The experience: Hiking Glacier aysen

The progam

Arrival at the airport of Balmaceda Here you will have to pick up the 4×4 rental car and drive to Puerto Tranquilo.

On the trip, you will have impressive views of the majestic Cerro Castillo Mountain, the Rio Simpson Valley and the Ibañez Valley. The 1850 km² General Carrera Lake (named Chelenko by the indigenous inhabitants) fascinates straightaway with an unforgettable spectrum of colors and the Llaves Cordillera in the background. In the afternoon and evening the light falls on the best side of the unique marble caves of the Chelenko which favors the sight. Below the turquoise water runs a white marble ridge through the lake.
Overnight at Hotel El Puesto.

In the morning, after breakfast, you will go with your own vehicle to the Exploradores Valley and the glacier park, which gateway is directly behind the hotel.

Past the waterfalls, along the Tranquilo lake, the Bayo lake and great views of different glaciers, it goes to the base station. Here the equipment (adequate shoes for the ice, crampons gametes) is tried on and packed into the backpack. You will start walking through the evergreen Valdivian rainforest and after 15 min you´ll reach the end moraine of the Exploradores River, which you will climb up and climb down again on the other side.

The descent is steep, but you do not need any experience. After another hour of walking through the deposits of the glacier you reach the “eternal” ice. Little by little one enters the unexplored territory which is in constant movement.

Everywhere, it clucks and bubbles. Near and far you can hear water rushing and stones and rocks in all conceivable sizes are moving. On the glittering white ice surface of the glacier, the crampons are pulled over and it is explained how these are to be used. We explore caves in surreal forms, the from rainfalls formed flows (remolinos) which lead deep to the bottom of the glacier and in good weather conditions we look over the glacier to the impressive San Valentin mountain in the northern Patagonian ice field which starts behind the tearing edge of the Exploradores. After about 2 hours hiking, exploring and taking photos on the ice, you will start going back to Puerto Tranquilo. Overnight at Hotel El Puesto.

After breakfast, the journey continues to the Carretera Austral down the road to Puerto Guadal.

It is worth doing a detour via Puerto Bertrand to the Baker River, which flows 10 km impressively with the Neff river. Then you continue along the south bank of the General Carrera Lake to Chile Chico, the city of the sun.

With spectacular views of the lake, it goes from one of the rainiest regions of Chile with an annual altitude of 4000 mm, to the arid Chile Chico (600 mm), which transitions geographically into the Argentine Pampa. 

We also recommend doing a walk along the promenade. We spend the night just a few meters from the border to Argentina at the Hotel Posada del Rio.

After breakfast, we drive back to Chile Chico, from where we take the ferry to Puerto Ibañez, on the northern side of General Carrera Lake. From here we follow the Carretera Austral to the Balmaceda airport.

4 days Europcar rental car category F2 (4×4 petrol engine, automatic transmission, Nissan X-trail or similar) including airport pick-up charges, unlimited miles, CDW insurance with USD 300,- deductible, 2 nights hotel El Puesto, 1 night in Hotel Posada del Rio, trekking on the Exploradores glacier including entries equipment + specialized guide with English-speaking skills, ferry from Chile Chico to Puerto Ingeniero Ibañez, maps of Europcar. 24-h English-speaking contact person via Andes Nativa emergency cell phone.

small backpack, headgear, sun blocker, sunglasses, raincoat

The ferry from Chile Chico to Rio Ibañez runs every day of the week at different times. If the departure and/or arrival times are not combined with the program and/or flight times, there is the possibility to transfer the ferry trip to Day 3 and spend the night for the same price in Puerto Ibañez (Cabaña Bordelago).
The current departure times are as follows:

Mon / Tue / Thu 8 o’clock;

Wed / Fri / Sun 4pm;

Sat 9 am


The ice trekking is ambitious and does require a good physical condition however it does not require any experience. For an extra charge, it can also be camped one night on the glacier. The program is on your own with the rental car and can also be booked privately with an English-speaking travel guide.

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