Is one of the most beautiful places in Chilean Patagonia. Here you can witness a process that has been continued for more than 18.000 years, a process that has slowly shaped the distinct geography of Chilean Patagonia.
The National Park San Rafael Lagoon was created in 1959 and was declared a World Biosphere Reservation by UNESCO in 1979. It’s current area is 1.772.000 hectares. Within it’s boundaries is the highest mountain in the Patagonian area, Mountain San Valentine and the Rafael Glacier.
San Rafael Glaciar has been categorized as a Calving type due to its permanent contact with the marine water. The glacier is 40 kilometers long, 160 to 224 feet high and between 3 and 4 kilometers wide. The trip begins in Puerto Chacabuco and it takes 4 hours to get to the lagoon. The lanscape is really wonderful, the catamaran sails along channels surrounded by mountains with native forests, green islands and fiords. in addition is possible to observe “leopard seals” and local birds.
After a couple of hours the firsts pieces of ice appear and you can’t believe the color of them that varies from and intense blue to a crystalline white. The guides said to us that the best day are the cloudy ones because the color of the ice is more intense and we were lucky!
The catamaran approaches 2 kms of the glaciar, more near could be dangerous because of the underwater ice. Then you can go on a little ride in a zodiac between the icebergs, it’s so amazing because you are so much closer to the ice, so you can see the details of the texture, shapes and colors. This place is also the home of Rafaella, the leopard seal, she is very nice and photogenic. This is definitively the most wonderful trip that i ever made and i really hope you can visit this place before it disappears.