*About the Area:
The area in Patagonia, specially around the Icefields is eally 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 probably 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.
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).
Also consider that if any emergency the evacuation will be extremely
slow, no hospitals in the area (please read the conditions section).
Few options for camps along the way, and in some places stopping
points widely separated in the steep sided fjords. Landing spots
for setting campsites are very few and they are very separated ...most
of the time bush camping. Exist some long exposed open crossings.
About water tempetrature.. very cold...rivers coming directly from
glaciers...The cost is covered with dense vegetation and lots of
rocks in the shoreline with the exception of few small beaches.
*About the Route to San Rafael Glaciar :
" ... From
the Indians who first explored these channels and islands in dugout canoes this area of the world has always
been infamous for its fierce, unpredictable weather and revered
for its remoteness and beauty "
We will have to paddle first Rio Exploradores , a flat glaciar river , some few parts with some current (with some trees in our way , depending how was the winter) until reaching the Pacific Ocean , where we will continue south to the glacier paddling a channel oriented north-south. Very few campsites, some exposed to the wind, rocky beaches and lots of forest over the shoreline, some grass beaches that are really swamps. As we paddle we will find places with very strong currents because of the tides to se will have to be very careful to planify the crossings carefully. Total paddling aprox. 200km totally selfsupported.
*About the Participants:
expedition is designed for active travelers prepared to work, whose
rewards will be developed and found into the heart of the wilderness.
You'll find your trip even more enjoyable if you remember to bring
flexibility and a sense of humor with you
Everyone has to be a real active participant in every step
of the trip, be ready to paddle some days 5-6 hours (20-30 km/day)
, feel confortable paddling in winds of 15 - 25 knots in 1.5 meter
(average) breaking an surfing waves.
This is is a self-supported trip (no boat with us) 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 100% .
Everyone must know and be ready to demonstrate if required different
alternatives of self-rescue and assited rescue before the trip starts
and also we highly recommend to know how to roll (if someone flips
while paddling with waves and in windy conditions, rescue will be
very hard and slow).
Also be confident with bracing strokes and very advisible to have
a wilderness first aid course.
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.
*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.
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 fundamental.
*About the Trip:
Please consider that this is an " expedition trip " that although we know the route , the weather is so unpredictable that we have to be adapting to the new conditions frecuently. Becasue of that we have study a lot
the area with satellite photos, charts , ask information , send
a float plan to the Chilean Navy in advance and have the authorization
to do it.
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 that particpants undertsand that this
is a trip where 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 .
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
The duration of the trip is aproximate....
*About the Land Section of the trip (Carretera Austral road):
" This part can be also the main highlight of the trip as the
scenery while driving is amazing ".
The Carretera Austral road is the only connection in Patagonia and in
this area is quite rough and also progress has moved slowly.
Our private vehicle will take us from the city of Coyhaique (meeting
point) along the Carretera Austral, a 1000-km dirt and gravel road
constructed over the course of 20 years, that serves as a link between
tiny villages and fishing hamlets once accessible only by ferry
or plane. This road winds through a landscape of rolling hills and
long grass, over roaring rivers and past emerald lakes backed by
snowy peaks and glaciers. After some kilometers , the Carretera
Austral traced a path through temperate rainforests to a tiny village
tucked away among the channels and fjords of the desolate Patagonia
Will be according to the nature of a self-supported seakayak trip
in a variable area where we have to move before the wind appears
considering Patagonia environment and the limited space (Breakfast-Trail food- cooked dinner)
DAY 1: At 20:00 hrs meeting in the lodging place (cabaña or hostal) in Coyhaique with the
other members of this expedition. Explain trip logistics and dinner
Day 2: Breakfast and start driving. This part of trip is a super nice scenic driving and some people consider it as one of the highlights of this expedition. In the afternoon , arrive to
Puerto Tranquilo, a tiny village located in the shoreline of General Carrera lake , the second biggest lake in South America.
Dinner in a local hostería . Nigh in cabaña (cabin or local hostal) / (B-BL-D)
To increase our safety, in the morning , we will have a practice of strokes and rescues in this windy lake paddling to the Catedrales de Mármol Islands (Marble Cathedrals islands), that are marble rocks formations eroded by the wind and water. After a boxlunch , and some hours driving west , we will start our first aproach to the Northern Icefield, hiking uphill to enjoy a wonderful view of Exploradores Glaciar in the distance. Continue driving west till our put in in Rio Exploradores. Campsite and dinner close to the river. (B-BL-D)
Day 4 - Day 12 - 13 (aprox.) : Sea kayak expediton
to San Rafael Glacier in the Nortthern Icefield , first paddling downstream Río Exploradores river till the sea . Spectacular views , remore campsites, trekking to San Rafael Glacier , paddling between icebergs and back to the put-in (B-BL-D)
Day 13/14: Scenic driving in Carretera Austral arriving finally in Coyhaique town. Goodbye
Lunch. Night at cabin or hostel in Coyhaique. (B-L)
DAY 15: Extra day just in case weather problems .
The program and itinerary is aproximately and can be modified
or cancel at any step according to the weather , group conditions
or guide decision , meaning no refunds.
Probably we can do it in less time, but if weather is not safe , we will have to wait till the conditions improve .
- Guide: Juan Zuazo - Director of YAK EXPEDICIONES , english speaking, certified
by the British Canoe Union of England as BCU 4 STAR Sea Award , ACA seakayak Instructor Levcel 4, certified in First Aid as Wilderness First Responder , certified as BCU Rescue and Safety. NOLS Trainning.
- Land transportation in private van from/to Coyhaique.
- All food according to the program.
(B:Breakfast / L: Boxlunch (Trail food) / D: Dinner)
- 2 nights hostel /cabin in Coyhaique , 1 night local family guesthouse or cabaña
in Puerto Tranquilo (rooms always shared with the members of the expedition).
- Chilean NAVY seakayak navigation authorization
- San Rafael National Park fees.
- Navigation Equipment: expedition seakayaks , imported from USA
and Germany, with original rudder, spray skirt, paddles and life
- Cooking equipment/ Group tarp.
- Safety Equipment: Satellite telephone, VHF Marine radio, charts,
- Limited insurance once the seakayak trip starts ...but we highly
recomend that you bring your own insurance.
- Swimming knowledge and 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 paddling confortable in waves (and surf) in windy conditions. 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 guide during
- You'll find your trip even more enjoyable if you remember
to bring flexibility and a sense of humor with you.
- Positive attitude if unexpected situations
- Understand that this is team activity in the outdoors
and the participation of each person at each stage is
- 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 extremely slow.
- 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 the trip starts you must send the Medical Form
and Reservation Form that appears after you press the RESERVATION
button , located at the end of this program, and also send
signed the Release
of Liability Form.
- To have read and have a clear understanding of the Terms
and Conditions section.
- Extremely slow and very low possibilities to receive any help from outside if we have an emergency = we are allone .For safety reasons we will use at least one double but also single kayaks.
- Hospitals and Professional First Aid Care are very far from
the place where we will be navigating.
- You have chosen Patagonia , a place where the weather
is unpredicatble, so we can have sun but also rainny days
, very relaxing days but also windy conditions....so if it rains we get wet , smile , and keep enjoying as one of the few lucky persons that had visited this area..
- Please read our Conditions section about Cancellation,Modification
and Evacuation protocols.
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