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mamielle Puerto Montt - A travel report by Marielle
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Puerto Montt,  Chile - flag Chile -  Los Lagos
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mamielle's travel reports

The Skorpios Cruise to San Rafael Glacier

  14 votes
We are travelling in Chile on December 2003. Previous to Ushuaia, we went for a cruise on the Skorpios to San Rafael Glacier.
Upon arriving in Puerto Montt, we checked into O'GRIMM hotel.

Puerto Montt -Handicrafts
Puerto Montt -Handicrafts
Puerto Montt is a nice enough place, a small town feel, but large enough to have a shopping mall, and a municipal museum. The houses are coloured and the harbour animated.
The next morning, at 11 a.m. the cruise departed from the Skorpios Terminal in Puerto Montt for one week to San Rafael Glacier. We began the cruise drinking the famous “pisco sour". Aboard the Skorpios II we founded a good attention and the kindness of the crew.
We sailed along the Moraleda and Ferronave Channels. Then the cruise arrived at Puerto Aguirre at 11.00 AM where the passengers were met by the local children, during around 1 ½ hours we explored this tranquil fishing village. Then we seted sail and continued along the Ferronave, Pilcomayo and Costa Channels and Elefantes Fjord.

Favourite spots:
San Rafael's Glacier
San Rafael's Glacier
The anchor dropped in Caleta Hualas 20 miles from the San Rafael Glacier. The ice of the San Rafael Glacier dates back as far as 300,000 years, its frontal face is 2kms wide and its ice towers reach up to more than 75 m and plunges down into the ocean waters more than 230 meters. It has a length of 15 kms. We navigated in Hércules motorboat among the spectacular multicoloured ice. Large pieces of ice that break off from the Glacier San Rafael's base are floating on the waters of the San Rafael Lagoon. With its blue ice floes of different shapes and colours it is a spectacle that is unique ! It was very cold and when we went back to boat, the tradition is to drink whisky 12 years old with millennium old glacial ice and after a glass of hot red wine. And I can tell you, after you are very warm !! In the afternoon the Skorpios moved in closer to the glacier. Set sail at 5.00 PM for the Quitralco Fjord.

What's really great:
Quitralco  - The Skorpios
Quitralco - The Skorpios
Quitralco Fjord, that means waters of fire in the Mapuche language, is an old glacier formed riverbed surrounded by mountains, with exuberant and unique vegetation, in a temperate microclimate beside a calm and transparent sea. Here is where the Thermal Installations of Skorpios are located, with their warm, pure waters of volcanic origin, where you can enjoy thermal and steam baths. Walks through this austral forest and sports fishing are some of the activities of this beautiful fjord. The excursions that are made in the clear, tranquil waters of the fjord, in safe motorboats, show us a rich marine fauna such as the banks of mussels and the playful southern dolphins. Undoubtedly, the Quitralco Fjord, where sports fishing can also be practiced, is the paradise we've dreamed of.

Chiloe - Chiloe's Cathedral
Chiloe - Chiloe's Cathedral
Then at 7 PM we seted sail in the direction of Chiloé and arrived to this beautiful town at 9.00 PM. After breakfast we could visit the handicraft markets, the museum, the Church and walk along the streets of this picturesque city. Chiloé is the second largest island of South-America.The name Chiloé comes from Huilliche (an Auracanian language spoken by the Mapuche) Chilhué and means land of seagulls. This island is on the list of World Heritage list of UNESCO for the wooden churches. They are still a lot of legends on the island. Those churches was built on the shore to attract the inhabitants who used boats to move. Here are some churches. Then we took taxi for an excursion to the town of Chonchi, 18 Km away. Chonchi is the area capital and an important port for new aquaculture industries. We returned to the Skorpios and seted sail along the Castro estuary, through the Channels of Lemuy, Dalcahue, Quicaví and Calbuco.
Arrival to Puerto Montt at 11.00 PM and end of th cruise !

San Rafael Glacier - Iceberg
San Rafael Glacier - Iceberg
O'GRIMM hotel is an Hotel with the warmth and good attention typical of the south of Chile.
On board the Skorpios II, we found a friendly, personalized service, always with the exceptional hospitality.
It has capacity for 130 passengers, its cabins are comfortable, all have private bathrooms. It also has a smokers saloon, a nonsmokers bar and a main dining room.

San Rafael's Glacier - Hercules motorboat
San Rafael's Glacier - Hercules motorboat
This part of Chile was colonized by Germans during the second part of the XIX century.
The German community was very wealthy until the World War II.
There is "Club aleman" where you can eat and drink german foods and beers.

San Rafael Glacier - Piece of ice breakinf off
San Rafael Glacier - Piece of ice breakinf off
On the Skorpios, every day you have happy hour with many drinks, but principaly pisco sour : 1/3 lemon,1/3 pisco,1/3 syrup, 1 white egg and you shake ! very delicious !

San Rafael Glacier - Birds on ice
San Rafael Glacier - Birds on ice
On Skorpios, we also was able to enjoy a very good international and local gastronomy with the good wines and liquors of the traditional open bar and very good atmosphere.
In Puerto Montt, the O'Grimm's restaurant had quality menus, otherwise in Puerto Montt you have a lot of fresh sea food restaurants.

Other recommendations:
San Rafael Glacier - Flotting Ice
San Rafael Glacier - Flotting Ice
I really enjoyed this cruise because amongst the routes of the Skorpios cruises that are chosen, we could visit different cities, and villages, such as: Puerto Montt, with its German customs and handcrafts; Castro and his mythology, legends and handcrafts; villages like Puerto Aguirre with fishermen and their children as hosts; and in each of these places we could be in direct contact with the fishermen, view their typical homes and customs, enjoy the hospitality of the southern people.
Without forgetting the dream cruise, navigating through spectacular canals and archipelagos and the sublime San Rafael's Glacier.

Published on Thursday February 2th, 2006

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Wed, Jul 19 2006 - 12:48 AM rating by karlakern

me encantan las fotos de los glaciares parecen un cuento!!! ;)

Wed, Mar 01 2006 - 12:01 PM rating by marianne

impressive pictures of the glaciers.

A joy to read this report

Sat, Feb 04 2006 - 12:31 AM rating by bootlegga

Love the pictures of the cathedral and icebergs. Good effort as usual!

Thu, Feb 02 2006 - 04:07 PM rating by rangutan

An exciting adventure, well written!

Thu, Feb 02 2006 - 02:11 PM rating by frenchfrog

Yet again, you surpassed yourself! A super nice report, lovelly, photos are really good, is that the same one of your album?

Thu, Feb 02 2006 - 11:37 AM rating by davidx

Another wonderful report.

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