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Fjord of the Mountains, Chile

Cruising Fiordo de las Montañas (Fjord of the Mountains) is a highlight of your Chilean Patagonia voyage. This narrow channel, located west of Puerto Natales, stretches more than 40 miles north to south, ending in a glacially carved valley at the far end of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Bordered by two mountain ranges, the fjord is bestrewed with glaciers that have broken off from the snow-topped peaks while a series of waterfalls cascade down the jagged cliff walls. On a clear day you can see 5,750-foot-high Mount Burney, an inactive, ice-covered stratovolcano located about 50 miles away. Fiordo de las Montañas lies within Kawésqar National Park, Chile’s second-largest, which protects a vast swath of the country’s southern coast. The 7-million-acre park takes its named from the ancient Kawésqar people who once inhabited this region. The park is home to the endangered huemul (South Andean deer), culpeo fox, and puma, as well as more than 125 bird species, including southern giant petrel and imperial shag spotted while cruising the channel.