Top 5 things to do in Aysen

  1. Zoom by jet boat to a remote glacier and weave among the icebergs
  2. Scramble up the scree to hanging glaciers and beautiful blue lakes in Cerro Castillo reserve
  3. Stand on a clifftop to watch and hear condors soar past, before making friends with their lunch, the curious guanacos
  4. Hike through the verdant rainforest and peer through the undergrowth at celestial glaciers
  5. Ride from puesto to puesto with local horsemen, share a mat in the evening and feel time slow down.

What to do?

Hiking

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.

Senderos Patagonia - Cerro Castillo 2

Horse riding

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.

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Kayaking

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.

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Fishing

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.

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