Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Los Glaciares National Park is one of Argentina's largest and most spectacular protected areas. It runs across a long north-south section of the Andes and Patagonian steppe in Argentina. The area is covered by the huge Northern Patagonian Ice Field which covers around 30% of the parks surface. The ice field covers a much larger area that is shared with Chile and has been formed by humid winds that blow from the pacific ocean in which the impressive rise of the Andes force the precipitation out.
Where most glaciers worldwide are receding regression within Los Glaciares has been far less pronounced. The vast reservoir of water from the pacific combined with the cold temperatures of the Andes and an overall relatively temperate climate (compared to where most glaciers are found) create an environment where snowfall melts more rapidly thus turning into the enormous amounts of ice required for glacial movement at a greater rate.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno glacier is one of a steadily decreasing number of stable and somewhat growing glaciers (see: climate change, it's not a good thing) in the world. It is fed by large ice flows that come from the surrounding mountain ranges and dissipates at Lake Argentina. We accessed the glacier by bus and boat from nearby El Calafate which is well equipped to handle the huge amount of tourism tourism this fortunately placed glacier receives.
We decided to go hiking across the southern side of the glacier. Seeing the natural shapes and flow of the glacier was an amazing experience and is highly recommended.
Cerro Fitzroy & Cerro Torres
The park stretches through amazing Andean mountain landscapes. The town of El Chalten is conveniently situated within the parks borders and forms an excellent base to hike directly from your lodgings into the park. We visited Cerro Fitzroy and Cerro Torres along with their associated glaciers.
Birds of Los Glaciares
We had the good fortune of meeting two families of birds around Cerro Torres. We came across a friendly juvenile Mountain Caracara.
The adults came down to say hello, unfortunately it appears they have learnt to take advantage of the tourists that come through the area that are more than willing to trade their lunch for a closer look at these impressive birds of prey.
In the evening we came across a pair of impressive Magellanic Woodpecker's (Campephilus magellanicus) that preceded to make short work of large volumes of soft timber and in return ate a large number of insects that lived within.