Los Glaciares National Park
Los Glaciares is a national park in Argentina, located on an area of 4459 km2. In terms of its area, the park is considered the second largest after Nahuel Huapi. The park's glaciers are also the largest in area after Greenland and Antarctica. In 1981, Los Glaciares was added to the World Heritage List.
In these places, favorable conditions have been created for the formation of an ice sheet. The park's topography is 30% covered by ice, which is divided by 2 lakes - the largest lake in Argentina - Lago Argentino in the south, and also Lake Viedma in the north. Viedma covers an area of 1100 km2 and is named after the people who first explored the area - Francisco and Antonio Viedma. Lake Lago Argentino covers an area of 1,400 km2 with an average depth of approximately 300 meters. The lakes fill the St. Croix River with water, which flows next to the Atlantic Ocean. Between the lakes there is a central area that is closed to travelers.
In the north of the park, in addition to Lake Viedma, there is a glacier of the same name, small glaciers and a couple of mountains that are quite popular among climbers. On the southern side there are large glaciers: Perito Moreno, Spegazzini, Uppsala. The Perito Moreno Glacier is easily accessible on foot, but the other 2 can only be reached by boat.
Perito Moreno is the most famous glacier in Los Glaciares Park, approximately 50 meters high and 4 km long. The glacier was formed 30,000 years ago. The name of the glacier translates as “Scientist Moreno”, named after the Argentine scientist. The glacial plateau itself is the third largest fresh water reserve in the world, and scientists believe that the plateau has a special ability to maintain balance, preventing it from melting. A short walk along the glacier is arranged for travelers. During the walk you will encounter small lakes of melt water, faults, and sewers. You can also take a boat 200 meters to the glacier to feel the full power of this glacier massif.
Flora and fauna in Los Glaciares
In Los Glaciares, the vegetation is represented by subantarctic and Patagonian forests, as well as the Patagonian steppes, in which you can find more than 100 species of birds, of which it is worth noting: the long-billed rhea, the Andean condor, the black-necked finch and the spur-tailed duck. Among the animals that often catch your eye are guanacos, llamas, Patagonian hares, gray foxes, and pumas. In Los Glaciares you can also meet Andean deer, listed in the International Red Book.
Los Glaciares is famous among travelers. Almost all tours in the park start in the town of El Calafate, located near Lake Lago Argentino and near the village of El Chaltén in the north of the park near Mount Fitzroy. Mount Fitzroy is also famous among travelers. It was discovered by Francisco Moreno in 1877 and decided to name it in honor of the captain of the Beagle ship, Robert Fitzroy. The crew of the Beagle played a significant role in the chronicle of geographical discoveries; Charles Darwin also sailed on the ship. The Indians called one of the peaks of Mount Fitzroy El Chaltén; at the moment, the village located nearby is also called. The village offers all the necessary tourist services. This is where trails of varying difficulty and length begin. The most fascinating of them is Laguna de los Tres, the road there is very difficult and you will have to travel 20 hours there and back, but the landscapes that open up along the way are worth it. You can fish in local lakes, but you need to purchase a license from the national park office.
Los Glaciares organizes horseback riding, which will bring a lot of pleasure. Horseback riding tours begin at travel agencies in El Calafate. Every year Los Glaciares is visited by thousands of travelers from all over the world. The best time to visit the park is in the summer, which in the Southern Hemisphere falls between October and March.