The creaking signals the fluidity that surrounds you, the power of nature harnessed in this expansive sea of ice that twists, turns, advances or retreats depending on Mother Nature's whim. A colossal chunk of frosty blue ice breaks away from the sheer cliff of ice that you sit below, creating an almighty crack and splash in this otherwise eerily quiet landscape.
Best time to visit Chilean Patagonia
• Southern Chile has reversed seasons compared to the Northern Hemisphere
• The weather in Patagonia is unpredictable due to the South Pacific westerly air current, with high winds and occasional storms even during the summer
• The region's high season falls in the months of January and February when the temperatures are slightly warmer. The months of October, November, March and April are cooler, however it is less windy and crowded
• In winter the region is essentially inaccessible for all but the hardiest travellers
• Cruises have a relatively short season, operating between October and March.
Chilean Patagonia holiday highlights
The incredible Torres de Paine National Park, which is located 70 miles north of Puerto Natales and the highlight of any journey to southern Chile, is dominated by the three serrated peaks of the Towers of Paine – Torre Central, Torre Sur and Torre Norte. See glistening glaciers, glaciofluvial lakes and rivers throughout the park. Torres del Paine is a popular trekking and adventure destination due to its awe-inspiring landscapes and extensive hiking trails, which include the oft-trodden paths of the W and O routes.
Many of Patagonia’s main attractions are located only a short distance from the Chile and Argentina border which makes a holiday combining the striking landscapes of both countries an attractive option. El Calafate in Argentina is reached by approximately a 5 hour drive (not including border crossing) from Puerto Natales.