Ways to Explore Aysen

Places to Go

Carretera Austral

The Carretera Austral (or Southern Highway) is a largely non-paved road that stretches 1,240km through the region; from Puerto Montt in the North, to Villa O'Higgins in the south. The end of the road is just that! A vast lake that represents the southern boundary of Aysen and the border with Argentina. The road provides more adventurous travelers with a way into the most wild and remote corners of Patagonia. For all it is a voyage of discovery with surprise and delight at every valley along the way.

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North Patagonian IceCap

Patagonia's highest mountain, Monte San Valentin, sits in the midst of the North Patagonian IceCap at just over 4,000m. The IceCap also feeds dozens of glaciers, many of which are accessible by boat or a multi-day trek. Here you can experience Patagonia's glaciers in absolute peace and solitude.

Expeditions onto the Ice Cap run in the summer months, and for those wanting to develop their mountaineering skills there's a 5 week mountaineering course based on the IceCap itself.

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Patagonia Park

Located in the Chacabuco Valley in the Aysen region of Chile, Patagonia Park protects an abundance of Patagonian Steppe grasslands, peaks and wildlife. Originally Chacabuco Valley was one of the largest sheep ranches in the region, now, nearly 200,000 acres of land are protected. There are many ways to explore the Patagonia Park, with options for day hikes, overnight hikes, bird watching, mountain biking, fishing and kayaking.

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Reserva Cerro Castillo

Located south of Coyhaique, this National Reserve is found in the Aysen Region of Chile, and offers arguably some of the best hiking in the region.

Whilst exploring the reserve you can enjoy some wonderful wild landscapes, where nature truly is preserved; on any of the trails through the park you will be taken through farms and forests, discovering lakes and glaciers, all the while surrounded by the striking mountains.

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Queulat National Park

The Queulat National Park is located in the Aysen Region of Patagonia, and offers over 1500 km2 of wonderful scenery, landscapes and wildlife. Among the parks many natural attractions is the Ventisquero Colgante (Hanging Glacier). There are vast trekking opportunities in the park, to discover the Forests, Waterfalls, Glaciers and Fjords.

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Getting to Aysen

By Air

There are two airports in the region with regular flights from Santiago. Puerto Montt (PMT) in the north and Balmaceda (BBA) in the middle. You can hire cars in each of these cities and it is by far the best way to get around, but given the remoteness and terrain it is expensive, especially so if you want to drop-off somewhere else.

By Boat

There are a few ferries that can take you from Puerto Montt into the small ports along the pacific coastline. The journey itself can be fascinating with good visibility, but sadly the climatic conditions mean that is a rare occurrence.

By Bike or Foot

For the most intrepid it's possible to enter Aysen from the south from El Chalten, crossing the Argentine border. There's no road through this area and it relies on not one, but two, boat crossings. It's a wonderful route and feels very exciting to cross this hidden frontier.

Border crossings with Argentina: if you are journeying down the Ruta 40 then you can cross into Aysen at various mountain passes.

Carretera Austral Self-Drive Adventure

Getting to El Calafate from Caleta Tortel

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Map of Key Landmarks in Aysen

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