The Complete Guide to Chilean Patagonia

Chilean Patagonia is a wilderness with good infrastructure.

Expect solid campgrounds, good roads, and frequent, comfortable buses.

Explore islands, inlets, canals, volcanoes, hot springs, glaciers, and rainforests.

See guanaco and huemul deer roaming, flamingos strolling the lakes, and little gray foxes running.

Enjoy all this in peace and tranquility, since Chilean Patagonia is one of the most uninhabited places on the planet.

Much smaller than Argentine Patagonia, Chilean Patagonia covers the regions of Araucanía, Los Ríos, Los Lagos, Aysén and Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica.

While it is disputed where Chilean Patagonia really begins, it is definitely over 1,740 miles (2,800 kilometers), which is the length of its longest hiking trail, the Ruta de Los Parques.

(The Route of the Parks connects 17 of Chile's national parks).

A popular option for many visitors is to rent a car and drive the Carrera Astral (Chile's Route 7), a 1,240-kilometer winding road from Puerto Montt to Villa O'Higgins, filled with excursion opportunities to hike through temperate forests, Paddle in marble caves or swim in emerald lakes.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about The Amazing Chilean Patagonia

Source: El Clarividente

Best time to visit Chilean Patagonia

The warmest climate in Chilean Patagonia is from December to February.

For much of the southern part of the region, the highest temperatures are generally around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), while the northern parts record highs around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).

Summer comes with the highest price for accommodation and sightseeing, but great weather for hiking as a reward.

March is the best month for warm weather, few crowds, a fair amount of sun, and decently priced accommodation.

Skiers, snowboarders, and those who wish to practice dog sledding come in winter (June to August) when there isn't much more than open ski resorts.

July is the mini-peak season in winter, so try to go in June or August for lower prices, fewer crowds, and lots of snow.

If your main attraction is to see the wildlife of the region, fall will be the best and you will have fantastic trees with orange, yellow, and red leaves cutting streaks of color through the valleys.

National Park Torres del Paine

What to do: Walk the famous "W" or "O" routes, both lasting several days and the most attractive way to see the pastures, forests, glaciers, lagoons, and granite steel peaks of the park (the Cuernos del Paine).

Cross the Patagonian ice field taking a tour of the Gray Glacier or get on a sailboat to sail alongside it.

Traverse the tracks of the pumas, kayak through the icebergs, or go horseback riding as Andean condors soar and guanacos roam the nearby fields.

Where to stay

Within the park, there are several lodging options: hotels, shelters (mountain huts), camping tents, or ecological glamping.

Puerto Natales is the closest city and offers a variety of accommodations, from inns to hostels.

However, the round trip by bus takes two and a half hours each way.

How to get there

From December to March, the small Puerto Natales airport receives several weekly flights from Santiago and Punta Arenas.

Flights are much more common and abundant from Santiago to Punta Áreas, where you can take a shuttle bus to Puerto Natales.

Once in Puerto Natales, take a bus or rent a car to travel the remaining 60 kilometers to Torres del Paine.


What to do

Kayak through the Chiloé archipelago and see the colorful "palafitos" (palafitas).

Stroll past its 16 UNESCO World Heritage-listed wooden churches that combine Spanish design and Chilota's boat-building technique with modern interiors.

Walkthrough the forests of Chiloé National Park, home to more than 100 different types of birds, and watch the sunset at Cais das Almas (Muelle de Las Almas).

Eat a large plate of curanto, seafood, and potatoes on the floor covered with rhubarb leaves for roasting, a traditional cooking method of the native Chonos of Chiloé.

Where to stay

Stay in Castro, the largest city on the island of Chiloé (the archipelago and the island have the same name).

However, if you want to enjoy foggy mornings on the water, consider renting a stilt house in Castro or camping on the coast. For added comfort and luxury, reserve one of the chalets on the Rilan Peninsula.

How to get there

Fly from Santiago to Chiloé Mocopulli airport or from Santiago to Puerto Montt and travel the remaining distance by car or bus.

Take the bus from Santiago to Ancud (12 hours) or from Puerto Montt to Ancud (2 hours).

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