Day 1 Our adventure begins in Castro, the oldest city of the Isla Grande of Chilo?. Founded in 1567 as a base for the evangelization of the native people, it is known for its colorful Palafitos (Houses on wooden stilts), its cultural identity linked to mythology and the ancestral people whose tradition as great sailors continues until today. Crowning the city, the Cathedral combines a neo-gothic and classic design with the local building tradition so characteristic in the use of fine woods such as cypress, coihue, and alerce which appeal led it to being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2000. A welcome cocktail invites us to leave behind the Port of Castro onboard the M/V Mare Australis and to enjoy the hospitality of our crew. We sail through the Castro Estuary, the Lemuy, Chonchi, and Yal Channels to reach Punta Centinela and prepare to cross the Corcovado Gulf.
Day 2 Sunrise finds us near the small port of Melinka, capital of the Guaitecas archipelago, to then enter the P?rez Norte Channel, heading to Jechica, with a view to the Velberde, Garcia, and Garrao islands. We pass Puntilla Chonos to arrive at our destination through the Chullo estuary. Jechica is a Natural Sanctuary in the heart of Chilean Patagonia, where exuberant nature is found in its primitive state, the Sphagnum bogs create unique ecosystems contributing to carbon storage. Disembarking is scheduled for after breakfast, to hike through Centenary Forests of Cipr?s de las Guaitecas (Pilgerodendron uviferum), Coihue de Chilo? (Nothofagus nitida), Notros (Embotrium coccinium), and Ma?ios (Podocarpus nubigena) among others species; and at the same time sight some of the 50 species of land and marine birds that inhabit the archipelago such as the Magellanic Woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus), the White-crested Elaenia (Elaenia albicep chilensis), the Austral Thrush (Turdus falklandii), the Patagonian Sierra-Finch (Phrygilus patagonicus), the Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus), the Black-Browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris), and the Red-legged Cormorant (phalacroc?rax gaimardi). We will end the excursion with a great Patagonian lunch with fresh local seafood and the ever-present "spit roasted lamb", while admiring the breathtaking scenery of this refuge for sailors of another time where the Pacific waters merge with the lush vegetation. We will weigh anchor by mid afternoon to sail through the Baeza and P?rez Sur Channels on our way to the Tuap Islands and to Puerto Aguirre arriving around midnight.
Day 3 Sunrise finds us across from the Mogotes Islands, crossing the Elefantes Estuary to find the Quesahuen and De Vidt Pass to reach the spectacular San Rafael Lagoon after breakfast. We will witness an awesome sight: the San Rafael glacier appears in all of its glory descending from the mountains and part of the Northern Ice Field, declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1979. We will disembark, weather-permitting, aboard powerful MKV Zodiac boats allowing us to get very close to the ancient ice under the strictest safety standards, viewing the most diverse shades of blue ranging from very intense to absolute transparency, and perhaps witness the detachment of colossal blocks of ice where the deafening noise shatters the quiet when entering the water with a relentless force. Hot chocolate and whiskey will be waiting for us back onboard to combat the cold and share the exciting experiences. We raise anchor by mid-afternoon to head towards our next stop.
Day 4 By dawn we have reached Tic Toc Bay, in the heart of the Corcovado National Park, a privileged ecosystem with Fjords, Bays, Rivers, and Volcanoes. We pause in this natural amphitheater to enjoy the scenery, take photos, and if conditions permit to sight Whales, since due to the large amount of nutrients existing in the fjords and channels, it is one of most important feeding and mating areas of the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) in the Southern Hemisphere, at least during the summer and fall. The deserved break gives way to a few hours of sailing towards Chaiten, where we will go ashore to witness the devastating effects of the eruption of the Chait?n volcano which took place in the months of May 2008 and February 2009, after centuries of inactivity. We will go through forests that were destroyed by pyroclastic flows that came down the valleys, to enter on foot on trails that meander through an ancient Alerce forest, one of the few that has managed to escape the predatory effect of the human being, where we can contemplate the beauty of these giant trees which have witnessed the passage of time. We then return to the ship and get ready to enjoy the last night crossing the Gulf of Corcovado to enter the Lemuy and Quehui Channels to the City of Castro, the starting point of this adventure.
Day 5 Arrival at Castro, was a great experience and hope to see again. Landing at 08:00am
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $0 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.
The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.