Laguna San Rafael
Laguna San Rafael
4.5
What people are saying
Trip from Chacabuco is more of a cultural experience than nature
4.0 of 5 bubblesDec 2019
if you want to enjoy the glacier closer and for longer, select option from puerto tranquillo - smaller catamarans and less time for logistics to get to/ from. Departure from Chababuco is rather a cultural experience and the enterntainment follows this plan: 70 people, only 7 foreigners the rest Chileans (and some Argentians) 1. get everyone on the boat by 7:40am, depart at 8am 2. 1.5h into sailing serve hot breakfast 3. by 9:30am open the upper deck for people to wonder around 4. by 10:30-11am start a powerpoint presentation about glaciers - types, background, size data, history 5. 11:30am - serve lunch (with vino) 6. by 1pm arrive to the glacier and start rotation of the small inflatable motorboats to/from the glacier in groups of 10. Overall 1h, not longer than 10-15min each boat. I guess for liability issues with one side of the glacier being 50m boats staying at least 100m away. I got to experience a much closer drift in Greenland if you want to get more personal. 7. While tourists are charting on/ off in the boats, crew pick up a few pieces of ice 8. Get everyone on the catamaran and leave glacier by 2:30pm. Meantime, get that ice and start drinking pisco and whiskey on the ice (polite version is "tasting'). 9. by 3:30pm get everyone warm and happy and let them sing Chilean songs for as long as effect of the tasting lasts (just please hide the microphone!) - at least for the next 2-2.5h. 10. Serve hot snacks with coffee at 5pm. 11. By 7pm half of the signers are tiered and will take a nap. But as we get closer to port, everyone takes microphone and thanks everyone for a wonderful experience they are having on the trip (at least this is as much as i managed to derive from my poor Spanish). 12. Arrive to the puerto by 8pm. 12hours have flown by! Enjoy

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles302 reviews
Excellent
249
Very good
28
Average
13
Poor
9
Terrible
3

sotola
london452 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
if you want to enjoy the glacier closer and for longer, select option from puerto tranquillo - smaller catamarans and less time for logistics to get to/ from.

Departure from Chababuco is rather a cultural experience and the enterntainment follows this plan:
70 people, only 7 foreigners the rest Chileans (and some Argentians)
1. get everyone on the boat by 7:40am, depart at 8am
2. 1.5h into sailing serve hot breakfast
3. by 9:30am open the upper deck for people to wonder around
4. by 10:30-11am start a powerpoint presentation about glaciers - types, background, size data, history
5. 11:30am - serve lunch (with vino)
6. by 1pm arrive to the glacier and start rotation of the small inflatable motorboats to/from the glacier in groups of 10. Overall 1h, not longer than 10-15min each boat. I guess for liability issues with one side of the glacier being 50m boats staying at least 100m away. I got to experience a much closer drift in Greenland if you want to get more personal.
7. While tourists are charting on/ off in the boats, crew pick up a few pieces of ice
8. Get everyone on the catamaran and leave glacier by 2:30pm. Meantime, get that ice and start drinking pisco and whiskey on the ice (polite version is "tasting').
9. by 3:30pm get everyone warm and happy and let them sing Chilean songs for as long as effect of the tasting lasts (just please hide the microphone!) - at least for the next 2-2.5h.
10. Serve hot snacks with coffee at 5pm.
11. By 7pm half of the signers are tiered and will take a nap. But as we get closer to port, everyone takes microphone and thanks everyone for a wonderful experience they are having on the trip (at least this is as much as i managed to derive from my poor Spanish).
12. Arrive to the puerto by 8pm. 12hours have flown by!
Enjoy
Written 5 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mada1117
Perth, Australia23 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Couples
If you have been to Perito Merino or Grey at Torres del paine, this is not for you. It is somewhat underwhelming. Whilst the crew are great and there is food service etc, one has to question burning +10 hours of diesel to visit a glacier that is dying from global warming purportedly due to the excessive consumption of fossil fuels.
Written 12 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gmloubr2018
Albuquerque, NM37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Couples
The hotel is run by the fame US company that also runs the catamaran that takes you to the San Rafael glacier. Customer service was perfect. Food was great. Rooms spacious and spotless. We stayed two nights. We arrived around 6pm, had diner in the bar area (we skipped the buffet). The food was good. The next day we first had a great breakfast and at 7am the tour to the glacier started. In the catamaran they again gave us breakfast and, later, lunch. The trip to the glacier takes about 5 hours. Then, 2 hours at the glacier where they take you in small zodiac boats close to the glacier. We saw a leopard seal lounging on a small iceberg about 15 feet from us. On the way back they give you whiskey with ice from the glacier and diner. Overall, excellent.
Written 27 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maritzajf
St. Pete Beach, FL14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Solo
The trip from Chacabuco to Laguna San Rafael takes about 5 hours by ship from Chacabuco. It is a full day trip, very beautiful and the best glacier that I have ever been !
Written 12 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel S
Philadelphia, PA40 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
This was a tour out of Puerto cahacabuco, organized by the Hotel Loberias del Sur. Travel from PC to LSR takes about 4 to 4.5 hours by a high speed boat similar to those between Hyannis and Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard( for those who know them). They feel like comfortable buses on water! The crew and guides are wonderful, provide food and drinks all along, and, on the back trip, upper deck karaoke, drinks, food and a lot of high spirited entertainment( and if you don't like it, you can probably sleep in the lower deck). It is a long day. When the ship arrives at LSR, weather conditons must be adequate for rubber boats to be lowered and passnegers taken on a wateer tour o the glaciar. The ride can be a little hairy, ice chunks all around, rain and sun mix,, etc. Ponchos provided. On occasion, we were told, the boats cannot be lowered to the ocean because of risky weather conditions. The trip to and from LSR includes passing through fjiords and channels and it is in itself very pretty and interesting. passengers can get to the outside deck.
Written 21 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sunflower983
Sofia, Bulgaria249 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Friends
We have travelled in South America through Chille an Argentina for a month. The trip to San Rafael was in the middle and felt like а top experience. We travelled for a whole day, had food and drinks on board of the boat, the crew was polite and friendly- everything was wonderful.
The best part, naturally was the zodiac boat that took us to the glaciar through icebergs. I wish we got a bit closer to the glacier. However, it was amazing!
Highly recommenr it despite the price (for us this trip was the biggest expense).
Written 17 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

americanlark
Birmingham, UK10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
The glacier is beautiful and the fact that it is disappearing so quickly makes me glad we saw it. We got some good pictures as well. However, it takes all day, and most of it are in the 9 hour round-trip catamaran ride. It's very long. Most passengers go on the upper deck and take advantage of the open bar and the karaoke. We chose to stay on the below deck so it was a bit boring. But most people on the tour did not speak English, so the tour itself was only given in Spanish the day we went. The guide (who is trilingual and speaks very good English and decent German) would give us brief overviews later, but most of the tour in Spanish. Given all of this and the difficulty of getting to the Laguna and the Glacier, I would recommend others not to add it to their Patagonia itinerary. However, if you are in or near Puerto Chacabuco, it is the best thing to do there and is pretty impressive views.
Written 24 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Singababe
Paris, France78 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Couples
We almost did'nt get to go since the catamaran with Lobrias del Sur was sold out. We were initially disappointed as our sole purpose of there was to see the San Rafael glacier. We got to know about Destinos Patagonia from another agency. Instead of leaving fron Puerto Chacabuco we had to leave from Puerto Tranquillo in a small speed boat. We rented a car from Balmaceda Airport and drove 4 hrs to Puerto Tranquilo, a pretty and tranquil town next to a lake. We made our reservation with Marco of Destinos Patagonia. Friendly nice chap who runs the agency with his friend Emilia. The next morning we drove another 2-hrs on unpaved road to Puerto Grosse - our embarkation point where we got on a speed boat. There were ten of us. It took us an 1-1/2 half to the glacier. We spent an hour in front of San Rafael glacier and had our lunch and whisky on ice. We had a very friendly and gentle guide Franci. The boat ride was very bumpy but the experience of going with a small group with a fast boat to us was very intimate and immediate. A long ride but definitely a worthwhile trip to witness this breathtaking glacier.
Written 27 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

judystephen
Ho Ho Kus, NJ205 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
We had a wonderful trip to Laguna San Rafael, even though a very overcast day and not the clearest view of the glacier the floating blue eye was amazing to see. The catamaran we were on was large and very comfortable and had excellent outside viewing space. Definitely worth the trip
Written 24 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amy R
South Bend, IN357 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Friends
Travelled via Catamaranes del Sur. We were very lucky to have a beautiful day. Were told all the days previously had been raining constantly and the days after were scheduled for rain. The trip down was slow enough to take in the landscape and be outside on the back deck. The trip back in the evening almost twice as fast, zooming back to port. Karaoke has been now reserved for the upper deck allowing people who want peace and reflection to be downstairs. Now about the glacier. The zodiac approach was a great way to do it. Bi-lingual staff explain much about the glacier, its history, its prospects. Didn't get as close as I thought we would, because there were many mini-icebergs in the lagoon. The colors in the ice are almost unworldly. Saw sea lions, salmon farms, cormorants. Beautiful landscape. Knowing what I know now, about the flight to Balmaceda, the two night stay at Loberias del Sur, the catamaran trip, and the cost and time involved, I would tell myself to do it. But it is not a bucket list experience. At least for me.
Written 12 April 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Laguna San Rafael - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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