The Carretera Austral (Part 2).

The Carretera Austral between Coyhaique and the glacier at Ventisquero Colgante is impressive!

Snow-capped mountains, lush green forest and wide rivers (often with white-water rapids). There is no single spectacular site to visit, just kilometre after kilometre of remarkable scenery. The road is mostly loose gravel, narrow in places and often corrugated, but not difficult, at least in January and February.

The weather has varied from brilliant sunshine, to deep mist, to driving rain, often within the hour!

One interesting detour has been to Puerto Cisnes, a small fishing village down a 30km side track. Whilst not an obvious attraction, Puerto Cisnes has a subtle charm, free camping and a splendid, cheap restaurant (Guairao) with great wild salmon meals and wine for the price of a hamburger in the UK! Recommended.

Even in the rain and mist, this section of the Carretera Austral is attractive.

However as the tarmac encroaches in the coming years, and the density of traffic increases, much of the attraction of this wild road will disappear.

In 2007 a highly recommended drive, but hurry, the fishing lodges, information centres and posh hotels are already being built.

We also spent one night at the Parque Nacional Largo Rosellot (S44.468498 W72.543217).

Although the park has ten separate camping areas, we stayed in the main car park. This was more convenient for the start of the trail to the park's main attraction, the hanging glacier Ventisquero Colgante.

The blue glacier can be seen in the distance (above) either from the suspension bridge near the main car park or from the nearby lookout point. But for a closer view you have to take one of the slightly longer walks. The views (and sounds) from beneath the glacier (below) are well worth the walk! Recommended.

Stephen Stewart.

Home - This page last changed on 2007-02-05
This page contains the latitude and longitude (from GPS using WGS84 Datum) of places of interest.