If there's one word to describe what it's like to witness the Perito Moreno Glacier, then that word is sublime. I had never seen anything like it — a 74 meter (240 ft) tall wall of ice that goes on seemingly forever.
The scale of it is incredible. It's three times the area of Manhattan and taller than most skyscrapers. The glacier is wedged between snowcapped mountains and it spans the 5 km (3 mi) width of Lake Argentino below. You can see most of the front face from walkways built along the lake. The walkways go on for miles and take a two or three hours to complete.
Beyond its size, what makes it so striking is its color. It looks like a blue slab of marble that seems to be glowing. It's eery and ancient and arrestingly beautiful. I couldn't walk for more than a few minutes without stopping to stare.
The sound it makes give a sense its power. It sounds like thunder or a shotgun firing in the distance. Every once and a while, I caught a glimpse of the source of the sound: huge pieces of ice sheering off the leading edge and crashing into the water below. It's amazing to think just how massive these falling pieces must be.
I didn't want to miss the chance to see the glacier at close range, so I went on the boat tour. For safety reasons, they stop at 300 meters distance. On the shore, it was a pleasant temperature, about 18 or 19 degrees Celsius. But as we approached, I could feel the air temperature drop considerably. At the closest point, it felt like it was just above freezing.
Perito Moreno turned out to be a highlight of my trip. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend checking it out.