Glacier O´Higgins Navigation:
Arrive at Balmaceda Airport on a flight no later than 11am. Reception and start the journey going south on the Carretera Austral. During the journey you will see natural features such as Chiguay Lake, the ‘Piedra del Conde’ (The Rock of the Count) and other rock formations. The road continues by Portazuelo Ibañez (rocky pass), reaching the “Cuesta del Diablo” (Devil’s Hill), with its steep slopes from where you get magnificent panoramic views of the Ibañez River valley and the peaks that surround it. The route continues to Cerro Castillo village, a typical Patagonian town, which faces the enormous mountainous massif of the same name. The paved road ends. The drive continues south to pass Laguna Verde (Green Lake) and Bosque Muerto (Dead Forest), a reminder of the Hudson Volcano’s eruption in 1991. Murta River appears as the first village after a long stretch, and after 30 minutes you reach Puerto Rio Tranquilo town, where you have the first closest contact with the wonderful General Carrera Lake. From here sail to the Capillas de Mármol (Marble Chapels). This Sanctuary of Nature are rock formations produced by wind and wave erosion. After 1,15 hour boat trip, continue south on the Carretera Austral for another 67km. (42 miles), along the shores of General Carrera Lake to Puerto Bertrand area. Set lunch menu or box lunch, depending on the time the flight arrives. Accommodation in Green Baker Lodge or similar.
(286km., 180 miles around 6 hours travel on gravel roads)
Breakfast. Leave Green Baker Lodge heading south, taking the Carretera Austral to the unmissable source of the mighty Baker River. Shortly you will see the confluence of the Baker and Neff Rivers, a really impressive visit and postcard view! Continue 50km. (30 miles) alongside the River Baker to reach Cochrane, a small town that serves to re-stock. Continue 5km northbound up to Patagonia National Park Tamango sector for a boat trip that lasts 20 minutes and a brief hike through the park, if lucky you could see huemules, the Chilean national deer. Lastly continue to Villa O’Higgins, this route takes you between waterfalls and woods of cypress trees, to Lakes Esmeralda, Brown, Chacabuco and Vargas and on to Puerto Yungay. Board the ferry ‘Padre Ronchi’ to cross Mitchell Fjord to the Rio Bravo jetty. Continue for the last 100km. (60 miles) to Villa O’Higgins. Set lunch menu in a local restaurant. Accommodation in Robinson Crusoe Lodge.
Breakfast. Brief transfer to Bahamondes Bay to board the boat that takes you to the base of the Patagonian South Ice Field. Cross the great ‘Lago de Los Glaciares to the imposing O’Higgins Glacier with its 3km (2 mile) wide face and its walls 80metres (260 feet) high.
During the trip you can admire the beauty of the amazing scenery, the least explored of Patagonia, which owes its shape to the passage of the glaciers.
As you watch impressive mountains with ice thousands of years old that surround the lake, you will experience on your face the strength of the cold, invigorating winds that usually blow here.
The weather often changes more than once during the day, from burning sun to strong rain, typical of Deep Patagonia. This is an all day trip and its images will be burned onto the retinas and the soul of those who come here, amazed at the magnificence of nature that invites you to experience freedom in all its dimensions. During the navigation to the Great Glacier a stop will be made at the port of Candelario Macilla, a settlement of colonists where a road begins that leads to Argentina. Accommodation in Robinson Crusoe Lodge. Box Lunch included.
Breakfast. Head north on the same route that brought you to this marvelous adventure. A stop will be made at the bank of the Baker River with the greatest volume in Chile, to do rafting for 2 hours (6km., 4 miles). After this unforgettable experience, continue to Puerto Guadal area. Set lunch menu in a local restaurant on route. Accommodation in “Lodge Parador Austral” or similar.
Breakfast. At 09:00am leave for Balmaceda Airport to take the flight to your next destination. Set lunch menu in Cerro Castillo village. Estimated time of arrival at the airport 3:30pm.