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Palena - Queulat

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100% Patagonia

The Palena - Queulat Basin runs from the Palena River to Quelat National Park and from the mountains to the sea. There, where the woods seem to plunge into the fjords and the channels, you'll find the village of La Junta, the heart of the Palena -Queulat Basin and the main hub of the northern section of the Carretera Austral. The town has accommodations to suit every budget as well as restaurants, Internet connections, gas stations, supermarkets and mobile phone service.

Turn off the Carretera Austral onto the new route that takes you to the mouth of the Palena River and Puerto Raúl Marín Balmaceda, an island surrounded by canals, fjords and the river itself. This is the perfect place to do some fresh or salt water fly fishing, walk the vast beaches or sail to the Las Hermanas Islets, which are populated by sea lions and birds. Pods of Peale's dolphins will follow your boat and do tremendous jumps and somersaults in its wake.

You'll feel like an explorer as you hike the water and forest-surrounded trails of Queulat National Park, where early explorers searched for the mythical City of the Caesars. Finally, relax in the hot springs that surround Puerto Puyuhuapi. The village's strong German influence is reflected in its architecture and cuisine. Many of the houses seem to come straight out of a fairy tale, and kuchen, apfelstrudel and marmalades abound.

 

Featured Destinations in 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

 

Tips

01

The Route to Raúl Marín The Kayak Festival The Route of the Drovers
This route begins 75 km down the Carretera Austral in the La Junta sector. You can take a ferry across the Palena River between 8 a.m and 9 p.m. You'll need a 4x4 because of the road's loose gravel and steep turns. This event, which began in 2009 and is meant to become an annual occurrence, features a massive rafting trip down the Palena River from La Junta to Puerto Raúl Marín Balmaceda. If you follow the banks of the Figueroa River, you'll reach Lago Verde, an ideal spot for sailing, fly fishing and walking the beach. You can also learn about the area's cultural heritage by following the Route of the Drovers, a set of old tracks that pioneers used to herd their animals towards the high valleys of the Andes.

02

Trails Chile Exploring the Puyuhuapi Channels Mosquito Repellent
This 81 km-long trail runs from Lago Verde to Alto Palena. Enjoy a quiet day marveling at native Chilean trees such the mañío, beech, coigüe and tepa in a forest inhabited by pumas, huemul deer, black-necked swans and wild boars. Take a motor boat or kayak but don't forget to take time out to walk along the Carretera Austral's coast, where you'll see glaciers, spectacular waterfalls and marine life such as dolphins, sea lions and a variety of birds. Mosquitoes swarm the river banks during the summer months. While they do not transmit any diseases, you'll want to avoid their annoying bites by using repellent.

 

The Paths of Chile: This 81 km-long trail runs from Lago Verde to Alto Palena. Enjoy a quiet day marveling at native Chilean trees such the mañío, beech, coigüe and tepa in a forest inhabited by pumas, huemul deer, black-necked swans and wild boars.

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