Chile Aisen and the Carretera Austral

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When's the best time to visit Aisen and Carretera Austral?

The Aisén region has a cool temperate climate, in places close to the coast it rains up to 300 days a year but in others, such as the area around Coyhaique, a rain shadow effect reduces precipitation. It can be very cold in winter, when roads may be blocked, so a summer visit - when some warm sunshine is likely - is advisable.

What's the official language of Aisen and Carretera Austral?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Aisen and Carretera Austral?

Chilean Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in Coyhaique using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also some banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling are harder to find and frequently poor.

What's the time difference between Carretera Austral and UK?

GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar. 

What places combine well with Aisen and Carretera Austral?

The lake district, eg Puerto Varas or Pucón (3-6 hours by car); or fly between Coyhaique and Puerto Montt (1 hour 45 mins); Torres del Paine in Patagonia (fly from Coyhaique to Punta Arenas, 1.5 hours). 

How do I get to Aisen and Carretera Austral?

There are flights from Santiago to Balmaceda (for Coyhaique) (2.5 hours); from Puerto Montt (1 hour 7mins); from Punta Arenas take 1.5 hours). Drive south from Puerto Montt on the Carretera Austral (1,200 km on ripio unpaved roads). 

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • JimAshworth
    Jim Ashworth - Travel Consultant

    Jim first caught the Latin American travel bug in 2001 when he decided at the last minute to join a friend travelling around Central America – he hasn't looked back since.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

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

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

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