Traveling through Carretera Austral is the kind of tour that everyone should do at least once in their life. The entire route is full of stunning scenery and incredible places. Despite the possible problems along the way, as it is a more remote region, the whole effort is well worth it!
The road is very complicated and you will need a 4 × 4 car to complete your tour, I explained more about this in this post. In addition, it will be necessary to take ferries along the route, as rivers permeate the road. Always keep an eye on their schedules, ok?
Once you have the transportation part organized, just assemble the script with the places you want to stop. There are several parks and reserves in Carretera Austral and they are all wonderful. As there are many places, I selected the top 10 so that you already have some points of reference 😉
One of the most beautiful parks in the region is Pumalín, which has more than 300 thousand hectares. It is huge and aims to preserve the environment, which has a very diverse flora and fauna and could be explored.
In addition to hiking, you can also fish, bike, kayak, canoe, among other things. This area is so ecologically rich that many consider the park to be a nature sanctuary. Another cool thing there is that admission to the park is free. Needless to say, it’s a mandatory stop, right?
Queulat National Park
Like Pumalín, Queulat National Park is huge and surrounded by amazing nature. It has lakes, waterfalls and also several animals such as fur seals, herons, deer and pumas. The place is great for those who enjoy nature and want to go trekking or mountaineering, for example. Admission is paid, but no nonsense – currently (Jan / 2018) there are 5000 Chilean pesos for foreign adults, which amounts to just over R $ 25.00. It is worth researching the values at the time you are.
Hornopirén National Park
Smaller than the other two parks above, Hornopirén is still a wonderful place. The forest in this park is native to the region and, next to it, you will also see rivers, lakes and more rocky areas. For those who enjoy a region full of “contrasting” landscapes, it is an unmissable tour.
Admission is free and the main recommendation for this location is that you go with appropriate clothes and shoes. As it rains a lot there, the path is more slippery, that’s why it’s so important that you stay tuned to the trails and go with the right clothes – and boots -.
Cerro Castillo National Reserve
The landscapes of the Cerro Castillo National Reserve are surreal, I swear! The location is wonderful and with incredible trails. It is also considered an archaeological site and has super blue lagoons – they look like lies. Admission is paid (just over R $ 15.00), but it is possible to spend the night there, as they have an area with camping, bathroom and showers. Ah, if you prefer to just stop by the reserve, have a picnic! It’s a different activity and you can still get some rest 🙂
Coyhaique National Reserve
The Coyhaique National Reserve has several great trails, mainly because you go hiking while enjoying nature. The hikes are short, lasting no more than 2 hours. You need to pay to enter, but in addition to the hikes it is also possible to fish and ride around the region. The fauna of this reserve is very diverse, and you will see everything from red foxes to hawks!
Lake Rosselot National Reserve
The hikes through the Lago Rosselot National Reserve are of low difficulty and perfect for those who want to see beautiful landscapes without making much effort or taking risks. Admission is free and the views along the trails are very beautiful, such as Lake Rosselot and the mountains around it. It is important to know that this park does not have much infrastructure for tourists, that is, go well prepared for everything. Bring food, drink, appropriate clothing, and if you find it necessary, even a first aid kit can be helpful.
The marble cathedrals
This is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible attractions in Carretera Austral. The Marble Chapels are even considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco! The water has blue and greenish tones that make the caves even more incredible. As it is one of the most visited places in the region, I recommend that you make a reservation beforehand, at any agency in Puerto Tranquilo!
Carretera Austral is the perfect tour for those who enjoy adventure and want to make an unforgettable road trip. Even with all the hard times we went through, I loved having the opportunity to make this trip! These are just a few of the parks in Carretera, but there are countless others, with landscapes as beautiful as those places. If you want to watch a little of our journey there, just watch the vlogs 😉