Why do you go to the mountains? To climb a mountain. And visitors of El Calafate head to southern Argentina’s Patagonia region to get to the Perito Moreno Glacier. This is one of only three of the Patagonian glaciers not in a full retreat.

The glaciers were first “discovered” by Chilean explorers, including Captain Juan Tomas Rogers of the Chilean army, who reached the site at the end of the 18th century. While they recorded finding this spectacular nature wonder, it was largely forgotten about and not chronicled for almost a century. In the 1870s Carlos Moyana and Francisco Moreno, for whom the glacier is named, sailed up Santa Cruz River from Isla Pavon, and reached Lake San Martin. During this trek they sighted the same glacier chain that the Chileans had in fact discovered nearly a century before.

The Perito Moreno Glacier is also moving, and while the pace of about two and yard meters a day might seem small, it is quite meaningful. Yet the terminus of the glacier, which is also three miles across, has remained consistent and it has not retreated or receded in the past 90 years.

There are several locations throughout Los Glaciares National Park to see the glaciers, and aerial tours are available throughout El Calafate. From the sky you can truly take in the grandeur of the Great White South!