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Wind and Ice in the 'Land of the Last Hope'

An expedition along the fjord of Última Esperanza, Spanish for "Last Hope," is an incredible experience. This calm strait is the southern gateway to the domain of icy winds and Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, the largest such space in Chile. The boat trip offers spectacular views of the summit of Balmaceda Mountain (2035 m, 6677 feet) and the waters near the base of the Serrano Glacier, which ends in a lake that you can reach after a short walk through the woods.

Strap on a set of crampons and make tracks on the glacier. You can explore ice caves and see the sparkling rays of the sun glinting off the transparent blue ice. Take a quiet hike on the ice and enjoy belaying on the descent.

Next, find a campsite in a clearing at Punta Alta, where you can arrange a kayaking trip that will take you within feet of the Serrano Glacier. You might want to paddle solo among the ice floes on the icy lake. Lake Serrano is calm, and though you may occasionally lose your way among the icebergs, it's almost impossible to capsize as long as you follow the guides' instructions.


Featured Destinations of Southern Patagonia

aAntarctic

bStrait of Magellan
cPunta Arenas

dTierra del Fuego
eTorres del Paine National Park

fPuerto Natales

 

Tours you can do

Hiking Torres del Paine

The Mylodon Cave
Dientes de Navarino

Magdalena Island
Marino Francisco Coloane Park

Puerto Edén
Última Esperanza - Mariano Glacier


Cruises to Puerto Williams and Cape Horn

 

Getting There

barco
By Boat
Large boats leave from Puerto Natales dock in the morning only (around 7 a.m.).

 

Tips

01

Hiking Guides in zodiacs Boats
If you plan on hiking on the Serrano Glacier, you'll need a good pair of waterproof hiking boots with rigid soles. Crampons and sneakers don't mix; the soles bend uncomfortably as you climb and water seeps in. Guides in zodiacs watch over kayakers on the Serrano Glacier Lake. If anything goes wrong, they are ready to respond instantly. Several boats ply the waters of Última Esperanza Fjord. It's worth asking if the service takes the shortest route or if the course is plotted to offer passengers the best views from the deck.

02

Torres del Paine
Puerto Natales
A short zodiac trip takes you along the Serrano River to the entrance of Torres del Paine National Park. This is a great scenic route to the park with spectacular views. You can also take a boat southwest towards Puerto Natales through the Canal de Las Montañas at the foot of the Riesco Mountains where you'll enjoy breathtaking views of seven glaciers.

 

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