Discovering the Exploradores Glacier

A unique experience through ices formed thousands of years ago. Walking through the Exploradores Glacier is one of many activities that makes Chile the perfect place for adventure tourism.

Pablo Necochea | Flickr
Pablo Necochea | Flickr

A few kilometers away from Puerto Tranquilo, in the Aysén Region, lies one of the most popular and visited glaciers of southern Chile. A great cape of ice that has been part of our landscape for many millennia and that is currently one of the most important attractions of the area.

Just as its name says it, the Exploradores Glacier allows visitors to have a unique experience and walk through the glacier itself. It is possible to walk across long ice fields, as well as being surrounded by giant ice walls, exploring tunnels and caves that are present throughout the glacier.

In order to enjoy this experience it is necessary to hire a tour. There are many tourism agencies that offer tours for the day. Most of them begin this journey from the town of Puerto Tranquilo; then, they will be begin an one hour drive through the Exploradores Valley. The length of this journey offers an incredible view, which allows to witness the change of landscapes, going from a dense forests to beautiful glaciers and waterfalls.

Before beginning the tour, tourists guides have to provide visitors with the proper tools, which include crampons and leg warmers; special equipment that allows to walk through the ice. They also give a small talk before the tour, which includes safety measures and relevant information about the flora and fauna of the place.

The tour begins through a path that leads to a lookout from where you can appreciate the Exploradores Glacier, from this point forward the expedition begins. The two first hours of trekking are over a rocky path with several chunks of ice that detach from the glacier, until reaching a clean and completely white point.

A white coat that spreads itself for many meters, with caves created by the ocean’s waves, along with crystal blue ice and water surrounding the glacier. Depending on the physical capacity of the exploring group, the tour through the glacier can last up until four hours between ice, snow, caves, arcs and small lagoons.

mauricionarea | Instagram

mauricionarea | Instagram

Tips to bare in mind:

  • The tour is appropriate for everyone, from children to senior citizens, however it is not recommended for those who do not practice any physical activity.
  • Tours have an estimated price between $60.000 – $70.000, which can vary depending on the tour agency and the season.
  • It is highly recommended to wear several layers of clothing, since the physical activity warms up the body, but you will be in a glacier and body temperature can easily drop.
  • Wear gloves, in case of not having any, some agencies have pairs availables.
  • Apply sunscreen and, if necessary, wear sunglasses.
  • Most agencies offer snacks, but if necessary you can bring food and drinks.
  • Weather can change abruptly, it is recommended to be prepared for rain.
  • Bring a camera. You will want to remember this experience.