Argentina is home to the largest ice cap outside of Greenland or Antarctica. The Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina (situated in the Andes mountain range) is the country’s second largest park and recognized as a World Heritage Site. The giant reservoir of ice, covering more than 30% of the park’s surface, is fed by the ice cap and consists of nearly 50 glaciers.
The park is broken up into two sections, the northern and southern halves. Viedma Lake, Viedma Glacier and several peaks (Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre) of interest to ice climbers and trekking enthusiasts are top priorities when visiting the northern portions of the national park. In the south, tourists are treated to an assortment of large and small glaciers, most of which feed Lake Argentino. Boats travel between the various icebergs and the Perito Moreno Glacier is even accessible by land, solidifying it as the park’s main attraction.
Despite the cold temperatures and dry air (moisture from the Pacific ocean is restricted by the Andes) there are reportedly thousands of species which call this area of Argentina home. Pockets of forest lie between the outlying steppe regions and the immense ice, providing a sanctuary for fox, cougar, deer and many other mammals. Despite this abundance of hearty life, Glaciares National Park’s main attraction remains its frozen reserve of freshwater; it comes in many shapes and colors.