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Loop from Coyhaique

seattle
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369 posts
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Loop from Coyhaique

I am having trouble researching a loop from our car rental pick up and return in Coyhaique. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience. We have 3-4 weeks.

Also wondering if there will be small, decent hostels along the way without need for reservation. I see that some of the well reviewed resorts are already fully booked.

Thank you.

Santiago, Chile
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1. Re: Loop from Coyhaique

No real looping to be done, other than circumnavigating the General Carrera Lake. You either go north or south, and then back again to Coyhaique. We did the trip Santiago-Tortel-Santiago in 2012 and took the continent down, and a ferry back to Pto Montt from Aysen. You can´t get into Argentina from Cochrane or Villa O'Higgins to loop back either. That said, depending on how much hiking or tenting you want to do, there is a lot to be done south of Coyhaique, maybe not a month, but you could sneak over to El Chalten from Villa O'Higgins for a few days, abandoning your car for a bit.

We found nice little places to stay in Tortel, Puerto Bertrand, and Coyhaique, but camped most of the rest of it.

seattle
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369 posts
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2. Re: Loop from Coyhaique

Thanks casey e,

Reassuring to know there are places to stay.

What time of year did you travel?

I guess we will just make our way north to Coyhaique and then travel as far north as we have time in a month. I am going to see if we can return the car in Puerto Montt but it may be financially prohibitive.

Any suggestions for areas not to miss?

Santiago, Chile
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171 posts
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3. Re: Loop from Coyhaique

We went in January. When are you going? You could do a loop north and take the car ferry back (http://www.navimag.com/site/en). Epic trip, mostly dirt roads with cool ferries in between.

First off, don´t miss at least one of the summer local festivals, especially the "costumbristas", rodeos, mega BBQ's, etc., really authentic stuff. One source for info: coyhaique.cl/portalmunicipalidad/calendarioa…

Going north; Puerto Cisnes, PN Quelat, Puyuhuapi, La Junta, Pto R.M Balmaceda, Lago Yelcho, Futalefu, Chaiten, Volcan Chaiten (easy walk up a steaming volcano), Parque Pumalin (many places in it, some cabins), Rio Negro/Hornopiren, Termas Cahuelmo (boat to), and many other hot springs and amazing walks/boat tours. If you pm me, I can send you some more info.

Going south, hit the dirt roads south first to Cerro Castillo (trekking, archaeological remains, fun little town) then to Puerto Tranquilo where you can do a quick boat tour to the Marble Cathedrals in Lago General Carrera, or even better, do a Zodiac tour to the Laguna San Rafael (full day). From there, head further south towards Cochrane and Puerto Bertrand/Rio Baker (rafting, fishing), Cerro San Lorenzo/Hacienda Chacabuco, and on to Tortel on the coast, where you can wander a quaint coastal boardwalk town that was isolated from the world up to about 15 years ago (cool side trips in small boats up the coast). From there, continue on to the small frontier town of Villa O´Higgins where the road ends in Chile. The road there gets really close to the Ventisquero Jorge Montt on the ocean. Now it really gets interesting! Take a boat on the nearby lake and visit a mammoth glacier that calves into the Lago O´Higgins. Then boat, walk, and bus to El Chalten in Argentina, and if you have time, onward to Calafate and Torres del Paine.

Santiago, Chile
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171 posts
21 reviews
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4. Re: Loop from Coyhaique

We went in January. When are you going? You could do a loop north and take the car ferry back (http://www.navimag.com/site/en). Epic trip, mostly dirt roads with cool ferries in between.

First off, don´t miss at least one of the summer local festivals, especially the "costumbristas", rodeos, mega BBQ's, etc., really authentic stuff. One source for info: coyhaique.cl/portalmunicipalidad/calendarioa…

Going north; Puerto Cisnes, PN Quelat, Puyuhuapi, La Junta, Pto R.M Balmaceda, Lago Yelcho, Futalefu, Chaiten, Volcan Chaiten (easy walk up a steaming volcano), Parque Pumalin (many places in it, some cabins), Rio Negro/Hornopiren, Termas Cahuelmo (boat to), and many other hot springs and amazing walks/boat tours. If you pm me, I can send you some more info.

Going south, hit the dirt roads south first to Cerro Castillo (trekking, archaeological remains, fun little town) then to Puerto Tranquilo where you can do a quick boat tour to the Marble Cathedrals in Lago General Carrera, or even better, do a Zodiac tour to the Laguna San Rafael (full day). From there, head further south towards Cochrane and Puerto Bertrand/Rio Baker (rafting, fishing), Cerro San Lorenzo/Hacienda Chacabuco, and on to Tortel on the coast, where you can wander a quaint coastal boardwalk town that was isolated from the world up to about 15 years ago (cool side trips in small boats up the coast). From there, continue on to the small frontier town of Villa O´Higgins where the road ends in Chile. The road there gets really close to the Ventisquero Jorge Montt on the ocean. Now it really gets interesting! Take a boat on the nearby lake and visit a mammoth glacier that calves into the Lago O´Higgins. Then boat, walk, and bus to El Chalten in Argentina, and if you have time, onward to Calafate and Torres del Paine.

Santiago, Chile
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5. Re: Loop from Coyhaique

Forgot to mention you can find cabins to rent here: www.cabanasdechile.com/en/cabins/region-11

seattle
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369 posts
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6. Re: Loop from Coyhaique

Casey e, great information.. Thank you so much!

We will also be there in January and part of February. I did post you for more imfo.

Cheers!

Glasgow, UK
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7. Re: Loop from Coyhaique

Would definitely recommend incorporating the Navimag ferry into your trip if possible! You'll find some good photos and review of the trip here: worldlynomads.com/index.php/…

8. Re: Loop from Coyhaique

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