Trip to the Glaciers of "Southern Ice Field"
Most valleys have yet to be explored since they have not yet been
visited by man. It is the last wild habitat of the Huemul (Andean
deer). How these animals crossed to these hidden valleys is still
a mystery today since most of the area is surrounded by glaciers stretching
all the way to the sea.
From this vast iced plateau with an elevation which can some times
go to more than 1.500 meters (4.920 feet) above sea level, 300 glaciers
flow to the east and west. Among these, the largest and most spectacular
are, flowing westward: Pío XI or Ana María or J.Bruguen
(three different names from three different cartographies), Jorge
Montt, Bernardo, Témpanos or Iceberg, Greve, Europa, Guilardi,
Asia (Calvo-Andrew), Amalia and flowing to the east the most important
ones are the O'Higgins, Chico, Upsala, Perito Moreno,Viedma, Frías,
Dickson, Grey, Tindall, among others.
In general terms, glaciers are withdrawing at quite fast a rate but
some, in the last 40 years, have advanced, stopped and then withdrawn
(Pio XI). Some explanation of this dynamic was given by the English
glaciologist John Mercer, who we accompanied during two consecutive
expeditions to Campos de Hielo Sur jointly with a team of scientists
from the Ohio University Polar Institute. These scientists were there
to analyze the earth climactic changes of the last 14.000 years, the
era of post-glacial withdrawal in Western Patagonia.
The Captain of our ship`acquired his experience by navigating over
more than 70.000 miles in the Southern Pacific, for the major part
carrying passengers in his own ships. This gives us the necessary
confidence and assurance to propose this spectacular adventure.
All briefings and instructions required during the excursion will
be given as soon as we board the yacht and during navigation. You
will start to enjoy yourself as soon as we approach our goal and begin
the exploration of these enormous and astoundingly beautiful glaciers
flowing into the sea.
itinerary could undergo some changes because of weather conditions
and prevailing winds during navigation and approximation to glaciers.
The possible changes will be evaluated by the Captain with the guide
or head of the group in case changes have to be made.
1 BALMACEDA - COYHAIQUE
you at Balmaceda airport and drive you in a private bus to a cozy
and comfortable hotel in Coyhaique to rest and relax. In the evening
and before dinner, there will be complimentary cocktails, followed
by a lecture on Patagonia and the area you are about to discover.
Meals on passenger's account.
2 COYHAIQUE - AUSTRAL ROAD - CASTILLO MOUNTAIN RANGE - GENERAL CARRERA
we will start our drive south on the Austral Road, stopping at the
Cerro Castillo Tehuelche ceremonial site for a short visit. Some of
the ceremonial sites in the region are up to 10.000 years old. After
a picnic in the area, we will continue along the steep spurs of the
beautiful Castillo Range and accross the Cajon Jofre pass, heading
toward the Murta River. We will finally reach General Carrera Lake,
the second largest in South America. We will drive along the west
bank of the lake, admiring theCampos de Hielo Norte (Northern Ice
Field). At the end of the day we will reach our comfortable Lodge
which is located by the lake with a view of the San Valentine, the
highest mountain of Patagonia. During the drive we will stop in several
places to enjoy the view or take pictures.
At the Lodge we will be welcomed with a cocktail (pisco sour) and
a good meal and Chilean wine.
3 LAGO CARRERA - BAKER RIVER - TORTEL, BOARDING OF THE CHUNGUNGO SHIP
we will continue, stopping at the best view points on the road: the
source of the Baker river, the big fall at the confluence of the Baker
with the Nef which we can approach and the Baker river edge. We then
continue until reaching Puerto Vagabundo, on the Baker, to board a
small boat that will take us downstream all the way down to the little
hamlet of Caleta Tortel. We will then briefly visit the village and
walk along its "hanging sidewalks" made of the scented local
cypress wood. We will meet some of the villagers and hear some of
the fantastic stories of their settlement. We will then board the
ship for a welcome cocktail and dinner offered by Captain Ricardo
Born and the beginning of a great adventure.
4-12 NAVIGATION BETWEEN TORTEL AND NATALES AND ON SHORE EXCURSIONS
calls for 9 days visiting and going on shore excursions at the following
glaciers Jorge Montt, Ofhidro, Glaciar Bernardo and Glaciar Iceberg
or Témpanos. After visiting them we continue along the Messier
Canal (or Angostura Inglesa) stopping at Puerto Edén, where
we will disembark for a short visit to the village. This picturesque
village on Wellington Island, was the last refuge for the Canoe Indians
such as the Kaweskar, Alacalufes or Sea Nomads, where they lived and
kept some of their traditions.
Afterwards we will continue toward the Pio XI Glacier and the Guillardi
Fjord and the glacier at it's end. Then to Peel Fjord and the Amalia
and Asia glaciers with many floating icebergs. Finally we will reach
Puerto Natales after passing through the Canal de Las Montañas.
The trip includes on shore excursions such as easy treks along the
edges of the glaciers (when access is possible) and along the valleys
In the case of some glaciers we will also be able to get close to
the front wall and also observe them from natural view points . We
will board inflatable boats to go ashore or navigate around the floating
icebergs. The vastness of the land together with the real loneliness
of the place will make us experience a feeling that will be remembered
for the rest of our lives.
In the evening, once on board there will be good meals and good wines
to help us relax and prepare for the next day. On day 12 we will arrive
in Puerto Natales where we will disembark for a free afternoon and
dinner on passenger's account. Back to the ship for the night.
13 VISIT TO TORRES DEL PAINE AND THE MILODON CAVE
breakfast on board, we will drive to the Torres del Paine National
Park and visit the Milodon Cave. We will come back to Puerto Natales
for the last night on board. Farwell dinner.
14 PUNTA ARENAS
to Punta Arenas stopping along the way at a Penguin Colony then to
the airport for the flight home.
Min 6 person
Fly and Drive (car rentals and hotel reservations) in Patagonia,
Aisen, Torres del Paine, Natales, Punta Arenas, Calafate and/or Chalten,
as additional options.
- English speaking guide
- All land transfers to and from the airports
- Transfers in comfortable vehicles in Aysen and Magallanes
- 13 nights lodging, based on double room, at hotels and on board
of the ship
- All meals with Chilean wine except 2 dinners (1 in Coyhaique
and 1 in Puerto Natales)
- On shore excursions, treks, photography, wildlife observation.
- Excursion to Torres del Paine and the Milodon Cave
- Involvement in some of the tasks of the motorsailboat
NOT INCLUDED :
- Tips, phone calls and extras
- Travel insurance, please bring. We recommend you verify that
your health insurance will cover you during your stay in Chile.
You may also wish to obtain a short-term traveler's insurance
policy in your home country, to cover yourself and your equipment.
- Before the trip, all passengers must sign a "Release of
liability for risks and exemption of responsibility of the operators
for personal accidents, displacemente, medical and other expenses"
itineraries: from Caleta Tortel to Puerto Natales and from Natales
to Caleta Tortel On shore excursions and hikes along the largest glaciers
of the Southern Ice Field.
South to North: Punta Arenas - Natales - Tortel - Balmaceda
The schedule for this alternative is the same but the trip begins
at Punta Arenas airport and ends in Balmaceda, after a 14 days/13