You'll feel as though you have traveled to a different world as you approach the walls of one of Argentina's most stunning geographical features, the Upsala Glacier. As one of the largest glaciers in South America, the Upsala formation is not to be missed.
The Upsala Glacier is located near the northern arm of Lago Argentino within the Los Glaciers National Park. At fifty kilometers long, ten kilometers wide, and many hundred meters think, it is classified as one of three major glaciers in the park. While Perito Moreno and Spegazzini are also desirable destinations, the beauty of the Upsala glacier is undeniable. Visitors are greeted with breathtaking vistas of crystal blue ice meeting vast blue skies and towering Argentinean mountains in the background.
A trip to the Upsala glacier will undoubtedly include 4x4 driving, hiking, boating, and potentially even horseback riding. The trip will include light trekking, but should be suitable for the whole family. Visitors are advised to begin travel to the glacier early in the morning, and to bring a camera to document this once in a lifetime trip.
While each glacier found within the Glacier National Park of Argentina has unique features, perhaps none are more spectacular than those of the Upsala Glacier. This glacier possesses one of the most significant medial moraines in South America.
A moraine is a collection of rock, sand, and clay deposits that has fallen from neighboring mountains and is transported by the slow movements of glacial ice sheets. Over time, these accumulations grow, boldly marking the direction of glacial flow. While there are many types of moraines, the Upsala glacier has formed a medial moraine, which appears when more than two glaciers unite and bring together debris from multiple sources.
Traveling to the Upsala Glacier
Because the Upsala Glacier is only accessible by boat, you will need to travel from El Calafate to Puerto Bandera about forty-five kilometers away. From the port, located on the northernmost arm of Lago Argentino, you will cruise to the Upsala branch of the lake, landing directly at the base of the towering walls of the Upsala Glacier. The round-trip excursion will likely expend the majority of the day.
NOTE: Since 2008 the glacier has not been accessible on any boat trips due to being blocked off by icebergs. Please check the latest details from your tour provider before visiting this and other nearby Glaciers.
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