Laguna San Rafael

Overview

Introduction

Ice meets sea at Laguna San Rafael, Chile, where icebergs calve off a crackling 2-mi-/3-km-wide glacier and bob around in the water. Reached by cruise ship or high-speed catamaran from Puerto Chacabuco, a modest ferry port that's the maritime gateway to the Aisen region, Laguna San Rafael gets fewer international visitors than the better-known cruise among the fjords of Tierra del Fuego, but the scenery is no less spectacular.

Cruises to Laguna San Rafael actually leave from Puerto Montt or Castro (Chiloe), but it's possible to board at Puerto Chacabuco (barely an hour from the regional capital of Coyhaique). On arrival at Laguna San Rafael, cruise ships and other tour boats dispatch crew members to break off chunks of ice to accompany their on-board whiskey.

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