3 distinct terrains
The sight of the glaciers of the northern ice cap easing their way down to Lago General Carrera or into the fjords is immense. They can be explored with a combination of boats and on foot. In this area of the Andes you will likely go for days without seeing another soul. The Cerro Castillo range is a forbidding landscape with hanging glaciers and rocky pinnacles, and offers a fantastic four to six day trek. In all these areas you will see glaciated wilderness and very few people.
The Steppe is the dry land that extends from the Andes to the Atlantic. In Aysen, the steppe is rugged, dry and a great place to experience Tehuelche cave paintings and wildlife. The area above Coyhaique, known as Alto Coyhaique, or the Chacabuco Valley, home to Patagonia Park, are both wonderfully wild and beautiful, and contrast completely with the glaciated valleys and forests to the west. Here you will see guanacos, nandu, condors and, if you're lucky enough, huemul deer and pumas.
Close to the coast, the climate becomes wetter and you find yourself in humid, hugely biodiverse rainforest, dominated above all by the enormous leaves of the nalca (rhubarb). The Queulat National Park has a series of day hikes that head off from the road into the forest and up to hanging glaciers. You can explore the forests that descend into the fjords by boat, whether it be in Queulat National Park or further south around San Rafael Glacier, where it is well worth camping overnight and spending a day in the forests, listening to immense hunks of ice falling from one of Patagonia's most dynamic glaciers.
What are the highlights of Aysen?
What our customers think
Highlights of Aysen...the San Raphael glacier approached by boat on a day of swirling mists, ultimately bright sunshine and dead calm was incredibly atmospheric. Carlos the Condor doing a close fly-past as we approached Laguna Cerro Castillo.
Sarah and Charles UK March 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
Places to visit in Aysen
Queulat National Park
The Queulat National Park is located in the Aysen Region, and offers over 1500 km2 of immaculate scenery, forested landscapes and distinct wildlife. Among …
The sleepy capital of Aysen is the only major hub for miles around, and houses a mix of quirky boutiques and craft beer shops, and more practical farm and fishing supply stores. …
This national reserve arguably offers the best hiking in the whole of Aysen. Some of the largest mountains in the Patagonian Andes can be found here, including a rather unique …
Witness a rewilding project in progress in the Patagonia National Park. The fences of this old estancia have been taken down and guanacos, pumas, birdlife and huemul deer have …
San Rafael Glacier
The last thing you'd expect to find in the middle of a rainforest, San Rafael Glacier is the most dynamic and actively calving glacier on the Northern Ice Cap. The lagoon at the …
Caleta Tortel is a fascinating car-free town. Built almost entirely from wood, it is a labyrinthine maze connected by sturdy boardwalks that snake down the mountainside, and …