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The landscape of Tortel is a truly magnificent example of the natural beauty that makes Chile such a popular cruise destination. A glorious expanse of fjords, channels and islands, the lush hills that surround this quaint port are breath-taking. Majestic waterfalls and varnished boardwalks of cypress wood criss cross through the overgrowth creating a transcendent natural beauty which lingers long in the imagination of its visitors.
Protected wildlife areas surround the township itself, meaning this superb scenic landscape is destined to impress cruisers for years to come. The township of Tortel itself is shorefront of just over 350 inhabitants, but its small size belies a great deal of charm. Far removed from the riotous hustle and bustle of tourist magnets, the tranquil atmosphere of Tortel is something to be treasured. The picturesque wooden buildings lined up on its shoreline are embraced by poplar trees and ferns, making this beautiful harbour a nature spot for the ages.
Jorge Montt Glacier
This massive tidewater glacier is just south of the main town of Tortel, and is situated at the north end of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, a huge expanse of fjords and ice sheets which extends for miles. With over 179 square miles of this stunning glacier to explore, you may feel a bit out of your depth, but with dedicated tour boats guiding you through the icy waters in total comfort, getting to see the astonishing sights of drifting icebergs and snowy cliffs will be a hassle free delight.
Bernardo O' Higgins National Park
This national park is a wonderful testament to the variety of flora and fauna that Chile's landscape is blessed with. Native forests stand on the shores of tranquil rivers perfect for kayaking and rafting. The highlights of this amazing natural site are a set of majestic glaciers that have stood there for the centuries, such as the Balmaceda, the Tyndall, the Geike, and the Serrano. The wildlife in this park is abundant, with seabirds, ducks and geese populating its shorelines.
The Torres Del Paine National Park
While the Bernard O' Higgins National Park is defined by its rivers, the Torres Del Paine is blessed with scrubland and forests that stretch far and wide for miles. The diversity of the environment, a wondrous side effect of Chile's unusually varied climate, means that mammals and birds of all shapes and sizes roam the park. On safari tours of the local wildlife, cruisers can get a chance to see pumas, skunks, foxes, condors, eagles, and even Chilean flamingos.
Being a small town, there isn't a commercial store to be found within Tortel, but fitting with the town's quirky aesthetic, some of the locals are superb craftsmen and artists, often selling their work on the harbour fronts.
The Entre Helios lodge is a beautiful establishment overlooking the bay that offers exquisite food as well as amazing hotel rooms. With a massive wine cellar, a world class chef, and a unique ambience complementing your meal, cruisers are sure to enjoy their dining experience here. Specialist dishes include fresh seafood from the harbour (which happens to be metres away) and locally sourced vegetables.
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