The world’s witnesses: Glaciers in Chile and how to find them
By: Hernan Claro - 7 March, 2023
One of the main attractions in our country is the variety of landscapes that it can offer and in Chile Travel we want to make sure that you consider one of the best options that adventure tourism has to offer, the world’s witnesses: glaciers.
Discover the incredible glaciers of northern and central Chile
The Tapado Glacier, the northernmost of Chile. @glaciareschilenos
Reaching the Tapado Glacier, located in the Coquimbo Region can be a true challenge. However, it is worth getting to know the northernmost glacier in Chile, a unique phenomenon.
More than 4,500 masl, getting to see it is an arduous challenge that requires experience in mountaineering, specific equipment, and appropriate planning. The best time to do this excursion is during the summer and spring seasons, accompanied by a professional federated guide.
Only 1,224 kilometers away from the city of Santiago in the area of Cajón del Maipo, you can find this true monument of nature, the El Morado Glacier, which maintains the flow of the rivers in periods of drought and protects Andean ecosystems.
To visit it you must go to the Baños Morales town, then continue 6 kilometers without entering the town until you reach the El Cabrero sector.
Following the path to the left, you will soon park and begin a 2.5-hour trek until you reach the glacier sector.
The best season to visit is between spring and summer owing to the extreme conditions that winter can present at altitude.
The amazing Volcán Callaqui Glacier in Biobío
A view from the top of the Callaqui volcano. @matiasoviedo.a
This glacier in the Biobío Region is on the south of the volcano of the same name, and it is one that is melting, so if you want to visit it, the best thing is to go sooner rather than later.
To get there you must go to the Malla bridge, then go left until you see a wood bridge, and from there approach the trail.
To do this route and to climb the volcano it is necessary to be equipped and to consider the weather. The trail is not long, but it is demanding and requires to be prepared. Once at the top, it is essential to stay away from sulfur fumes from the summit and possible rockfalls.
You can enjoy the view of the volcano on your way, as well as see from the top volcanoes such as Copahue, Sierra Velluda, and Lonquimay.
Incredible landscapes in the glaciers at the beginning of southern Chile
The Sollipulli Glacier is surrounded by craters. @miltonspuler.photo
To get to this wonder of nature, the Sollipulli Glacier, you must take route S-61 from to Melipeuco, from there the trip continues on gravel. The trip must continue in the direction of the Laguna Icalma and then, to the National reserve Villarrica, where the climbing starts from.
After notifying the park ranger, you can start a trail surrounded by coigües and araucarias in the first meters of climbing. Then, the trip continues through volcanic lands for a couple of hours until you reach the great glacier and several craters of Sollipulli, a landscape that you will surely remember.
The impressive glaciers at the end of the world
The O’Higgins glacier is under the Patagonian sky. @region_de_aysen_chile
Also known as Ventisquero Grande, the O’Higgins Glacier is one of the four largest glaciers in Patagonia with an area of 820 km2 and huge walls that can reach 80 meters in height.
The best season to go is between September and April, embarking from Bahía Bahamondes at the end of the Carretera Austral.
Another beauty is the Queulat Glacier. To observe it you must go to the national park of the same name from Puerto Montt or Balmaceda to the entrance of the park along the Carretera Austral.
Once you are there, you must go to the Mirador del Ventisquero trail, a path of 2-hours round trip with medium difficulty which has a footbridge from where you will see one of the most wonderful spectacles that nature has to offer.
In the San Rafael National Park, you can find this huge ice mantle that bears the same name as the park. It has an area of 20 kilometers long over the lagoon and is more than 30,000 years old.
To visit this ice giant from Coyhaique you must go to Puerto Chacabuco for 78 kilometers following route 240. From there you can take out the service of a directed boat by water to the Laguna San Rafael.
Despite the obvious melting, the Balmaceda Glacier on the mountain that bears its name still offers a spectacular view. Surrounded by native forest that descends to the world’s largest freshwater reserve, this is a destination that you cannot miss if you want to discover the glaciers in Chile.
To get to this ice giant located in the Bernardo O’higgins National Park, you must take a ferry from Puerto Natales for CLP $ 85,000 per person, a cost that varies depending on the season of the year in which you decide to make this trip.
A bonus because there are always nice glaciers to see in Chile
The Grey Glacier in front of the lagoon that bears his name. @felipe_bennington
If you are in Torres del Paine Park, then you probably know that you have before you the possibility of seeing this crystallized water massif.
On a 4-hour tour, you can embark from the Lago Grey Hotel inside the park to see the glacier from the ship. We recommend you bring warm clothes for the cold and a snack to enjoy the trip.