Trek through Kawésqar National Park in this 6-day tour of Patagonia, starting in the port city of Puerto Natales with a scenic boat ride across the channel and up the fjord, where you'll view wildlife and ice calving glaciers. Your trek creates a circuit through several fjords, glaciers, and forests, with hikes up to alpine lagoons, preglacial lakes, and atop passes, such as the Indian Pass that was used by a local tribe for nearly 6,000 years. Explore glaciers up close while sleeping soundly under the stars in sturdy tents or on the water in houseboats.

Highlights

  • Take a boat up the fjord, spotting whales, dolphins, and other wildlife along the way
  • Watch ice avalanches fall into the lagoon from Kiara Glacier
  • Get up-close with Alsina and Bernal Glaciers
  • Hike up to viewpoints along Huiros Bay
  • Trek over the historically significant Indian Pass

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Puerto Natales - Explore the city Puerto Natales
Day 2 Transfer to Kawésqar National Park - Day hike to Resi Lookout Camp Resi
Day 3 Trek toward the Kiara Glacier via Thunder Lagoon Camp Kiara
Day 4 Enjoy panoramic viewpoints and explore glaciers - End in Huiros Bay Puerto Eden
Day 5 Day hike in Huiros Bay - Trek back to Puerto Natales via Indian Pass Puerto Natales
Day 6 Depart Patagonia via Punta Arenas  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Puerto Natales - Explore the city

Puerto Natales, Chile
Puerto Natales, Chile

Welcome to Chile!

Upon arriving at the airport in Punta Arenas, your host will accompany you on your drive to the port city of Puerto Natales. Along the way, you'll discuss the details of your trip, including the itinerary, provided services, and any additional information particular to your specific tour within Patagonia. After settling into your hotel, you'll have the rest of the day to rest or spend at your leisure. 

Puerto Natales is the gateway to the Torres del Paine National Park, set on the coast with incredible views of the mountains. Spend some time walking along the town's waterfront and enjoy the scenes of Muelle Viejo, the old pilings of a dock where different species of birds sit and nest. If you have time, you can also visit the Municipal Historical Museum, which houses several relics from the area's indigenous population.

For dinner, find a restaurant in the historic center. There are plenty of eateries and bars offering traditional Chilean food, as well as local wine and beer.

Day 2: Transfer to Kawésqar National Park - Day hike to Resi Lookout

Navigating the Fjords in Patagonia
Navigating the Fjords in Patagonia

In the morning, your guides will meet you at your hotel to catch a short 5-minute ferry across the Señoret Channel to the Antonio Varas Peninsula. You'll continue along a gravel road to the picturesque region of Estancia Mercedes, where you'll navigate the Resi Fjord by boat. Along the way, you may be able to view some marine wildlife, such as seals, dolphins, penguins, condors, and other species.

Your destination of the morning is the entrance to Kawésqar National Park where your trekking tour begins. Your guides will help set up your first campsite, complete with expedition-style tents and a dome shelter, including a kitchen and dining room. Enjoy lunch with your hosts at the campsite.

In the afternoon, you'll enjoy a 2-hour day hike to Resi Lookout, a popular panoramic viewpoint. Here, you can truly appreciate the beauty of the surrounding area, with views of fjords, valleys, and lagoons, as well as rivers and waterfalls in the distance.

You'll end your day around the campfire, enjoying dinner with your guides.

Day 3: Trek toward the Kiara Glacier via Thunder Lagoon

Hiking Through Forests in Patagonia
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After breakfast, you'll begin the trip's trekking circuit. You'll start with a 5-mile (8-km) walk through a valley characterized by evergreen forests, waterfalls, peatland, and moraines, all colonized by colorful lichen and moss. You'll trek for about four hours under the shadow of the mountains until you arrive at Thunder Lagoon, which is surrounded by huge, amphitheater-shaped rock walls. A powerful glacier transformed these rocks into a passable route at 2,000 feet (600 m) above the sea level.

Before starting the climb, you'll eat lunch on the tranquil shores of Thunder Lagoon. As you make your way across the pass, you'll trek by two other lagoons which dramatically open to the views of the entire fjord. Delight in the scene of large mountain peaks and glaciers in the distance.

From here, the terrain is more rocky and solid than the first section, making it easier to trek down toward your next campsite, Camp Kiara. Again, your guides will help set up your expedition tents and the dome tent, all with an exclusive, panoramic view of the fjord.

As you enjoy dinner, gaze across the fjord at the active Kiara Glacier. At times, it's possible to hear and see ice avalanches falling into the lagoons.

Day 4: Enjoy panoramic viewpoints and explore glaciers - End in Huiros Bay

Exploring Glaciers in Chile
Exploring Glaciers in Chile

You'll begin the day with a hearty breakfast before starting your 3-mile (5 km) trek north along the fjord. You'll pass by blocks of rocks and over streams, as well as through evergreen forests and peatland. In about two hours, you'll arrive at a picturesque beach with a glacier in the background.

After a short rest, you'll start an uphill climb of about 1,000 feet (300 m) in elevation, ending at an incredible panoramic viewpoint showcasing the Alsina and Paredes Glaciers. Both flow down from the icy summits of the Sarmiento Mountains into the fjord below. Enjoy lunch at this scenic spot.

Along the same trail, you'll hike back down to the beach where a boat will take you 30 minutes south towards Bernal Glacier. During the boat ride, you'll visit Alsina Glacier, getting a better perspective of its large seracs. Once at Bernal Glacier, you'll hike through a trail with colorful moraines that pass a proglacial lake, allowing you a safe opportunity to touch its ice.

After visiting the glacier, you'll finish the last part of the trek by boat. In about ten minutes, you'll arrive in Huiros Bay where you'll find tonight's camp within an exclusive floating refuge called Explorador. Here you can enjoy facilities, such as a hot shower, a bar, and homemade dinner.

Day 5: Day hike in Huiros Bay - Trek back to Puerto Natales via Indian Pass

Glaciers and Bays in Patagonia
Glaciers and Bays in Patagonia

After breakfast, you'll enjoy a hike around Huiros Bay to the Buena Vista Lookout, a great spot to cherish your final views of the fjords, mountains, and glaciers.

Upon returning from your short day hike, you'll begin the last stretch of the circuit back to Puerto Natales. Today's route will take you across Indian Pass, which is also known as Alacalufe Path, named after the canoeist ancestors of the Kawésqar tribe. The tribesmen inhabited all the fjords in the area for nearly 6,000 years, using this particular pass to connect Mountains Fjord with Resi Fjord.

Just about a half-mile (1 km) will get you to Acantilados Lagoon, which is inconveniently encased between huge rock walls and requires a short boat ride across its water. On the other side, an additional 20 minutes of hiking will get you to Resi Fjord. Here, you'll use the boat from the first day to navigate the fjord until you reach Estancia Mercedes on the Antonio Varas Peninsula.

You'll enjoy your lunch somewhere along today's route, continuing until you reach Puerto Natales in the late afternoon. Settle into your accommodation and take the rest of the day to leisurely enjoy the city and your final night in Patagonia.

Day 6: Depart Patagonia via Punta Arenas

Colorful Puerto Natales
Colorful Puerto Natales

Enjoy one last morning in Patagonia, soaking in the final scenes of Puerto Natales. Your guide will transfer you to the bus station in Puerto Natales, where a 3-hour bus ride will take you to the airport in Punta Arenas.