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Carretera Austral, Chile

4.5
#22 of 457 in Sightseeing in Chile
Scenic Drive Tourist Spot
Drive through scenic rural Patagonia on Carretera Austral. The highway, commenced during Pinochet’s rule and completed in the early 2000's, takes you on a 1,240 km (770.5 mi) journey through a staggering variety of landscapes. Pass lush green forests, national parks, and volcanoes while the road curves, becomes steeper, or narrows between rocky mountain passes. Visit quaint cities and villages along the way, and take detours to go kayaking or see the glaciers. A road trip on the Southern Highway offers a chance to see lakes, deserts, snow-capped peaks, swamps, and grasslands, all in a couple of days. Our Coyhaique tourist route planner makes visiting Carretera Austral and other Coyhaique attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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(Coyhaique is the nearest city to Carretera Austral)

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Where to stay in Coyhaique

Most options remain close to the river on the western side of town, where you can find a range of hotels and guesthouses. For a slightly more refined experience, look for resort-style accommodations with pools and onsite restaurants. Alternatively, consider staying at one of a handful of campgrounds in and around town.
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  • I did carretera austral backpacking and hitchhiking. It's amazing! And it's tough. Most part of the road is not paved. This brings very bad conditions. There is very few public transport (like 1-2 bus...  more »
  • We started in Puerto Montt, went down to Villa O'Higgins (10 days) and then went back up. This road is 40% paved but is getting better each day. The views alongside it are simply unmissable!  more »
  • We had something incredible to see and do every day. We hired a 4x4 (which you absolutely need) from Europcar in Coyhaique (we did book this through Kayak two months ahead of time). There's too much t...  more »