Rios de Hielo
Rios de Hielo
4.5
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,177 reviews
Excellent
824
Very good
251
Average
62
Poor
24
Terrible
16

Andrea M
Sydney, Australia46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Amazing view of Spegazzini Glacier, not so much of Upsala glacier. The boat is comfortable and safe and all runs on time. However this is tourism to the enth degree. The hard sell of the photos and the boat positioning and staying till all photos are taken by professionals is pretty crass. The commentary is woeful , telling me that there are cows in the surrounding park has no informative value , the nauseating need to fill the cabin with useless information was irritating. BUT this area is impressive and would still do the cruise despite the above bring a sense of humor and you will be fine.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eva S
Culver City, CA518 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019 • Friends
Rio de Hielo Express Cruise in the Argentinian Lake is an absolute Must when visiting El Calafate...
We were picked up early in the morning to embark a catamaran to start a cruise in Lago Argentino... after about an hour or so we arrived to Glacier Upsala ... amid a lake full of magnificent icebergs ... it's impossible to keep oneself from repeating "OMG ...this is beautiful".... after repositioning the boat several times... in order to have different views ... the vessel continues to the next point ... Spegazzine Glacier ... which is considered one of the tallest glacier ....
The day before we visited Perito Moreno Glacier and paid the 800 Argentinian peso entrance fee to Parque National Los Glaciares, however, by visiting the national park two days in a row, we paid only 50% on the second day....So... visiting three different glaciers of the Patagonian Ice Field is a great way of developing an idea of the grandeur of this magnificent area of the world ...
Written September 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marcos H
New York City, NY171 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Couples
Your main purpose to go to this tour is to see the astonishing milky water where blue-ice icebergs drift by and contemplate the Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers. The purpose of the tour operators is to overcharge foreigners and sell stuff. The National Park charges foreigners twice what they charge the nationals. Its shameless highway robbery. I wonder how an Argentine visiting MoMA or the Met or our National Parks would feel if he/she would be told, "We charge $25 to enter but since you're an Argentine you'll have to pay $50."
Written January 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lee G
Santa Cruz, CA33 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Couples
This is an expensive navigation (boat ride) advertised as traveling to see two glaciers, The Upsula and the Spegazzeti Glaciers. The boat does not have window seats for all passengers and only stops 1/2 hour at an iceberg neat the Upsula glacier because it is too dangerous to get closer. Passengers crowd the front of the boat where pictures can be taken and don't share the area for other passengers. The visit to the Spegazzini glacier is similar but what you can see is impressive. This tour is too expensive for the experience you receive. I would suggest to spend your time at the Petit Moreno glacier instead.
Written March 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

missvtravels
World1,668 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Solo
The upside, you get to see Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers which were both stunning and I am not sure there's another way of seeing them in a similar timeframe. Boat felt safe and upkept looked good.

Now the downsides, the boat was almost completely full, when we arrived close to the glaciers, everyone was fighting for a spot on the deck to get a good view and pictures. This continued for pretty much the whole way until we started heading back, pretty chaotic.

Stopped for a really long time in front of 1 floating glacier chunk because the official photographer needed to take pictures of guests, then they printed the pics for those who wish to order them. Was starving so ordered a stew and a hot drink, paid and was told to go back 20 minutes later, think they should find a way to make them ready and served right away. The counter selling hot drinks, the place where people order photos and the toilets were all cramped in the same area.

Out of the 5 things I did in Patagonia, this was by far my least favourite. The tour is pricey, so only go if you really want to see Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers as otherwise, the experience was not enjoyable and you won't have a moment of peace at all.
Written April 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

elmasgrande
Bethesda, MD138 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Couples
The company that offers the tour has a monopoly. They charge basically AR$2,100 ($130 USD) per person to take you from your hotel to a 310 people catamaran, where everyone wants the same: to catch the clearest glimpse and best shot of the glaciers. $130 is a lot for mass tourism.

Not happy with the ridiculous price of the excursion, at the boat itself, you find that it's pretty hard to take pictures, given that there are "official photographers", who then do everything possible to sell you a pen drive for AR$1,000 (US$ 65)!!! Or picture prints -but no jpg file- for AR$ 150(US$ 10). These folks, from a firm called "PS Producciones" also have priority over anyone else: you can't take the best spots for pictures, these are reserved to them (who, I insist, sell your pictures for absurdly high prices). Why do these guys from PS Producciones enjoy this unannounced priority? Someone should dig deeper into this insane, tourist-annoying, money making monopoly.

So, given that the actual excursion is only less than three hours --The rest is filling time with commute, one only wonders, why so much rip off?

Mini trekking was outstanding. Rios de hielo was too far from that. My recommendation is to avoid this mass tourist trap and try to see the glaciers some other way, like via the mini-trekking for example or some other excursion, including the perito moreno pasarelas.
Written January 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yoon U
New York City, NY118 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Solo
I want to start my review by saying that the glaciers and icebergs are beautiful, and nothing that I've ever seen. However, I go back and forth on whether the cost of the trip makes it worth while. At the beginning of September, I paid 1,950 pesos for the tour with transfer to and from the dock, and then another 330 pesos for entrance to the park. You get picked up between 7- 7:30 in the morning and you leave the port between 9 - 9:30. Different companies provide the tour at more or less similar prices. To my disappointment, my boat was a fairly large boat (maybe 150-200 people?). It's a 5 hour boat ride, and there are viewing decks where you can step outside and take pictures. At the main glaciers, they stop the boat for a while for people to take pictures. As you can imagine, the viewing deck can get very crowded, with people fighting for the best spot for their pictures. There are also photographers on the boat who take professional pictures which can be purchased at 10 USD per photo. So the photographers take up one section of the boat, which further reduces the amount of available space for everyone else. That's one of the reasons why the boat stops for a bit too long (in my opinion) at the glaciers - so the photographers can take pictures to be sold.

You also spend about 1 hour each way on the boat from the dock to the glaciers where you just sit inside the boat. On the way back, most people, myself included were just sleeping. With the wind, you probably won't be outside on the viewing deck the entire time either. By the time you return to El Calafate, it's about 3 pm, so it's a little too late to do any other activity. If the trip was a half day trip, and lower in price, then I would be writing a completely different review.

It is on the expensive side, so I just wanted to provide full disclosure on the experience. As a solo traveler in my early 30s, I probably would have preferred to spend the same amount on the mini trekking on the Perito Moreno that's a little more active and you get to actually be on the glacier.
Written September 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ulrike_franke
London, UK19 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Couples
Yes, you get to see the glaciers, but you do so with a boat full of people that spend the whole trip taking sselfies, and a boat that stops for an hour next to a pretty iceberg just so that people can get the best angle for their instagram. Not worth the money and EXTREMELZ touristy. Go hiking instead. And the views are nice, but going to Perito Moreno is better.
Written January 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lilian C
29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018
I did this more than one time! is a great trip and I strongly advise to explore Spegazzini, Upsala and Perito Moreno by boat sailing Lago Argentino. One of the best experiences of and the best door to enter Patagonia.
Written March 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

funtrips259
columbia53 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Couples
The sailing on Lake Argentina upper arm to see its magnificent glaciers of Upsala, Seco, Spagezzini was interesting and informative. The boat's narration was good , both in Spanish and English. It has food/drinks for sale. But it was too crowded with hardly any room to walk around enjoying scenery or take pictures. The optimun spot was occupied by photographer!
Arrive early to secure better (window)seats. You also need to queue in long lines to purchase separate park entrance tickets! Our tour operators did not obtain park entrance in advance! But there were some other passengers on our transfer had advanced tickets already.
Written February 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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