Top 5 things to do in Aysen
- Zoom by jet boat to a remote glacier and weave among the icebergs
- Scramble up the scree to hanging glaciers and beautiful blue lakes in Cerro Castillo reserve
- Stand on a clifftop to watch and hear condors soar past, before making friends with their lunch, the curious guanacos
- Hike through the verdant rainforest and peer through the undergrowth at celestial glaciers
- Ride from puesto to puesto with local horsemen, share a mat in the evening and feel time slow down.
What to do?
Aysen has 4 huge protected areas for hiking:
- Queulat National Park (temperate rainforest and hanging glaciers)
- Cerro Castillo National Reserve (dominated by mountains and imposing peaks)
- Patagonia Park (lakes, valleys and peculiar multi-coloured rock formations
- Northern Ice Cap (glaciers and waterways)
Throughout the region there are opportunities to do gentle day hikes, challenging full day treks, multi-day bushwhacking or supported hiking, bushwhacking, or full on expeditions.
Pioneers began to settle in the valleys of Aysen at the start of the 20th century, building homesteads and creating a network of trails to transport cattle and sheep to the coast or into Argentina. The blend of European, Chiloe and gaucho traditions created a warm, hospitable and proud culture in Aysen, and a horseriding trip is the best way to really get under the skin of the region.
If this will be your first time on horseback, shorter four-to-five day trips often combine the riding with hiking and kayaking. For experienced riders who are after a longer adventure, you can take up to two weeks exploring deep into the wilderness, combining camping with nights in simple hotels. There are also a number of traditional lodges from which to base yourself and do as much, or as little, riding as you like.
Float downstream past snowcapped mountains, deserted beaches, up to the face of glaciers or into the famous marble caves. Aysen's vast waterways connect some of its most beautiful and untouched scenery, and almost all can be experienced by anyone from novices to expert kayakers.
There's even a water-based festival on the Palena River, where you can retrace the 80-kilometre route taken by the original settlers. Be prepared to party like a local at the Patagonian-style fiesta at the end.
Aysen is the jewel in Chile's crown when it comes to fishing. Alongside numerous lakes, lagoons and fjords, it has three rivers famous for their beautiful scenery, and an abundance of trout and salmon. The Baker, Aysen and Simpson rivers are a must-see for anyone wishing to experience fishing in Patagonia, whether you take a day out of your adventure to fish, or go on a dedicated fishing trip.
One thing's for certain, the land here is so remote, you'll have your spot all to yourself, with only the condors, ibis and kingfishers to break the stillness.
What our customers think
The trip across Lago O'Higgins on the 'Quetru' was spectacular. Other highlights in Aysen... Lagunas Atlas hike was beautiful and solitary - we only saw one other couple all day.
Sarah and Charles UK March 2017
We stayed at Casa Sur hotel and really liked it. Good location, helpful staff and good breakfast choice. We used their free bikes and navigated the cycle ways around the city.
Mike and Edwina UK February 2017
Aysen was another highlight of our trip. We loved the Enchanted forest and our stay at Fiordo Queulat Eco Lodge.
Mike and Edwina UK February 2017
One thing we have not touched on but which must be emphasised is the friendliness of everyone we met. People seem to possess a natural courtesy and lack of unnecessary reserve which makes travelling in the area a real pleasure.
Mark & Katie UK July 2016
Combine Cerro Castillo reserve with the beautiful marble caves on this multi-sport activity including trekking, horse-back riding and kayaking. Amazing views and away from the crowds, a lovely trip to include as part of a self-drive road trip in Aysen.…
Aysen has more to offer than anywhere else in Patagonia, and the opportunities to get into the wilderness are one-of-a-kind. You can easily see glaciers, mountains and rainforest, but getting into a kayak, onto horseback or setting off on a multi-day trek means you'll see a completely different side to this beautiful region.
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Patagonia is a vast and varied region, with a wealth of things to see and do, a range of places to stay and a limited transport network.
Why not let us do the hard work for you? Our team of experts will work with you to design a 2–3 week adventure to your exact requirements, from hiking and horse-riding trips to wine-tasting tours and undiscovered lodges.
We’ll work around your budget and arrange flights, transfers and buses, to create your perfect trip.