The Onelli glacier is just one of the forty-six glaciers located within the heart of Los Glaciers National Park. Still a relatively hidden treasure, the glacier, as well as the neighboring forest and lake, provide an incomparable opportunity to view a variety of landscapes within a single day-trip. From the glacier, you'll be treated to incredible vistas of the neighboring mountains, an ice-berg-ridden lake, and quiet forest. Eventually draining into the Atlantic Ocean, the glacier moves at a pace of barely three feet every twenty-four hours.
Notable English explorer, Eric Shipton, explored the Onelli Glacier region in 1958, becoming the first individual to use a Zodiac navigate Lake Argentina and climb the Onelli Glacier.
Locally known as Lago Onelli, this natural lagoon is, by all accounts, fascinatingly beautiful. Only a few hundred meters from Lago Argentino, Lake Onelli is almost completely enclosed by a combination of mountains and glaciers. It is uniquely spotted with countless icebergs that have fallen from one of the three surrounding glaciers, including the Onelli, Bolado, and Agassiz formations.
The Onelli Forest
This majestic forest which borders the Onelli lake houses typical Patagonian flora and fauna, providing a rich experience for travelers and ecologists alike. Blanketed in a thick coat of mossy growth, Lenga and Guindo trees comprise the majority of the foliage in the region. These types of deciduous trees and shrubs are native to the Andes mountain range and can be found throughout Argentina and Chile. The region also houses a broad range of wildlife including South American Condors and Buzzards.
Travel to the Onelli Glacier
Should you choose to experience the Onelli Glacier in person, you will travel by boat from Punta Bandera on the Lago Argentino towards the Onelli Bay. Once docked, an 800-meter walk through wooded terrain will lead you to the shore of the ever-impressive Onelli Lake and Onelli Glacier. Because Punta Bandera is approximately an hour and a half drive from El Calafate, we suggest leaving on your excursion early in the morning to allow plenty of time to experience the glacier. Also, a trip to the neighboring Upsala Glacier is recommend within the same day-trip.
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