The remote region of Aysen encompasses a huge section of Chilean Patagonia. This is the least populous of Chile's fifteen regions—a wilderness of fractured coastline, fishing villages and steep mountainsides. Between Puerto Montt in the north and O'Higgins in the south, the Carretera Austral Longitudinal crosses roaring rivers and twists through primordial rainforest. Accommodations range from luxurious lodges to basic fishing camps. Along the 770-mile route, you'll pass seven national parks and protected areas, including Pumalin and Laguna San Rafael. This may be the wildest road trip in South America. Car rental and private transfers can be arranged.
The territory south of Aysen is known as Magallanes, in memory of the great Portuguese navigator. This windswept land was first developed by British sheep companies in the late 1800s. Here the Andes crumble into steppe, and penguin colonies crowd the shore. Punta Arenas, the regional capital, is a busy port town on the Strait of Magellan, where ships depart for Ushuaia, Argentina. Punta Arenas is also the departure point for visitors headed to Torres del Paine National Park. Puerto Natales, located 153 miles northwest of Punta Arenas, has a frontier town feel and fantastic views. Day trips from Puerto Natales can be arranged to the Serrano and Balmaceda glaciers, the Milodon Cave, and the iceberg filled Lago Grey.
The Patagonian summer stretches from November to early March, with long days and photo perfect evening light. The warmest months are December and January, with highs near 65° F and lows near 40° F. Temperatures range from 60° F to below 40° F during the shoulder months. Winter (May through August) is characterized by fleeting daylight, highs near 40° F and freezing nights. Precipitation is light year-round. Winds are strongest from late November to mid-March.
Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Chile and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
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