The southern tip of South America a complex network of archipelagos, peninsulas, and islets. Fused by enormous glaciers and crystal clear lakes, the raw, untamed wilderness of Patagonia is a paradise for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Furthermore, when it comes to water activities Patagonia is second to none. From Bariloche to the Beagle Channel, water sports enthusiasts can paddle thrilling rapids, calm lakes, and drift past mighty glaciers. Here, we count down our top five kayaking experiences in Patagonia.
1. Take on the Serrano River, Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine is a hikers’ heaven. However, the legendary national park has plenty to offer those who prefer their thrills on the water. For instance, a particularly stunning kayak excursion through the park follows the rugged Río Serrano. Running along the edge of the park, the fast-flowing river runs right up to the Serrano Glacier. Here, explorers can float in the Serrano Lagoon before emerging out onto the Last Hope Sound. This route is suitable for active and eager beginners and intermediate kayakers. Those with more experience can do a detour to traverse the rapids at the Geike and Tyndall tributaries.
2. Explore the Marble Cathedral at Lago General Carrera
Lago General Carrera is an enormous lake in the region of Aysén, stretching over the border between Chile and Argentina. Within Lago General Carrera is an incredible rock formation known as the Marble Cathedral. Formed by thousands of years of erosion, the calcium carbonate rocks display layered, striped patterns that resemble marble. The Marble Cathedral can’t be accessed from land, so the only way to explore is by kayak. Although chilly inside the caves, floating amongst the marbled pillars on turquoise waters is one of the most unforgettable water activities Patagonia offers. Many excursions set off from Puerto Río Tranquilo, so head to the small town to find a guide.
3. Get up close and personal with the Perito Moreno glacier
The Perito Moreno Glacier is an exceptional place. This isn’t only because of its sheer size – there are many things about the Perito Moreno Glacier that continue to baffle glaciologists. For example, it is one of the few glaciers in the world that is advancing and no one is sure why. Towering 78 meters above the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino, kayaking in the shadow of the Perito Moreno Glacier is a breathtaking experience. Keen kayakers can embark on a day-long round-trip from El Calafate that includes some time hiking.
4. Paddle the lakes of the Nahuel Huapi National Park
It’s likely that it won’t come as a surprise that the Lake District has some of the best water activities Patagonia has to offer. An enormous network of deep blue lakes nestled amongst Andean peaks, the Lake District is an incredible getaway for water sports junkies. For instance, if you’re serious about kayaking, there are several multi-day excursions available near Bariloche. A fantastic three-day route is between Lago Mascardi and Lago Roca, which passes the mighty Mount Tronador and the Valdivian Forest.
5. Follow Darwin through the Beagle Channel
If you love wildlife and water activities Patagonia is the place to go. Perhaps the most thrilling and wildlife-packed kayak excursion is along the Beagle Channel. The Beagle Channel is famously where Charles Darwin made observations that influenced his most important work, The Origin of Species. Along the route, kayakers can see sea lions, penguins, and the rugged landscape of the Tierra del Fuego. However, this is a challenging sea kayak that requires a guide and a bit of experience.
More water activities Patagonia has on offer…
For those with a thirst for adventure, there’s no place like Patagonia. From the Lake District right down to Ushuaia, there are numerous opportunities to hike, climb, kayak, and sail. However, if viewing this wonderous landscape from the comfort of a luxury cruise ship is more your speed, then Australis have got you covered. Take a look at our brochure to find out more.