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Aysen Patagonia

San Rafael Lagoon

An unforgettable experience that includes watching huge chunks of ice detach from its impressive glacier. ...

Palena-Queulat Basin

You’ll fall in love with Patagonia when you the vast, virgin Palena-Queulat Basin. ...

Pumalín-Futalelfú

Visit the rapids of the Futaleufú, one of the world’s top three rivers for rafting and kayaking. ...

Cerro Castillo National Reserve

Northern Patagonia’s most famous mountain and a great trekking destination. Its shape makes it look like a 2320 meter tall castle. ...

Villa O'Higgins - Tortel

At the end of Carretera Austral, you can stroll through Caleta Tortel, the town that has wooden walkways instead of roads. ...

Lake General Carrera and the Baker River

Explore untouched nature and be dazzled by the beautiful scenery around General Carrera Lake. ...

Exploradores Glacier

It forms part of the Northern Ice Field and is one of the most accessible glaciers in Northern Patagonia. ...

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Discover the Green and Untamable Patagonia

Northern Patagonia stands out from the rest of the region because of its woods and water. The former are dense and opaque and covered with vegetation like moss and lichen. The latter can be found in many forms, including lakes, rivers, waterfalls, glaciers and fjords. The region's landscape will captivate you from the moment you arrive.

Patagonia's many rivers and lakes make fly fishing one of the main activities. Test your patience and skill in the Simpson and Baker Rivers, which are home to some of the world's best fly fishing spots. If you have a few days to stay here, select a fishing lodge near the Yelcho and General Carrera Lakes that suits your taste and budget.

You can travel the 1,240 km-long Carretera Austral by car or by bike if you're feeling adventurous. This is the only scenic route that links Puerto Montt to Villa O'Higgins. Or you can experience the area's delightful landscapes and villages while trekking through the region's National Parks, rafting in its abundant rivers or relaxing in hot springs amidst the fjords and forests.

Enjoy the turquoise color of Lake General Carrera, America's second largest lake, where you'll be able to sail and kayak through tunnels and caves carved out of the rock by the water.

Finally, don't miss your chance to sail through the fjords to the San Rafael Lagoon and its glacier, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. You will never forget the noise made by the movement of its gigantic blocks of ice. Patagonian tradition dictates that you celebrate the experience with a glass of whisky cooled by ice taken directly from the glacier.

 

Featured Destinations of Northern Patagonia

aCarretera Austral
bIce Fields
cCoyhaique

 

Tours you can do

San Rafael Lagoon
Palena - Queulat
Pumalín - Futaleufú Cerro Castillo National Reserve
Villa O'Higgins - Tortel General Carrera Lake and Baker River
Exploradores Glacier

 

Getting there

en avion
By Plane
There are daily flights from Santiago to Balmaceda Airport (3 hours), which is 55 km southeast of Coyhaique. You can also catch a flight to Concepción, Temuco, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas.
auto
By Car
If you take the Carretera Austral, you will have to cross some of the fjords by ferry. You can also take Highway 40, which runs along the border with Argentina and the Futaleufú, Coyhaique Alto, Paso Huemules (Balmaceda) and Chile Chico border crossings.
barco
By Boat
You also can travel by boat from Puerto Montt to Puerto Chacabuco, the Aysén's region's main port, located some 82km from Coyhaique. It takes about 24 hours to get there. The ferries can accommodate both passengers and vehicles, and some offer a chance to travel the Puerto Montt-San Rafael Lagoon-Puerto Chacabuco route.
 

 

Activities that we recommend

 

Tips

01

Mountain Paths Bring Cash Fill 'Er Up
If you plan on taking the mountainous Carretera Austral, you will have to prepare well for it. The road is mostly unpaved, and its curves and turns mean that you will travel at an average speed of 40 to 50 km/h. Due to the roadway's condition, travel time is threefold that of a paved highway. We strongly recommend using a 4x4. Coyhaique, Puerto Aysén, Chile Chico and Cochrane have banks, but there are no ATM machines and you will need to use cash throughout the region. If you decide to take the Austral Highway, fill your car's gas tank as often as possible, as only some of the villages have gas stations. Service stations are available in Coyhaique, La Junta, Puyuhuapi, Puerto Río Tranquilo, Chile Chico and Cochrane.

02

What to Bring When to Travel  
Make sure you are prepared for the cold, warmth and rain. Walking boots are essential, as are waterproof gear and a coat, sunhat, warm hat, sun block and mosquito repellent. The best time to visit Northern Patagonia is between December and March. Fall and winter are also beautiful, as the forests turn hues of red and the landscapes become snow-covered. We recommend that you check the highway and secondary road conditions and bring thermal and waterproof clothing.  

 

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