The exalted glaciers in the southern sector of the Los Glaciares national park attract huge numbers of visitors from all over the world and it takes a bit of planning to find the magic and avoid the crowds. The main sites cluster around Lago Argentino, the largest of all exclusively Argentine lakes, and the third biggest in all South America, with a surface area of 1600 square kilometres.

The three hotspots in the southern sector of the park are: the easy-to-reach and not-to-be-missed Glaciar Perito Moreno, which slams into the western end of the Península de Magallanes; Puerto Bandera, from where boat trips depart to Glaciar Upsala and the other northern glaciers that are inaccessible by land; and, to the south down the RP-15, the much-less-visited Lago Roca and the southern arm of Lago Argentino, the Brazo Sur.

Within the boundaries, be especially aware of the dangers of fire – an area of forest near Glaciar Spegazzini that burnt in the 1930s still hasn’t even remotely recovered. Mammals in the park include the gato montés wildcat, pumas and the endangered huemul, although you are highly unlikely to see any of these owing to their scarcity and elusive nature. There is plenty of enjoyable flora on display, though, such as the ubiquitous notro (Embothrium coccineum, known in English as the Chilean firebush or firetree), with its flaming red blooms between November and March. Commonly seen birds include the majestic black and red Magellanic woodpecker (Carpintero patagónico).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Argentina features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Beyond steak: how to order like a local in Buenos Aires

Beyond steak: how to order like a local in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is often associated with steaks, but they are far from the most common cut served up in the parrillas (meat restaurants) of Argentina's capital. …

20 Apr 2016 • Daniel Neilson insert_drive_file Article
15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
Why Córdoba is Argentina’s most underrated region

Why Córdoba is Argentina’s most underrated region

Although long popular with Argentine tourists, Córdoba Province receives few foreign visitors, despite being one of the most diverse parts of the country. This…

24 Feb 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month