This is a full day excursion that offers great sights, a close-up look at Glacier Serrano breaking off into icebergs in a lagoon and an adventurous fast-speed zodiac trip upriver into Torres del Paine.
It also serves as a great alternative to get into Torres del Paine and sure beats the bus!
- Operated between September to April
- Subject to local weather conditions
- FULL REFUND IF TRIP CANNOT BE OPERATED
Note: We offer this activity to be built into your main itinerary and not as a standalone.
So, at long last you will be coming to Patagonia, maybe your “once in a lifetime” trip? No doubt you have planned to walk the W Trek, or stay at a top-end, luxury lodge. In all cases, we are local specialists and can build you the itinerary of your dreams. However, there is one activity that a lot of people miss, and it is this one below that we will describe to you.
We offer you an alternative and exciting way to get to Torres del Paine from Puerto Natales.
For example, most people make their way from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine on the bus, or by private transfer. However, we offer you a chance to go up the Serrano river. In other words, a fresh way to get from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine as a full-day excursion that serves as a unique transfer service at the same time.
The trip can be divided into two parts. The first part is on board a catamaran, which, at times, can feel as though it is overcrowded, only because it caters for a large number of passengers. The second part is on the much smaller, and personal, fast-speed zodiac that races up river. We can also arrange for a rent a car and your luggage to be dropped at the end of the trip in Torres del Paine as well.
Most importantly, we can build this excursion into any Torres del Paine Itinerary we are arranging for you.
After embarkation, the catamaran will navigate along the fiord called Sound of Last Hope (“Seno de Ultima Esperanza”). Moreover, the navigational route passes by amazing geographical evidence of previous ice-ages and unbelievable-looking layers of rock sediment. That is to say, that these layers of rock have been contorted from the horizontal, bent into u-shapes and / or turned vertical from the sheer forces of nature. In addition to amazing rock formations, along the way there may be some cormorants and other birds to see, as well as a waterfall. This part of the trip, which lasts about 2hrs, gets interesting as it approaches the end of the fiord where the hanging glaciers of Balmaceda and Serrano can be seen.
We all know that global warming is affecting the entire planet. Consequently, there is no surprise to see that the Balmaceda glacier has retreated considerably over the past decade. As a result, it has revealed an orange-coloured, smooth rock surface that contrasts artistically with the blue hue of the glacier, and vivid green of the foliage either side. Therefore, although it is sad to see a retreating glacier, the combined natural colours of nature make for a wonderful picture. Talking of pictures, you will have photo opportunities everywhere you look. Therefore, please make sure you bring your camera or cel phone.
Closer to the Serrano glacier the catamaran will dock, and passengers encouraged to disembark. Most importantly, everyone will be able to walk through a native wood to a small lagoon, whereupon the Serrano glacier comes down from the mountain and breaks off into icebergs that float in the water. Consequently, this is an impressive, as well as a pretty spectacle.
Towards Torres del Paine National Park
During the re-embarkation process, those passengers who are not returning to Puerto Natales will get into zodiac dinghies. Most importantly, they will be handed wet-weather gear and life jackets. They will then be taken across the river delta to a Patagonian lodge for a typical Patagonian lunch. This is a very tranquil place facing the amazing white-blue Serrano glacier, with the slow-moving Serrano river passing by, birds chirping and surrounded by the natural flora. As a result, this is the ideal place to relax.
After lunch passengers will get back into the zodiacs and start the fast-speed trip up the river Serrano and into the National Park Bernard O´Higgins, the park that borders Torres del Paine. The route is up river passing by the forested banks either side, and fauna that happen to be eating or watching from the river banks. Most importantly, towards the final 30mins of fast-speeding up river, if weather permits, you will see the cuernos of Torres del Paine in the distance, and its hanging glaciers. In other words, you will have made it to Torres del Paine.
Arrival is usually around 16:30hrs to the Serrano Sector. From this location there are wonderful views of the Torres del Paine central massif. Therefore, again, this is a great photo opportunity.
Most importantly, we need to arrange your onward transfer to accommodation in Torres del Paine or back to Puerto Natales, which we will have booked for you. However, note that officially Serrano Sector is NOT in Torres del Paine, but literally on the border. Consequently, when you actually enter through an official Torres del Paine entrance you will need to pay the entrance fee, unless we have already arranged that for you previously.
Upon arrival to Torres del Paine we can either get you to your hotel in Torres del Paine or bring you back to Puerto Natales.
Considering that Patagonia is at “the end of the World”, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side, the weather is often windy and very changeable. Consequently, visitors need to be prepared for any weather. For this reason please pack clothing that you can put on and take off as you get cold and get hot. After walking you will likely get hot, but when standing around you will get cold. Therefore, bring warm hats, gloves, waterproof top and hiking boots, as well as a pair of sunglasses. However, for the zodiac navigation you will be provided with all the wet weather gear you will need for the trip, and this goes over your usual clothing.
Comments from Clients
“One of the best things I have done, during my holiday in Patagonia”.
“As a result of having an extra day in Puerto Natales we could come out of TDP by the zodiac, and we loved it”
This, without doubt, a brilliant way to get into or out of Torres del Paine. Therefore, ask us to include this activity in your itinerary during your time in Torres del Paine.
- We include in this itinerary the transport from Puerto Natales to Bories Jetty and onward transport to your hotel in Torres del Paine or back to Puerto Natales.
- Lunch is included.
- Wet weather gear is included.
- Moreover, we include the entrance ticket to Bernardo O’Higgins National Park.