In response to information from the health authority regarding the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the National Forest Corporation (Conaf) has decided to temporarily close all national parks, national reserves and natural monuments until the health alert is lifted by health authorities.
San Rafael’s magnificent landscapes are a mosaic of fjords, channels, islands, inlets, and ice. Declared a Biosphere Reserve, the park is the main port of entry to Chile’s Northern Icefields and the second-largest National Park in the country. 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. Charles Darwin, Fitz Roy, and Alberto de Agostini are just a few of the historical figures who have helped spread the word about this wonderful hidden corner of Aysén.
In the park, you can find tree species such as the Coigüe de Magallanes and Coigüe de Chiloé, along with Mañíos, Canelos, Tepa, Ciprés de las Guaitecas (Pilgerodendron), Tineo, Ulmo, and others. Among bushes, Calafate (Magellan Barberry), Michay Blanco, Chaura, Escalonia, and Pangue are just a few of the many species present in the park.
The Huemul (South Andean Deer) finds a perfect habitat here, as do the Puma and Guiña (Kodkod). Its fjords and channels are home to Toninas (Commerson’s Dolphins), Sea Lions, Chungungos (Marine Otters), Huillín (Southern River Otters), and Sea Leopards, and its forests are home to Chucaos and Hued Hueds, among other birds.
The parklands are ancestral territory of the Chono people, a nomadic people who navigated the islands and channels in their canoes, moving between the south of Chiloé and the Taitao Peninsula. They hunted Sea Lions, fished, and gathered shellfish and seaweed along the coast.
From Coyhaique, travel south on the Carretera Austral (Route 7) for around 134 miles, before arriving at Puerto Tranquilo. From there, take Route X-78 toward Exploradores Valley for 32 miles.
To get to Coyhaique from Puerto Chacabuco, take Route 240 for 48 miles, until you arrive at the pier where boats set out for Laguna San Rafael.
Buses travel regularly from Coyhaique to Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Tranquilo. From either of the latter towns, you can take a boat to the park. Schedules are available in the bus terminal in Coyhaique.
Five-night (round-trip) cruises are available from Puerto Montt to Laguna San Rafael. Find more information at: (www.skorpios.cl)
There are also various day trips to Laguna San Rafael available in Puerto Chacabuco.
Finally, you can also visit the San Rafael Glacier from Puerto Tranquilo, crossing the Exploradores River Valley until you reach Puerto Grosse. From there, various boats make day trips to the lagoon.
Trips in small planes are available, taking off from Puerto Aysén and Coyhaique and landing on the shores of Laguna San Rafael. The flight takes around an hour.
2 hours total
A walk from the pier to the base of the San Rafael Glacier.
Starting Point: Puntilla del Cisne
12 hours total
An excursion that offers a close-up view of the glacier wall, which is 1.25 miles wide and 164 feet tall. Visitors frequently catch glimpses of icefalls.
Starting Point: Puerto Chacabuco.
Media - Alta
6 hours total, approximately
A hike through a leafy forest and a glacial moraine, ending at the ice.
Starting Point:32 miles west of Puerto Tranquilo.
18 to 59 years $ 4000
12 to 17 years $ 2000
Older 59 years exempt
Less than 12 years exempt
Under 17 and older 59 years exempt
18 to 59 years $ 2000
Older 18 years $ 8000
12 to 17 years $ 4000
Flat rate for different capacities
5,000 person / night max 6px per site + park admission value per person
Discover one of the most pristine areas of Patagonia, visiting Cerro Castillo National Park, and then head towards Puerto Tranquilo, the gateway to the Laguna San Rafael National Park. Continue south to explore the wonders of Patagonia National Park, Tortel and Villa O'Higgins.
Head south from Coyhaique along the Carretera Austral to Puerto Tranquilo, the gateway to Laguna San Rafael National Park, visiting the marble formations of General Carrera Lake from Puerto Sánchez. Return north to explore Cerro Castillo National Park.
The main port in the Aysén region, and the starting point for most trips to the Patagonian Channels.
The second-most-populous city in Aysén, located 40 miles from Coyhaique.
Capital of the Aysén region and its largest urban area, located at the confluence of the Coyhaique and Simpson rivers.
Located on the southwestern shore of Lake General Carrera, 186 miles from Coyhaique and 71 miles from Chile Chico.
Near the "marble chapels" (Capillas de Mármol) and the Exploradores River Valley, this town is 139 miles south of Coyhaique.
With boardwalks made of Ciprés de las Guaitecas (Pilgerodendron) in place of traditional streets, this town is located at the mouth of the Baker River, 273 miles south of Balmaceda.
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