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Chile: Aisen and the Carretera Austral

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South of the lake district lies the remote Aisén region, crossed by the Carretera Austral (‘Southern Highway’), a tremendous feat of engineering which opened up this fractured wilderness area in the 1980s. This lonely road negotiates a shattered landscape of felled and standing forests, mountain passes and glaciers, and crosses dozens of icy rivers, lakes and fjords as it weaves south from Puerto Montt to where the land runs out. This beautiful region is frequently unjustly overlooked by visitors to the lakes and southern Patagonia, although is popular with fishing enthusiasts and horse-riders. Nowadays new lodges mean that the area is at last beginning to open up.

Our holidays to Aisen and the Carretera Austral

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Austral Road

Self-drive Chile: Off the beaten track

Private journey

14 days from £3,783pp

Lake General Carrera

Patagonia and the Chilean fjords expedition cruise - 5 Nov 2018

Private journey

16 days from £6,719pp

Untouched Aisen: Little-known Patagonia

Group tour

15 days from £3,448pp

Things to do in Aisen and the Carretera Austral

Cruise the Chilean Fjords

Cruise the Chilean fjords

Self-Drive on the Austral Road

Self-drive on the Austral Road

Marble caves

Marvel at Patagonia's marble caves

Our insider tips for Aisen and the Carretera Austral


Jim Ashworth

Watching huge shards of ice fall into the waterfalls below the blue-tinged Ventisquero hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park.

Claire Milner

Claire Milner

Enjoying the sun at Chile Chico on Lake General Carrera on the border with Argentina, a flowery place which has its own microclimate.


David Nichols

Luxuriating in the thermal pools at Puyuhuapi, the region’s (or even Chile’s) top spa resort.

What our experts say

Of the places I’ve been, few can beat the breathtaking beauty of my first sight of Lago General Carrera. The Carretera Austral is unpaved and lonely and therein lies its attraction – the landscape slowly unfolds to show more and more picturesque vistas and you feel as if you will never reach your destination if you continue stopping at every curve to take more pictures. And once you arrive, you don’t want to leave; you want to explore more. It’s addictive.


Mary Anne

Mary Anne Nelson

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