The “Carretera Austral” (Austral Highway), is one of the most isolated places in Chile. This road is considered one of the most interesting and striking in Latin America, due to the landscapes that you can observe in it and that can take you take through the Chilean Patagonia.
This road is located in the south of Chile, specifically in the austral zone, as its name indicates and it has a total of 1240 kilometers at the moment, starting from Puerto Montt and ending at Puerto Williams. If you are a lover of nature and road trips, this is a must in your bucket list during your stay in Chile.
Below we’ll give you all the details so you can plan your trip.
There are two ways to access the Carretera Austral, the first option is through the international pass Cardenal Samoré, located in Osorno. Here you have to pass through Argentina, specifically through Bariloche, in order to later access through the international passes of Trevilin – Futaleufú to the south. The trip continues south, through Argentina, where you enter Chile again through different steps such as Huemules or Alto Coyhaique.
The second option is with ferries, it is a combination of land travel and navigation, called “Ruta Bimodal”. These ferry trips can be made from places near Puerto Montt, passing through a ferry through Hornopirén, to Caleta Gonzalo, a place located near Chaitén, in the Los Lagos Region.
This ferry trip can be made from Caleta La Arena, which is 50 kilometers from Puerto Montt, from here you can take a ferry that will connect you -and your transportation- with Hornopirén. In summer time these ferries leave every half hour, and the order to be able to get in one is by arrival.
The ideal time to make this trip is in the spring-summer season, which means between the months of October to March, since in those months the weather is the most optimal to travel the Carretera Austral.
Places to visit:
When visiting the Carretera Austral there are certain places that you can not miss, then we will leave you a list of places that you might be interested to visit when you make this trip.
This is a town that is worth visiting, where you will find a lot of impressive landscapes that you will want to know, where you can observe nature, the sea, hills and forests. It is also a town that is characterized by its old architecture but in good condition.
Queulat National Park:
If you like to ride a bicycle, you should visit Queulat National Park is an experience that you can not pass by, here you will find many curves, ups and downs to enjoy. If you are a lover of trekking, you can not miss the “Bosque Encantado” routes, which guide you to a lake with a waterfall. Within this park you will not only find places to do trekking or appreciate the view, but you will also find areas for camping. This is definitely a park where you can enjoy a lot of vegetation and outdoor sports.
General Carrera Lake:
This lake is located in the middle of the Carretera Austral, it is close to the austral part and when you pass through that place you will find different small towns that have a particular charm. In this place you can also visit the marble cathedrals, a ride that takes place by boat to these structures where you can pass underneath and also in between, a simply magical experience.
If this is a stop you want to make, we recommend you stay in nearby places like Villa Amengual.
With no doubt, if you are a landscape lover, this place will blow your mind.