The Los Glaciares National Park is an area of exceptional natural beauty, with rugged, towering mountains and glacial lakes, including the enormous Lake Argentino. Dominated by rugged granite peaks, the landscape is carved by massive, ongoing glaciations, as much of the park is covered by glaciers of South America's largest ice field, feeding the huge mountain lakes of Viedma and Argentino.
Los Glaciares National Park was created in 1937 to protect the continental ice field and the thirteen largest glaciers, as they descend to the Atlantic Ocean over the Viedma and Agentino lakes. Against the backdrop of the majestic mountains grow the subantarctic or Magellanic forests, where the puma and the elusive Andean Cat roam, and the emblematic Andean Condor and black-chested buzzard eagles soar overhead.
At the farthest end of Los Glaciares, the Upsala, Spegazzini, Onelli and Perito Moreno glaciers launch massive icebergs into the milky grey glacial lake with thunderous splashes. The glaciers are fed by the massive South Patagonian Ice Field, the most extensive South American relict of the glaciological processes of the Quaternary Period.
About every five years, the advancing Perito Moreno glacier reaches the banks of Lago Argentino, damming the southern part of the lake and creating a separate lake known as Brazo Rico. As the water level rises, Brazo Rico creates pressure against the wall of ice and eventually the ice ruptures and huge chunks of ice fall into the lake. The last major rupture was on January 19, 2013. The world’s third largest freshwater reserve, surpassed only by the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, Perito Moreno Glacier began to form during the last Ice Age, approximately 2.6 million years ago and it’s estimated to be around 18,000 years old.