herding demonstrations and sheep shearing and organizes rides to Perito Moreno Glacier (21 Km).
Guided tours of the cave paintings of Punta Gualicho, facing the Argentino Lake (10 Km) excursions. You can arrive by car or rides during organized from El Calafate.