It won’t do much good for us to share stories or photos: you have to be in front of a glacier yourself to understand how majestic and awe-inspiring they can be. Luckily, the Aysén Region is full of glaciers! You’ll just need to choose which ones to see and how you would like to approach them – decisions that will define some of the most memorable adventures from your trip.
Laguna San Rafael National Park
We want to tell you about a unique expedition that will take you to one of the most fascinating, colossal glaciers of Patagonia. We refer to the Laguna San Rafael National Park, one of the most dreamed of and challenging places to visit in the region. The combination of the immense blue wall of the glacier, the lush green forest environment, and the enormous diversity of birds and fauna, make the San Rafael Lagoon and Glacier one of the most unique places in the world.
Puerto Río Tranquilo
Each summer, this quiet and tranquil town transforms into a busy hub for thousands of travelers visiting the Marble Cathedrals, General Carrera Lake, the Exploradores Valley and Glacier, the Northern Patagonia Ice Fields, and San Rafael Lagoon National Park. Puerto Tranquilo offers these visitors an ever-growing variety of accommodations, restaurants, supplies, services and shops, as well as a beautiful and expansive beach. So far, there is no ATM Cash Machine in town, so make sure you come with enough cash.
If you’d like even more adventure, you can embark on an eight-day expedition, navigating the rivers leading to the Lagoon and Glacier by kayak. The trip begins and finishes in Puerto Tranquilo. As long as you have a moderate level of physical fitness, and the mental strength to withstand the weather and topography, you will enjoy this expedition; the trip does not require significant amounts of experience kayaking. While not a formal kayak course, the expedition mixes adventure, learning and contemplation; thus coaching and assistance is offered along the way. Interested? You can make reservations with Aguahielo Expediciones: (09) 76053580 - 96162538; email@example.com; www.aguahielo.cl.
o Destino Patagonia - Puerto Río Tranquilo: Gilberta Flores 208; (09) 91586044 - 88229421; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.destinopatagonia.cl.
o Turismo Río Exploradores (EMTREX) - Puerto Río Tranquilo; (09) 82594017; email@example.com; www.exploradores-sanrafael.cl.
Laguna San Rafael
In recent years, things have changed. Today, there is a new alternative for visiting the magnificence of the San Rafael Lagoon and Glacier, thanks to the construction of Route X-728, a beautiful new road that will soon link the town of Puerto Tranquilo with the Exploradores Bay, a gateway for the Lagoon. For now, the road extends 75 kilometers to the Exploradores River, where work is temporarily halted until the construction of a bridge over the river can be completed. Even though there’s no bridge for now, the road has been completed on the other side, continuing for several more kilometers to the Exploradores Bay. From the Bay, you can navigate along the coast of the Elefantes Estero and Golf and access the San Rafael Lagoon through the Tempanos River. Sounds complicated, but not for the experienced operators that offer this expedition, like Destino Patagonia (www.destinopatagonia.cl), and Turismo Río Exploradores – EMTREX (www.exploradores - sanrafael.cl).
The itinerary that we suggest is based on the expedition offered by Daniel Torres, owner of Destino Patagonia, a regional business with more than ten years of experience offering expeditions to Aysen’s glaciers.
For now, the road extends 75 kilometers to the Exploradores River, where work is temporarily halted until the construction of a bridge over the river can be completed. Even though there’s no bridge for now, the road has been completed on the other side, continuing for several more kilometers to the Exploradores Bay.