Chile Chico – Chile (Carretera Austral area)
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 (65km from town) with steppe, rivers & lakes, colourful & spectacular rock formations, high peaks and vast valleys. It’s a wild park with lots of remote corners, and it’s amazing for trekking & horseriding, camping and wildlife spotting.
The Piedra Clavada is a prominent 40m high vertical rock column and at La Cueva de Las Manos you can admire ancient rock paintings. Have a guess at which birds are present at the Laguna de los Flamencos, and don’t miss drop dead gorgeous Lago Jeinimeni & Lago Verde. More and more travellers cross from Jeinimeni to Parque Patagonia (Valle Chacabuco), a fantastic 2 or 3 day trek including several river crossings, only for people with experience!
But it’s not just about Jeinimeni here, Chile Chico’s nice location at the marvelous Lago General Carrera makes it also a terrific place to paddle a kayak around for a few hours or up to several days! Watching the sunrise from Chile Chico’s renewed lakeside promenade is great and going up the viewpoint next to the center is something easy to do.
Many travellers cross the nearby border coming from Los Antiguos and the Ruta 40 in Argentina to enter the Carretera Austral region. Moving on from Chile Chico is possible by ferry-crossing to Puerto Ibañez to go to Villa Cerro Castillo or north. Taking a bus over the windy and narrow road westwards to Puerto Guadal is a gorgeous and exciting option, with stunning views over the Lago General Carrera.
CAMPAMENTO ÑANDÚ HOSTEL – Budget Category
There’s only one real hostel in Chile Chico and Campamento Ñandú is the one! It’s a real backpackers place with large communal spaces, a fully equipped kitchen and only dorm rooms available (with lockers). The hostel, open all year round, consists of two buildings, one with two 5-bed dorms with ensuite bathrooms (private possible for small groups) and a second structure with seven 3 & 4-bed dorms and several shared bathrooms. It also has a spacious roofed central patio with tables and benches and a wood stove to heat up on cold days.
The hostel’s big garden is dotted with nice fruit trees and has a BBQ space and fireplace to socialize with other travellers. BBQ’s and other meals are regularly prepared by Ñandu´s bilingual owners, hardcore travel and adventure fanatics who also organise transport to the fabulous Parque Jeinimeni.
The hostel is located in the town’s main avenue at a short 6 block walk from the main square towards the border with Argentina. Bike rental available. Free pick-up from the ferry!