The best activities on the Carretera Austral

Attention adrenaline junkies!

Why do the Carretera Austral?

From hot springs to glaciers, kayaking adventures to sleepy villages, the Chilean Carretera Austral is more than just an epic road trip.

Parque Nacional Patagonia

Following the merger of this park with Tamango and Jeinimeni national reserves, this has become one of South America’s leading parks, with abundant wildlife,…

Futaleufú

Upon arrival it becomes pretty apparent what the main draw to ‘Futa’ is. There are as many kayaks as cars in the town, and…

Puerto Río Tranquilo

Thanks to some extensive marketing Puerto Río Tranquilo has emerged as a tourist hub. The town is not particularly attractive, but is located close…

Travel and visas on the Carretera Austral

Visas You don’t have to jump through many bureaucratic hoops to enter Chile. Tourists can generally stay for up to 90 days, and hopping…

Cerro Castillo

The dramatic approach to the village of Cerro Castillo offers vast panoramic vistas of the entire valley, with the snow-capped mountain range of the…

Villa O’Higgins

The end, or beginning, of the Carretera Austral, sandwiched between lakes, glaciers and mountains, the border crossing to El Chaltén in Argentina is one…

Parque Pumalín

One of the first entirely private initiatives to protect major swathes of forest, pioneered by US conservationist Doug Tompkins, the park has a number…

When to visit the Carretera Austral

The Carretera Austral extends from approximately 41°S to 49°S, and as such suffers cold and extended winters (June–September) and surprisingly warm summers (December–March). Hours…

Health and safety on the Carretera Austral

Health Before you travel, check the current Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice as well as the country-specific page, which details any…

Food and drink on the Carretera Austral

Food Every village, however small, has a place to eat and a shop. Whether these are open or not is another issue. In smaller…

Cochamó

One of the lesser-known entry points to the Carretera Austral, this delightful village is perched on the edge of the Reloncaví Estuary. Trekking options…

The Carretera Austral

The Carretera is rapidly gaining recognition for being up there with the finest road trips in the Americas, if not worldwide. Hugh Sinclair, author…

On the road in Patagonia – the Carretera Austral

Join MD Adrian Phillips on South America’s most challenging road.