The sounds were loud enough they might as well be exploding firecrackers on a New Year's eve celebration. This is how Mama Nature belts out a tune, at least, here in the Argentinean side of Patagonia. Before a captivated audience perched safely on viewing walkways, Perito Moreno Glacier performs just like a diva as it calves itself down into the frigid waters of Lago Argentino. And she never fails to impress, day after day. Seeing this glacier has been one of the reasons why I was so eager on visiting Patagonia.
Perito Moreno Glacier is massive but it's actually just one fingertip in the whole Southern Patagonian Ice Field (considered the 4th largest after Greenland and the two poles). It's part of Los Glaciares National Park created by the Argentinean government in 1937 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Unlike many glaciers elsewhere, Perito Moreno is considered "stable" - one that's still advancing, instead of receding. It has "advanced" far enough through the years that it made contact with Peninsula Magallanes where visitors view it from a safe distance.
|Sailing past the enormous face of Perito Moreno Glacier|
|The point at which the glacier makes contact with Peninsula Magallanes|
|A glacier that could fit a whole city on it|
Just how big Perito Moreno Glacier is? At 97 square miles, it's big enough to fit the entire city of Buenos Aires on it. The glacier's terminus (or one directly facing the visitors) is 5 kilometers wide and soars about 60 meters above the water. Along a series of descending walkways, visitors get panoramic and close-up views of the glacier, with the added treat of seeing huge chunks of ice frequently cracking off and falling into the water. A truly spellbinding sight, a very unforgettable sound.