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Carretera Austral (Ruta 7)
NORTHERN PATAGONIA & CARRETERA AUSTRAL
Rich in unexplored areas, Northern Patagonia covers the south end of the Región de Los Lagos and the region of Aysén in its entirety, going from Chaitén to the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields. The Carretera Austral (Austral Highway) crosses the area and it takes you to several fishing lodges, thermal springs, and several hotels that combine comfort and adventure.
You can visit the region with our tours or ask for a tailor made tour. To get to Northern Patagonia and Carretera Austral you can buy a plane ticket to Puerto Montt or Balmaceda or ask us for help to order the ticket with our packeges of tailor made tours.
The Carretera Austral (Austral Highway) is one of the biggest human efforts to rule these lands. This “highway” begins in Puerto Montt and then takes you to Pumalín Park, a contentious foreign-owned private park aimed at maintaining and protecting biological variety. Through a side road from there you can travel to Futaleufú, an ideal place for lovers of kayaking and rafting. The river’s white and stormy waters pack a whole challenge for the brave ones.
Going further south you will find the magnificent Queulat National Park, with a spectacular hanging glacier which is visible from the road. From Puyuhuapi town, near the limits of Queulat, and accessible only by sea or air, is the hot springs resort Termas de Puyuhuapi and Lodge, a true paradise amidst the wilderness.
From this town, you can take a side road heading to Puerto Cisnes and another to Coyhaique where El Fraile Ski Center just a few kilometers away. From there, you can travel along channels and fjords leading to an spectacular place: San Rafael Lagoon, where the San Rafael snowcap (San Valentín Ice Camp snowdrift) and the sea meet.
Keep steady on the road and you will reach the gorgeous Lake Elizalde and Lake General Carrera, the largest in the country. Here nature has created a wonderful and impressive phenomenon, the Marble chapels. Down the road you’ll find the Baker river, a fisherman’s paradise, whose source is located to the North of Cochrane city. Here you can visit the Parque Patagonia and Jeinimeni Reserve. At the end of a thousand-kilometer journey, the Austral road ends in the town of Villa O’ Higgins, just a step away from Southern Patagonian Ice Field.