- Santa Fe, Argentina
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Los Glaciares National Park, situated within the Santa Cruz Province of Argentina, is a federal protected area encompassing a vast expanse of 726,927 hectares, making it the largest national park in the country. This protected area was officially established on May 11, 1937, and it serves as a sanctuary for a diverse and well-preserved array of ecosystems, including the Magellanic subpolar forest and the western Patagonian steppe.
Notably, in 1981, UNESCO recognized the park's exceptional value by designating it as a World Heritage Site. The name "Los Glaciares" pays homage to the colossal ice cap found in the Andes, which ranks as the largest ice cap outside of Antarctica, Greenland, and Iceland. This monumental ice cap nourishes a network of 47 substantial glaciers, with 13 of them flowing toward the Pacific Ocean.
Distinguished from glaciers in many other parts of the world, those within Los Glaciares National Park have a unique feature. While most glaciers typically originate at elevations of at least 2,500 meters above sea level, the sheer size of this ice cap allows these glaciers to commence their icy journey from as low as 1,500 meters, gradually descending to just 200 meters above sea level.
Moreover, the park shares its boundaries with Torres del Paine National Park to the south, extending into Chilean territory, forming a vital part of the larger ecological tapestry of this region.