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Perito Moreno Glacier is one of Argentina’s best highlights. This huge glacier is impressive, and chances are you’ve probably heard about it before and can’t wait to visit it for yourself!
But when is the best time to visit Perito Moreno Glacier?
This is an important question because let’s face it, visiting Perito Moreno Glacier is bound to be one of the best things you do in Patagonia. So, you want to make the experience the best possible.
In this blog, I answer the question about the best time to visit Perito Moreno Glacier including the best time of year and the best time of day!
When to Visit Perito Moreno Glacier FAQs
Best Time of Day to Visit Perito Moreno Glacier
I have personally visited Perito Moreno Glacier first thing in the morning when the gate opens at 8 am, at sunset before the gate closes, and in the middle of the day – here is what I think of each of time of day:
Note: The gate to the national park opens at 8 am and closes at 6 pm (summer) and 9 am to 4 pm (winter.) But, you can stay in the park for two hours after the last entrance time.
Related Read: Check out our blog on visiting Puerto Madryn, Argentina!
Middle of the Day
To be honest, the middle of the day is the worst time to visit Perito Moreno Glacier. This is not only because of the crowds but also because I had a very sunny day and there is little shade on the boardwalk. In fact, I left a little earlier than planned because the sun was really harsh.
With that said, it is important to note that the afternoon is when the glacier is typically the most active due to warmer temperatures.
At sunset or near closing time, there are the least amount of people and the sun is far less harsh.
If you’re a photographer, then you may want to avoid this time as you can’t stay late enough to catch a proper sunset and the sun sets right behind the glacier sending glaring light straight into your camera.
But if you just want to enjoy the glacier with fewer crowds and aren’t too fussed about getting those perfect photos, then later in the afternoon is the best time of day to visit.
On the morning I was due to start my glacier trekking, we were first through the gate to the national park and arrived at the glacier with not a soul in sight!
It was cool and quiet, the sun was behind us, and it was magical. By far my favorite time to visit is first thing in the morning!
There is one catch though…
It doesn’t take long for the boardwalk to get busy, so enjoy this first hour of peace because it’s so amazing!
To be able to enjoy the quiet morning at Perito Moreno Glacier you’ll need a rental car to drive yourself there before all the tour buses arrive. Also, be sure to plan to arrive at the park entrance gates (an hour’s drive from El Calafate at their opening time. The gate to the national park opens at 8 am and closes at 6 pm (summer) and 9 am to 4 pm (winter.)
We rented a car to travel around Patagonia for a couple of weeks and it was super handy when it came to visiting Perito Moreno Glacier. If you don’t have a car, then you’ll have to find another way to get from El Calafate to Perito Moreno Glacier.
Best Time of Year to Visit Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier is open all year round, however, the weather in Patagonia is not favorable all year round. During the winter months, it is cold – really cold, and you likely won’t want to spend any time at all standing outside next to a huge chunk of even colder ice.
The summer months, November to March, are the best time of year to visit Perito Moreno Glacier. Not only is it warmer with less rain (and no snow), but the warm weather also causes the glacier to be more active. If you want to see the huge chunks of ice fall from the glacier and fall into the water then the summer is your best chance of seeing this spectacle.
I have to warn you though, the summer is also the busiest time of year to visit Perito Moreno Glacier. Expect a full parking lot, large crowds, and full tours and restaurants.
With that said, if you visit first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon as I mentioned above, you’ll miss the peak afternoon hours and experience fewer crowds.
Perito Moreno Glacier Tours
There are a few different ways to experience the grandeur of the Perito Moreno Glacier and there are several types of tours that will take you there from El Calafate so here are a few of the best options:
- Mini Glacier Trekking Tour – If looking at this glacier isn’t impressive enough you can actually trek on top of it! On the mini trekking, you will spend about 1.5 hours on top of the glacier!
- Kayaking Tour – On this kayaking tour you will get right up close and navigate around many of the impressive glaciers and have time to walk the boardwalk for more views and enjoy complimentary snacks and a hot drink afterward.
- Glacier Cruise – This is the most relaxing way to see the Perito Moreno Glaciers and on this tour, you will be taken to 3 different glaciers! A gourmet boxed lunch is included.
For more information, you can read my blog on the best Perito Moreno Glacier tours. It really will help you compare your options to decide which tour is best for you!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $42 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
I hope this blog has helped you decide when to visit Perito Moreno Glacier! If you want some more advice, check out the rest of our blogs about Perito Moreno, or Patagonia in general! Some other blogs you might enjoy include: