When you are planning your trip to Carretera Austral, in addition to renting the right car (as I told you in this post), you need to be very attentive to the ferries. The whole route is permeated by rivers and, inevitably, at some point you will need to take the so-called “barcaza”.
Picture – Carretera Austral
Unlike what we see in many places in the world, ferries in the Carretera region have very specific schedules and leave very few times a day. In addition, to get into some of them you will need to buy tickets in advance over the internet because the queues are huge – the Transportes Austral and Naviera Austral websites are great são
Based on our experience on Route 7 of Carretera, let’s talk a little more about the main ferries in the region and which ones we take!
From Puerto Montt to Hornopirén
Picture – Montenbaik
This first ferry is not really necessary, see? Paulo and I didn’t pick it up because we arrived late from the airport and we were afraid of not being able to arrive on time. In the end, the drive was amazing, with beautiful scenery and a great way to start the trip!
For those who prefer to make their way on the ferry from Caleta La Arena to Caleta Puelche, it is worth buying in advance mainly in the summer (buy online). The average price for those with an ordinary car is 9,500 Chilean pesos, less than 50 reais.
This ferry leaves several times a day: from 7:30 am until midnight they leave every half hour. At dawn, the interval is 1:30.
From Hornopirén to Chaitén
Picture – Trover
As it takes a longer route and is a bimodal ferry (two ferries in a row) the price of this journey is a little higher: 33,000 pesos, more or less 60 reais per car. The ticket for this boat certainly needs a prior purchase – only one ferry leaves per day (at 10:30 am) and the lines to enter are absurd.
From the Council to Raúl Marín Balmaceda
Foto – Youtube: Witch House Aysén Region
Deviating a little from Route 7, which we follow throughout Carretera, Paulo and I decided to know a little about Raúl Marín Balmaceda’s region. To cross the Río Palena there is a small ferry – really small, the journey takes about five minutes.
Despite being free, in winter, the ferry only works until 5pm. In summer, the schedule extends until 19h. In order not to miss the hour, plan to leave at least 1h30 in advance from La Junta. The way to the ferry is very narrow and the road is gravel, so it is good to leave in the morning and not take any risks.
From Puerto Yungay to Rio Bravo
Photo – Travel and ideas
Leaving the Puerto Guadal region, as you saw on this vlog, we took a huge road to one of the most remote locations in the entire Carretera: Puerto Yungay. The city comes down to the port and the ferry that took us to Río Bravo, close to our last stop at Villa O’Higgins.
The last barcaza is free and, in high season (from December to March), it leaves four times a day: 10 am, 12 pm, 3 pm and 6 pm. In winter, there are only two daily ferries: 12h and 15h.