Laguna San Rafael

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The laguna is part of the Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael, which covers an area of 1.742,000 hectares. Laguna San Rafael was declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1979.

The laguna is situated in the extreme south of the Canal Moraleda, at the foot of the Campo del Hielo Norte; it is a small inlet of the Pacific Ocean, about 15 km long by 10 wide. The huge, 3,000 year old San Rafael Glacier falls into the sea at this point, and is without doubt the main tourist attraction of the region, now world famous.

There are many floating blocks of ice in this laguna, as well as the glacier San Valentín Glacier, and large blocks of ice periodically fall into the surrounding waters. Tourist vessels which visit the laguna stay for about six hours, and use their boats excursions. There are a number of alternatives for a trip to the Laguna San Rafael, varying both in cost and duration, some doing the journey in a day and others taking up to five days.

A small jetty has now been installed here so that smaller boats can dock and people can walk to the base of the glacier. There are also a series of viewpoints dotted along the path.

From Puerto Chacabuco, you can make a magnificent voyage, sailing south into the Fiordo Aisén, continuing along the Costa Channel and then deep into the Estuario Elefantes.

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