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Onelli Glacier
Onelli Glacier

Onelli Glacier

El Calafate

The Basics

Most tours combine a visit to the Onelli Glacier with a cruise across Argentino Lake, which serves as the gateway to the neighboring Spegazzini and Upsala glaciers. Cruises typically depart from the port of Puerto Bandera on the southern shore and head to Onelli Bay at the northwestern corner of the lake. From here, it’s a half-mile (800-meter) walk along forest trails to reach Onelli Lake and Onelli Glacier. Typically, tours include hotel pickup and drop-off in El Calafate.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Onelli Glacier is a must-visit natural landmark for active travelers and lovers of the outdoors.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven terrain.

  • Temperatures can be cold on the lake even in the summer months, so bring warm clothes. Sunglasses and sunscreen are also a good idea as glaciers reflect the sunlight.

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How to Get There

The Onelli Glacier lies north of the Spegazzini Glacier and south of the Upsala Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, so most visitors reach the glacier from El Calafate. From the city, it’s a 40-minute drive west to Puerto Bandera port, where boat cruises depart for Argentino Lake.

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When to Get There

Summertime is the most popular time for lake cruises, meaning that it’s essential to book in advance from January through April. Temperatures drop below freezing during the winter months of July and August, when fewer boat companies operate.

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Los Glaciares National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Patagonia’s most-visited attractions, Los Glaciares National Park is home to 47 glaciers, making it the largest ice cap outside of Antarctica and Greenland. If you’ve got a taste for adventure, you can hike, mountain bike, and horseback ride around Argentino Lake, or go hiking and climbing along glaciers. Park highlights include the Upsala Glacier, the largest in South America; the Spegazzini Glacier, home to a 440-foot (135-meter) ice wall; the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the only advancing glaciers in the world; and the jagged peaks of Mt. Fitz Roy.

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