Laguna San Rafael Port Guide

Laguna San Rafael is located in Chile’s lake region in the far south. It has been recognized as a national park by the Chilean government. Although it is on the Pacific coast, it does not have its own port city. In fact, Laguna San Rafael port of entry is in Puerto Montt or in Puerto Chacabuco. Puerto Montt is a city 634.4 miles south of Santiago, Chile’s capital. Puerto Chacabuco, on the other hand, is 250 miles farther south from Puerto Montt. For tourists to go to Laguna San Rafael, they may take a cruise ship from Puerto Montt. They may also ride a smaller cruise ship from Puerto Chacabuco, which does not have any docking facility. Cruise passengers have to be ferried to the ships anchored nearby.


There is absolutely no shopping to speak of when you are in the fjords in Laguna San Rafael. The place is a nature reserve and the government has discouraged any commercial activity to protect its pristine beauty. It is a natural paradise not a shopper’s pilgrimage site. However, for tourists and cruise passengers who really want to shop for souvenirs and necessities, they can do this while in Puerto Montt, the Laguna San Rafael port of call. Farther down south in Puerto Chacabuco, there no big shops and malls worthy of serious shopping.  In fact, those who really want to shop should visit Coyhaique, which is 38 miles away.

Things to See

Tourists and cruisers never fail to admire the scenic and tranquil beauty of Laguna San Rafael. The spectacular San Rafael Glacier is undoubtedly the highlight of every cruise. This icy wonder has a front face that is 1.2 miles wide and dives a depth of 736 feet into the ocean. On the way to the glacier from Puerto Chacabuco, the smaller Laguna San Rafael cruise port, the sight offered by the fiords and the Patagonian canals are something to behold. Another beauty for the eyes to feast on is the Quitralco Fiord. This old glacier has lush vegetation in its surroundings. Its volcanic warm waters offer tourists a refreshing natural steam bath. Sports fishing and hiking are favorite activities by visitors in this government-declared Natural Sanctuary.

Restaurants and Bars

The bigger and more modern Laguna San Rafael cruise terminal is in Puerto Montt. This is also where cruisers can experience a more vibrant nightlife and savor the local and international dishes offered in this part of Chile. For those who wish to try a unique combination of Chilean and French cuisines, the Balzac is the place to dine. The prices of its fares can, however, be expensive. Visitors who cannot do without pasta in their plates should proceed to Di Piazza. This restaurant is said to have the best pasta in this southern city. For fun and drinks at night, the OK Corral caters to those who love the traditions of the North American old west. This Texan-inspired bar boasts of huge TVs showing sports channels. The Sherlock is also an option. This bar has a wide variety of beers, liquor, and other drinks.

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