THE NORTHERN CARRETERA AUSTRAL10/24/2018
In September Protours sent a small commercial team to travel the northern sector of the Carretera Austral. This familiarization trip served to better enlighten our coworkers, evaluate providers and to scout out unique tips only available to our clients and passengers. Below our colleague Jaime shares his feedback.
“The Northern Carretera Austral is an incredible destination, stretching over 661 km. Rather you are looking for an intimate connection with nature or an active trip, this destination offers a variety of options and places to visit. The Pumalín Park, dedicated to conservation, offers a network of unimaginable paths within a pristine environment. In the northern sector of the park, there are trails that will take you on a 9 hour hike to panoramic views, glaciers and volcano craters. In the southern division, there are 2 distinct interpretive trails which can be appreciated. The Northern Carretera Austral also features the Futalefú River basin home to local communities offering authentic culture interactions. In addition the river itself is a little known highlight featuring some of the most exciting rafting in the country. Furthermore, if you continue to follow the highway southbound you will find yourself in the midst of evergreen forest and mountains. This sector also showcases one of the breathtaking Queulat National Park. This highlight is a must visit as there is path known as “mirador (look out point)” where nature explodes in beauty culminating in a panoramic view of a hanging glacier and frigid river. The Northern Carretera Austral is truly a destination within itself. It offers its visitors the possibility of truly getting in contact with nature trough diverse activities such as navigations, rafting, trekking, thermal baths, kayaking, and much more. It is a complete experience in the true Chilean Patagonia. “
• ATMs are very scarce and are only available in the towns of Hornopirén, Chaiten, and Futaleufú. If you travel further south, it is recommended to bring cash and Chilean pesos as many places do not accept dollars.
• Gas stations only take debit / credit cards with the purchase of “95” fuel or diesel.
• Rain is common and an important element for the landscape of Carretera Austral. If there is sun, enjoy it. If it rains, you’re getting to know the real Patagonia.
• Bring various changes of cloths and layered clothing, as to stay dry as you hike the many available trails.
• Telephone signal and internet is poor throughout the sector, only a few places and major cities provide good connection.
• The majority of the route is paved and in good conditions with the exception of the route between Puelche and Hornopirén, the road to Futaleufú and the famous Queulat slope and south of Puyuhuapi. Drive slow, this way you can truly take in the landscapes.
• The Queulat National Park entrance can be paid with debit / credit card.
Protours offers a variety of classic itineraries featuring the Northern Carretera Austral. We can also organize a tailor made adventure based on preferences. It is also highly recommended to do this route via bicycle for a slow up close contact with nature. Make sure to contact us for more information and options.