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Monday, 5 January 2015

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Argentina's most popular attractions. There seems to have a whole other sense of scale in Patagonia, and Glaciar Perito Moreno is a prime example. It's one of the largest glaciers not only in Los Glaciares National Park but in South America. Of course, part of the beauty of the glacier is that it's constantly changing and unlike just about every other glacier in the world, this one is swelling and growing steadily - rather than receding - at a rate of up to 7 feet a day, not counting the massive chunks of ice that fall off the façade into the Canal de los Tempanos as well.

Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina
Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina. Image credit Ray Sorin
The 250 km2 ice formation, and 30 km in length, is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field located in the Andes system shared with Chile. This ice field is the world's third largest reserve of fresh water. The Perito Moreno glacier, located 78 kilometres from El Calafate, was named after the explorer Francisco Moreno, a pioneer who studied the region in the 19th century and played a major role in defending the territory of Argentina in the conflict surrounding the international border dispute with Chile. The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that is growing. The reason remains debated by glaciologists. The terminus of the Perito Moreno Glacier is 5 kilometers wide, with an average height of 74 meter or 240 ft above the surface of the water of Argentino Lake, in Argentina. It has a total ice depth of 170 meters or 558 ft. Due to its size and accessibility, Perito Moreno is one of the major tourist attractions in southern Patagonia. It is less than two hours by bus from El Calafate, and many tour companies run daily visits. A large visitor centre at the site features a walking circuit which allows visitors to view the southern flank and the east facing edge of the glacier.

The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Image credit Steven Miller

The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Image credit Fougerouse Arnaud

Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park, on Lago Argentina near El Calafate, Argentina.
Perito Moreno Glacier , Los Glaciares National Park, on Lago Argentina near El Calafate, Argentina. Image credit Bill B 
Climbing Perito Moreno Glacier.
Climbing Perito Moreno Glacier. Image credit paul hoogeveen
The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Image credit Neil Young

The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Image credit Robert O'Duill

The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Image credit sophsjordan

The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Image credit Daniel Sánchez

The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Image credit jndb

The Perito Moreno Glacier or Glaciar Perito Moreno is a glacier located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.
Image credit Bruno Belcastro

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