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.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What language is spoken in Aisen and Carretera Austral?

The main language spoken in Aisen is Spanish.

What currency do I need in Aisen and Carretera Austral?

The Chilean Peso is the main currency used in Aisen and Carretera Austral. Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in Coyhaique using a UK credit or debit card.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?

The time difference between Carretera Austral and UK is 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). 

If you still have questions, please contact us and one of our Travel Experts will be happy to help.

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    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.

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    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!

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