Casa Rosada Museum: A Modern Museum in the City's First Fort
This museum is located where the fortress of Buenos Aires (1580) and the old customs house (Aduana Taylor, 1855) used to be. That is, right behind the “pink house”, our Presidential Palace.
We are speaking about a building that was refurbished and recuperated, not only from the architectural point of view but, also, from an archaeological one. It is possible to walk among the old walls and arcades that, in the old times, used to house the customs.
Wine Regions within Mendoza
You can trace two hundred years of argentine history, from the revolution against Spain in 1810 to the present administration of Alberto Fernandez, current president of Argentina (2020).
Each vault covers a portion of Argentina's political history, recalling it through artifacts (often personal possessions of those who governed from the house overhead), paintings, photographs, film reels, and interactive screens. Temporary art exhibitions run on the other side of the museum courtyard.
There is a huge painting of Juan Domingo Peron and Eva Duarte painted by Numa Ayrinhac (a French-Argentinian painter). All the paintings belong to the presidential collection.
The large glass structure in the center contains the star attraction: a 360-degree masterpiece by Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, which originally covered the walls, floor, and ceiling of a basement room in a client's home. When the house was demolished in the early 1990s, the mural was carefully removed in pieces, only to languish in a shipping container for 17 years. Thankfully, Siqueiros's innovative use of industrial paint meant that damage was minimal. Prompted by the campaigns of committed art activists, President Cristina Fernández intervened and the mural has now been fully restored and reassembled here. After donning protective shoes, you cross a small passageway into the work, which represents an underwater scene, against which the feet and faces of swimmers seem to press. The only male figure (swimming upwards on the wall opposite the entrance) is said to represent the artist.
A café at the back of the museum offers coffee, sandwiches, salads, and a set lunch menu.
The only similarity between Napa and Mendoza wine regions is that they both revolve around wine. Wineries in the Mendoza area are spread out further apart. You won't have the bumper to bumper traffic like you do along the Silverado Trail in Napa..
Mendoza remains very much an old-world experience. Therefore, visitors do need pre-planning to be sure that the wineries are open and reservations in advance are essential.
Less commercialized than their American and European counterparts, Mendoza´s wineries are easily accessible along wine roads known locally as Los Caminos del Vino. These roads are as enticing as the wine itself, weaving and winding through tunnels of trees to vast dry valleys dominated by breathtaking views of the snowcapped Andes.
Wine Regions within Mendoza
Within Mendoza, there are three main wine growing regions, each with sub regions within them.
The Central Region is actually in the northern part of the province with three zones: Alta del Rio Mendoza, East, and North. This area also includes the regions of Luján de Cuyo, which was the first to be recognized as an appellation, and Maipú, just outside the city of Mendoza. The vines in this region are typically planted at 650-1050 meters.
The Uco Valley Region includes the departments of Tupungato, Tunuyán, and San Carlos. Vines here are usually in the highest vineyards at 850-1400 meters.
In the South Region, including San Rafael and General Alvear, vines are planted from 450-800 meters.
In our company, we are proud of designing unique Wine Tasting Tours throughout Mendoza. Our Tours are ideal for people who have an interest in fine wine, but don't think of themselves as wine connoisseurs.
Visit vineyards and stunning architecture, offering indoor and outdoor seated tastings by friendly and knowledgeable local Guides. We will take you to at least four charming, hidden gem wineries.
Wineries to Visit in Mendoza
Throughout your drive you will stumble upon wineries old and new, some producing on a large scale and exporting internationally, others small and focused on the local market. It is difficult to say which bodegas excel over others, as each has its own focus and reputation. Among some of the best -known are Bodega Catena Zapata (Lujan), which is a boutique winery of the larger Bodegas Esmeralda; Bodegas Chandon (Lujan), a subsidiary of France´s Moet and Chandon; Salentein (Tunuyan); Norton ( Lujan); Lopez (Maipu); Etchart (Lujan).
Close to Mendoza in neighboring Maipu, Bodega la Rural has a small winery museum that exhibits Mendoza´s earliest wine production methods. Another excellent winery close to town is Dollium, one of the only bodegas producing underground to allow for natural cooling.
At most bodegas, a tasting follows a tour of the laboratory and winery, and there is little pressure to buy.
Planning your Trip to Mendoza – Important Considerations
Mendoza’s Wine Regions
Mendoza’s wine region is over 350,000 acres (144,000 hectares) of planted vineyards, and produces nearly two-thirds of the country’s wine. Argentina’s most highly rated Malbec wines originate from Mendoza’s high altitude wine regions of Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. These areas are in the foothills of the Andes mountains, with elevations of between 2,800 and 5,000 feet.
LUJÁN DE CUYO
With vineyards planted in sandy soil at an altitude of 2,640–3,630 feet, Lujan de Cuyo is known as the land of Malbec. It is part of Mendoza River's high region. Most of the vines here are planted with red wines, but Malbec is not the only grape thriving here. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Torrontes also thrive well.
About 40 minutes south of Mendoza city, this region is considered the place where Argentina's wine movement began - pushing the country from the common table to international production. Luján de Cuyo was the first region to institute the AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controlée) for Malbec in 1993. This has caused continual increase in the quality and quantity of the wines, and increased global recognition.
UCO VALLEY (VALLE DE UCO)
Approximately 75 minutes south of the city of Mendoza, the Uco Valley (Valle de Uco) is Mendoza's newest wine region, and the one getting the most attention internationally right now. It is known especially for Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Semillon and Torrontes production. The breathtaking natural scenery makes it one of the most picturesque regions in Mendoza.
The Uco Valley has received much global acclaim in 2012, although it has been producing top quality wines for well over a decade. The area is known for its high altitude, with the Tupungato region having vineyards planted almost 4,000 feet above sea level. Uco Valley is in fact one of the world’s highest wine growing regions, with over 80,000 hectares planted between 3,000-3,900 feet.
In addition to producing award-winning Malbecs and blends, the area is also emerging as a source for premium quality white wine varietals such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and even Torrontes.
The region of Maipu, south and east of Mendoza city, has over 30 wineries.
Some of the best are La Rural, Familia Zuccardi and Finca Flichman. While you won’t need as much time in Maipu as the other regions, it is not a region to skip, and the additional olive oil tasting and biking opportunities provide a diversion from the Lujan de Cuyo and Uco Valley tourist experiences.
PLANNING TRAVEL TIME
Remember, with all of Mendoza’s gorgeous winery regions, wineries can be a bit far away from each other, making reservations and booking a driver for the day are critical to be sure you can taste as much wine and visit as many wineries as possible. While making arrangements might seem a bit inconvenient now, once you’re in the big open spaces in these wine regions you'll be grateful.
Important Tips that are game changers for your
• Make reservations for all wineries and restaurants with time in advance to help ensure availability.
• Plan on visiting only three wineries per day – three at maximum if you are having a winery lunch!
• Plan your trip by region – Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo or Uco Valley - as there is significant distance in between.
• If you go on your own, bring cash as many wineries do not accept credit cards.
• Bear in mind the duration of each wine visit: each one generally lasts 60-90 minutes.
• Some wineries are closed Saturday and Sunday, as well as national holidays. Call the wineries in advance and check their opening days and hours.
• Use a recommended tour agency (like Ideas South America LLC!) -which make planning effortless.
We hope you find the information helpful. If you have any doubts or questions, please send us your thoughts and we will be so glad to hear from you.
Also you can contact us to book your Wine Tour in Mendoza and/or subscribe to Ideas South America and receive notifications when new articles are published. It's free!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will answer to asap.
ONE OF OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS IN MENDOZA, ARGENTINA
Francis Mallmann is Argentina’s most identifiable chefs. Mallmann was featured in the first episode of Chef's Table, a Netflix original series ( We strongly recommend watching the episode and learning about this Argentine celebrity chef and his methods of barbecuing meats). His signature restaurant, 1884, in Mendoza is the preeminent restaurant for meat in the world’s most preeminent meat country. His book, Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, is basically the bible of cooking Argentine meat. The emphasis on the food here is rustic. Many dishes are cooked over an open fire or in a clay oven. Mallmann gravitates not toward the European influenced kitchens of Buenos Aires, but the gaucho ways of Patagonia and beyond.
Francis Mallmann. Netflix. In the first season of Netflix's culinary documentary series Chef's Table, David Gelb and Co. fixed their lens on Francis Mallmann, Argentina's most famous cook. Mallmann is a self-described romantic and one of the most prominent chefs in Latin America.
1884 is located in a corner of the Escorihuela Gascón Winery, in the Godoy Cruz neighborhood just outside of the center of Mendoza (15 minute taxi-ride). Upon entering the Romanesque building you find the narrow bar area to the right and a large garden area with a few tables to the left.
We strongly recommend you to sit for a drink at either section while waiting for your table to open up (reservations are a must). In the garden courtyard you can watch the chefs stoke the wood fired grill and clay oven and slice up beautiful cuts of flesh. The restaurant is the most iconic Mendoza food experience.
It is essential to understand the chef’s ideology. This is cuisine that can be traced to the very heart and soul of Argentina. It’s presented beautifully, but don’t expect molecular gastronomy here or tiny bite size dishes with foams.
The food is earthy and seasonally based. In fact the menu changes every two weeks. It utilizes Mendoza’s rich cornucopia of produce to pair with the meat and wine.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will answer to asap
For 40 days, the city of Montevideo puts the tango aside for a while and it liberates its African soul to live the longest Carnival in the world. During the parade called “Desfile de Llamadas" which takes place the first Thursday and Friday of February, more than two thousand drums are played together by local bands, evoking the meetings that black people used to have in the XIX century.
The Uruguayan Television broadcasts it all live and a jury selects the best bands, representatives for the Carnival Groups Official Competition. Just as this evening in cafés, people talk about football, at Carnival time, they discuss murgas´tunes and controversies arise about who the best or worst parodists were.
Every day there are Candombe, Murgas (street bands) and troupes performed on tablados (outdoor stages) and at the Summer theatre
What is Candombe?
You can hear the drums in the Mercado del Puerto ( Port Market), in a terrace in Punta Carretas´neighborhood. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, 35% of the citizens were of African decedents. The candombe was born with them, in a survival attempt, a need to preserve their roots. As there were black people from different African regions, they got together according to their origin in the Salas de Nación and practiced that afro Uruguayan rhythm that combines three drums: chique, repique and piano, which together from a string. The drums are hung on the shoulder and are played with one open hand and a stick.
The Candombe was banned in colonial times and during the military dictatorship the Conventillo Mediomundo was demolished, a temple of candombe and resistance.
Live the Carnival !
For music, feelings and emotions, you have to come in February. There is still no simulator that reproduces these stimuli, such a provocation. We still need to travel.
Nowadays between 6 and 9% of the Uruguayan people are afro descendants.
Many live in the Sur neighborhood where on weekends there are strings of drums parading the ISLA DE FLORES street and some others. This goes on while the Desfile de las Llamadas ( popular yearly parade ) arrives and the whole city is filled with the sound of drums.
For everything else, the Carnival Museum is a former port warehouse that has kept its cobblestone floors where you can see different exhibitions related to the Carnival: from models of some local street stages of the 30´s to the collection of masks, photos, costumes, drums and rag dolls.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will answer to asap
How to Explore Chile’s Aysen Region: A land of gigantic mountains, pristine lakes and awe-inspiring glaciers.
Winding for 800 miles through the Aysen region, the Carretera Austral showcases some of Chile’s most spectacular scenery. Running between the towns of Puerto Montt and Villa O Higgins, the Carretera takes you through Aysen, a little visited region of Patagonia located between the Lake District and Torres del Paine Park in the south. More than 41,000 sq miles of mountains, fjords and archipelagoes.
Remote, diverse, and stunningly beautiful, Aysen is a destination for those seeking the best of Patagonia without the crowds.
Reasons to visit Carretera Austral in Chile
• The Carretera Austral is a world-famous road, perfect for a road trip or slower bicycle tour;
• Get an insight into the gaucho culture and traditional warm hospitality that has dominated here for centuries;
• Discover each of the three contrasting landscapes: listen to birds call in the temperate rainforest, hike peaks in the mountains, and gaze at sunset over the steppe;
• Spot the wildlife: The untouched nature of the Aysen region means wildlife has flourished.
• Close to Coyhaique you can visit a condor nursery, where condors fly within meters of you.
• In the Chacabuco Valley, puma numbers are steadily increasing due to an abundance of guanacos, and in the Tamango area of the Patagonia National Park there is a higher density of the endangered huemul deer than almost anywhere in Patagonia.
Carretera Austral: Plan your Next Road Trip
A number of companies offer nonstop flights from the US to Santiago. There are connections available from Santiago de Chile to Balmaceda, Aysen’s regional airport, with Latam and Jetsmart. You can rent a 4x4 at the airport (essential for tackling Aysen’s roads) or you can hire a local professional driver and/or local guide. It is essential that you bear in mind that cell-phone reception is almost nonexistent along the Carretera Austral. Remember that Carretera Austral is a 1,240-kilometre, mostly unpaved route that winds itself from the Chilean Lakes District deep into the heart of Aysén, Chile’s least populated region.
The biggest challenges you face driving is the state of the road; most of the Carretera Austral are unpaved gravel, which can be dangerous to drive on if you take it too fast. Punctures are also a possibility, while flying gravel can chip and even crack windscreens.
We strongly recommend that you hire the services of a local professional driver who knows the road and knows what to do in case a problem arises.
Top Things to See and Do on Carretera Austral
The regional capital is a 45-minute drive from the airport, and every visitor to Aysen will pass through it. It is worth stopping at the Museo Regional Aysen which tells you all you need to know about the region’s fascinating history and ecology. The best hotels in town are the Nomades Boutique Hotel and El Reloj.
Queulat National Park
As well as hikes to the Hanging Glacier, there are kayaks for rent on the lagoon, and you can take boat trips to get close to the glacier. Don’t miss the Puyuhaupai Lodge and Spa, a secluded hot-springs resort on the far shore of the Puyuhuapi fjord.
The rugged landscape around the mountain, an easy 90-minute drive south of Coyhaique, is arguably the most dramatic in the region.
Lake General Carrera
The Carretera Austral follows the shores of the vivid blue Lake General Carretera, so as you drive south, you will have plenty of time to take in the scenery. Millin Colorado Ecolodge has beautiful wooden cabins on a hillside overlooking the lake and its own secluded stretch of shoreline for anyone brave enough to take a dip in the glacier water. The Hacienda res Lagos has rooms on Lago Negro and a private pebble each with a sauna and hot tub. You can book excursions on and around Lake General Carerra with one of several activity companies in Puerto Rio Tranquilo. You can go kayaking to the Marble Caves and hiking.
This enchanting village, constructed from wooden boardwalks winding their way around the bay at the mouth of the Baker River, was our southernmost stop along the Carretera Austral. It is a long climb-up moss-covered steps to the Entre Hielos Lodge but it is worth it for tis stylish tranquility.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will answer to asap
Just outside the city of Buenos Aires you will find the Argentine Pampas, one of the largest open grasslands areas of Argentina. This wild, untouched land of the pampas is a great place for learning about the daily lives of the gauchos, to participate in all the works carried out in the Estancias, such as cattle marking, cow milking, cattle handling, sheep shearing and horse taming, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and other sports like Polo.
Estancias play a huge part in Argentina's culture, economy and history. Estancias in the southern South American grasslands, the pampas, have historically been estates used to raise livestock (cattle or sheep) estate.
In the early days, these establishments were responsible for making Argentina one of the biggest meat and grain producers in the world. They are large farms which are spread over extensive areas, often 10,000 hectares.
These enormous ranches dotted the entire countryside and are to this day where the best steaks in the world come from. For Argentines, superlative beef is not just a pastime but a national obsession, with more than 50 different cuts of meat that are offered in many restaurants. ( Two examples are: Cabana Las Lilas in Puerto Madero and Don Julio restaurant in Palermo Soho ).
Estancias also give travelers a rare opportunity to stay as a guest at a working ranch and to experience the unique gaucho culture in a tranquil and beautiful setting of untamed countryside. Most estancias are over two hundred years old and still maintain a daily way of life that is firmly grounded in traditional practices and values. Many are restored colonial houses, and each is unique.
Many of the estancias offer their guests all of the amenities found in luxury hotels, but in the tranquility of a rural setting. While some estancias are known more for their horseback riding activities and facilities, others are famous for their Polo exhibitions.
Estancias and the life of the Gaucho are entwined
Estancias also are known for their excellent cooking, especially when it comes to barbeque, which usually means fresh local meats of lamb and beef with vegetables from the garden. Some chefs may even let you in on their recipes. It is also common to see a group of people at a fire playing the guitar in the evenings. If you know Spanish and can hold a tune, expect to be asked to join in!
Gauchos, much like the American Cowboy, have become a national icon, their lives retold in stories and legends. However, what passes for myth in the United States is very much reality in Argentina. Today they are still very much an integral part of the working estancia. Also like the cowboys, gauchos are master horsemen. It is typical to see a jaw-dropping taming or a horse show arranged in many towns on a daily basis, as well as impromptu ones staged out in the fields during the cattle drives.
What to Expect on your Estancia Visit
• While some are known more for their horseback riding activities and facilities, all estancias invite guests to experience their unique culture. You'll get a giant-sized taste of asado, traditional Argentine barbeque, empanadas (stuffed bread or pastry) and plenty of other local specialties, which often include dishes for which Argentina is not as well known for such as finest freshwater fish offerings.
• The typical Argentine estancia is a mansion in a combination of French, English, or colonial architectural styles, with the main residence usually having been converted to receive guests. These elegant and historic buildings overlook vast expanses of countryside where cattle, sheep, goats, and horses graze.
• Every estancia has its own special character and history; they offer several alternatives in authentic estancias to spend a day in the Pampas countryside see the vastness of the land and learn about the traditions and activities of these working.
Specialized Estancias: Horseback Riding and Showmanship
Some estancias specialize in breeding horses and offer ideal conditions for travelers wanting the ultimate horseback riding vacation. Ranging from beginner to expert levels, these ranches usually offer guided trail rides, polo lessons, and a chance to ride along with the gauchos as they go about their daily ranch activities. There are even a few that will let small groups of guests take on roles almost to the point of being a gaucho for a week or more. At the other extreme, some ranches also have their own tack shops and will outfit a guest in gaucho apparel and equipment whether he or she ever rides a horse. Those estancias that cater more to serious riders tend to be located to the north and far south of Buenos Aires while dude ranches can be found on the outskirts of almost all major cities in Argentina.
Other estancias, while offering horseback riding for guests, also have regularly scheduled events on site that demonstrate the unique skill of the estancia's gauchos. On these ranches, a visitor usually will see gauchos displaying their world-class horsemanship as they break a young horse or display showmanship of their considerable equestrian talents.
Finding an Estancia near Buenos Aires
For many visitors, a trip to Argentina means a stay in and around Buenos Aires. For those looking for equestrian showmanship or opportunities to soak up the estancia culture without the need to test their horseback riding skills, there are dozens of locations within an hour's drive west and southeast of the city.
For a more complete visit, you can stay for a number of days in the acres and acres of the rolling fields known as the Pampas, arguably the true home of Argentina's estancia traditions.
Contact our experienced Travel Advisors and share your thoughts with them. Taking your preferences into account, they will help you plan your visit to the Estancia that will meet your expectations.
Our Recommendations for your visit to Iguazu Falls
The glorious Iguazu falls lie on the Argentina-Brazil border, up north the province of Misiones. Declared a World Heritage Area by Unesco in 1934, these 275 waterfalls form one of earth’s most unforgettable sights. Excellent walking circuits on both the Argentine and Brazilian sides allow visitors to peek over the tops of raging sheets of water, some with sprays so intense that it seems as if geysers have erupted from below.
Different airlines fly daily from Buenos Aires City to Puerto Iguazú (an average of 9 direct flights per day). The flight takes 90 minutes.
The town of Puerto Iguazu serves as the main base from which to explore Iguazu National Park. On the Argentine side, the Grand Melia Iguazu Hotel is the only hotel inside the National Park, the rest of the hotels (wide range of hotels with a variety of services and amenities) are located in the small town of Puerto Iguazu, 18 km (11 miles) away from the national park.
From Rio de Janeiro, it takes 2 hours to fly to the Brazilian town of Foz de Iguazu. On the Brazilian side, the 5-star Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas is the only hotel in Iguassu National Park on the Brazilian side.
How long to stay at Iguazu Falls?
Many people wonder whether they should spend one or two nights in Iguazu. In our experience, you need 1 full day for the Argentine side of the falls and a half day for the Brazilian side.
Two days on the Argentine side means that you can take as long as you want, without rushing anywhere.
If you have 3 full days in Iguazu, you should consider visiting the Jesuit ruins where the missions of San Ignacio, Santa Ana and Loreto were built and which serve as a spectacular insight into the history of our country.
Better safe than sorry
We strongly advise you not to visit Iguazu in one day, without staying overnight, because of possible flight delays that will ruin your plans. Flight delays are very frequent and there is a risk of not arriving in time to explore the National Park. If your flight is delayed and you arrive at Iguazu when the National Park is about to close, you will have the following day to visit the falls.
Your first stop will likely be the visitor’s center, where you can get maps and information about the flora and fauna of the area. Next to the visitor’s center, you will find a restaurant, snack shops and souvenir stores. A natural gas train takes visitors to the path entrance for the Upper and Lower Circuits (1-mile path each; it takes 2 hours to walk each circuit) and to the footbridge leading to the Devil’s Throat (3 km; 1 ½ miles).
Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) is the mother of all waterfalls in Iguazu, visible from vantage points in both the Brazilian and Argentine park. The water is calm as it makes its way down the Iguazu River, and then begins to speed up as it approaches the gorge ahead. This is the highest waterfall in Iguazu and one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. You might take a raincoat – you will get wet!!!!!
Iguassu Falls – Brazilian Side
Is it worth visiting the Brazilian side?
If you want to have a different perspective of the falls, rent a helicopter or fly over the national park or visit the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant, you should consider visiting the Brazilian side.
If you want to visit the Brazilian side of the falls you need to consider the following points:
1. To experience a panoramic view of Iguazu falls you should go on an excursion over the Brazilian side of the Park. From the Argentine side, you will get very close to each fall but the panoramic view can be experienced only from Brazil.
2. To visit the Itaipu dam and powerhouse is a short trip from Foz do Iguassu (Brasil). It's only worth going if the water level is high enough for the spillway to be in use. It is an impressive feat of engineering and it is fascinating.
3. If you want to witness a beautiful aerial view of Iguazú National Park, helicopter flights are available from the Brazilian side only. It is the best way to understand the real dimension of the Falls. Another option is to fly over the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant. Helicopters are not allowed in the Argentine side of Iguazu National Park.
4. Check with the Consulate of Brazil in your country if you need a visa to visit Brazil or if your passport require stamp granting entry. The requirements change very frequently and in order to visit the Iguazu Nation Park in Brazil you will need your passport and maybe a VISA depending on your nationality.
5. Many visitors to the falls also take day trips to the city of Foz do Iguazu in Brazil. It’s a chance to eat more tropical food and also fly to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo or other cities in Brazil.
Iguazu Falls is, quite simply, one of the most incredible natural landscapes we have ever seen. Unlike overhyped destinations that can leave you feeling disappointed, Iguazu Falls instantly turns even jaded travellers into a raving fan.
Trek on the Perito Moreno Glacier in Santa Cruz, Argentina
Mini trekking or Big Ice Trek?
The trek on the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina’s Patagonia is one of those epic, once in a lifetime experience that you can’t miss. My colleagues and I went on two different treks and in my opinion, it was worth every single penny. Each of them are great options but they involve different amounts of time in the ice and physical conditions.
If you have never done a trek on a glacier before, this is the perfect place for splurge while in Argentina. Read the following information in order to understand what each of them implicate.
Perito Moreno Glacier Hikes
There are two Perito Moreno Glacier hike options: The Big Ice Trek or Minitrekking. Both are full day excursions from El Calafate but involve different amounts of time on the ice.
• The Big Ice Trek is more demanding with nearly seven hours of trekking (3.5 hours of which are spent on the ice) .
• The Minitrekking involves three hours of trekking total, both on and off the ice. The groups are a little larger and it’s more age inclusive.
You get to go on the glacier with both treks but mini trek you are closer to the edge of the glacier, while the big trek you hike over an hour before going on the ice (so you are towards the middle of the glacier).
With the Big Ice there are more running streams and crevices you can explore, deeper blues in the water. You also get to see the deeper end of the glacier that you can’t see from the edge.
The groups are split you into smaller groups and have a pair of guides that are very skilled and helpful. You will feel safe and thoroughly enjoy your time. Three hours on the glacier may sound a lot but it will flow by because it is an unforgettable experience.
Mini trekking or Big Ice Trek?
We highly recommend the trekking on the glacier if you want to truly experience the beauty and vastness of the Perito Moreno glacier.
We took two tours to the glacier- mini-trekking and it really covered all the highlights. You get to spend enough time walking on the glacier to enjoy it, and not get exhausted. Your guide will also take you to a vista where you get to see how enormous the glacier is. Mini-trekking was not very exhausting, so as long as you have no disabilities, you will be fine. Bear in mind the requirements: age between 10 and 65 years and fitness (good coordination and balance)
Big ICE ....
Big Ice Trek is a very demanding tour that will take a walk of 4 hours on the glacier. The tour begins at the pier "Under the Shadow" from where you cross by boat the Brazo Rico of Lago Argentino. From there you will walk up the side of the glacier where you put the crampons for walking on the glacier. You will enjoy a unique experience watching crevasses, caves, blue lagoons, sinks and other glacial formations.
*Requirement of the tour: age 18 to 45 years and excellent physical conditions.
If you are less than 45 years old and you can handle a multi-hour hike on flat land normally - you'll be fine! By far the hardest part was climbing uphill along the moraine of the glacier for just north of an hour until we finally put the crampons on and started climbing into the heart of the glacier. Once on the glacier, it's easy. Make no mistake, this is not a stroll through the park, or a photo safari.
Due to the level of effort and difficulty present in this activity, is not suitable for people with the following conditions:
• Physical or mental disability that affects attention, march or coordination.
• Peripheral or Central Cardiovascular diseases, use of stent, by-pass, pace-maker or other prosthesis.
• Use of anticoagulants or varicose veins degree III (tick and multiples).
• Respiratory diseases (COPD, asthma, emphysema).
Many clients in their 50s and 60s are very fit and want to do the Big Ice on the Perito Moreno Glacier. But the Big Ice Trek is only authorized up to 45 years old. Even when you are really fit (marathon runners) or if you have done the Machu Picchu Trek or the W Trek in Torres del Paine, there are no exceptions. Your documents will be requested and if you are older than 45 you won’t be able to do the Big Ice Trek regardless your excellent physical condition.
For those of you who can't do big Ice, Mini trekking on the glacier is available for a wider age range and fitness levels and it is a fantastic experience. And if you can't do either - or aren’t interested in either, sitting at the rails and watching the glacier calve would be plenty of entertainment for a day!
The Mini Trekking or Big ICE tours can be arranged for smaller groups of travelers who may not want to join a group tour, but would like to be led by our expert guides on an amazing and highly stimulating journey.
Book excursion early, there is only one group that goes on big ice per day and only one operating tour group (I think the national parks limits it to help preserve the glacier) and it makes the experience even more special because you feel like you are the only ones on the glacier!
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information on this excursion. We are glad to clarify and answer to any doubts you may have.