It goes without saying that here at ExperienceChile.Org we will arrange the rent a car you will need to drive through the Patagonian forest and Andean valleys, as well as your accommodation.

Route Option 1:

Puyuhuapi Village to El Pangue

Total: 18km

Puyuhuapi Village El Pangue

Route Description

Upon exiting the tiny, Germanic-style village of Puyuhuapi, the road cuts through forest and then 18km later, on the right is the entrance to El Pangue. El Pangue is a quiet, “Camp David” type retreat and an ideal base for resting and / or participating in outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, kaying and even swimming in the heated outdoor pool.

El Pangue to La Junta

Total: 28km

El Pangue La Junta

Route Description

Upon exiting from El Pangue you will turn RIGHT and continue for 28km until you arrive to La Junta. La Junta is a central stop off on the Carretera Austral and surrounded by green, forested hills, with lakes and rivers nearby. There are a few lodges for accommodation and options to explora into the highlands of forest, lakes and rivers from here. Alternatively, it can be a one-night stop off.

Route Option 2:

Puyuhuapi (or La Junta) to Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda

Total: 124km

Puyuhuapi Village El Pangue La Junta Raul Marin Balmaceda

Route Description

If you are avoiding the overnight at La Junta, or have rested at La Junta and now wish to continue on to visit the sleepy village of Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda, you will head north on the Carretera Austral from La Junta. Then, just before arriving to the orange-coloured bridge you turn left. This narrow road will lead to Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda.

The drive here is along a narrow, unpaved road for 78km until you get to the simple car ferry that crosses the river.

Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda

Total: 78km west from La junta

La Junta Raul Marin Balmaceda

This is a tiny village located on the western side of the Patagonian coast. An ideal place to come and feel totally cut off from the rest of the world. We have accommodation here that will let you relax and unwind totally. Sounds of nature, greenery, trees, the sea, river, it’s all here plus fishing, kayaking, walking.

Route Option 3:

La Junta to Futaleufu

La Junta to Futaleufu: 124km, (to Santa Lucia 76km)

La Junta Santa Lucia Futaleufu

Route Description

Coming back to the La Junta orange Bridge, from here, heading north it is 76km until you arrive to the small settlement of Santa Lucia. The scenery along this stretch of the Carretera Austral is forested hills and rivers.

Villa Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia is a tiny village, part of which suffered from a landslide in 2016, caused by considerable rainfall. This incident closed the Carretera Austral for a while as well as demolished some of the buildings in its most northern sector.

The main Carretera Austral Road actually by passes Villa Santa Lucia, leaving the small settlement to the right. Then, at the end part of the village there is a turn right, which will take you to Futaleufu, or straight on, which will take you to Chaiten and then Caleta Gonzalo.

For now, let’s assume you turn right and go to Futaleufu.

Villa Santa Lucia to Futaleufu

Total: 78km

Santa Lucia Futaleufu

The road will be unpaved for 17km to Puerto Ramirez. During this route you will see Lake Yelcho on the left and the forested hills either side. From Puerto Ramirez the road will continue unpaved for 61km until you arrive to Futaleufu.

Futaleufu Places of Interest

Futaleufu is very close to the Argentine border, and about 250km north from Coyhaique and approx 80km directly east from Chaiten this is a small village nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains. It is a “Mecca” for white-water rafting enthusiasts because it is the access point for the Futaleufu river, offering one of the wildest rafting experiences on Earth. It is also a great place for fly-fishing and generally relaxing amid a vast area of undisturbed natural beauty.

Futaleufu to Chaiten

Total: 156km

Futaleufu Santa Lucia Chaiten

The drive from Fuataleufu back to the crossroads by Villa Santa Lucia is 78km and passes by lake Yelcho on the right. At the crossing that leads onto the Carretera Austral north or south, you will turn RIGHT towards Chaiten. From the crossroads it will be 35km to the bridge that crosses over River Yelcho and then 43km on a good, paved road into Chaiten.

El Chaiten is where you can fill up with fuel for the car and maybe rest and have some food. El Chaiten used to be a good stop over place, however, in 2008 a nearby volcanic eruption caused a mud slide that wiped out one part of the village and the residents were told to evacuate. Today some residents returned and there are minimal services.

Chaiten to Caleta Gonzalo (Parque Pumalin)

Total: 156km

Chaiten Caleta Gonzalo

The drive out of Chaiten passes by the beach and the sea on the left and then cuts through forest. If you are able to stop a few kms north of Chaiten you can see where the steep-sided hills come down to black, volcanic-sand beaches and where, also, the forest comes down to the water’s edge. On some parts of this stretch of road there are also often hundreds of parakeets.

At the end of 60km you will arrive to Caleta Gonzalo and the cabins for accommodation as well as the entrance into Pumalin National Park.

Route Option 4:

Puyuhuapi direct to Caleta Gonzalo (Parque Pumalin)

Total: 260km

Puyuhuapi Village El Pangue La Junta Raul Marin Balmaceda

This is the direct option which will take in the sectors mentioned above such as:

Puyuhuapi to La Junta; La Junta to Villa Santa Lucia; Villa Santa Lucia to Chaiten and then Chiten to Caleta Gonzalo.

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