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Bahía Exploradores



Just north of the bridge into Puerto Río Tranquilo begins the new road heading to Bahía Exploradores, which will be a cheaper port from which to take a boat tour to the glaciers of Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael. Even though the road doesn’t yet arrive to that bay, already tourists are enjoying the natural wonders along this highway that skirts the northern boundary of Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael. Already 59 kilometers (37 mi) are completed. You can hike in along the road, or take transportation in to the Mirador de Glaciar Exploradores at Km 52. Continuously are glimpses of glaciated mountains. For much of the way, the road follows the river.


Along the way, the scenery is incredibly painted with evergreen forests, waterfalls, hanging glaciers, lakes and high peaks, including the highest one in the Campo de Hielo Norte, Monte San Valentín (4058 m / 13,314 ft). The highpoints of the route are:

Km 3 – The cemetery of Familia Berrocal

Km 8 – Here is another family cemetery, of four weathered tombs. Lago Tranquilo is now seen. Here is the continental divide; waterways begin running westward.

Km 24-25 – A waterfall.

Km 44 – Hostal Alacaluf. Km 46 –Lago Bayo begins. Km 50-51 – Pieces of ice float in the Lago Bayo’s waters, made grey by the Ventisquero Explorador.

Km 52 – Mirador Glaciar Exploradores, a privately owned access point to Glaciar Exploradoes. It is here tours come to do trekking of this river of ice flowing from the heights of Monte San Valentín ($70, includes guide and equipment, minimum 3 persons; 6 hours). If you like, while everyone is trekking, you may just hike the interpretive trail to the mirador Entry: adults: $6, seniors and children $2; 1.5 hours).


A trek out Camino a Exploradores is not a journey to be taken lightly. Be prepared with food and camp stove, as there are no shops or restaurants along the way. The stream water is pure enough to drink, though after rains, it may be too murky. Wear warm, rain- and wind-proof clothing. Do not try to climb the glaciers on your own unless highly experienced in ice climbing and you have the proper equipment (crampons, picks, etc.). The glacier is crevassed. Whether on your own or on a tour, you will need UVA 400 sunglasses.


Services There are no services out the Camino a Exploradores, save those listed below.



Orlando Soto S: fly fishing, horseback riding, rock and mountain climbing Hotels You can camp alongside the road; if on private property, ask permission of the landowner first. Valle Río Exploradores, Tel: 067-23-9221, contact by radio.

Albergue Campo Alacaluf: shared bath $36 per person, private bath $48 per person, includes breakfast; also camping. Open all year. Spanish, German and English spoken. There is also a restaurant. Km 44 Camino a Exploradores, Tel: 067-41-9500.


Restaurants There is no place to buy supplies along the way. The only restaurant is the one at Alacaluf (Km 44).


Other places nearby Bahía Exploradores: Puerto Chacabuco , Puerto Río Tranquilo, Puerto Aysén, Villa Cerro Castillo, Puerto Ibáñez, Villa Santa Lucía , Villa O'Higgins, Puerto Guadal, Puerto Puyuhuapi and Reserva Nacional Jeínemeni.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

08 Jul 2009

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