It was with a heavy heart that I had to leave my favorite hotel in Chile so far on Sunday morning. Travel Agent along with the rest of the group who traveled to the country for the USTOA 2010: Out of the Country Meeting in Chile lugged our bags out of our rooms at about 6:30 a.m. and again boarded the Patagonia Express catamaran for the second time in two days.
We took a nearly eight-hour boat ride along the appropriately-named Iceberg River to see a a portion of a glacier that is 1.8-kilometers wide and 15 kilometers long, or, to put it simply, gigantic. Although you are a good distance away from it, the area of the glacier is about 14 degrees below zero, so layers of clothes, ear muffs and a good scarf are all needed.
Also, when you visit this glacier, make sure your camera is fully recharged as the immense cold is known to suck the energy from your battery at a rapid pace.
I can say without a doubt that this was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in Latin America. The catamaran brings you about 50 yards or so from the glacier, but also houses two smaller boats called “zodiacs” to bring passengers even closer. It almost looks as though it doesn’t belong since there are green mountains to the left and to the right and then this enormous bright blue and white slab of ice right smack in the middle of it.
The sight of the glacier is so surreal that it makes the trip worth it in itself, but to see it begin to break off is something out of a movie. When it does break, it sounds likes a canon and looks like a battleship just got sunk. A small piece of ice gives way and then the larger surrounding ones begin to crumble along with it. It’s a truly amazing experience and well worth the difficulty it takes to get there.
After the glacier, we got back on the catamaran for some drinks, another amazing dinner and then made our way to our final destination for the night, the Loberias del sur hotel in Providencia, Santiago (www.catamaranesdelsur.cl), which we will tell you more about after our stay.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates from our trip to Chile.