Overview

South of the Chilean lake district lies the remote Aisén region, crossed by the Carretera Austral (‘Southern Highway’), a feat of engineering which opened this fractured wilderness area in the 1980s. This lonely road showcases over 1,200km of incredible scenery: negotiating temperate rainforests, mountain passes and glaciers, and crossing dozens of icy rivers, lakes and fjords as it weaves south from Puerto Montt to where the land runs out. For self-drivers, just a few days on the Carretera Austral makes for an epic road trip with a sense of discovery.

Exploring Aisén demands time so this region has long been overlooked by most visitors heading for Patagonia’s better-known attractions. Although new national parks, upscale lodges and highway upgrades are finally putting Aisén on the map, you will still feel the raw essence of wild Patagonia and what makes it so very special.

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Holidays Aisen and the Carretera Austral

Browse our off-the-beaten track holiday travelling to Aisén on the Carretera Austral. Take a look now and book with Journey Latin America.

Foitzick lake beside Carretera Austral near to Coyhaique

Private Journeys

Chile

Self-drive Chile: Off the beaten track

14 days from £4,630pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Carretera Austral

Group - Discovery

Argentina / Chile / Patagonia

Untouched Aisen: Little-known Patagonia

15 days from £4,014pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Things to do

Enjoy a range of activities whilst visiting Aisén, from driving the Austral road, to observing the solar eclipse. Book with Journey Latin America now.

Accommodation

After a long day exploring Aisén and the Carretera Austral, relax in our selection of well-located and idyllic hotels. Book now with Journey Latin America.

Where to go when - our guide to Aisen and the Carretera Austral

Carretera Austral

The weather in Aisen and the Carretera Austral is wide and varied

The lush, temperate forests, tumultuous rivers and jagged mountain passes of Aisen were made accessible by the Carretera Austral, a lonely road which winds through little-known, pristine landscapes. At times little more than a narrow dirt track, traffic can build up in the warmer summer months (December - February) and those wishing to avoid other visitors may prefer to visit in the quiet and cooler shoulder seasons (March - May and September - November). Wildlife is varied and abundant here as Aisen’s natural beauty has been left largely untouched. With fewer visitors in the shoulder seasons, you’ll glimpse guanacos, condors, and if you’re lucky, the elusive puma. Many of the cosy lodges will close during the harsh winter months, when temperatures drop, rainfall is heavy and the landscape freezes over.

View our Aisen and the Carretera Austral weather guide

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Juliet
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

  • Maggie in LATAM
    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Kathryn
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

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