The Big Ice Trek excursion is a demanding guided hike of four hours of duration over the Perito Moreno Glacier. The excursion is a true trek, which you have to do with crampons; there is little time for photos, stops or lunch. But, for those of us who love trekking and being in contact with nature, the Big Ice Trek surely will be an unforgettable experience.
The tour starts at the Bajo de las Sombras Pier, 7km before reaching the walkways. After crossing the Rico Branch of Lago Argentino in a 20 minutes trip, starts the walk through a moraine to approach the glacier. When the path meets a terrific outlook, it’s time of strapping the crampons on and beginning the hike over the ice. The walk lasts for about 4 hours and you have 30 minutes for lunch. The best part is when you are in the center of the glacier, you will feel that your little group is alone in the world, and having a lunch there is an experience equal to no other.
How hard is it? The trek is hard, but not so hard. Even tough, the excursion is recommended for people whose age ranges from18 to 45 years old; the reality is that everyone with a good level of fitness could do it. Say, if you are able to walk 15km in a moderate pace, you will be ok on the ice.
What to bring? You have to bring your own lunch, water, sunglasses (with UV filter), sun block cream, warm hat and gloves, and a camera of course. With respect to clothes, even in summer, the weather during the trek could be (extremely) cold and rainy, so a rain jacket is essential and warm clothes a must. Don’t be mistaken for the weather in Calafate. The sky in Calafate could be perfectly clear and sunny, and over the glacier could be snowing with temperatures below 0 C. Robust trekking boots with ankle support are best for walking with crampons.
Minitrekking or Big Ice Trek? That depends in your fitness level. If you think you are fit enough to do the Big Ice Trek, then do it. The Big Ice Trek is more expensive, but the feeling of adventure is higher, the groups are smaller, and the contact with the glacier deeper. The Minitrekking, on the other hand, is a more touristy tour, sometimes crowded, but commendable for travelers that usually don’t trek and want to experience something of what Perito Moreno Glacier has to offer.
If you visit El Calafate (Argentina) and like trekking don’t miss the opportunity of fully feeling the Perito Moreno Glacier. The Excursion cost is around US$ 140
Time: full day
Tour Operator: Hielo y Aventura
Photo courtesy of: Diametrik
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