Ice Trekking
Explorers Glacier

from Puerto Tranquilo

This walk on ice takes 6 to 7 hours, over the Exploradores Glacier which is 52km. (31 miles) west of Puerto Rio Tranquilo and General Carrera Lake, along the Exploradores Valley. You have to estimate 90 minutes travel from Puerto Tranquilo. The activity starts from the Exploradores valley refuge at 10.30am.
Here the technical equipment is prepared and specialist guides will give you an induction talk. The walk must to be made with a specialist guide. It begins through and evergreen forest on an interpretive track, where you can identify various native species and see different birds. Little by little the path ascends the frontal moraine of the glacier to reach a viewpoint from which you get a panoramic view looking down on the glacier, Monte San Valentin (Saint Valentine’s Mount, the highest in Patagonia) and Bayo Lake, all in Laguna San Rafael National Park (Route of Parks of Patagonia).


From there you go down the moraine and begin to walk on ice covered with stones and sand, to reach clean ice in 1½ to 2 hours according to the fitness of the group. Once there, you have a refreshment break and put on the ice equipment, to start walking safely on the white ice where you can see, feel and hear the live ice, look into ice caves, enjoy and marvel at the deep blue of its pure water and learn about how the glacier descends from the ice field and turns into a river, to reach the sea.

Guides: These are trained at the Patagonia School of Guides and are also trained in first aid.  They carry first aid kits and there is also a bigger kit at the glacier.  During the walk portable radios are carried and there is permanent communication with the Visitors’ Centre, which in turn is connected by HF Radio with Puerto Rio Tranquilo, as a safety precaution. 


Level of difficulty: Low but tiring.  Good physical condition is required.


It Includes

  • Specialist guides.
  • Crampons and galoshes.
  • Entry to Laguna San Rafael National Park (Route of Parks of Patagonia).
  • Rescue equipment and first aid.
  • Snack and box lunch.

What to take?

  • Hiking boots covering the ankles, semi-rigid soles (very important).
  • Layers of clothing: Fleece (1ª layer), wind-cheater/ waterproof, long trousers and over-trousers in case of rain.
  • Gloves, warm sun-hat, sun-glasses, sun-block.
  • Food and energy snacks for the day.
  • Wide-mouthed water bottle, to refill with water from the glacier.
  • On rainy days, a change of clothing is suggested.
  • Small backpack to carry your belongings.


  • Children must be of shoe size 35 (UK 5, USA 6) at least and be accompanied by a parent (responsible for control of the child).
  • Children younger than 10 years old are not recommended to take this activity.
  • Recommended for people in good physical shape.
  • Not recommended for people with heart problems, overweight, or who have had recent injury.
Laguna San Rafael National Park

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Santiago – Chile

+56 2 2235 0725 / 3220 7645



Gran Patagonia is a local chilean tour operator that offers tailor made travel programs, customs tours and travel packages in the chilean an the argentinian  Patagonia.

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