Chaitén is the main hub to visit the fabulous and enormous Pumalín Park, where you can admire glaciers, waterfalls, verdant temperate rainforest, 3000-year-old Alerce trees, and volcanoes, including the notorious Chaitén Volcano.
La Junta, located at the confluence of the Río Palena & Río Rosselot, is a nice village surrounded by water in the northern section of the Carretera Austral. The attractive presence of the rivers and lakes like the Lago Rosselot make it a perfect spot to go kayaking, canoeing, boating and fishing of course.
A gorgeous 75km long road swaying westward from La Junta along the Río Palena, including a short ferry ride, guides you to the remote and special village of Puerto Raúl Marín Balmaceda, a must-visit destination! This cute little village is located on an island in the Río Palena’s delta at the Corcovado Gulf.
Puyuhuapi is a quiet and peaceful village located at the far end of a fjord (220km from Coyhaique), surrounded by hills and mountains covered with thick green vegetation. Don’t miss out on the Queulat National Park (entrance 24km south of Puyuhuapi) with rivers winding through its fairy tale lush wilderness. The most popular route is the 3,2km hike to the famous hanging glacier or “Ventisquero Colgante”.
Villa Cerro Castillo is dominated by the impressive basalt spires and glaciers of its namesake, the Cerro Castillo National Reserve, a huge wild mountainous area with glaciers and spectacular views. Cerro Castillo has the ingredients to become “the new Torres del Paine”, but with far less crowds!
Chile Chico is located at the southern banks of the Lago General Carrera only 6km from the Argentinean border.
Nature lovers and hikers should definitely visit the spectacular Jeinimeni National Reserve with steppe, rivers & lakes, colourful & spectacular rock formations, high peaks and vast valleys. The Piedra Clavada is a prominent 40m high vertical rock column and at La Cueva de Las Manos you can admire ancient rock paintings.
Cochrane is the major village and hub of the south of the Carretera Austral. Try to spot the endangered huemul deer at the Tamango National Reserve. 18km north of Cochrane, Parque Patagonia (Valle Chacabuco) is the wildlife paradise of the Carretera Austral. It’s home to flamingos, foxes, armadillos, pumas, condors and herds of guanacos.
Puerto Río Tranquilo, on the Carretera Austral, is just a small village on the shores of the magestic Lago General Carrera, but a place where every tourist has to stop. Why? The answer is simple… this place has loads of extraordinary activities on offer.
When you arrive in Villa O’Higgins you’ve reached the end of the Carretera Austral, or if you’ve made the crossing from Argentina your journey on this mythical road is about to start! Villa O’Higgins is located at the stunning O’Higgins Lake, one of the biggest lakes in Patagonia, and has many great (day) hikes to e.g. the Cerro Santiago, Glaciar Mosco or Tigre and the Altavista trail.