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NAVIGATING & KAYAKING SAN RAFAEL NATIONAL PARK (8 DAYS)

An adventurer's dream - navigating & kayaking San Rafael National Park in beautiful Aysén!

Overview

Northern Patagonia, traditionally a remote and an extremely difficult region to access, holds some of the best wonders of all of Patagonia. Icefields and endless fjords, lagoons, rivers, and forests, this 8-day navigating and kayaking expedition takes you to San Rafael National Parks’s Bahía Exploradores, Laguna San Rafael, Bahía San Quintin, Isla del Diablo, and the iconic Marble Caves. A combination of local refugio accommodations and tent camping on the beach, this trip is an adventure deep into the real wonders of Northern Patagonia.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
• Pass through Villa Cerro Castillo
• Navigation in San Rafael National Park
• See the Northern Patagonian Ice Fields
• Experience Fjords, Inlets, Channels and Evergreen Forests
• Visit the Isthmus of Ofqui & Marble Caves
• See Hundreds of Stranded Iceberg “Sculptures”
• Various Zodiac Navigations through Pristine Waters
• Explore the Beautiful Region of Aysén Patagonia!

Trip length

8 DAYS

Trip Level

4

MODERATE

From USD

$New Season Pricing to Come!

Start / End

Balmaceda Airport

Spaces:

MIN 2 MAX 8 PEOPLE

Season

October
November
December
January
February
March
April

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Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome Reception in Balmaceda – Transfer to Cerro Castillo – Puerto Tranquilo

5 Hour Private Transfer

Night at Hostel El Puesto (D)

The crew welcomes guests upon arrival at the Balmaceda Airport before setting off in a private transfer to Puerto Tranquilo with a stop along the way in Cerro Castillo for lunch in the town.

Upon arriving to Puerto Tranquilo, the group enjoys a welcome dinner and briefing session together, preparing for the upcoming 7 days of pure adventure.

Day 2

Transfer to Bahía Exploradores

Navigation to San Rafael National Park – Hike to Río Negro – Navigation to San Quintin Beach

2.5 Hour Private Transfer – 3 Hours Total Navigation – 2 Hour Hike / 2 KM

Night Camping at San Quintin Beach (B-BL-D)

Our day begins at 7AM with a private transfer along a road traveling through a valley towards the sea, presenting a variety of landscapes that speak of the social and natural history of the Aysén region. Hanging glaciers, forests, rivers and lakes can be seen along the route until reaching Bahía Exploradores. Upon arrival, we board a boat where our guide will give a brief safety talk and general description of our trip. After boarding our boat “La Certeza” or “La Resistencia”, a smooth 2 hour navigation begins while we will enjoy our breakfast.

After arriving to our destination we disembark in the Ofqui beach sector. Here we have lunch before walking along a historic path, where you can see the vestiges of what was the attempt to build a canal between the years 1838 -1840 0 in order to join Laguna San Rafael with the Gulf of Penas.

Our walk advances through a swampy sector and although it is a 2 km walk, the duration is approximately 2 hours, until we reach the Negro River, where we will embark on a 1-hour zodiac boat to start the descent down the river where we arrive to San Quintin beach, which offers a view of the imposing glacier of the same name. Here we set up our camp and prepare dinner. Throughout this journey, you will be able to learn the history of Ofqui and enjoy the beautiful beach at the end of the road, eternal and long where the waves that come from the Gulf of Penas crash.

Day 3

Round-trip Hike to Devil’s Island

5 – 6 Hour Hike / 15 KM

Night Camping at San Quintin Beach (B-BL-D)

After our breakfast we will start a walk that we will combine with navigating the zodiac boat, depending on the preference of the group. The tour will follow the bank of the San Tadeo river to Isla del Diablo, approximately 15 kilometers round trip. Along the way we can observe various birds, whale bones, recognize flora and fauna, trace animal tracks and imagine the history of the sector. It must be considered that this extreme and distant landscape was traveled for centuries by canoe groups and later by missionaries and navigators who recorded their passage from the year 1,500 onwards.
To date it is a sector little investigated and in each of our trips we seek to contribute with different elements that allow us to know more about the life that passes in this place. Thus, the invitation to our passengers is to feel part of exploration; to search, associate, investigate and enjoy.

We will return back to our camp in the evening where we will prepare dinner and enjoy another nights’ rest along the beach.

Day 4

Return to Laguna San Rafael

2 Hour Hike – 1 Hour Zodiac Navigation – 40 Minute Walk to Refugio

Night at Refugio Caiquenes (B-BL-D)

Following breakfast, we will begin our return to Laguna San Rafael following the same 2 km path where we will board our boat or zodiac, crossing towards the north shore of Laguna San Rafael towards Laguna Caiquenes. Depending on the tidal conditions, we will disembark at the pier or directly at the refugio. If it at the pier, a 40-minute walk to the refuge should be considered.

Today is a relaxed day and the afternoon will be spent settling in the refugio, recovering from the previous expedition and enjoy the calm of the sector.

A visit to the beach to watch the sunset is recommended this evening following a warm dinner together as a group.

Day 5

Hiking Mirador Trail & Kayaking Clinic

Varied Short Hikes Available During this Day’s Itinerary

Night at Refugio Caiquenes (B-BL-D)

After breakfast we will start our hike along the Viewpoint Trail, a medium intensity trail of about 1.5 hours. Here it is possible to observe and listen to the thunderous ice falls, tangible proof of the rapid retreat of the ice. We will observe species of flora such as coigue de chiloe and magallanes, canelos, nalcas, nirre, ciruelillo, tepa, cipres de las guaitecas, tenio mañio and the endemic Hebe salicifolia that only grows in the San Rafael lagoon park. Characteristic birds of the evergreen forest and marine ecosystems will also accompany our journey and if we are lucky, we will be able to see the shy pudú and the guiñas. After our short hike we will have the option to develop various activities based on the interest of the group.

We will enjoy lunch at the refugio and later we will complete a kayak clinic to prepare us for our kayak excursion tomorrow. We spent the night again in the refugio after enjoying another delicious dinner together.

Day 6

Full Day Kayak Excursion in San Rafael National Park

Night at Refugio Caiquenes (B-BL-D)

An early breakfast will be enjoyed to ensure we have plenty of nourishment for our kayaking journey today.

The route today will depend on the current weather conditions and the guide’s recommendation, but either way, a full-day kayak excursion in San Rafael National Park will take us to some amazing sights along calm, glacial waters. During our excursion we can spot several marine life, native bird species, wildlife, flora & fauna.

In the evening we return to spend the evening at our refugio and enjoy dinner as we relax and share about our day.

Day 7

Navigation to Glaciers – Transfer to Puerto Tranquilo

40 Minute Walk – 2 Hours Total Navigation

Night in Puerto Tranquilo Cabin (B-BL-D)

Following breakfast we will make our way to the CONAF pier, about a 40 minute walk where we will board our boat for our navigation to the glacial wall of the San Rafael Glacier. We will take time to observe the massive ice wall while enjoying lunch inside the boat with incredible views. After lunch the boat will navigate to Bahía Exploradores where we will disembark and take a private transfer to Puerto Tranquilo where we will spend the evening and dine together as a group.

Day 8

Kayak Excursion Marble Caves – Return to Balmaceda

1 Hour Kayak or Boat Excursion – Private Transfer to Balmaceda Airport (B)

Following breakfast we will have the wonderful opportunity to kayak to the iconic Marble Caves. Once finished, a private transfer will take guests to the Balmaceda Airport for their departing flight in the afternoon or Coyhaique if guests will be continuing their travels onward from here.

INCLUDED

  • All Private Transportation Indicated in Schedule
  • All Meals Indicated in Schedule (B: breakfast, BL: box lunch, D: dinner)
  • Entrance Fees to Parks
  • One Night Accommodation in Hostel El Puesto in Puerto Tranquilo
  • Two Nights Camping in San Quintin Beach
  • Four Nights Accommodation in Puerto Tranquilo (3 Nights Refugio Caiquenes & 1 Night in Puerto Tranquilo Cabins)
  • Camping Equipment (2 person tents, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, etc.)
  • Certified Professional Kayak Guides (English-Spanish speaking)
  • Introduction to Kayaking Skills (such as maneuverability, rescue techniques) *Ongoing instructions given throughout expedition
  • Double & Individual Kayaks with Fully-Equipped Rudder
  • Kayaking Equipment: oars, life jacket, neoprene suit, neoprene boots, neoprene mittens, semi-dry rowing jackets, and kayaking accessories)
  • Safety & Emergency Equipment (including VHF radio, satellite phone, first aid kit)
  • All Zodiac Navigations Indicated in Schedule
  • Metlife Accident Insurance

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic or International Flights
  • Costs for Air or Sea Evacuations
  • Medical Expenses
  • Personal Expenses
  • Any Additional Costs Incurred Due to Changes in Times or Itinerary That are Out of the Control of the Company
  • Medicine, Laundry, or Personal Belongings
  • Additional Nights Lodging
  • Gratuities for Guides/Driver

Trip length

8 DAYS

Trip Level

4

MODERATE

From USD

$New Season Pricing to Come!

Start / End

Balmaceda Airport

Spaces:

MIN 2 MAX 8 PEOPLE

Season

October
November
December
January
February
March
April

Lodgings

Dates & Prices

Program prices are determined on the final number of confirmed guests in a group. The per person price lowers as more guests join the group. Chile Nativo operates with a maximum of 8 guests per departure which allows for a high level of individualized service and an unforgettable personalized experience.

PRICES FOR SEASON 2021/2022: (valid until April 2022)

2 Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!
3 Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!
4-5 Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!
6-7 Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!
8 Guests Total in Group: New Season Pricing to Come!

DEPARTURES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST!

FAQ's

Q: What Should I Bring?
A: It’s important to bring a small Day pack aside from your regular backpack which you will bring. A notebook to take notes and a camera is definitely recommended for the sights you will encounter during this trip. This is an adventure program, where it is necessary to consider that the sector where it takes place is very humid and swampy. It is isolated and the nearest medical center is 300 km away. Although we have done it with different types of passengers, families, children and older adults (in good physical condition), it is essential that the guest becomes aware of this condition. Clothing is important guests should always dress in layers: 1st layer (breathable T-shirts) 2nd (fleece coat, trekking pants, hat, gloves, neck cover), and 3rd layer (clothing for rain and wind – ideally a waterproof jacket and pants or a water layer – trekking shoes or rubber boots for water). Guests should also bring a pair of rest shoes, ideally crocs or similar.

Add-Ons & Upgrades

Reviews

The overall experience we had on the W-Trek tour exceeded our expectations and was the highlight of our 2-week trip! We thoroughly enjoyed the trip itinerary, hiking the various trails and getting to do different things (going on a boat, seeing glaciers, and seeing various wildlife). The camping experience was amazing! We enjoyed the comforts of heated yurts, warm showers, and restaurant quality food! The cooking staff was excellent, very entertaining and personable, great hospitality! The appetizers they prepared were some of our favorite dishes over our entire 2 week trip. The little touches like outlets, lotions, bed warmers, and staff friendliness made for a great stay! We would highly recommend this tour for someone interested in getting the full Patagonia experience. Great accommodations, great food, great people, and a once in a lifetime experience!

Fast Track W, Daniel T. & Family, USA

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  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Reviews

    Chile Nativo Travel
    5.0
    Based on 32 reviews
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    Sashi Perera
    Sashi Perera
    2020-03-26T03:03:07+0000
    The staff at Chile Nativo were so helpful with our pre trip enquiries. The plan and briefing we received for our 5 day... Independent W Trek were so useful, we enjoyed every moment of our trek. Big thanks to the team for a very memorable experience.read more
    Katie Kow
    Katie Kow
    2020-03-17T15:59:20+0000
    Seamlessly communicated and executed trip! Would recommend for sure!
    Fionna Tod
    Fionna Tod
    2020-02-26T15:41:33+0000
    Chile Nativo organised our self-guided 4 day trek in Torres del Paine and it was amazing. They arranged all the... transport, food and accommodation so all we needed to do was enjoy the hiking- which we certainly did! I would definitely use them again for similar adventures in the future.read more
    Fernanda Lela
    Fernanda Lela
    2020-01-19T04:47:14+0000
    Melhor empresa de turismo do Chile
    Mary Schmitz
    Mary Schmitz
    2019-08-25T14:00:18+0000
    I had the most amazing trip of my life with these guys - trekking around the Big O circuit. Incredible! Our guide,... Mauricio Vargas Delgado, knew every detail of the route. Getting the trip set up was easy - the staff is very responsive to any questions during planning and booking.read more
    Edric Subur
    Edric Subur
    2019-08-14T12:15:49+0000
    I am very happy with the service Chile Nativo provided. First of all, the experience during the trip itself was... amazing, the accommodation was more than I could ask for, the snack was delicious and our guide was not only very friendly but also extremely intelligent - he could answer all kind of questions we threw him about the park, animals, and geography! But the best part of Chile Nativo came up when a crisis hit. I got on the wrong bus the day before the tour started which prevented me from getting to the tour in time as a result. Daniella and Johana from the team were incredibly resourceful and kind to help me out of this situation. They worked after hours to help me find a private car that was willing to drive me from El Calafate to Puerto Natales in Chile. Johana even came to the office early morning to greet me and attend to me. I was beyond grateful for their professional service that really goes the extra mile in making sure I get to make to my trip and enjoy it thoroughly. Highly recommend Chille Nativo to everyone visiting Patagonia!read more
    Peter Noorani
    Peter Noorani
    2019-05-21T01:53:34+0000
    Working with Chile Nativo was a very positive experience. They were able to accommodate our dates with no issues,... despite the dates being offset from their usual schedule. Everyone we worked with was communicative and helpful, and we felt well prepared given the information (e.g. packing list) they provided. The most important benefit of traveling with Chile Nativo was our access to one of their guides, Fernando.I cannot give enough positive feedback for Fernando. While everything you'd expect from a good guide was present, Fernando delivers so far above and beyond what's expected. Any question we had about a tree, for example, Fernando could answer, and then provide several layers more detail and information. I’ve never been hugely into geology, but Fernando’s knowledge of the rock formations in the park added a fascinating element to our hike; everything around us became even more interesting. By the afternoon of the first day, it felt as though we were hiking with a good friend who happened to know everything about the park. We were genuinely sad to leave once the trip was complete. The entire time, I felt that we were getting the very most out of our hike, and that Fernando knew the tips and tricks to avoiding crowds and getting the best views. A huge plus is his photography skills, too! Fernando was recommended to us by a friend, and we’ve been insistent to all our friends who’ve asked about our trip that they should also use Chile Nativo and ask for Fernando.read more
    Eline Lonchay
    Eline Lonchay
    2019-03-29T18:51:04+0000
    I did the Fjord Trail with Chile Nativo and it was beautiful! The landscapes surpass what you can even imagine. We were... the only ones in nature for 3 days! The horses were nice, I had never done this before and I felt safe. I was never cold at night (make sure you rent your sleeping bag for this). We finished our tour with a boat trip on the Serrano River, back to Puerto Natales and we got to see the Balmacero Glacier and the Serrano Glacier (and walk around it). It is well organized and definitely a different way to travel and see nature in Patagonia !read more
    Nerile Rimiene
    Nerile Rimiene
    2019-02-21T17:53:11+0000
    We had W trek in Patagonia in February 2019. Everything was organized perfectly, thanx a lot! Enjoyed a lot! That was... the only company who managed to organize trek on our particular dates and everything went just smoothly.read more
    Joe Williams
    Joe Williams
    2019-01-30T14:57:50+0000
    Excellent trip to Torres Del Paine. Chile Nativo handled everything from front to back. Including bus rides to and from... airport and everything in between.read more
    Carter Sample
    Carter Sample
    2019-01-15T22:21:39+0000
    My wife and I just completed the O Circuit with Chile Nativo. Our guides Fernando and Ignacio were absolutely amazing!... Aside from the beautiful trip, we learned so much because of Chile Nativo Travel and our two guides. They were very accommodating of my wife's food allergies and were constantly upbeat and encouraging to us and our group. They even taped up ankles and sore joints when we expressed any sort of discomfort. A+ experience all around!read more
    Donna Murr
    Donna Murr
    2018-12-15T20:38:18+0000
    Our two fantastic, knowledgeable and fun guides (with very good English) helped to make our W hike an unforgettable... experience.read more
    Serena Clardie
    Serena Clardie
    2018-12-03T19:44:14+0000
    I can't recommend this company enough! The initial planning and email correspondence leading up to our trip was... professional and seamless. They even took care of adding on and planning an additional leg to our trip to Argentinean Patagonia with a reliable local company there. Most importantly though, our Fast Trek W trip with Chile Nativo was everything we hoped it would be and more. Our guides, Baru and Nacio, were THE BEST. I was sad to leave them at the end of our 3 days together. They were responsible, knowledgeable, kind and so much fun - and they kept us going when spirits might have been a little down after 2 straight days of pouring rain and relentless wind. :) The camp is fantastic - the domes were super comfortable and the dining hall dome was a great meeting place to eat (and stretch and drink wine and pisco and even dance!). The drivers were great, the chefs were impressive (thanks Alexis!! - the food was an unexpected treat because it was seriously good, not just camping good). We somehow also managed to get extra lucky and click with the rest of the people in our group and are already planning our next trip together, so thanks for that added bonus! It was a magical trip that we will never forget. Thanks Chile Nativo! ❤️read more
    Adrienna Bunti Robotham
    Adrienna Bunti Robotham
    2018-11-10T02:39:56+0000
    We had a once in a lifetime experience with Chile Nativo and Felipe which we will never forget. We enjoyed the 5D/4N... Torres del Paine Winter Multisport Adventure in early September. It was fantastic to be there in the “fringe” season, the weather was beautiful and we felt like we had the place to ourselves! We were very fortunate to have Felipe all to ourselves as well, giving us flexibility around our capabilities and the weather. Felipe was incredibly knowledgeable about the area, the fauna, flora and even the geology (which impressed me as I’m a geologist!!). Felipe’s English is perfect, his cooking was delicious, and we felt very much at home during our trip. Our kayaking was cancelled due to very extreme weather, and Felipe not only found an alternative for the day for us, but also arranged for a generous refund.There was an issue with our international bank payment (through no fault of Chile Nativo’s) and the entire team continued to communicate with us and chase the payment at their end for weeks. We really appreciated this!Cannot recommend Chile Nativo, Felipe and Torres del Paine enough!read more
    Jorge Orellana Benado
    Jorge Orellana Benado
    2018-04-17T20:53:04+0000
    Beatriz Ahumada
    Beatriz Ahumada
    2018-04-04T22:25:47+0000
    Extraordinario..... excelente calidad y profesionalismo de los guías y todos los que colaboran en el campamento... .....y además que el paisaje de las torres del Paine es maravilloso.. pero la gente de chile nativo hacen que uno lo disfrute y viva al máximo.... gracias por todo...read more
    Edgardo Songer
    Edgardo Songer
    2018-04-04T22:10:45+0000
    Fue un viaje que superó las espectativas la calidad de el staff la calidad de los equipos todo perfecto
    Pamela Farias Valenzuela
    Pamela Farias Valenzuela
    2018-04-04T22:01:21+0000
    Excelente grupo Profesional, Guías con conocimientos, puntuales en los Tours. Variedad de alternativas para recorrer... la Patagonia. Los Campamentos con Domos son muy cómodos y las comidas están muy bien equilibradas. Se ve que conocen muy bien el lugar y su clima y que les gusta lo que hacen. Recomendable 100%read more
    Miguel Angel Meca Cortes
    Miguel Angel Meca Cortes
    2018-04-04T21:00:43+0000
    Excelente logistica, guias con conocimientos en todas las areas(de lo q preguntabas tenuas una respuesta ), campamento... base, un lujo los domos en rio serrano; comidas, transporte y excursiones a otro nivel, mas que recomendableread more
    Darko Beovic P.
    Darko Beovic P.
    2018-04-04T19:36:42+0000
    Ambreen Shah
    Ambreen Shah
    2017-12-21T00:25:13+0000
    Amazing experience . Loved our guides Hym and Palin . They are very hard working and want us to have best experience
    Kim Tonka
    Kim Tonka
    2017-11-26T14:15:38+0000
    Cyril Keiffer
    Cyril Keiffer
    2017-08-09T17:46:02+0000
    Charlie and I had the most wonderful experience working with Isadora at Chile Nativo to plan our Patagonia trip. She... was a great communicator and organized everything for us based upon a great dialog between us with her. Our guide, Felipe Zuniga could not have been more wonderful. He was flexible and brought an amazing knowledge and experience to our trip that could not be equaled. Our memories of our honeymoon in Patagonia will always bring a smile and great memories! Hopefully we get the opportunity to return!read more
    Jose Antonio Valenzuela Allel
    Jose Antonio Valenzuela Allel
    2017-07-17T02:08:36+0000
    Maria Paulina Fuentes Gandolfo
    Maria Paulina Fuentes Gandolfo
    2017-07-17T00:09:25+0000
    Gonzalo Fuenzalida
    Gonzalo Fuenzalida
    2017-05-21T00:47:17+0000
    Ignacio Verdugo Ramírez de Arellano
    Ignacio Verdugo Ramírez de Arellano
    2017-05-20T18:29:22+0000
    Marcela Hernandez Doepking
    Marcela Hernandez Doepking
    2017-05-20T15:32:30+0000
    Matias Fuenzalida Santos
    Matias Fuenzalida Santos
    2017-03-22T14:01:33+0000
    Fernando Hidalgo
    Fernando Hidalgo
    2017-03-22T13:19:10+0000
    Pablo Rivera A
    Pablo Rivera A
    2016-10-28T17:17:18+0000
    Conocer y experimentar la Naturaleza en todo su esplendor con un equipo profesional, con conocimientos que enriquecen... la experiencia y la transforman en una vivencia inolvidable!read more
    Mei Val
    Mei Val
    2015-08-29T11:17:55+0000
    Marcia Andrea Chacon
    Marcia Andrea Chacon
    2015-04-20T22:54:07+0000
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OPERATION OFFICE

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