Coyhaique - Activities and excursions

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What to do in Coyhaique, Patagonia Chile

Trips

o fish: to the lake Elizalde and to the lake Atravesado. Leave Coyhaique toward the southeast by the asphalted road that goes to Balmaceda (International Step Huemules). Before arriving to the kilometer 17, where you will stray to the right, you will see the cascade El Salto (it freezes in winter). Just 2 kilometers from the deviation already on the rubble road and in the middle of the valley of the river Simpson, you will arrive to Villa Simpson, town of almost 500 inhabitants. Other 2 kilometers to cross the river Simpsom, 3 more kilometers to go by Villa Frei, from where you will arrive at the Lake Elizalde traveling other 4 kilometers. There, is located Puerto de Yates (you can rent boats). 8 kilometers ahead you will arrive to the hostel Lago Elizalde where boats, bicycles and horses are rented. In the camping site that is very near the hostel they are also let boats and they are organized trips by the lake. Starting from there the road moves away from the lake; later on it crosses the river La Paloma and goes beside it until the outlet in the river Bayo that is born in the lake Elizalde, in its western end. Before arriving at the river Bayo it will go by the fishing Lodge Paloma. From Villa Frei, instead of taking toward the lake Elizalde, you can opt for the road that comes out toward the north and to 27 kilometers of the village to arrive at the lake Atravesado. The road skirts it some kilometers by the north side, it goes into the valley Lagunas and it arrives to the Lodge Río Negro. Along this whole circuit that we have mentioned it can be practiced the sport fishing in all the variants and with some dexterity you will be able to capture brown trout (salmo fario) of 1 to 3 kilograms of weight.
To the International Steps toward Argentina: From Coyhaique you can spend to Argentina through three International Steps: Coyhaique. Located 49 kilometers to the northeast of Coyhaique. To half of the itinerary you will arrive to the Natural Monument Dos Lagunas where you’ll find the lagoons Toro and Escondida surrounded by forests of ‘lengas’, with a very important population of wild birds, in which they stand out the real duck and the swan of black neck. The road continues and as it goes coming closer to the frontier it will allow you to see the radical change of the landscape. You’ll begin to see stocky trees, ‘coirones’ (typical bush of the patagonic plateau), sheep country properties with their sheep-shearing buildings, until the trees end to appear and the steppe pampas begins. Triana. Leaving from Coyhaique by the same road toward the Step Coyhaique, but after 17 kilometers it is necessary to take the deviation to the right and to travel other 17 kilometers. 5 kilometers before arriving to the border control is another deviation to the right by which you can return to Coyhaique visiting the lakes Castor, Pólux and Frío, all with good fishing. Huemules. By asphalted route 65 kilometers toward the southeast you will arrive to Balmaceda. A 500 inhabitants’ town that has the only international airport of the region. From Balmaceda toward the east you can cross the immense patagonic plateau until Comodoro Rivadavia in the Atlantic coast of the Republic Argentina.
To the lake General Carrera:
leave from Coyhaique by the asphalted highway toward Balmaceda. In the kilometer 40 continue to the south by the Southern Highway; the road now is of rubble, it goes encasing among the mountains and it enters in the National Reservation Cerro Castillo. In the kilometer 83 it crosses the Portezuelo Ibañez (1,100 meters) and 5 kilometers ahead begin to lower by the slope El Diablo, with a good panoramic view on the valley of the river Ibañez and the hill Castillo. When finishing the hill it leaves a deviation to the left, for where to 31 kilometers you arrive to Puerto Ibañez. Continue by the southern highway. In the kilometer 99 you will cross a bridge on a deep canyon by where the river Ibañez runs and from where it leaves a deviation of 2 kilometers to the left (we recommend that you make it), arriving to the National Monument ‘Manos de Cerro Castillo’. There the culture of the town Tehuelche is explained through an autoguided path and you will see a rocky eaves where the oldest artistic manifestation in America, the painting of hands that is 10,000 years of antiquity old is. Return to the southern highway that will skirt for some kilometers the river Ibañez, it will go by very dense forests and in the kilometer 162 will cross the ‘Portezuelo Río Cajón Cofré’, to then to descend to the valley of the river Murta. In the kilometer 209 you will arrive to Puerto Murta, in the end of an arm to the northwest of the lake General Carrera. This town of 600 inhabitants lived some years of the timber exploitation, but that today is dedicated to the cattle raising. It has lodgings and restaurants. 25 more kilometers to the south and you arrive to Puerto Tranquilo, on the outlet of the river that comes from the lake Tranquilo, in the lake General Carrera. It has 400 inhabitants, lodgings and restaurants. From their jetty they leave the trips in boat that take to the caverns and the Chapel of Marble, declared Sanctuary of the Nature. It is a peninsula of solid marble holed by the water, with caves to those that one enters in boat, being able to appreciate walls of brilliant marble polished by the water.

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