Coyhaique to Villa O Higgins
Carretera Austral Sur
* This map of the Carretera Austral was originally designed by Cicleayque.
SUGGESTED ITINERARY – From North to South
Coyhaique to Villa O Higgins
We’ve highlighted the days we suggest to book lodging in advance:
Arrival at Tepual Airport
- LODGING at Hotel in Puerto Montt
- Dinner at Hotel in Puerto Montt
Puerto Varas - Coyhaique - Bus or Airplane
- Departure Puerto Montt (Breakfast included at lodging).
- Flight or Bus to Coyhaique.
Its your choice, if its the Air flight, please buy the airline ticket on advance, neither of them are included in this tour.
- LODGING at Hostel in Coyhaique
- Dinner at Hostel in Coyhaique.
Coyhaique - Villa Cerro CastilloDay 3
Villa Cerro Castillo - Murta River ValleyDay 4
Murta River Valley - Puerto Rio TranquiloDay 5
Puerto Rio Tranquilo - Puerto BertrandDay 6
Puerto Bertrand - CochraneDay 7
Cochrane - Los ÑadisDay 8
Los Ñadis - Caleta TortelDay 9
Caleta Tortel - Río BravoDay 10
Rio Bravo - Villa O Higgins
- Departure Rio Bravo: (Breakfast included at lodging)
Villa O Higgins - Cochrane
- DROPOFF BIKE
- Departure Villa O Higgins: (Breakfast included at lodging)
- Take bus to Cochrane
Cochrane - Coyhaique
- Departure Cochrane (Breakfast included at lodging)
- Dinner at Hostel in Coyhaique
Coyhaique - to Puerto Montt- Return Home
- Departure Coyhaique: (Breakfast included at lodging)
TWO WEEKS RENTAL: USD 380.-
PICKUP IN COYHAIQUE: USD 120.-
DROPOFF IN VILLA O HIGGINS: USD 170.-
Total distance: 562 km.
Total days: 15
Road type: 80% pavement – 20% gravel.
Please, write us a message: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with some bookings, although we advise that only for your first and final dates.
It´s very risky to do that for other days, as you may need more days to explore while on your journey, or the road might be closed for one or two days due to climate: rain, snow or river floods.
self guided tour
– IF YOU WANT TO BOOK LODGING:
We can help booking your B&B, Hostel, Cabin – Twin or Double Bed Rooms.
Breakfast and Dinner: can be included in some of the B&B, Lodges, Hotels, Cabins and Hosteles.
– IF YOU NEED CAMPING GEAR:
A tent, a sleeping bag, a matt, a camping stove, camping pots, 2 x 230 cc gas for the stove, a USB rechargeable lantern/light and cuttlery are a must.
Bike rental: 15 days included. Excellent quality bikes, Merida brand, specially selected for the trails of the zone and the gravel road on Carretera Austral (easily handleable).
All of our services include: Topeak Explorer Rear Racks, Ortlieb waterproof panniers 40 lts (20 lts each side), handlebar bag (15 lts), mini-triangular frame bag, Gyro helmets, bottle cage, lock, lights, spare tubes, multi tools, tyre levers, allen wrench set, pump, chain cutter, quick link, patches, glue and reflective vests.
Pick up bikes: Austral Bikes Store – Puerto Varas
Airport transfer to Hotel in Puerto Montt: arrival from Tepual Airport.
– Bus/Flight Tickets from Puerto Montt to Coyhaique.
– Bus/Flight Tickets Returning from Coyhaique to Puerto Montt.
– Airport transfer from Hotel to El Tepual Airport in Puerto Montt: Return to Santiago.
– All that´s not mentioned above as included.
make your reservation
What to Do Before You Hit the Road:
Pack enough food and water: double-check that you´ve got everything you may need!
Be sure to carry enough cash money: remember that you´ll need to find the next ATM machine. Althouh there are now plenty of ATM´s along the Carretera Austral, the rule of thumb is to check you have enough to pay for food and lodging as in most places it will be impossible to pay with debit or credit cards.
Pick up a copy of the COPEC – Map Chiletur Copec Area 7- Carretera Austral: This map is indispensable for anyone cycling in Carretera Austral. You can buy it on any COPEC gas station for around $4,000 CLP. Although in practice, many places don’t stock it, so you may need to visit a couple.
Download Maps.me before you set off: This free app allows you to download maps of the Carretera Austral to your phone (do this while you still have a wifi connection) that can then be used offline.
Download the ioverlander app: This free app is a guide to road conditions and campsites as compiled by people who travel. It is an indispensable resource for helping you to find good wild camping spots, as well as up-to-date information about the state of the Carretera Austral. You do need internet to be able to access the maps in the app.
A local sim card: Entel provides the best coverage along the Carretera Austral. If you plan on booking acccommodations and doing other logistical stuff en-route, don’t expect to be able to rely on the internet along the Carretera Austral. The internet reception might be very poor, not all hostels or cabins have WIFI, so sort this. Entel, Movistar, Claro and Wom may not have coverage everywhere.
Carretera Austral remains a work in progress, unpaved at some points and impassable due to the rain, snow and wind: qualities that have helped secure the Carretera Austral as one of South America’s most remote and beguiling road trips. The road works can cause sections of the road to be closed, this information is best found by consulting the tourism office of the town you’re in and then planning accordingly.
Pack the right clothing for hot and cold weather: Clothes that can be layered up in cold weather and stripped down in warm weather are versatile for any temperature.
Food, snacks, a water bottle and water filter: Water is potable in Carretera Austral, however, if you have a sensitive stomach, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Take enough food and snacks for your journey, distances are far and journeys can take a long time, places where you can pick up food are few and far between along the Carretera Austral.
Toilet paper: Public toilets are few and far between! Be sure to come prepared instead.
Camping: There are many campsites along the route and is generally permissible to set your tent where ever you want along the Carretera Austral, your common sense will give you a right idea where you can’t and where it’s recommendable to stay, anyway, remember you will be staying on wild and pristine areas, so practice leaving no trace principles and make sure that you won´t leave any rubbish. If the land is clearly privately owned and there’s a dwelling nearby, be sure to pop in and ask for permission before settling down for the night.
Although Carretera Austral starts officially in Puerto Montt, we advise you to start from Puerto Varas, Ensenada, Cochamó, Puelo and Contao, because it´s a beautiful place, that you will miss if starting from Puerto Montt.
Don’t miss out on the many activities in the area:
The southern part of the Carretera Austral gets more remote the farther south you go, and the landscape just keeps getting more and more stunning.
Day 3: Villa Cerro Castillo
This town is named after the magnificent Castillo peak and is located in the Ibáñez River Valley, 59 miles south of Coyhaique. Cerro Castillo is known for its striking landscapes made up of hanging glaciers, turquoise-colored lakes, and beautiful Lenga forests, the perfect home for Huemules (South Andean Deer).
Day 6: The Marble Caves
The Marble Caves (also called the Capillas de Mármol) is one of the best-hidden gems in Chile’s Patagonia region, those bucket list spots that are well worth a trip.
They are located on General Carrera Lake and can be only accessed by boat or kayak. The magnificent Marble Caves have formed over the last 6000+ years as the water melted from the nearby glaciers filling up General Carrera Lake and washing up against these solid rocks slowly carving out intricate caverns, columns, and tunnel systems.
Day 7: The beautiful town of Puerto Bertrand:
This is the perfect place to do rafting and kayaking on Lake Bertrand, and then arrive at the confluence from the Nef River with the mightiest river in Chile, the Baker River.
Day 8: Cochrane was founded in 1954 as Pueblo Nuevo, later changed to Cochrane to honor Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald a British Naval Captainand politician who was appointed as the First Admiral of the Chilean Navy who made a mayor contribution winning Chilean Independance from Spain.
Day 9: Caleta Tortel
Built almost entirely from wood, it is a labyrinthine maze connected by sturdy boardwalks that snake down the mountainside, and branch out along the bay. Houses appear to be piled on top of each other, and wild mosses, lichens and ferns blanket the landscape. Walk the 15 kilometres of boardwalks along the milky-blue Tortel bay and immerse yourself in Aysen culture in traditional lodging and restaurants.
Day 13: Villa O’Higgins marks the end of the Carretera Austral and the beginning of Chile’s Southern Ice Fields. The town is located in the midst of a gorgeous, pristine, and remote landscape, at the mouth of the Mayer River and the O’Higgins Lake, which is the deepest lake on the American continent at 2743 feet deep. The lake was formed by the O’Higgins Glacier.
The first settlers arrived in 1914, but the town wasn’t incorporated until 1966. It was named in honor of Chilean independence leader Bernardo O’Higgins. This is a Self Guided Tour, with no Guide.
We rent you the bikes, give you maps and can take care of lodging and dinner at some places if you want.