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Los Glaciares National Park

Perito Moreno glacier
Famous for its spectacular ice blue glaciers, pointy peaks, and two large lakes, Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma, Los Glaciares National Park stretches from Mount Fitz Roy in the north to Cerro Stokes in the south, with thirteen glaciers, including Perito Moreno, one of the world’s few advancing (not shrinking) glaciers. If you've come to Patagonia to see glaciers, kids will be amazed.
   

Perito Moreno glacier – At the southern end of the park, Perito Moreno glacier rises 200 ft (60 m) above Lago Argentina, a lake formed by glacier melt. From spiky glacier walls, gigantic chunks of ice fall into the lake; other submerged ice chunks shoot up to the surface (this is called "calving"). It's absolutely mesmerizing – kids could easily just spend the day just watching the ice crash into the water and Andean condors flying overhead.

      Glacier overlooks (mirador) – Drive the road to the viewing platforms on Peninsula Magallanes (Route 11 from El Calafate). To get there, you can arrange for a private car and driver, or drive yourself if you have a rental car. From the walkways and footbridges are spectacular views of the glacier across the water.
      Boat cruise – Take a boat ride across the lake (icebergs floating in the water are very cool), with close up views of the glacier. From this vantage point, kids get a sense of just how high the glacier really is. Cruises are one hour, from Bajo de la Sombra Pier.
      Walk on the glacier – For older kids, a guided trek on the glacier is unforgettable. First there's a short hike through the woods to the glacier, then you'll be provided with crampons, which make it easy to walk up and down the ice. Your guide will point out crevasses, inland lakes and other features of the glacier. Treks on the glacier itself are about two hours, but getting to and from the glacier, it's a full day trip.
    El Chalten – At the northern end of the national park, this area has lots of hiking and glacier treks. Here majestic Mount Fitz Roy (Cerro Fitz Roy) and Mount Torre dominate the Andean range.
      Hiking – This is a fabulous area to just get out and hike – panoramic views of dramatic mountain ranges, turquoise glacial lakes, woods and waterfalls, condors soaring on the wind. Hikes range from easy one hour hikes, to a 12 mile roundtrip hike to Lake Torre, with icebergs floating in the water. Tip: If you don't feel like hiking, arrange for guided horseback riding.
      Torre glacier trek – A guided trek on Torre glacier is a perfect adventure for teens. Hike out onto the ice with crampons and a harness, and there's also an exciting river crossing, scrambling up and down rocks, and ice climbing. It's a full day trek, so bring a day pack for each member of the family, lunch and water, gloves, sunscreen and sunglasses. Highly recommended and a highlight for one family of their trip to Patagonia. Ask at your hotel about guided treks.
      Tips for enjoying Los Glaciares National Park
    Wear sunglasses and sunscreen –The sun is very bright, and sunglasses are a necessity. Also, bring lots of strong sunscreen and slather it on (don't miss any spots) to avoid sunburn.
    Gloves and boots – Planning on a glacier trek, have gloves, boots, and day packs for each one in your family. Crampons and harnesses are provided on guided treks.
    Jackets – The weather is quite changeable, and it's typically ten degrees colder on the ice.
    Binoculars – Binoculars are handy to see the condors flying around.
    Drink the glacier water – The water melting on the glacier is pure and delicious to drink, so bring your water bottles.
travel for kids | argentina | patagonia | los glaciares national park
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