Best kayak experience ever
Worth every dollar and more! This is the best experience that I’ve ever had. Completely outstanding. The scenery is fantastic, the amazing Patagonia's landscapes, rolling large icebergs and glaciers. Each one appears as a sculpted masterpiece, floating in the milky turquoise waters of Lago Argentino, with the glacier-encrusted mountains all around you, probably one of the best ways to meet Patagonia. So, If you go there, you have a reasonable level of health and you enjoy adventure sports, do not miss this opportunity. Just go to El Calafate and, when you get to Los Glaciares National Park you will immediately realize that you are about to have a unique and priceless experience.
At the beginning, I wasn’t sure about the price, but after a long search, I discovered that there is only one kayaking experience offered in El Calafate, and there is only one company that offers it, so I decided to do it.
The day began very early. After breakfast, the tour driver picked me up from the hotel in a van. It was around 7 am, and an hour later we arrived to the pier, we took a catamaran to the Upsala Glacier, which is one of the largest in the park. After the boat docked, I got a little tutorial on how to get into and out of the kayak. All the equipment was provided, you don’t need to worry about a thing nor bringing any special gear. However, on the boat, you will have to change into a suit consisting in 5 pieces: a dry-suit, a thermal jumpsuit, a life-jacket, boots, and a waist belt attached to the kayak. After you are fully dressed, one of the guides will make sure that you are well positioned and that you have all the tools you need to start this life-changing journey. One thing that I strongly recommend is to bring an extra pair of socks as the humidity inside the rubber boots can get a little bit uncomfortable. You might think gloves are a must in an experience like this, but you won't really need them as your hands will get warm with the paddling. Even if it rains, you will have a hood attached to the dry suit that will keep you covered under such weather conditions.
The group is limited to 15 people plus 3 guides, who will take care of you, and whatever you might need, during the whole trip. The staff is very friendly, caring, efficient and professional. They worked so hard to make our experience even more special. You will even find some pretty good snacks, coffee and lunch if you feel hungry at any time.
The glacier is difficult to access, so you won't be able to really get close to it, this is for your own safety and the protection of the glacier itself. You will find numerous icebergs that are calved, and also parts of the glacier floating in the water. All this will make you see life from a different perspective, you will find a new appreciation for nature and yourself. Paddling through the water while being surrounded by gigantic icebergs is a peaceful, full of adrenaline and otherworldly experience you will never forget. We were told we were lucky enough to have good weather because, during some time of the year, water can get a bit more aggressive. However, remember that it doesn’t matter how old you are or how much kayaking experience you have, you can come and live this expedience to the fullest. Regarding the things you can bring to the trip, it is absolutely up to you and under your own responsibility. You should know though that, at the end of the trip, you will get a memory stick with all the pictures the three guides took of you and of the incredibly beautiful landscapes. This means that you might consider not bringing too many gadgets (which might get wet) and just focus on drowning yourself into this life-changing experience. One thing is for sure, you won't return to your daily life the same person after visiting this marvel that nature gives us... I came back happier and more grateful! I promise to go back soon to El Calafate!