| General Information
is located in the Aysén Province, in southern Chile, and
was created in 1967 to protect an extensive uninhabited and almost
inaccessible territory of 1,742,000 hectares destined to protect
the wild life. It is still the most extensive park in the region,
covering more than 400,000 hectares with ancient ice in the
zone known as Campo de Hielo Norte (Northern Icefied)
This Chilean National Park was declared to be a worldwide reserve
by UNESCO in 1979. Located at latitude 46 45 south of
the Chilean Patagonia .A Spanish navigator discovered this place
four centuries ago. Today it has become one of the natural splendors
of Chile, of the greatest international importance. The ice of the
San Rafael Glacier dates back as far as 300,000 years, its frontal
face is 2kms wide and its ice towers reach up to more than 75 mts.
and plunges down into the ocean waters more than 230 meters. It
has a length of 15 kms and stems from the San Valentín Nevado
of the Southern Ice Fields of the Los Andes Mountains. The blues
of the ice and its constant avalanches have converted this natural
spectacle into international fame. With its ice floes of different
shapes and colors it is a spectacle that is unique in this world
The climate is humid, with an average annual temperature
of 8º C and precipitations that reach 5,000 mm annually in
the highest regions. In the apt areas, the vegetation presents a
dense covering of trees, bushes and herbs , highlighted amongst
these are: the Chilco Flower or Fuchsiaand the immense ferns. Cypresses,
Cinnamon Tree, Lengas and millennium old Alerce.
The bird fauna is abundant and varied, there are just as many sea
birds as land birds: amongst them exist ducks, cormorants
and black necked swans. The situation is not quite the same for
the fish, there development is limited due to the low temperature
of the waters. The harsh climate also affects the mammals
which are in small abundance; among them are the fox, the Chilean
mountain goat, the beaver and sea lions.
The only elements of the park are the San Rafael Lake- almost a
closed cove to the sea where fishing is allowed and where the glacier
descends into the lake. During specific times of the year, the loosening
of these huge masses of ice creates an incredible natural show.
What makes the San Rafael Glacier stand out from the other glaciers
existing in the park is the fact that it is regressing, due to the
influence of the ocean climate, which is relatively cold.
GENERAL INFORMATION (TRIP / PARTICIPANTS )
*About the area:
The area in Patagonia, spacially around the Northern Icefield ,
and in particular around San Rafael Glacier is really very variable
and changes extremely fast.
We can expect many days of rain, sometimes we will be paddling in
windy conditions and breaking waves , sometimes aprox.1.5mt (4.5
feets) , remote campsites (probably we will have to open camping
areas with machetes) , start the days very early, sometimes at night,
in order to avoid the winds.
consider that if any emergency the evacuation will be almost impossible
, no hospitals in the area (please read the conditions section).
About water tempetrature.. very cold...rivers coming directly from
glaciers...The cost is covered with dense vegetation and lot´s
of rocks in the shoreline with the exception of few small beaches.
It´s very important that you come with very good gear for
your legs and feet because we will have always to get out of
the kayak and also get in the kayak in the water to protect
the kayaks from the rocks of the shore.
*About the participants:
has to be a real active participant in every step of the trip, be
ready to paddle some days 5-7 hours (20-30 km/day) during aprox
8 days continuously, feel confortable paddling in winds of
15 - 25 knots in 1.5 meter (average) breaking an surfing waves.
Understand that this is an area that rains aprox 5 mt per year so
will rain and rain almost every day so we will be wet...but also
amazing sunny days (sometimes).
Landing spots for setting campsites are very few and they are very
separated ...most of the time bush camping.
This is is a self-supported trip so we will have to travel with
the minimum equipment so we can have space inside the kayaks
for everything considering the lenght of the trip, and BE MEDICALLY
Everyone must know and be ready to demonstrate different alternatives
of self-rescue and assited rescue before the trip starts
and we requiere to know how to roll (if someone flips while paddling
with waves and in windy conditions, rescue will be extremely hard,
extremely slow or not possible).
Also be confident with bracing strokes and very very advisible to
have a wilderness first aid course.
Team members should have the mindset that they are responsible for
themselves and the other members of the team while on the water,
in the backcountry and around camp
*About the Trip:
Please consider that this is an " exploratory trip " that
means that we know part of the route but there is also a section
that we havent been before. Becasue of that we have study a lot
the area with satellite photos, charts , ask information , send
a float plan to the Navy in advance and have the authorization to
We will have to deal with expedition behaviour and solve situations
as a group requiring a lot of teambuilding and positive attitude.
It´s extremely required thta particpants undertsand that this
is atrip whre we will have to paddle although is windy , that all
the program can be modified or cancelled at any step according to
the group safety and that means no refunds.
We are not offering a race...and we will "try" to complete
the program of this self-supported trip (no boat with us) . Please
consider that the trip can be modified in any step of the program,
cancell, or just dont arrive to the end if the weather doesnt allow
us to continue in a safe way considering the paddlers experience
required or if the group is on risk and that means no refunds. The
duration of the trip is aproximate....
*About the food:
Will be according to the nature of a self-supported trip in a variable
area (breakfast, trailfood while paddling and a warm dinner consiting
of pasta and sauces).
1: Meet in Coyhaique city at 4PM and transfer in private vehicle
to Puerto Aysén town, close to Aysen Fjord (1 1/2 hr driving)
. Sleep in private cabañas. Welcome dinner and trip logistics
DAY 2-12: Eearly breakfast at our cabaña , move to
Puerto Chacabuco town , NAVY check and start paddling Aysén
Fjord - Costa Channel - Tres Cruces Gulf - Elefantes Fjord - San
Rafael Lake and Glacier . The last day undo basecamp and start paddling
to intercept a local fishing boat. (B-T-D). Navigate back to Puerto
Chacabuco town , transfer to our cabañas in Puerto Aysén
and the next day transfer to Balmaceda airport. End of our services
The program and itinerary is aproximately and can be modified
or cancel at any step according to weather , group conditions or
- Transportation from Coyhaique city to cabañas in Puerto
Aysén town and return using a local fishing boat to Puerto
Chacabuco. Transfer to our cabañas in Puerto Aysén
and the next day transfer to Balmaceda airport all together as
- All food according to the program
(from dinner Day1 at cabañas in Puerto Aysen town till
breakfast last day in cabañas in Puerto Aysén).
(B:breakfast / T:Trail food / D: Dinner)
- 2 nights at cabaña in Puerto Aysén
(shared with the members of the expedition, private bathroom)
- National Park fees
- Chilean NAVY seakayak navigation authorization
- Navigation Equipment: expedition seakayaks , imported from USA
and Germany, with original rudder, spray skirt, paddles and life
- Cooking equipment and Group Tarp.
- Safety Equipment: Satellite telephone, Marine radio, charts,
Guide: Juan Zuazo - Director of YAK EXPEDICIONES , certified
as BCU 4 STAR Sea Award , english speaking, first aid and rescue
knowledge (NOLS Course and Wilderness First Responder
Limited insurance once the seakayak trip starts with Interamericana
Insurance Company (chilean company)...but we highly recomend
that you bring your own insurance also.
- Swimming knowledge and advanced seakayak and camping experience
in remote conditions. Probably and before the trip starts
, will be requiered that each participant demonstrate in
the sea selfrescue and assited rescue procedures plus the
esquimo roll. If those techniques are not properly done
, the participant will not participate in the trip and no
refunds at all .
- Previous experience in kayaking and camping in
cold and rainny climates, plus paddling in windy conditions
and surfing waves.
- EXCELLENT physical state and health compatible with
the activity to be performed.
- Previous indication of any illness or health problem
- Strictly abide by the indications of the guides during
- You'll find your trip even more enjoyable if you remember
to bring flexibility and a sense of humor with you.
- Positive mental attitude in front of unexpected situations
- Understand that this is team activity in the outdoors and the
participation of each person at each stage is fundamental.
- Understand that all activities performed in nature can indicate
some risk and also death.
- The program could be modified or cancelled at any stage due
to weather conditions or sudden incidents that could affect the
security of the group. Evacuation from this area is almost impossible
or extremely slow.
- In this area any kind of rescue is extremely hard to perform
or impossible. Helicopter evacuation is impossible.
- This trip will be developed in an area where the weather conditions
changes very fast. YAK EXPEDICIONES takes no responsability for
any accident or death situation.
- Before trip you must turn in a signed form of Release
- To have read and have a clear understanding of the Terms
and Conditions section.
We must state that the success of this
type of trips is subject to unexpected weather and personal
situations, so adventurous spirit and good disposition will be
Do you wish to accommodate this trip to you needs as a
Custom Trip (private trip)
AFTER you press the RESERVATION button, send us an email specifying:
- Your Name , age
Name of the trip you want (number of days)
Number of participants
Date of the trip you want (and your availability)
* we will send you a Reservation and Medical Forms that you have to send us back by email