Rivers of Ice
Glaciers are ice fields on mountain slopes that remain ice throughout the year. They appear to be stable, but they are continually following gravity down the mountain like a river of ice. On warmer days, the front of a glacier “calves” into the ocean or other bodies of water. In colder seasons, new snow on the upper reaches replenishes the ice that has melted or calved.
Having the largest ice sheet on earth gives Antarctica a unique place in the world. On our Antarctica Gay Adventure cruise, we can see the incredible ice cliffs of the region. Where there is land, we can see glaciers so numerous that most don’t have names. And on the bare rocky landscape between the glaciers, we can see penguins, sea lions, and other hardy creatures that make this land their homes.
Patagonian Regions of Chile and Argentina
Patagonia sprawls across Chile and Argentina with the peaks and valleys of the southern Andes Mountains. The glaciers reflect the sunlight and absorb the rain and snow that fall from the sky each year. Due to unique circumstances, some glaciers such as the Perito Moreno Glacier in western Argentina are actually increasing in size. This is largely due to increased rainfall coming from the Pacific Ocean and falling on the highest peaks where the glacier originates. We showcase both sides of the mountains with our gay Patagonia Bottom of the World Gay Chile Adventure and our gay Argentina Heart and Soul tour.
Our gay Peru Salkantay Incan Trail trek overnights in comfortable mountain lodges while traversing the base of the Salkantay Glacier. It is not far south of the equator, but high enough to keep its snow and ice year-round. The annual snowmelt from this and other glaciers feeds the Urubamba River that flows beneath the citadel of Machu Picchu.
The Cotopaxi Volcano dominates the views in the Ecuadorian Highlands. Its crowning summit glacier is one of the closest glaciers to the Equator anywhere in the world. Our gay Ecuador Travel Adventure explores the volcanic landscape and pristine lakes by hiking and mountain biking, then relax at a hacienda featuring Andean Mountain cuisine.
The west coast of New Zealand receives frequent rainstorms from the Tasman Sea. These continually replenish the glaciers of this lush coastal region, such as Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Our gay New Zealand Wild Kiwi tour features a glacier hike. However, no two years are alike because the glaciers have been receding. A trail that offers a safe hike one year becomes hazardous the following year.