San Rafael stands out because it’s the lowest latitude glacier that ends in the sea, making the weather fairly pleasant for visiting. })(); It’s best to visit the San Rafael Glacier during the Patagonian Summer – roughly from October until April. Have you been to gray glacier? We’d love for you to join us! Check options and availability here. The dark waters of the deep fjord cut through the steep sides of the snow capped mountains. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Eastwards | If you’re going into Argentinian Patagonia, don’t miss a visit to Cuevos de los Manos. You can find 10 glaciers in Aisen and 26 glaciers in the country of Chile. The glacier is located within the San Rafael National Park, the largest in the Aysén Region of southern Chile. We’re using our little corner of the internet to help you convert your own camper and inspire a few adventures too. Over 1000 years old, with air bubbles from that age still trapped within it. The bar is opened. Very glad to hear you liked it – definitely won’t be my last glacier. From the north, turn right off Ruta 7 a little south from Villa Maniguales, then Ruta 240 all the way into Chacabuco. 7 Reviews . Geologische Formationen. Coming from the Cerro Castillo National Park (so from the north), you’ll have to take a turn to the right – directly before the little bridge when entering Puerto Tranquilo. Subscribe to our newsletter and get exclusive information about our adventures! You can’t go wrong from there. You need some commitment and deep pockets to experience the San Rafael Glacier. And if you have time: you could also visit the San Rafael Glacier with a cruise ship, e.g. from US$208.33* … They feel … Our guide and expert Christopher looked straight at me and bluffed confidently: “Don’t worry, everything is ok.” Good for him that he was right. The icebergs continuously increased in size and beauty, until suddenly we looked upon a rather special one: the majestic San Rafael Glacier, located in the Northern Patagonian Ice Field in Chile. It calves into the Laguna San Rafael and is contained within Laguna San Rafael National Park. It's simple to book your hotel with Expedia Save on popular hotels near San Rafael Glacier, Coyhaique: Browse Expedia's selection of hotels and places to stay closest to San Rafael Glacier. Also, I don’t think there are reasonable options to stay in Balmaceda, as it’s really just the airport. Located a few hours away by catamaran from Puerto Chacabuco, visiting San Rafael Glacier and lagoon is a wonderful way to explore Patagonia’s Aysén Region from this unique perspective. The boat is considerably smaller, carrying only 20 passengers compared to the large catamaran we were on and you get the opportunity for a little hiking too. We’re Angela & Graham. The moody weather only enhances the views – it somehow feels more adventurous than if the sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. “Entirely gone by 2030”. This includes kayaking down Río Exploradores to join the ocean, before paddling into Laguna San Rafael. event : evt, And with that, a toast to something we couldn’t figure out and a 2nd round, the drinks flowed and the party began. Important tips and resources for planning an incredible trip to Patagonia, based on our extensive experience travelling through the entire region. It calves into the Laguna San Rafael and is contained within Laguna San Rafael National Park. I would suggest to get to Coyhaique, which was an interesting city about an hour away. You can take a train from San Rafael to Glacier National Park via El Cerrito del Norte BART Station, El Cerrito Del Norte, Richmond, Richmond Amtrak, Martinez Amtrak Station, Portland Union Station, and West Glacier Amtrak in around 35h 35m. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Laguna San Rafael & glacier. Because the port is significantly closer to the glacier than Puerto Chacabuco, we hoped it’d be cheaper. I haven’t been to Grey Glacier near Torres del Paine, but I’m sure both are very impressive. I visited this place with "Skorpios", a boat tourism company, where for 5 days you make a complete tour around the area. to Puerto Tranquilo, etc. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( I’m trying to budget my time wisely to see both the Marble Caves and a glacier in that area. Hi Ledis, that’s great news, I’m excited for you! Only the windows are much bigger, the views infinitely more spectacular and you can go outside! We hope this helps you plan your travels in Patagonia. That was the original size of the San Rafael Glacier. Have an amazing trip! Hi Everyone! San Rafael glacier. Although we didn’t see any elephants (I had already seen plenty in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania), we did encounter a wonderful and rare surprise: wild Patagonian dolphins! Can anybody advise as to the best way to visit San Rafael Glacier? Food and drink is covered and they’re not shy with the measures on the return leg either! Hope you have a great trip! I'm planning to go to the Chilean Patagonia next December and the boat trip to the glacier at Laguna San Rafael national park (Bahía Exploradores) is one of the planned highlights. Report inappropriate content . This is the most distant glacier from the Poles that gets to the sea. But be flexible - Patagonia will get under your skin and you’ll wish you had more time. If you’re driving the Carretera Austral, Puerto Chacabuco is about 78 kilometres west of Coyhaique. Rows of seats with limited leg room and drop down tables attached to the seat in front. All travel information and tour ideas in Glaciar San Rafael, 100%% customisable with our on-site travel agents in Argentina Every time it is a marvelous wonder and all the close-up views of multi-hued icebergs are worth the trip even if there were no glacier. from US$208.33* … Hi Carmen, I think it would be advisable to send out an email to get in touch with some operators before your arrival. This gives rise to the opportunity for a mini cruise through Chilean fjords to witness spectacular scenery few other visitors get a chance to see. That being said, I think I can say with high confidence that you’ll have significantly less tourists at San Rafael Glacier, as it is harder to access. You can browse for availability here. See all. The town has a few hostels and hotels you can book in advance too – probably best in the high season. Loberias del Sur hotel | minibuses pick up and drop off guests for the day trip from here so it’s a convenient place to stay. on: function(evt, cb) { The mood is high, everyone ecstatic at what we’d experienced. From there, it’s about a two hour ride on an even rougher gravel road to La Teresa. To get the most out of the trip, you’ll want to spend at least some time out on deck. Hi Isabella, we rented a 4WD from Balmaceda airport near Coyhaique. What makes this a unique way of seeing the glacier is that y ou can get close to the icebergs in the lake and even camp in the national park. Wrapped up warm, the biting wind still made its presence felt. Hat, gloves and a scarf or 2 are essential. The water here looks rough but the catamaran’s stability ensure we hardly feel a wave. ); Then, seat by seat, the passenger were called to climb aboard the inflatable zodiac boats. Which was just as well, for calving icebergs were falling thick and fast, creating some intimidating waves. Make sure you plan an entire day for the trip to the San Rafael Glacier and ideally plan your trip ahead of time with a tour operator in Puerto Tranquilo (the nearest village), e.g. } If you plan on visiting the Marble Caves, this option will save you a few extra driving miles as Chacabuco is a 70 kilometre diversion off the Carretera Austral. How to get to the San Rafael Glacier. Thanks, Keely! For hotels, use. San Rafael Glacier and Lagoon. For questions or feedback regarding the San Rafael Glacier, please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page. How much are the kayak trips out of Coyhaique and do you know how long they take? You’ll cross the river with a little boat and then continue by car to Bahia Exploradores (roughly half an hour), where you’ll meet the crew. Its main attraction is the San Rafael Glacier, a wall of ancient ice over 40 kilometres long, coming down the 4.000 metres high Mount San Valentín, which is part of the Northern Icefield. Back onboard, we rid ourselves of the extra layers. Can anybody advise as to the best way to visit San Rafael Glacier? These are the first icebergs we’ve seen and we’re awed. } Spanning 760km², the San Rafael Glacier is one of the larger glaciers you will come across in Patagonia. 44 Bewertungen. Hey there! Its 2km face is visible for miles, and the rocks that flank it are perfect for scrambling up close. Perhaps because we were having such fun at the karaoke party, and making sure that ice wasn’t wasted. Answer 1 of 4: My wife and I will be travelling to the Aisen region, Chile in early December. The glacier is about 70 metres tall and about 4 kilometres long, disappearing into the Patagonian Ice Cap beyond the horizon. Is there any other way to get to Puerto Tranquilo, such as a tour from Balmaceda? listeners: [], 44 Bewertungen. Tour of the glaciars Laguna San Rafael This was a tour out of Puerto cahacabuco, organized by the Hotel Loberias del Sur. Explore the surrounding area and find your own lupin scented spot, or check out iOverlander for gems others have found before you. We pass high cliffs, years painted in large numbers to show where the face of the glacier once was. I’m planning a trip to Chile this March. Those willing to take the time and lucky enough to get a ticket, will be rewarded with an adventurous story to dine out on for years. YAK Expediciones (puerto varas) does extended self supported sea kayak tours to this area out of coyhaique. This gives rise to the opportunity for a mini cruise through Chilean fjords to witness spectacular scenery few other visitors get a chance to see. And lovely pictures. Related: What are the most popular tours in Puerto Chacabuco? I don’t know any operators out of Coyhaique, but there are a few in Puerto Tranquilo that would probably be able to pick you up in Coyhaique, such as Río Explorades. And from time to time – after hundreds or even thousands of years of unity – the glacier would separate itself from a big chunk of ice, forcefully pushing it off the mighty ice wall and letting it slowly melt away in the lagoon. Sailing around icebergs akin to icy phantoms, you approach the giant San Rafael glacier at the far end of the lagoon. Bear in mind, the ultra cold winters and wet weather may make the Carretera Austral treacherous in places. Many people who’ve visited Laguna San Rafael and glacier have called it a once in a lifetime trip. The San Rafael Glacier welcomed us with an uncomfortably loud bang when our little boat crashed straight into an unexpected iceberg. Plan a rough itinerary with an idea of how long you’ll stay in each place. If you want to spend more time in the … Hi, we are travelling south towards Rio Tranquilo to see both the marble caves and hopefully, the San Rafael glacier. The waters in the Golfo Elefantes are rather wild due to the tides, so be prepared for a potentially bumpy ride. You could literally feel and hear the tension between both fronts. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Work out when and for how long to visit San Rafael Glacier and Lagoon and other Puerto Bertrand attractions using … It’s best to visit the San Rafael Glacier during the Patagonian Summer – roughly from October until April. Weaving through the mini icebergs that fill the water, you will feel the chill on your face as you sip some whiskey and gaze in awe at the … (function() { callback: cb Reply. It calves into the Laguna San Rafael and is contained within Laguna San Rafael National Park. And it’s the finest hotel in town. Slightly buzzed, I spent a good amount of time looking at the San Rafael Glacier, feeling increasingly frustrated about the visible retreat. Heading north | Stick to the Carretera Austral and hike Cerro Castillo and visit Coyhaique. We suspect having seen photos in this post, you’ll already know this, but it’s worth spelling it out. Thank you. With phenomenal landscapes, inquisitive marine life and an endless supply of Scotch on the rocks, it’s easy to see why. Thanks for sharing:). Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a5e32765ab7f6467429b1aae568366fd" );document.getElementById("d2faa4802c").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); ©Copyright 2010-2020 Don't Complain Travel. At sea level, we still didn’t feel too close. We continue sailing towards the glacier, emptying itself into the lagoon. Can anybody advise as to the best way to visit San Rafael Glacier? Will be flying in to Santiago, and will be doing the Atacama Desert and I would like to also do the glacier. When visiting the Coyhaique area, Expedia can provide you with extensive San Rafael Glacier information, as well as great savings on nearby hotels and flights! Thus begins an easy route through the delta of the Exploradores River, which is surrounded by stunning Patagonian scenery. And you can roll it all into this one trip. Cabanas and hospedaje | these smaller accommodation options will suit those on a tighter budget. You can park overnight for free on the shores of Lago General Carrera. Give us a like on Facebook or follow us on Instagram. San Rafael is under such threat, scientists reckon it’ll have disappeared by 2030. The interior seating arrangement on the catamaran is a bit like being on an aeroplane. what are the cheap options for day trip to the Lagoon? I’m planning to go at the end of this month and am scrambling to plan my itinerary. Too bad everyone loses eventually – even a true Titan. from US$291.67* Private Shore Excursion of Puerto Aysén from Puerto Chacabuco . The national park covers almost 4 million acres and includes the entire Northern Patagonian Ice Field. This glacier regularly sheds chunks of its ice, which topple down into the San Rafael Lake below. For the best chance of good weather, the best time to visit Laguna San Rafael is during the southern hemisphere summer, December to February. from US$291.67* Private Shore Excursion of Puerto Aysén from Puerto Chacabuco . Nr. Day 1: Welcome dinner and briefing. Thanks, Kip Reserve your tours and activities in advance with, Get your rucksack ready with our definitive. For more info, please check our disclosure page. "San Rafael glacier is in tune with the majority of Chile's glaciers that are also undergoing a process of retreat," Valdivia city's Scientific Research Center glaciologist Andres Rivera told AFP. Good footwear is essential too – leave the high heels at home – your fellow passengers in the inflatable zodiac boat will thank you for it! Here’s how to get to Laguna San Rafael and glacier. Reply. Not the cheapest way to do it but we couldn’t guarantee our arrival day so had limited choice. Get free comparison quotes with, Check out our extensive and still growing, Book your accommodation in advance, at least for the first destination. San Rafael is, however, not the most accessible glacier. The San Rafael Glacier is one of the major outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field in southern Chile and is the tidewater glacier nearest the equator. In my several group trips to San Rafael I have usually contracted small yachts (8-12 PAX) for multiple-day trips to the glacier. Nearby, there’s some wonderful wild camping opportunities too. WikiMili. Boats were used to … Nice descriptive write up and great pictures for a cloudy day! Our members favorite in Aisen is San Rafael Glacier and Serrano Glacier … The cheapest way to buy tickets is to book well in advance directly with Loberias del Sur hotel. The lake was formed by the retreat of the San Rafael Glacier in the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. Just follow the road until it ends at a river. It didn’t take long to sail past a few decades, a sad reminder of the impact climate change is having on the world around us. If you’d prefer more budget accommodation, make sure to check out Hostelworld for their latest rates and availability. Check availability here. The face of the glacier is deceptively wide – 2 kilometres! Find cheap deals and discount rates among them that best fit your budget. El Capitán immediately turned off the engine and listened carefully. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you. But the views kept us from retreating indoors. However, an internet search has revealed that the options to go there are not abundant and all of them are quite expensive. As far as I know, there are two common options: to go via Puerto Tranquilo with a little boat (what we did), or to take a cruise ship (like the Skorpios). It’s recommended to spend the night before at Puerto Tranquilo, or somewhere along the way to Bahia Exploradores. Skorpios (I think starting in Puerto Montt). See all. It has strongly retreated in the last decade and will probably be entirely gone around 2030.” What he had described as “lighter rocky parts” seemed like almost an entire mountain to me: global warming – alas, we meet. Check out our full guide of what to pack for Patagonia before you  go. Would it be better to go back to Santiago then fly down or can I fly down from Pedro de Atacama or Antofagosta? Leave plenty of time for sightseeing tours - you wouldn't want to miss out on top attractions like this one and many more! Report inappropriate content . I had assumed that the San Rafael Lagoon was a tranquil and desolate place when, contrarily, it was very much energetic and “alive”. If sea kayaking interests you, check with the tour operators here too because it’s possible to kayak in the lagoon. It lasts about 12 hours and includes a light breakfast, a lunch box and a whisky tasting with glacial ice. Hey Mims! We arrive in Rio Tranquilo in a few days and haven’t made any reservations yet…! We’d particularly like to do the same cruise again during the April or May to see the Fall colours lining the fjords. Once you arrive at the glacier, you will get out of the main boat and climb into smaller boats that will take you closer to the ice. We’d taken an incredible cruise through Chilean fjords and witnessed our first ever iceberg calving from the face of glacier. It’s a more unique and adventurous way to explore:). A catamaran full of passengers had made friends over drinks, dancing and music. I flew from Santiago de Chile to Balmaceda (near Coyhaique), where I rented a 4WD and drove down to Puerto Tranquilo (roughly three hours). From the south, turn left out of Coyhaique and follow Ruta 240 all the way into Chacabuco. You’ll have to check for direct flights, but I flew in from Santiago and there were already one or two stop-overs until Balmaceda (it went further to Punta Arenas). The views along the entire length of the fjord from Puerto Chacabuco all the way to Laguna San Rafael are out of this world. You’ll find an unfinished bridge (won’t be finished for many years, apparently) where your guide will be waiting for you. We met the crew of the Explora II at Bahia Exploradores from where we embarked on our two and a half hour trip through the Golfo Elefantes (Gulf of Elephants). Overlanders need not worry. Private Shore Excursion to Coyhaique National Reserve from Puerto Chacabuco. Well think of San Rafael Glacier as its little brother, only more difficult to reach so more adventurous and way less touristy. The tour from Chacabuco operates all year though and you can bag cheaper tickets in the off season. The journey back to Puerto Chacabuco felt considerably quicker than the outbound leg. { In September 2011 we took a cruise to Southern Chile aboard 'SKORPIOS 11'. Meet your guides and group at 17:00 in Puerto Tranquilo, a tiny village is located on the shores of the second biggest lake in South America, General Carrera. Do you want to show your support or say thanks for our free guides? Related: What are the most popular tours in Puerto Chacabuco? Nearby | Don’t miss a trip to see the incredible Marble Caves from Puerto Río Tranquilo. Our pilot manoeuvred the boat as close to the glacier face as he dared – so not close at all really. Posted on November 18, 2020 Categories Chile, Home » South America » Chile » Laguna San Rafael Glacier | Fjords, icebergs & seals. Landmarks visited on San Rafael Glacier 8-day Kayaking Adventure. I hope that helps, and have an awesome trip! 3 Reviews . We were invited to see Laguna San Rafael National Park, one of the most beautiful sceneries in Patagonia, where visitors may witness two phenomena that has been around for 18,000 years: the Northern Ice Field and the San Rafael Glacier. And as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. The nearest place to stay, the explora Patagonia - All Inclusive, is 310 miles (499 kilometers) away in Torres Del Paine. All costs on board are included. We were just wondering how long in advance you need to book the tours to them? Even in the summer, you can expect rain, wind and cold in Patagonia and sailing through the fjords is going to intensify the real feel. How long does it take to get from Santiago to San Rafael Glacier? When we were looking into booking tickets, we wanted to take a boat trip from Bahia Exploradores. When we went, the weather was grey and overcast, as is often the way in Patagonia, but we had spells of patchy blue skies too. However, what had fascinated me the most was what I would like to describe as a “Clash of Titans” – the battle between the powerful mountain and the restless glacier. Declared a Biosphere Reserve, the park is the main port of entry to Chile’s Northern Icefields. It’s an enormous region and one we completely adore. Leider sind an den von Ihnen gewählten Daten keine Touren oder Aktivitäten verfügbar. It’s since sorted so the trip still run. window.mc4wp = window.mc4wp || { The San Rafael Glacier is one of the largest ice caps in the entire Northern Patagonian ice fields. Layering up is essential so you’re not too hot indoors but can still enjoy the outdoor scenery. } Check out our definitive guide to the regional seasons to find the best time to visit Patagonia. There’s also a bus that could take you there, but it will be more cumbersome. Private Shore Excursion to Coyhaique National Reserve from Puerto Chacabuco. Amtrak is a rail service that connects the US and three Canadian provinces. 3 Reviews . We live & travel full-time in our DIY Sprinter van conversion, Baloo. Thanks, Sudipto! San Rafael Glacier and Lagoon; Suchen. 26 von 80 Aktivitäten in Aisen Region. It’s only accessible by water, which means you’ll need to plan ahead of time if you want to visit. Río Exploradores. San Rafael’s magnificent landscapes are a mosaic of fjords, channels, islands, inlets, and ice. Just watched a short piece on the glacier on a TV show here in Australia, then Googled … and found your post! San Rafael Glacier is one of the most impressive, hence why it gives its name to the park. Considering the quick retreat of the ice, a day trip to the San Rafael Glacier really might end up being a once in a lifetime opportunity. The first 40 seats sell for the lowest price and prices go up after that. Accessible by day trip from Río Tranquilo in the Aysén Region of Chile, the San Rafael Glacier is an unmissable highlight of Patagonia. Everywhere else, you’ll need some basic language skills to get the most out of your trip. We loved this trip so much it was the final deciding factor in booking our Antarctica cruise! The trip continues on water through the Golfo Elefantes until you reach the San Rafael Lagoon (roughly two and a half hours). One of the largest glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Ice field in southern Chile, you can only access San Rafael from the water. Discover the San Rafael Lagoon Glacier There’s plenty to choose from all within a short walk of the pick up point for the cruise too. It is one of the most dynamic glaciers in Patagonia because of its steep descent, dropping 1200m in 20km. Please keep in mind that the road past the Cerro Castillo National Park is primarily gravel road. Icebergs litter the lake, their bright blue crevices contrasting against the grey skies above. I would strongly suggest to avoid an “economy model”, but go with something more robust. The ice field has many glaciers, the largest 2 being San Quintin and San Rafael, both falling into the Pacific Ocean. It’s simply too awe-inspiring, I absolutely loved the trip! Any recommendations for lodging as well? Over 4km wide, and rearing out of the water to a height of 70m, it really is a dizzying sight. Travelers are voting San Quintin Glacier, San Rafael Glacier and Colonia Glacier as the best of 7 glaciers in Laguna San Rafael National Park. Travel from PC to LSR takes about 4 to 4.5 hours by a high speed boat similar to those between Hyannis and Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard (for those who know them). Ledis. We slowly approached the ice wall during almost two hours, marveling at the unique structures of the glacier’s ice. Visiting secluded places like San Rafael Glacier gets you away from society, but it sometimes makes it challenging to locate a hotel. Laguna San Rafael Glacier | Fjords, icebergs & seals, Getting around Buenos Aires like a Porteño, Patagonia packing list essentials | Tips for a perfect adventure, A Practical Guide to Campervan Ovens & Alternatives, Charging a Leisure Battery Bank | RV Battery Charging, The Best Battery to Battery Chargers for Campervan Conversions. It takes approximately 9h 5m to get from Santiago to San Rafael Glacier, including transfers. The zodiac’s pilot retrieved a large piece of ice. We’d glimpse an occasional seal, bobbing up from the depths to check us out. They were about six dolphins, taking advantage of the tides to catch some disoriented fish. San Rafael Glacier and Lagoon is located in Aisen Region. Chipped from the block, ice is loaded into tumblers and the whisky is poured! No point in dumping it back into the ocean though. Wrap up warm and spend time out on the deck to breathe in the fresh Patagonian air and appreciate the land lying before you. Tourists throng to Laguna San Rafael to see the spectacular calving of ice from the glacier’s 230 ft. (70m) snout, leaving a jumble of icebergs bobbing in the frigid waters. Ask us a question Operator's Itinerary . This is the most common way to visit the San Rafael Glacier. Before visiting San Rafael Glacier, here’s a few things you should know to help you get the most out of your trip. It is connected to the sea through the Témpano Channel. This is how we visited the glacier and you’ll know from reading this article, we loved every minute of it. There aren't any within 60 miles (96 kilometers). If you have any questions about Patagonia, travelling in a vehicle or even building a campervan, contact us by email at [email protected]. The ice of the San Rafael Glacier was steadily building up immense pressure from the Northern Patagonian Ice Fields and therefore constantly in motion – accompanied by fearsome cracking, creaking and rumbling noises. This indeed felt like luxury in a crazy, idyllic setting. If you do not want to drive to Puerto Tranquilo, I’m absolutely sure that the few tour operators would organize a ride for you, such as Río Explorades. Hi, Which of the 2 do you think is more impressive? It took me a few seconds to process and grasp the immense size of the glacier. San Rafael Glacier Last updated February 20, 2020. You can book in advance here or if you’re flexible on time, haggle for a discount when you book your Marble Caves tour. But every war demands its losses, so we honored the fallen blocks of ice by fishing a tiny part of them out of the water and enjoying our whiskey in it. Channels and fjords, along islands, waterfalls, and ancient forests. Coming from the Cerro Castillo National Park (so from the north), you’ll have to take a turn to the right – directly before the … The best way to get from Santiago to San Rafael Glacier without a car is to bus and bus and ferry and travel which takes 29h 16m and costs. Your email address will not be published. We continued to navigate through the channel more slowly now, carefully evading the ice tips that towered out of the dark water. Required fields are marked *. The San Rafael Glacier is one of the major outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field in southern Chile and is the tidewater glacier nearest the equator. Yet we found it difficult to plan our first trip, so we've written extensively about it to help you out! US $250 will secure you a seat on this day trip. Your email address will not be published. After about 2.5 hours, the boat will reach Laguna San Rafael National Park and the San Rafael Glacier. As far as I can remember, it was an automatic. After a decent lunch, the catamaran approached the entrance to Laguna San Rafael. Trip to the Glaciers, San Rafael Lagoon with Catamaranes del Sur Chile, cruise for 3 days on board the Iceberg Expedition Catamaran del sur. Especially if you travel between December and February. But all too soon, 14 hours had flown by. Let Expedia help inspire your next travel plans! For overlanders | the lovely reception staff at Loberias del Sur hotel allowed us to park our campervan in their secure parking for free for 2 nights. If you’re planning a trip to Patagonia, chances are you’ve heard of Perito Moreno, Argentina’s constantly advancing glacier. You’ll find all major car rental companies at Balmaceda or Coyhaique. Unlike other glaciers, San Rafael Glacier is surrounded by lush green jungles, which creates an unusual backdrop against the stark blue colors of the ice. We can put this ice to good use! Did you enjoy our San Rafael Glacier so far? It’s difficult for me to accept that future generations – and maybe even you – probably won’t ever get a chance to enjoy the same astonishing view I had. For lodging, I can highly recommend the eco-hostel El Puesto – very clean and beautiful place. } 26 von 80 Aktivitäten in Aisen Region. I flew from Santiago de Chile to Balmaceda (near Coyhaique), where I rented a 4WD and drove down to Puerto Tranquilo (roughly three hours). Nr. As you will probably travel to the San Rafael Glacier via Puerto Tranquilo, make sure you reserve two or three hours to visit the magical Marble Caves at Lake Gran Carrera! The ice field extends over this mountain and the surrounding hills, giving birth to 19 glaciers. The Laguna San Rafael is a small bay at the farsouth end of the Moraleda channel. It also means I’ll have to stay in Balmaceda. The morning sun, breaking through ill-boding clouds, spilled golden rays onto lush forest covered islands. I am thinking of visiting the San Rafael glacier this december, and will also be going to Torres del paine. Hope it helps, and enjoy! Once onboard, we motored through the brash ice, getting ever closer to the looming blue wall ahead. Today it is a popular tourism destination, and ships sail from Puerto Chacabuco, Puyuhuapi and Puerto Montt to the lagoon nearly every day to see the ice falling from the … We managed to buy 2 of the last 4 seats available the day before for CLP 200000 each when we arrived at the hotel. At the exchange rates at the time of writing, that’s about US $190 to US $275 or GBP £155 to GBP £225. And of course, don’t forget your camera with extra batteries. Get a copy of the, If you want to explore Patagonia in a rental car, make sure to book in advance. The snow-capped Patagonian mountains in the distance, jungle-like forests along the shores, amazing air, astonishing icebergs and wild dolphins really made it an amazing start of our trip to the San Rafael Glacier. Hi I’m wondering what’s the best way to rent a car and if it’s possible to rent an automatic one in coyhaique area. The fjords, glaciers and magnificent scenery of Chilean Patagonia attract visitors to this vast wilderness every year. The cruise ship, however, is a multi-day trip and probably more costly than operators in Puerto Tranquilo, such as Río Exploradores. One of the largest glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Ice field in southern Chile, you can only access San Rafael from the water. Increasing global temperatures has seen San Rafael Glacier retreat on a significant scale – 12 kilometres in less than 150 years. 7 Reviews . The most adventurous option for visiting Glacier San Rafael is with a kayaking tour. The trip takes a total of 14 hours and leaves from Puerto Chacabuco. However, a month or so before we arrived, a massive landslide cut off the road to traffic and we couldn’t get up-to-date information about any affect on the tours. The total journey takes around 14 hours and costs about between CLP 150000 and CLP 215000 per person. The crew spotted them already from far away and we went nuts (as we hadn’t even considered the possibility of seeing dolphins), but it got even better when they came close to our boat and curiously swam along with us. A sharp left, sharp right and one more left, and we’ve safely navigated into the Laguna San Rafael and the glacier comes into view. In awe, we sipped bubbles from champagne flutes held in our gloved hands. We spent the next few hours gawping at the views, trying to spot seals, dolphins and birds. forms: { San Rafael Glacier and Lagoon. English is widely spoken in the major tourist towns in the south, like El Calafate, El Chalten and Puerto Natales. Hope it helps! Be prepared to travel by water from Puerto Rio Tranquillo or Puerto Chacabuco, our favourite route is by kayak. Also, its sapphire-colored ice has made it a feature of many documentaries and brochures. Thanks, Kip. Some structures even resembled a gate, reminding me of The Wall in Game of Thrones. The San Rafael Glacier is one of the major outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field in southern Chile and is the tidewater glacier nearest the equator. Boats filled with visitors will have to carve their way through these mini icebergs to arrive at the face of the glacier. We loved this part of the tour. For more info, please check our disclosure page. Try to learn Spanish or at the very least have some basic phrases. Sounds fantastic. But the buses still get through. There will be ample time to enjoy the views and snap photos of the floating blocks of ice and wide variety of wildlife that's commonly visible, including marine otters, sea lions, black-necked … The ship visited various attractions including SAN RAFAEL GLACIER. The San Rafael Glacier attracts visitors from all over the world, who set out from Puerto Chacabuco or Puerto Tranquilo to admire its vast, untouched horizons and its biodiversity. It must be spectacular! Check with the tour operators though because the number of sailings falls drastically. Bitte geben Sie ein anderes Datum ein. The weather isn’t always predictable and the operators have limited capacities (as Puerto Tranquilo is only a tiny town). Southbound | Keep following the Carretera Austral and explore Lago General Carrera. The tallest peak in the Southern Andes, Mount San Valentín (4,058 m or 13,310 ft), is located in the park. This gave us peace of mind the van was in good hands while we visited the glacier and meant we could indulge in an extra whisky on the return leg of the cruise. After the onboard breakfast, we ventured out on deck. Learn how your comment data is processed. Great blog Valentin. I passively mumbled to our guide Christopher how amazed I was about the size of the San Rafael Glacier, after which he dryly answered: “Yes, yes…do you see the lighter rocky parts next to the ice? Time is not a problem, but I don’t know if I want to drive the three hrs. Thanks, Kip. Usually contracted small yachts ( 8-12 PAX ) for multiple-day trips to San Rafael National Park the., waterfalls, and will be flying in to Santiago then fly down can... Would like to do it but we couldn ’ t been to Grey near... You ’ re awed widely spoken in the off season first icebergs we ’ re not hot... After about 2.5 hours, the passenger were called to climb aboard the inflatable zodiac.... 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