Perito Moreno Glacier With Kids – Natures Majesty New For 2024

Just a stone’s throw from the bustling town of El Calafate, the Perito Moreno Glacier stands as a humbling testament to the sheer power of nature. This colossal ice formation is not just a destination; it’s a profound lesson in the grandeur and scale of our natural world. Visiting Perito Moreno Glacier with kids offers a perspective that’s as educational as it is awe-inspiring, making it a must-visit destination for families seeking both adventure and a deeper connection with nature’s wonders.

From your first glimpse of Perito Moreno Glacier, as you travel alongside Lago Argentino, to the moment you stand overlooking the acres of jagged ice, the glacier grows more impressive with each step closer you take.

The Spencer family looking out from a viewing platform at the huge, icy blue Perito Moreno Glacier
A visit to Perito Moreno Glacier with your family is something you will never forget.

The experience of visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier is as much about sound as it is about sight; the creaks and groans of the ice are enchanting. Sounds like whip cracks, pistol shots, firework pops, and rumbles that are so deep you feel them more than hear them emanate from the glacier and echo around the valley. The glacier can move up to 2 meters a day, and it is a dynamic, living formation. A visit of only a few hours can show dramatic changes as the ice calves and new icebergs are born.

For families, Perito Moreno offers more than just scenic beauty; it’s a living classroom where every icy crevasse and glacial stream tells a story. The walkways allow you to see the spectacular formations of the glacier’s towering facade; each moment here captivates the imagination, making it a perfect destination for a family expedition into the wild wonders of Argentina.

Freshly calved iceburgs in the blue waters of Lago Argentino alongside Perito Moreno Glacier
The scale of the ice has to be seen to be beleived, yes that is quite a large boat on the centre right of the image!

Our Map for Visiting Perito Moreno Glacier with Kids

Essentials for Visiting Perito Moreno Glacier with Kids

When visiting the glacier you just need the standard Patagonia kit of warm layers, sun cream, woolly hats, snacks, and water. The only non-typical thing we strongly recommend is sunglasses, as the glare from the glacier is blinding when the sun hits it.

Surprisingly, despite its remote location, the area has excellent mobile phone coverage on our Argentine Movistar E-Sim.

Kirsty and Eva climbing some steps on the walkways on a visit to Perito Moreno Glacier with kids
Sunglasses and layers are a must – the wind can be sharp even in the summer, although maybe Eva is a little overdressed!

Getting To Los Glaciares National Park

Perito Moreno Glacier sits at the south end of the Los Glaciares National Park on Lago Argentino and is about an hour and twenty minutes drive from El Calafate.

The glacier is a popular destination, and half a dozen companies in town run tours there, some of which include a short boat trip to the north face of the glacier. Tour options include Mundo Austral, Patagonia Chic, and Patagonia Dreams.

If you decide to use a tour company to take you to the glacier, most will still require you to purchase the park tickets separately from the tour (link below).

A disadvantage of joining a day trip is that when you arrive at the ticket office on the edge of the park, you have to disembark from the bus and queue to get your tickets checked. This could mean a long wait if you arrive behind other coaches.

Another option is to take the public bus from the central station in town, which is surprisingly expensive – nearly USD 25 per person return, with no discount for kids. If there are more than a few of you travelling, it very quickly becomes much cheaper to hire a car or get a private taxi! The public bus drops you at the park ticket office, and then a shuttle takes you to the main walkway.

If you decide to drive to the park as we did, the route is tarmacked and straightforward by Patagonian standards, with wide, easy roads.

On balance, we are glad we drove. It meant we could explore at our own pace while avoiding crowds. We didn’t feel we missed out on seeing the glacier from a boat as we had a full-day tour booked for the next day.

The huge, icy blue edge of Perito Moreno Glacier with small pieces of ice floating in Lago Argentino
The ice at the terminus is 5 km long and up to 74 m tall! In total, Perito Moreno Glacier covers 250 km²that is 50 km² more than Buenos Aires!

Getting Into Los Glaciares National Park

To see the glacier, you will need Glacier National Park tickets, which can be purchased online here or at the park entrance on arrival, which is here. If you pay the entrance fee at the park, it is cash only, and you will need to show a copy of your passport, so make sure you have one saved to your phone as there is no signal at the ticket office. At the time of writing, the tickets cost us ARG$ 12,000 (about £10 or USD 12) each with no discount for kids, but with the Peso currently in free fall, who knows how much it will cost or even what currency it will be in when you visit!

Purchasing online in advance is quicker as you deal with all the passport numbers nonsense; however, you still need to present proof of purchase at the park entrance to receive your physical tickets, which could mean standing through a long queue if you arrive much after 8 am.

If you are planning a second visit to the park, you can get a 50% discount within three days of the first visit. To do this, you can book both visits online simultaneously or keep your original park tickets to show at the ticket office during your next visit.

The park gates opens at 8 am. We arrived at the ticket office just before opening and found we were in a small queue, but we had beaten most of the big tour buses, which is always a treat! By the time we were finishing up the trails at about midday, it had grown much busier, and the paths were getting congested. We would recommend getting to the park as soon as it opens as you get a head start on the crowds.

Once you have your tickets and head into the park, there is another 40-minute drive from the ticket office to the main car park, where you begin the walkways. There are several viewing points on this drive where the tour buses stop so you can leap ahead of them.

The huge, blue jagged ice of Perito Moreno Glacier
The shifting ice makes incredible shapes that reminds us of Catedral de Mármol.

Exploring Perito Moreno Glacier From The Walkways

Much like the Argentine side of Iguacu Falls in Puerto Iguazú, there are several family-friendly routes of carefully constructed gantries that you can explore. These routes will take you around the glacier’s magnificent terminus, giving stunning views of the ice and Argentino Lake. The routes have been carefully thought through and laid out, offering plenty of panoramic viewing points.

If you have a pram, the Sendero Accessible trail is the only one without steps. All the others have a reasonable amount of climb and descent.

People on the walkways overlooking Perito Moreno Glacier on a family trip from El Calafate
The paths are wide and easy to navigate. They also give many great view points.

We did all the routes except the Sendero Del Bosque, which was closed due to a fallen tree, and it took us about 3 hours to complete them all.

There is plenty of signage, the paths are wide and give good grip even when wet, and the routes are all easy to follow. There were plenty of panoramic views over the massive glacier and Lake Argentino, and it was nice not to have to fight your way to a good photo spot! Having walked them, we do think they overstate the difficulty and length of time required to complete the trails. There is no way Sendero Inferior was of high difficulty, and it did not take us two hours to do; it was more like 40 minutes!

Kayaks on Lago Argentino amoungst icebergs on their way to get close to Perito Moreno Glacier
We would have loved to kayak near the glacier, but the minimum age for this activity is 14 years.

Refreshments and Shopping

If you want to bring your own food, there are plenty of places on the trail to stop and enjoy a light lunch while enjoying the view. Alternatively, a large café is available on site, which, although subject to modest tourist tax, is not hideously overpriced. The café is open from 10.15 to 17.50 so you cannot get breakfast here.

We popped in to grab a brew about midday. Although there was a substantial queue of 30 people (usually enough to make even Kirsty forgo coffee and cake!), it moved very quickly. By the time Georgia and Eva had been to the toilet, we had been served.

The only toilets available were in the visitors centre, which were clean and there were no queues.

We would certainly recommend avoiding the tat shop adjacent to the café which was obnoxiously overpriced. There is much cheaper to be had in town.

Freshly exposed ice on Perito Moreno Glacier after some ice calved off it
Where the ice falls away, the fresh ice exposed underneath is impossibly blue. This is due to the blue wavelength of light having more energy and being able to penetrate deeper into the ice.

Using Drones and Photographing At Perito Moreno Glacier

Drone use at Perito Moreno Glacieror or anywhere in Los Glaciares National Park is strictly forbidden. We were informed of the rule as we entered by the ranger, and signs were everywhere. Clearly this has been a problem for the authorities here.

This is a real shame as Adrian would have loved to send his up, but they can interfere with the condors and other wildlife, so the restrictions are understandable.

The ice falls from the terminus are spectacular; seeing tonnes of ice crash into the lake is a sight to behold, but trying to photograph them is not compatible with visiting with children. Capturing ice falls is surprisingly challenging as the glacier terminus is so vast that, like thunder and lightning, the ice is already in the water by the time you hear the crack and know where to look!

The only way to do it would be to set up at a good vantage point and wait, possibly for hours, but there are not many kids with that patience!

Also, try to put something in your image that can give a viewer a sense of perspective. The glacier is so vast that unless you have seen it yourself, it is hard to convey its enormity in a picture. A person, tree or boat keeps the image grounded.

People standing on the viewing platforms overlooking the face of Perito Moreno Glacier with kids
Adding the people to the bottom of the image helps convey its scale.

Have We Missed Anything To Do At Perito Moreno Glacier With Kids?

Visiting this glacier really is an incredible experience, and you should try and do it if you have the chance. If you think we have missed anything, or you find any of the information here is outdated, please let us know in the comments below.

The Spencer Family

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About the authors

Our lives have been intertwined with a passion for exploration and a shared love for travel. Our adventures began long before we met, as we individually embarked on daring expeditions across the globe. Our paths finally converged, and we soon realized that our adventures were much more meaningful when shared!

After a brief hiatus to start a family, we eagerly embarked on a new chapter of our travel saga. Determined to instil in Georgia and Eva the values of discovery and open-mindedness, our goal is to embark on exciting escapades and explore breathtaking landscapes, bustling cities, and remote corners of the world. From hiking through mist-laden forests to snorkelling in turquoise seas, every adventure is an opportunity to create lasting memories as a family.

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