Patagonia By Kayak – A Photo Essay

When we set our sights on Patagonia In November 2009, we decided that we wanted to explore this popular destination in a unique way. While Patagonia is well known for it’s incredible hiking trails, we love to be on the water, and thus were excited to board kayaks for a three day excursion on the Rio Serrano.

The Serrano river winds it way through Bernard O’Higgins National Park, just south of the famous Torres Del Paine Park. It provided us with breathtaking views of mountain peaks and numerous glaciers.

Patagonia is known for poor weather in the spring, and we embarked on our trip by kayaking head first into a snow storm. Throughout our three days, there was quite a bit of cloud and it was awfully cold. The active rivers also provided us with a few challenges as while we are somewhat experienced in kayaking, it has mainly been on calm lakes.

It was beautiful, it was thrilling, and despite the cold, our three days on the river was a definite highlight of our South American journey.

Enjoy.

view of the Tyndall glacier

Our first camp, with a view of the Tyndall glacier. The sun shone a little spotlight on it.

so calm

Day 2 had little wind and the kayaks were the only objects making ripples in the water

Pete in front of the mountain

Pete drifting along enjoying the scenery

Drifting along

Dalene and the guides taking in the magnificent views

Serrano Glacier

In front of the magnificent Serrano Glacier. No we are not about to practice our roll techniques.

Pete in front of an iceberg

We were able to paddle up next to the mini-bergs that the glacier fed into the lake.
And later we were served pisco sours over some ice we collected.
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  • February 11 2011

    WOW.. just amazing. I lived in Argentina for 5 months when I was in college but didn’t make it down to Patagonia. So SO So SO So SO regret it haha. But its just another reason for me to go back!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    That looks like an amazzzing adventure!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    That’s what life is all about…exploring ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lauren Rains @ TheMadtoLive recently posted..Memories Of Lifeโ€™s Travels and Why They Are Bitter Sweet

    • Dalene
      February 11 2011

      Thanks Lauren! It is a very incredible corner of the world – you must return for it! Hopefully not when it’s snowy though… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • February 11 2011

    Awesome pictures guys! Would love to see a contrast of what that area looks like in the summer/fall! Gorgeous. Added that to the bucket list of places to see.
    Justin Hamlin recently posted..Navigate Focus Live Inspire

    • Dalene
      February 11 2011

      Thanks Justin! We would have liked to be there when it was not so wintery as well! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is really an amazing place, we’ll be putting up pictures of the famous Torres Del Paine soon, which is right nearby and another incredible spot. That whole region is worth a good long visit!

  • February 11 2011

    Patagonia always makes me think about the hiking trails they have over there, but it looks like its a great place to go kayaking as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Must be amazing getting so close to the glaciers on the water.

    • Dalene
      February 11 2011

      For sure, it really was quite amazing to get that close to the glaciers. We did quite a bit of hiking in Patagonia as well, but the kayaking was definitely a highlight! Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

  • February 11 2011

    I’ve never been on a kayak before but these great photos are starting to convince me. It must have been pretty wicked to be that close to the glacier.
    Nick Laborde recently posted..Time doesnโ€™t freakin matter- results do

    • Peter
      February 12 2011

      Yes, it was pretty intense being that close to the glacier, that day we were next to Serrano the winds would pick up and blow us all around, which made it pretty difficult to get super close, but we managed. Kayaking is one of those things we picked up a couple years ago and absolutely love it. Wherever (if) we settle there will surely be 2 kayaks nearby. Cheers!

  • Trixie
    February 12 2011

    As always, siiiigh…

    Beautiful pictures documenting a beautiful life.

    <3

    • Peter
      February 13 2011

      As always, thanks Trix! Yes we were very fortunate to be able to explore this part of the world. <3!

    • Dalene
      February 14 2011

      Thanks, love! xo

  • jill sare
    February 12 2011

    stunning glacier photos. thanks for sharing! mama tungurahua’s glacier is reforming with each rain, but she’s been spewing wisps of steam out the other side for the past few days…local lore says she’ll erupt again for Carnival!

    • Peter
      February 13 2011

      Thanks for the comment Jill. Ooooh Mama-T! Let us know if she gets roarin’ again.

  • February 12 2011

    Wow. I have never kayaked near glaciers before, and don’t know if I ever will, but those pictures are just stunning. It just looks so COLD! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Peter
      February 13 2011

      Hey Sam, thanks for stopping by and your comment. It was pretty cool being right next to these. It was a little chilly, but nothing too bad for these Canadians ๐Ÿ˜‰ Cheers!

  • Jason
    February 13 2011

    Patagonia is a great part of the world and your kayak adventure looks like a great experience. I visited this part of the world many years ago, and from memory there weren’t such tours available at the time, which is a shame as I would have given the kayaking trip a go. Getting out in the wild in a place such gives your visit alot more meaning than taking a few photos and getting back on a bus.

    • Dalene
      February 13 2011

      Totally agree Jason – and we knew we wanted to see this part of the world in a unique way. As we were getting into the busy summer season, we didn’t want to just be in a big line of hikers, we had almost the whole park to ourselves it seemed.

  • February 14 2011

    Oh, I love kayaking…. but I’ve never had the opportunity to do so next to glaciers! I certainly hope you didn’t have any reason to roll in that water – I imagine it was quite chilly. ๐Ÿ™‚ The photos are awesome and have a really nice vibe to them; what kind of camera did you bring with you?
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..Photo Essay- Everglades National Park

    • Peter
      February 14 2011

      Dalene almost had a “roll” incident that was unexpected when she got caught in a whirlpool, but her super skillz got her out of the situation. And yes the water was freezing, so thankfully she stayed upright. For the camera we were using a Canon PowerShot SX10IS, nothing fancy. To get the filter, just some CS3 tricks. Thanks for the comment on them.

  • February 21 2011

    Beautiful photos of a great adventure. I’m jealous. I’m sure the Pisco sours tasted extra special filled with glacial ice.
    Donna Hull recently posted..Saturdayโ€™s scene- Balancing Act

    • Peter
      February 21 2011

      Thanks Donna, yes the pisco sours tasted all the more better with that glacial ice ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sarah
    March 10 2011

    These photos are stunning! We’re going to be in Patagonia this November and we’re trying to work out what to do while we’re there. This has definitely just jumped to the top of the list!

    • Dalene
      March 10 2011

      It was a definite highlight of our trip around South America (albeit a bit pricey). But, that whole region is expensive. We loved that we were able to explore the area without walking on the heels of the backpackers in front of us – we barely saw another soul and had it almost all to ourselves. Worth every penny. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • April 3 2011

    Now that looks like a lot of fun! I went sea kayaking once in Newfoundland and loved every minute of it. Great pics!
    Raymond recently posted..Travel Photo of the Week โ€” Sloth Face- Amazon- Peru

    • Dalene
      April 3 2011

      Thanks Raymond! It had it’s down points (sooooo cold), but overall we did love the experience!

  • April 3 2011

    Wow – and I thought hiking through a snowstorm was tough! Wish we had more time and better weather to explore more parks in Patagonia!
    Andrea recently posted..Gone Trekkinโ€™

    • Dalene
      April 3 2011

      Hiking in snow can be just as challenging! I want to get down there again when the weather is a little better too, there’s still lots of the park that we’d love to explore.

  • April 4 2011

    I did a 2 day kayak in Doubtful Sound. Great exercise and a great way to see a place, up close and peacefully.
    Michael Hodson recently posted..The Taxi Cab Guide- What You Need to Know

    • Peter
      April 4 2011

      Very true. We can’t wait to get to NZ and do some serious kayaking there. We try and paddle every place we go.

  • April 4 2011

    Beautiful pictures guys! I can’t want to taste a glacier. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Erica recently posted..Our Non-Itinerary

    • Peter
      April 4 2011

      yes, very delicious and refreshing. Especially with pisco poured over. It’s early in the morning, but now I’m craving a pisco sour. It’s noon somewhere right?

  • April 5 2011

    Ooh, love kayaking! Great post!

    • Peter
      April 6 2011

      Thanks Candice! We love being out on the water and still on our to-do is kayaking in NF. Last time we were down there we tried but both companies we called to rent the kayaks did not even answer their phones, bums.

  • April 24 2011

    Very beautiful photos! I love to kayak but have never done it amidst glaciers. I’m not much of a cold weather person but this looks fun.
    Christina recently posted..Afternoon Delight in Petra

    • Peter
      April 24 2011

      We are not much of cold people either, but this excursion we couldn’t resist. Kayaks and glaciers, it was a great combo and apart from the first couple hours of a sideways snowstorm, it was purely awesome.

  • Great photos! It looks like such a cool kayaking trip despite the weather and snow storm. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..The Bee Gees, Rites of Passage & Staying Alive

    • May 22 2012

      Even with all the cold weather, I’d do it again tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™‚

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