kawesqar national park in chile
Photo: Alejandra Javiera Gallo (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Explore the Kawesqar National Park

5 days/4 nights with optional extension (see info below)

Tailor-made post program options: 1. Epic hike to Torres del Paine National Park (for the day). 2. Local experience at Estancia Mercedes.

Program

Day 1: Puerto Natales & Briefieng before the adventure!

Today, you will arrive to your hotel in Puerto Natales. You can take a walk arround this beautiful city and enjoy the ocean view.

The local guide will organize a meeting in your hotel the night before the expedition to give general information about this adventure, confirm pick-up times, help with doubts and to give you equipment you will be using the following days.

1 night in Hotel in Puerto Natales.

Day 2: Puerto Natales - Resi fjord

45 km/28 mi, 45 min drive. 19 nm, 1 hr Navigation. 4 km/2.5 mi, 2 hrs Trekking.

You will be picked up at your hotel at 09:30 am, then we take a boat to navigate 5 minutes from Puerto Natales to Antonio Varas peninsula across the Señoret channel. We continue by vehicle for 45 minutes through a gravel road to Estancia Mercedes where we take a fast boat Explorador IV and navigate for another  hour until we reach the end of the Resi fjord – the entrance to Kawesqar National Park. Here is our campsite: expedition tents and a Dome as shelter, with a cozy kitchen and dining room. During the navigation it is possible to see seals, dolphins, penguins, cormorants, condors, and other species.

Later we’ll go on a trekk off trail for about 2 hours to the Resi lookout, where we can appreciate the beauty of the fjord, the valleys, lagoons, rivers and waterfalls in the surroundings. We finish the day in our camp Resi with a tasty dinner in our dome.

1 night at Camp Resi / Double tents

Day 3: Thunder pass - Mountains fjord

16 km/ 10 mi, 9 hrs Trekking

After breakfast, we begin our adventure! We go 8 kilometers bush walking through a beautiful valley characterized by evergreen forests, waterfalls, peat land, erratic rocks and moraines colonized by colorful lichens and mosses. We trek for about 4 hours by imposing mountains with whimsical shapes until we arrive to the Thunder lagoon, which is surrounded by huge rock walls with amphitheater shape. The powerful action of a gone glacier has transformed these rock walls into a pass with terraces that makes it possible to go through the Thunder pass at 600 meters above the sea level till the Mountains fjord.
We will eat our lunch before going up the pass, by the shore of the Thunder lagoon.

We continue through moraines and erratic blocks as we pass by two beautiful lagoons until we
finally, have a clear view of the entire fjord that seems tiny surrounded by huge mountains and
glaciers in the horizon.

From here, the terrain is more rocky and solid than the first section, making it easier to trek down towards our campsite Kiara, where we’ll spend our second night. Here we also have expedition tents to sleep and a Dome with an exclusive panoramic view, located at sea level.

Across the fjord is the Kiara Glacier which is very active, so it’s possible to hear and see ice avalanches breaking off while we enjoy another delicious dinner!

1 night at Camp Kiara / Double tents

Day 4: Sarmiento Mountain Range & Glaciers

8 km/5 mi, 5 hrs Trekking, 12 nm, 40 min Navigation

We begin the day with a good breakfast! Then we start trekking from the camp, heading to the north of the fjord for 5 kilometers off trail.

We’ll pass by blocks of rocks, evergreen forest, peatland and streams that we’ll have to cross. It will take us about 2 hours to arrive to a beautiful beach with a glacier in the background, a live postcard! Here we go uphill until we gain about 300 meters of elevation, where we’ll get an incredible panoramic view of the glaciers Alsina and Paredes, both flowing down from the icy summits of the Sarmiento mountain range till the fjord itself.
Here we’ll have our lunch with such an amazing view.

We come back down the same track. At the beach, our boat “West Patagonia” awaits for us to take us navigating 30 minutes towards South in the Mountains fjord to Bernal glacier.

During the boat ride, we’ll pass close by Alsina glacier, getting a better perspective of this beautiful glacier with huge seracs.

At Bernal glacier, we will have the chance to hike through a particular trail with colorful moraines that cross the glacier lake, allowing us to get close and safe enough to touch its ice. We will be able to watch and understand its movements and changes that it has given to the landscape throughout the years.
The contrast of colors between the vegetation, the ice, the mountains and the fjord in the background, makes any picture look perfect.

After visiting this glacier, we continue navigating 10 more minutes to the remote “Huiros bay” where we will find our exclusive floating refuge Explorador. Here we can enjoy the facilities, a hot shower, the bar and a last delicious homemade dinner.

1 night at the Floating Refuge Explorador / Shared  rooms

Day 5: Alacalufes path - Return to Puerto Natales

3 km/1.8 mi, 2 hr Trekking. 19 nm, 1 hr Navigation. 45 km/28 mi, 45 min gravel road.

After a nice breakfast, we’ll go out for a hike around the Huiros bay, to Buena Vista lookout, an awesome hike for a last amazing view of the fjord, the mountains, the glaciers, the bay with the floating refuge and the route we must take to go back to Puerto Natales.

We begin the return to Puerto Natales trekking across an Indian Pass known as the Alacalufe path, named as the canoeist ancestors Kawesqar who inhabited all the fjord lands in the last 6,000 years and used this pass to connect the Mountains fjord with Resi fjord. We have to trek 1 kilometer to reach the Acantilados lagoon, which is incased between huge rock walls and the only way to go cross it is by boat, so we have to navigate 5 minutes to get to the other side of it to continue hiking 20 more minutes to Resi fjord.

Here we get in the fast boat “Explorador IV” and navigate for one hour until we reach Estancia Mercedes in Antonio Varas peninsula (just as the first day).
We will have our lunch somewhere on the way and continue to Puerto Natales, finishing around 3 pm, weather conditions permitting.

Program Option 1: Epic hike to Torres del Paine (+3 nights) after Thunder Pass

Day 5: Alacalufes Path - Return to Puerto Natales

3 km/1.8 mi, 2 hr Trekking. 19 nm, 1 hr Navigation. 45 km/28 mi, 45 min gravel road.

After a nice breakfast, we’ll go out for a hike around the Huiros bay, to Buena Vista lookout, an awesome hike for a last amazing view of the fjord, the mountains, the glaciers, the bay with the floating refuge.

We begin the return to Puerto Natales trekking across an Indian Pass known as the Alacalufe path, named as the canoeist ancestors Kawesqar who inhabited all the fjord lands in the last 6,000 years and used this pass to connect the Mountains fjord with Resi fjord. We have to trek 1 kilometer to reach the Acantilados lagoon, which is incased between huge rock walls and the only way to go cross it is by boat, so we have to navigate 5 minutes to get to the other side of it to continue hiking 20 more minutes to Resi fjord.

Here we get in the fast boat “Explorador IV” and navigate for one hour until we reach Estancia Mercedes in Antonio Varas peninsula (just as the first day).

1 night hotel in Puerto Natales.

Day 6: Day off

After an amazing and unforgettable 5-days trekking experience, you have to regain energy to continue on one of the most famous trekking in Torres del Paine, the trekking to the base torres viewpoint. That´s why today you need to let your body recover, drink a lot of water and go early to bed because tomorrow another amazing trekking experience is waiting. You will be starting the day early in the morning!

1 night hotel in Puerto Natales.

Day 7: Full day hike in Torres del Paine National Park

Departure from Puerto Natales at 07:00 am and transfer directly to sector Las Torres where you will arrive at “Estancia Cerro Paine”, starting point of the trail. There you will receive an informative preliminary talk from the guide. You will take the road leading to the Valley and after 10 minutes walking, you will cross an old suspension bridge across the Ascencio River.

Then, you follow a zigzag of marked slope and sparse vegetation for an hour. The ascent continues and passes by another slope and after 45 minutes you reach the “El Chileno” Campsite on the opposite bank of the Ascencio River. After about an hour and 10 minutes after the campsite, 700 meters above sea level, you reach the foot of the moraine that gives access to the viewpoint. From this point, the path increases its slope.

First, it goes next to a slope and under the shade of the small trees located at the edge of the moraine, but higher up the path ends and you continue ascending on the rocky terrain. After about half an hour from the signpost at 700 meters above sea level, you reach the eastern end of the lagoon, where you have a wonderful view of the three towers and the surrounding hills. After resting and having lunch in this extraordinary unique scenery, you will begin your way back along the same path until the starting point, where the driver will be waiting to return to Puerto Natales.

1 night hotel in Puerto Natales.

Day 8: Back to Puerto Natales

This amazing program has come to an end.

Transfer to the airport.

Program Option 2: Local experience at Estancia Mercedes (+2 nights) after Thunder Pass

Day 5: Alacalufes Path - Estancia Mercedes

3 km/1.8 mi, 2 hr Trekking. 19 nm, 1 hr Navigation. 45 km/28 mi, 45 min gravel road.

After a nice breakfast, we’ll go out for a hike around the Huiros bay, to Buena Vista lookout, an awesome hike for a last amazing view of the fjord, the mountains, the glaciers, the bay with the floating refuge.

We begin the return to Puerto Natales trekking across an Indian Pass known as the Alacalufe path, named as the canoeist ancestors Kawesqar who inhabited all the fjord lands in the last 6,000 years and used this pass to connect the Mountains fjord with Resi fjord. We have to trek 1 kilometer to reach the Acantilados lagoon, which is incased between huge rock walls and the only way to go cross it is by boat, so we have to navigate 5 minutes to get to the other side of it to continue hiking 20 more minutes to Resi fjord.

Here we get in the fast boat “Explorador IV” and navigate for one hour until we reach Estancia Mercedes in Antonio Varas peninsula (just as the first day).

1 night at Estancia Mercedes.

Day 6: Estancia Mercedes outdoor activity

Today you can choose between different full-day options: there are different trails for horseback riding, trekking and some local estancia focused activities.

1 night at Estancia Mercedes

Day 7: Back to Puerto Natales

This amazing program has come to an end.

Transfer to the airport.