- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
Most tourists on a trip to Argentinaare happy to visit the famous Perito Moreno but don't bother to go its neightbour, the Upsala glacier. I think that's a pity because I spent a really good day at Upsala.
I boarded a boat at Puerto Bandera which is 50 km from El Calafate. It takes a good morning's sailing on the northern arm of the lake before you get there. During the trip I had the incredible experience of watching dolphins following our boat, and seeing the view over Spegazzini glacier and Onelli bay, as well as the icebergs we passed. When it's time for a pre-dinner drink the ice in it has come from these icebergs. Good, huh? Finally we arrived at the star of the show, the enormous Upsala glacier. To give you some idea, it is bigger than a town like Buenos Aires. Sometimes the ice is so thick it blocks the passage so you can't get very close.
All in all a great day out that I recommend to everyone.
Upsala glacier is often visited at the same time as Spegazzini, during an 8 hour cruise on the northern arm of Lake Argentino. It was an option that didn't tempt me because it seemed too touristy. So I went to an agency that offered a boat trip to Upsala and then a trek.
After taking a shuttle to Puerto Bandera, about a hundred of us got on the boat - as opposed to 300 for the biggest cruises. We quickly left our seats to go outside and look happily - if a bit coldly - at the scenery passing by and the first blue tinted icebergs. I was completely absorbed by the majestic calm of the environment, broken only by the well merited "ohs" and "ahs" of the other passengers. The pinnacle of the show was obviously the appearance of Upsala glacier.
60 kilometres long, it cover 870 km2. So you only really see its beginning. The trek, the main aim of which was to descend a canyon, gives you a perfect view over the greyish white of the glacier which is cut with the deep blue of the lake's water. I really recommend it but, be careful, because you do need to be fit.