This extraordinary natural phenomenon stretches from north
to south with an approximate extension of 250 km per 50 km
and an average height of 1500 m. Gigantic tongues of ice are
born in this frozen mass, the glaciers, which descend to 200
m of altitude and contact there the fjords or great lakes
channels. The heavy rains over the glaciers and its surroundings
(more than 1500 mm per year) greatly favors the growth of
thick woods, which quickly become thinner towards the east
as the rains decrease (El Calafate aprox. 300 mm per year)
and the typical Patagonic drought begins. Los Glaciares National
Park was founded in 1937 for the preservation of this natural
wonder. It covers an area of approximately 718.000 hectares
which includes part of the ice south fields, more than 47
glaciers and two big lakes: Viedma and Argentino. The UNESCO
declared this Park as World's Patrimony in 1981.
The Indians who originally lived in the region were the Tehuelches,
nomad hunters whose ancestors made primitive rupestrian paintings
which can be appreciated inside the Gualicho's caves for example.
The few descendents of this people live in reservations nowadays.
Currently, the inhabitants concentrate at El Calafate and
El Chaltén villages and also at the many farms where
sheeps are bred and tourist services are also offered.
The best season is from October to March (spring/summer) when
the days last longer (17,5 hrs of light) and it is the best
time of the year for practicing activities like: land and
boat excursions, trekking, flora and fauna sightseeing, visits
to rural settlements, guided tours to rupestrian paintings,
sport fishing and hunt, horseback rides, andinism and mountain
climbing. Both El Calafate and El Chaltén have a wide
variety of installations and tourist services which will allow
you to live an enriching interaction between fascinating natural
and human environments.