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Getting to & away from Parque Nacional Bernardo O’Higgins

Most of Parque Nacional (PN) Bernardo O’Higgins is inaccessible. No land road arrives to it. From Puerto Natales, tour boats cruise Seno de Última Esperanza to Puerto Toro in Sector Balmaceda (3 hours). You can also kayak down the Río Serrano from PN Torres del Paine to Puerto Toro (2.5 hours).


From the north side, PN Bernardo O’Higgins is accessed from Villa O’Higgins. Walk from that village to the Sendero Altavista. For Tramo Ventisquero Chico, take the ferry across Lago O’Higgins from Bahía Bahamóndez, seven kilometers (4.2 miles) south of Villa O’Higgins, to Candelario Mansilla ($50 one way). For more information on this or the Excursión Glaciar O'Higgins ($80-100), see Both excursions are done by the operator Hielo Sur, based in Villa O’Higgins (E-mail:, Tel.: 067-43-1821).


Navimag’s Puerto Montt-Puerto Natales ferry service, Canales Patagónicos, passes through the myriad of canals weaving the full length of PN Bernardo O’Higgins (for full details see Sailing the Southern Seas, or visit Navimag’s site: The boat makes a stop at Puerto Edén, from which it is possible to arrange tours into the park. This isolated village can also be reached from Caleta Tortel, whose municipality contracts a ferry service. If there is extra space, non-residents are allowed to board. Check with the city hall in Tortel for further information and permission (approximately $25).

By Lorraine Caputo

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

10 Jun 2009

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