A Great Place
When should you visit very special and unique places in the world that touch you? Places with an atmosphere you can’t describe or where you even get overwhelmed with emotion.
All seasons, though I think autumn would be ideal to have the trees as a backdrop for the highly ornate structures on the property. The cooler temps reducing bugs would allow you to hike through the dense woods on their 108 acres.
HIGHLIGHTS / TOURIST CROWDS: If you like religious events: Visit during Maha Shivaratri Hindu festival (February or March each year, check dates via google) or during Shravan, the holiest month, in July/August. However, it's very crowded during these times. If you'd like to avoid crowds visit from September to November: Great weather, quieter and also the best months for trekking in Nepal
The temple is open for visitors year round.
This is our ultimate guide to Perito Moreno Glacier with 9 essential must-know tips before you go, including the best time, getting to the glacier, bus tips, weather, and more.
The best time with the most pleasant weather is from November to March, which means summer in the southern hemisphere. Just be prepared for more crowded viewing platforms during that time. The best time of day for hearing the fascinating ice cracking sounds is on a sunny afternoon.
Quick Glacier Guide | Table of Contents
Below you can find a quick navigation. This whole article was updated in December 2019 / January 2020. Please check #9 El Calafate to Perito Moreno — Bus to Perito Moreno for the best tips on how to get to the glacier.
- Highlights - Cracking Ice | Time of Day
- Avoiding Tourist Crowds | Busy Times
- Weather | Best Time
- Opening Hours & Entrance Fee
- The Best Itinerary
- Hotel Tips and Rental Cars
- 9 Must-Know Tips
- How to Get to Perito Moreno Glacier | Bus From El Calafate
- How to Visit | Best Tours - Boat - Ice Trekking (Recommended!)
And a lot more incredibly useful advice as well as stunning photos! We highly recommend either the Mini Ice Trek or the Big Ice Trek. You'll regret it if you miss that once in a lifetime experience.
The 3 Best Tours | Getting onto the Glacier
Tip: Choose one of the two Ice Trekking Tours (mini or big). Ice trekking is the only way to get onto the glacier! And a stunning experience you won't forget! Need more details? Read our guide below, especially the 'How to Visit' part. See an overview of the best tours here: Perito Moreno Tours from El Calafate (very safe and reliable booking via GetYourGuide) Make sure to check the ratings and read the reviews! Book in advance or you'll run the risk of not getting a spot!
Highlights - Cracking Ice | Time of Day
To hear more of the deep thunderous sound of the cracking ice you should visit during sunny weather in the late afternoon if possible (see options below). You will hear those sounds even in the morning hours quite often, but they are more frequent and intense in the (late) afternoon when the ice is warmed by the sun. It gets better: To witness a chunk of ice falling off, you might have to wait a while, but it's worth it. Great weather with sunshine really helps here. Regardless, it's a once in a lifetime experience and absolutely worth it. The light to take photos is great at both times: In the morning as well as in the late afternoon, before sunset. Bottom line: In order to see the ice chunks falling off and listening to thunderous sounds, sunny weather drastically increases the chances and frequency. That's why we highly recommend staying 2 full days (spend 3 nights!) in nearby El Calafate: If it rains on one day, you still have at least one other day with a good chance of sunshine. Being there 2-3 full days will maximize your chances of spending a perfect sunny day at the glacier with those amazing phenomena. We added an itinerary suggestion at the end of this article.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds | Busy Times
During high season (southern summer, Nov-Mar) it gets crowded between 9:30 AM and 5 PM. Dodge the crowds and you won’t have to fight for the best viewing spots. Even more important: Being able to listen to the cracking sounds of the glacier without other noise distractions from groups of visitors is just magical. Three ways to avoid those large groups of people:
Late Shuttle Bus:
The best way to avoid the crowds while using the public shuttle bus is to take the late one: Departing at 1 PM (or 2 PM) and going back at 7:30 PM. Using the late bus you have about 1-2 hours left later in the early evening at the glacier with significantly fewer tourists, as most of them leave between 4 PM and 5 PM.
Go Early or Late (Rental Car/Taxi):
A rental car offers the highest flexibility to dodge the crowds: You could either get there very early in the morning before any of the crowds arrive. As of 2018 the area is usually quiet until 9:30 A.M. Sometimes the hordes of tourists even arrive later. That means arriving at 8 A.M. gives you about 2 hours of solitude. Alternatively, arrive around 4 PM to stay late and experience a magical sunset after most tourists have already left. You could also pay a taxi, including staying a couple of hours at the site. For the expensive taxi option it only makes economic sense when you are in a group of at least 3 people or money is not an issue.
It usually starts to get busy from mid-October until March. The peak months with the most crowds are December/January/February. Moderate month (still/already slightly busy): October/November, March/April. Late September until mid-October or mid-April until early May are great times with fewer tourists, lower rates and decent weather. However, it's not as warm as in the peak summer months. Monthly weather overview (you can switch between F and C): El Calafate Weather.
Weather | Best Time
The glacier is a year-round destination. In terms of weather the summer (November - March) is the best time to visit. It’s more pleasant with the most sunshine but it also gets very crowded. The temperatures are mild, especially in Dec/Jan/Feb: 44-74°F (7-24°C). However, please keep in mind that the weather is unpredictable. Always bring rain gear and dress in layers. Visiting in the Winter (late May-August) means virtually no crowds, but also cold temps, rough weather (sometimes below 32°F/0°C) and fewer agencies offer tours to the glacier.
Opening Hours & Entrance Fee
It's important to know, that the opening times as well as the entrance fees changed many times over the last 2-3 years. Please keep that in mind when reading older guides and blogs. The official entrance fee as of late 2019 is 800 ARS (about 47 USD). You don't have to pay cash in local currency any more. Credit cards are accepted. Remember, that you have to pay the entrance fee even if you booked a tour. The official opening times as of late 2019 / early 2020:
- Summer | September to April: Park/Perito Moreno opens at 8 am and closes at 6 pm
- Winter | April to August: Park Perito/Moreno opens at 9 am and closes at 4 pm
Year round but april-may and october-december are the trekking months in Nepal
More exciting from November to February: You can watch the planting, the plants themselves or the actual harvesting process.
Weather and Crowds:
Best during the dry season roughly from November to April but it's also the peak season. Shoulder season May and June is worth a try and less crowded. Showers may occur but easier to find a nice casa without booking in advance. Avoid the cyclon season from July to October and the school holiday from July to August.