Sailing in San Rafael Lagoon

If one of your dreams is to navigate between icebergs and you think it is expensive and that you have to go to the poles to do so, well, here you have an opportunity to see them at Laguna San Rafaél, in el Río Témpano, where these pieces of ice float, with different shapes, sizes and colors.
To enter the Aysén Region you must have negative Pcr taken with a maximum of 96 hours. Each commune is in a different phase and you can consult the phases in the following link, for the rest of the necessary requirements to enter the region and where to perform pcr, consult the following link

These icebergs are small parts of ice that had fall from the San Rafaél Glacier. To see them appear, as you navigate through el Río Témpano and Laguna San Rafaél, is an exciting spectacle worth observing and photographing, so much, that you do not even know in what direction to look.

This lagoon, as the Exploradores Glacier, is located within the Laguna San Rafaél National Park in the Aysén Region of Chilean Patagonia, and the time to visit it is during the months from September to April.

During this tour, you will see the San Rafaél Glacier and you will have the opportunity to feel like royalty, as you are able to enjoy food, drinks, and a glass of whiskey with millenary ice taken directly from the glacier if included.

Tours can be taken from Puerto Río Tranquilo or from Puerto Chacabuco. If you depart from the last one, you will have to travel a greater distance and, therefore, it will take you longer to complete the tour. There are also other options that depart from Puerto Montt and Coyhaique.

When you select the city from which you will take the tour, in addition to considering prices and tour times, you should keep in mind that the services and characteristics vary between the different service providers, as well as the size of the boats, times of permanence near the glacier, the availability of bathrooms on board, etc.

This, along with the visit to the Marble Cathedrals and the Walk on the Exploradores Glacier, are the main tours that you can take from Puerto Río Tranquilo, a must stop on your visit to Chilean Patagonia, as part of the Carretera Austral route.

Navigation to Laguna San Rafaél from Puerto Río Tranquilo

From Puerto Río Tranquilo, you must go by car or private transportation (usually included) to Bahía Exploradores and there take the boat that will take you to Laguna San Rafaél.

This journey, through the Exploradores Valley, will take you about 2 hours by car. Once there, you will navigate to the lagoon for approximately 2:30-3 hours. The time you will be able to stay in the lagoon, contemplating the San Rafaél Glacier, is approximately 1:30-2 hours. In total, consider about 12 hours since you leave Puerto Río Tranquilo at 7 a.m. until you come back at 7 p.m.

I highly recommend checking the weather before picking the tour date, specifically in the lagoon, since the weather there may be different from the weather in other nearby places. Likewise, it is a rainy and cold area.

The tour company will also check the climate to see if they are able to navigate that day.

If you can imagine yourself as in the movies, navigating between icebergs, take a look at a millenary glacier, and have the time and money to do so, just go for it! And remember that in a few more years, the glacier will shrink in size and the experience will not be the same.

Author’s Comments

In my case, I did the tour on a cloudy and rainy day. However, I consider that the clouds brought beauty and contrast to the resulting photographs, in that way, ended being more poetic and artistic.

The captain pointed out to me that cloudy days made the colors of the icebergs stand out.

In my case, the best part of this tour is the moment when the icebergs began to appear as we got closer to the lagoon.

The other interesting part of them is that, depending on the angle from where you look at them, you will see different shapes, colors, and compositions in the same iceberg.

Icebergs become such when landslides occur on the glacier. It is possible that you can see these detachments, as they may or may not occur when you are there.

You can also listen to the sound and missed it, since they occur so fast that when you turn around it already happened, and you do not have time to photograph or film the moment. It only remains in your memory.

When you go to the Carretera Austral, I recommend selecting the places to visit, according to your budget, time available, and tastes. But probably you will want to see everything!

Although touring Chilean Patagonia make take a long time, do not be discouraged, choose according to your preferences, look at photos and you will surely be able to choose the best places for you. There is a phrase in Patagonia that says: Who rushes in Patagonia, losses time! So, enjoy your trip and be happy!

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  • Cristián Andrés González lucero
    Posted at 22:27h, 09 November Reply

    Me interesa el tour voy por primera vez a cohayque

    • atravelphoto
      Posted at 11:23h, 19 November Reply

      Hola! Genial! Para ir debes buscar en internet o una vez estando en Puerto Tranquilo una agencia que lo haga 🙂 suerte en tu viaje!

  • Juan Guerrero
    Posted at 15:40h, 19 December Reply

    Nos interesa una navegación a Laguna San Rafael por enos dos o tres noches somos 6 personas . ? Que nos puedes ofrecer y cuánto saldría?
    Vamos al sur en primera quincena de Febrero.

    • atravelphoto
      Posted at 10:38h, 20 December Reply

      Hola! Ante todo, gracias por tu comentario. Lamentablemente en la actualidad no cuento con una empresa de turismo, simplemente soy nómada viajera e intento mostrar los posibles lugares que se pueden visitar en los lugares que recorro. Saludos y feliz viaje! Espero encuentren lo que buscan 🙂


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