This three day kayaking and camping adventure is not only an ideal add on to one of our Torres del Paine itineraries, but it’s a fantastic way for kayak enthusiasts to enjoy Patagonia from a different perspective. Kayak along the impressive Serrano River, passing awe-inspiring ice fields, mighty peaks and fjords. Paddling through this remote wilderness allows you to fully appreciate the grandeur of these pristine and untouched lands.
One can expect some of the most breath-taking landscapes you’re ever likely to witness in Patagonia. Paddle your way down the impressive Serrano River, through scenic fjords and beautiful ice fields, whilst gazing in awe at the lenga covered mountains and mighty peaks that surround you.
You will encounter two phenomenal glaciers, including the Balmaceda and Serrano, which form the southern tip of Parque Nacional Bernado O’Higgins, one of the least visited National parks in the whole of Chile. At these glaciers you can often witness huge chunks of ice calving from them and crashing into the water below, which is quite a spectacle to see.
Accompanied by a certified kayak guide, depending on your experience, you have the choice of a double or single kayak, with all necessary kayaking equipment included. By night you will pitch tents at carefully selected riverside campsites, where you will be able to enjoy the sights and the sounds of nature.
This trip can also be enjoyed as a standalone experience including pick up and drop off from your accommodation in Puerto Natales (approx 80 minute drive from Torres del Paine National Park). Please contact us for hotel suggestions.
3 Day Sample Itinerary
The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the saturated winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Also, both the strong marine and the South Patagonic Ice field influence make the weather hard to predict. In spring or early summer, fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rains and eventually snow. Even in summer (December to March) you should come prepared to find cold- strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfalls. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF (24ºC max, 2ºC min).
Sea kayaking in Patagonia can be very unpredictable due to weather conditions. Sometimes the winds blow from the ocean with such force that makes waves break upstream, making navigation almost impossible. If you book this trip please keep in mind that the whole trip is weather permitting and that considerable physical effort is required.
Day 1: Embark your Kayaking Adventure
You will begin your day by driving towards the Grey Lake sector in Torres del Paine National Park. Once arriving at the Playa Grey bank, you will receive your equipment and a short safety briefing. Once you are ready to go, you’ll get in your kayaks and begin the excursion starting at the mouth of Grey Lake, alongside the Paine Massif. Along the way, you will paddle near stunning icebergs that came off the beautiful Grey Glacier. The trip along the lake has some incredible views, including landscape from the famous Cuernos del Paine.
After your lake navigation, you make our way down Grey River. Get ready for a wild ride! This adventure will take you through rapids, cannons and quick turns, overlooking Sierra del Toro. After a few hours of paddling, you will stop for a short rest and delicious lunch near the Grey Bridge. You will then continue your journey until you reach the confluence with Serrano River, a place where Grey River’s water that is full of sediments merges with the clear water of Lago del Toro.
The day will end at Pueblito Serrano after 3-4 hours paddling. Here you will have a tasty dinner and rest for the night!
*Please note: Changes to the itinerary will be made in cases of strong wind.
Overnight at Serrano campsite
Day 2: Monte Balmaceda
After a filling breakfast, you will start paddling towards an incredible waterfall named Salto del Rio. Once you get close, you will take a short walk with your kayaks to avoid these rough waters. The navigation will then continue along the mighty river, as you make your way towards the Serrano Glacier. You will spot some beautiful views of the Tyndall Glacier and Geike Mountains, which will indicate that you are close to the Southern Ice Field.
Here you will stop to enjoy your lunch with a spectacular view of the landscape. After you finish lunch, you’ll continue towards Monte Balmaceda until you meet with Ultima Esperanza fjord waters. At these same waters, Juan Ladrilleros looked for a passage into the Atlantic sea in the year 1558. From this point, you will learn more about this small bit of history and enjoy the remarkable view from the Serrano Glacier. You will end your day at Puerto Toro, enjoying a delicious meal and wild landscapes.
Overnight camping at Puerto Toro
Day 3: Serrano Glacier and Last Hope Fjord
You’ll start early in the morning, carrying your kayaks for about 30 minutes until reaching Serrano Lagoon. You will then hop back in the water and paddle alongside beautiful blue icebergs. You will finish our journey around midday and take a bigger boat back to Puerto Natales through Ultima Esperanza fjord. You’ll have a chance to admire the amazing view of the Balmaceda Glacier on the way! Once you arrive to Estancia Perales, you’ll indulge in a delicious and traditional roasted lamb. Around 6 PM, you’ll arrive back in Puerto Natales.
*Please note: Sometimes the lagoon is blocked with ice. If this is the case, it is not possible to paddle on the lake.
based on two people
Single Kayak Supplement: US$ 220
Regular departures every day on request, October to March.
Starting / Finishing Points
The trip starts on day 1 at midday at your accommodation in Torres del Paine NP or Puerto Natales. The trip finishes on day 3 at your hotel in Puerto Natales approx. 6 PM.
This trip is recommended for people in good physical condition who are accustomed to camping outdoors. Basic experience with kayaks is recommended.
Minimum age: 15 years old
Maximum age: 65 years old
The camping gear consists of all-season tents for 2,3 or 4 people. You are required to bring your own mat and sleeping bag (rental shops can be found in Puerto Natales). The guides have marine VHF radios for communication and emergency purposes.
Certified kayak guide
Transfer to and from Puerto Natales or inside Torres del Paine.
Double or single kayak, depending on your experience.
Fee for the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park.
Navigation ticket Puerto Toro – Puerto Natales.
2 nights of camping.
Complete paddling equipment, including dry suit and dry bag.
Complete camping equipment (MSR Elixir 3 tent and Thermarest mats).
BBQ at Estancia Perales (drinks not included).
Day 1: BL, D
Day 2: B, BL, D
Day 3: B, L
B: Breakfast, BL: Box-Lunch, D: Dinner
Fee for the Torres del Paine National Park
Sleeping bags (-10°C/4°F is recommended).
Insurance (it’s mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip)
Voluntary tipping of guides and staff
Items of personal nature.
Group Size & Guiding staff
4 travellers is the typical group size plus guiding staff.
Maximum 12 clients. Guide to passenger ratio: 1:3
Kayaks! In Torres del Paine and throughout Patagonia transfers are in minivans that normally seat from 8 to 14 people. Smaller vehicles are used with small groups.