FOUR DAYS DISCOVERING CARRETERA AUSTRAL (Double Room)
Panorama, Nature, Culture, Divertimento, Meal included
A unique opportunity to admire the wild parts of Chilean Patagonia along the Carretera Austral, the most famous road in the southern hemisphere and, for Chile, one of the most ambitious and expensive projects of the 20th century. We cross woods, rivers, lakes and mountains to admire a yet unspoilt corner of the world.
What we will see
- Day 1: Plane transfer from Punta Arenas to Balmaceda, Carretera Austral, General Carrera lake – flight includes brief stopover in Santiago
- Day 2: Cochrane, Tamango nature reserve
- Day 3: Boat ride on General Carrera lake, Capillas de mármol, typical Chilean dinner, folklore demonstration
- Day 4: Tour of Coyhaique, Puerto Chacabuco
What we will do
- Construction works to build the Carretera Austral started in 1976 during the regime of General Augusto Pinochet for strategic regions and to connect distant communities. It is one of the most ambitious and difficult Chilean infrastructural projects of the entire 20th century, because the area was populated by thick forests, fjords, glaciers, canals and steep mountains. Over 10,000 soldiers were employed to finish the construction.
- We start our journey along Carretera Austral after flying from Puntas Arenas to Balmaceda with a stopover in Santiago. During the transfer and given sunlight we may have the opportunity to admire wonderful scenery such as the picturesque General Carrera lake, the fourth largest in South America on the border between Chile and Argentina (where it is known as lake Buenos Aires).
- On day two, we move on to Cochrane along the Baker river. Once there, we visit the Tamango nature reserve, where we embark on a brief boat ride and an easy hike. The reserve boasts fabulous natural scenery and is the only protected area where if luck is with us we could observe species of endangered deer, the huemul, which is also pictured in Chile’s national coat of arms. Animal sightings cannot be guaranteed.
- On day three, we transfer from Puerto Guadal to Coyhaique. Along the way, in Puerto Tranquilo, we get the chance to sail on the waters of the General Carrera lake near the extraordinary Capillas de mármol (literally, marble chapels), marvellous natural caves developed on sturdy islets scattered along 300 metres of coast. The constant action of the water against the rock for over 300 million years smoothed and carved the limestone caves exposing the marble, with striking white, grey-blue and pink nuances created by the quartz and limonite. The day ends with a typical Chilean dinner and a folklore demonstration just outside Coyhaique.
- On the last day, we go on a panoramic tour of Coyhaique, capital and main urban hub of the Aysén region, founded in 1929 as a base to colonise the area. The city has a lovely square, Plaza de Armas, which was originally destined to Sunday entertainment activities, and an interesting crafts centre. At the end of the tour, we head back to Puerto Chacabuco and the ship.
What you need to know
- Weather in Patagonia is unpredictable and subject to sudden changes during the day, guests should pack accordingly.
- Comfortable hiking shoes are recommended. Comfortable outdoors clothing, binoculars, a rain coat and a sun hat are strongly recommended.
- This excursion is not recommended for guests with mobility problems.
- We recommend that you book early because only a limited number of places are available.
- To participate in the excursion, you must bring your passport with you.
- Children's (0-2 years) tickets are subject to airport taxes and local hotel service charges however this amount can be checked and discounted on board at the Excursion Office.