Perito Moreno, Argentina

My trip through Los Glaciares National Park concluded with the park’s most remarkable site, the Perito Moreno glacier. More than two hundred glaciers cover the park, and Perito Moreno is the largest, towering more than 60 meters above the water. While the rest of the world’s glaciers are shrinking, Perito Moreno is one of the only glaciers increasing in size.

Panorama of Perito Moreno Glacier in the Evening, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
Panorama from 2 horizontal shots, additional exposures for highlights, focal length 16 mm, aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/4, ISO 64, tripod.

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It’s a remarkable sight. I’ve seen incredible things — both natural and manmade — in my travels, but I’m not sure anything can rival the otherworldly splendour of Patagonia’s vast masses of ice. The colors alone are indescribable — somehow, in those deep recesses of ice, a shade of blue forms that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

But the truly breathtaking thing you notice is the sound — when the vast glacier ruptires and enormous blocks of ice break away and crash into the water, the sound is stunning. It’s one of those moments that put you squarely in your place as a human: tiny, insignificant, fleeting. Perito Moreno is one of the most visited sites in Argentina, but even when the hiking trails and viewing platforms are heavy with tourists, you mostly hear silence. Most people, including myself, simply stand in silence, awestruck by the great ice formation.

Looking out over the enormous expanse of ice, it’s impossible to feel anything other than wonder. I had come to the end of my travels through Patagonia, and it was fitting that my journey through this remarkable region ended with this: a moment of ineffable beauty, looking out over an ancient ice field.

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