Just 85 kilometers from the city of El Calafate, the imposing Perito Moreno Glacier awaits us, where thanks to a system of viewpoints and walkways we were able to delight in looking at it a little more closely.
85 kilometers from the center of El Calafate and within the Los Glaciares National Park, the spectacular viewpoints of the Perito Moreno glacier awaited us. From the entrance to the protected area to the viewpoints sector there are 30 kilometers of the most amazing nature. We skirt the Rich Arm of Lake Argentino and walk through the beautiful forest of lengas, plum trees, calafates and larches, which embellished our way.
Expectation washed over us as we descended the steps to reach the first viewpoint. We knew that the Perito Moreno glacier perseveres over time, in the same place. We knew that it had closed the passage between the Canal de los Témpanos and the Brazo Rico, increasing its flow rate at a rate of 5 centimeters per day.
Every so often we heard him break and reinforced our hope for a new breakup. We had the illusion that, if the natural levee were to be maintained throughout the summer, a new break could occur. We close our eyes and listen to that extraordinary mass of ice bellow.
The guide gave us an informative talk before starting the tour of the walkways and once we marked the path, we started walking. The guides promise that each viewpoint offers a new perspective and as we progressed we discovered them ourselves.
Before reaching the first balcony, we find the plaque for the declaration of World Heritage of Humanity, delivered by UNESCO in 1981. A little further on, two lecterns are observed that report on the glacial processes and on the Perito Moreno in particular .
We started to feel tired from trekking on the ice and decided to go downstairs to get some rest. From the entrance to the walkways area, descend 400 meters to the lower balcony, the closest to the front of the glacier. The best place to appreciate the northern sector of the glacier is found in the intermediate balcony, which also offers an excellent view of the Canal de los Témpanos.
Although the largest glaciers in the park are the Viedma and the Upsala, the Perito Moreno allows reaching its maximum front more easily thanks to being only 200 meters above sea level. This avoids having to do a long stretch of trekking or navigation, as it is necessary to do to get to the other glaciers.
This huge ice mass in the province of Santa Cruz, with an area of fourteen thousand square kilometers, represents the third largest in the world, after Antarctica and Greenland.
Standing in front of this immense natural monument, we feel captivated. Every once in a while, the silence was broken with a roar from the depths of the glacier, and, breaking the stillness, some piece of that solid seventy-meter wall collapsed with a crash.
With just reason the Perito Moreno glacier has earned a place among the wonders of the world. And not only is this immense and majestic mass of ice changing to our delight, Los Glaciares National Park inaugurated, in commemoration of its 70th anniversary in 2007, a reform plan that will allow all visitors to enjoy this protected beauty. The project includes from the paving of national route 40 to new infrastructure such as viewpoints, shelters, walkways and special circuits for people with motor disabilities.
Thanks to all these reforms, the park will be able to receive more and more tourists, who year after year increase their number, to reveal to them the best and most beautiful natural wonders of the Argentine soil.