How do you arrange to go trekking at Glacier Perito Moreno?
There are two very basic things you need to do if you want to go trekking at Perito Moreno. They are; get yourself to El Calafate, Chile and do it between October and April. That’s springtime in Patagonia and the temperatures typically range from the low 40s Fahrenheit up to the mid 60s.
As Blonde and Alternate Brunette learned that 20 degree temperature span can be covered in the space of 30 seconds depending on wind, clouds and sun so you will want to have lots of layers of clothing to add and subtract as needed. (Patagonia is a great place to go when you’re weighing a little more than your “aspirational” weight because you can explain that you look so bulky in all of your photos due to layers. You don’t have to say if it’s layers of clothes or blubber. We aren’t.)
Once you’re in El Calafate you could easily be overwhelmed by the number of companies offering day trips. Because we were (appropriately) being cared for like not-very-bright children by Swoop Patagonia they had already set us up with Walk Patagonia’s mini-trekking expedition.
The morning of your excursion you will be picked up by a bus at your hotel and driven the approximately 50 miles to Los Glaciers National Park. In addition to the cost of your excursion you will need to have about $25 USD (but have it in pesos) to pay for admission to the park. Extra credit: The park is a UNESCO area of “Natural Patrimony of Humanity” – whatever that means.
When you get off the bus take the chance to use the toilets there as no one wants to see yellow glaciers.
You will board a boat that crosses the Brazo Rico branch of Lago Argentino. The trip takes about 25 minutes and everyone will go stand outside and try to get in front of each other to take pictures. Be smart and stay inside and open one of the windows and get better shots without being pushed around. Feel free to gloat (inwardly) about your superiority.
When you disembark there’s a cottage where you can stash anything you don’t want to carry on your trek. We left $1,000 in large bills, an expensive bottle of champagne and a newborn baby.
OK, we didn’t.
We left some clothing we didn’t think we would need because we assumed we would get heated up walking (and we did). Other (smarter) people left lunch bags and boxes. We scorned their frugality and planned to eat at the cafeteria when we got back. Do what they did – not what we did.