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Puerto Aisén

Description

Founded in 1914 as a pier and storage for a cattle farming company, Puerto Aysen is located 1625 kms south of Santiago and 67 kms from Coyhaique. It is next to the Aysen River, and today is the main point of gathering for people who travel around this area, in charge of all the tourist information and arrangements for the southern territory. 15 kms away you can find Puerto Chacabuco, the main pier and entrance point of Aysen, from where many ships prepare their visits to the Laguna San Rafael, the main attraction of the area.

The lagoon is part of the San Rafael National Park, which has an extension of 1.742.000 hectares. It was named Reserve of the Biosphere in 1979 by UNESCO, and it is one of the most important natural creations in Chile. There is a gigantic snowdrift there, with many ice floes and blocks in the water around it. Visitors can enjoy the show when the snow blocks get detached from the main glaciers.

There are other places near the city which are also important tourism centers. One of them is the President Ibáñez Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the country, which is 210 meters long. It joins Coyhaique with Puerto Chacabuco. Another attraction is the Cerro Mirador Park, from where you can get a clean view of the city and its surroundings. You also can visit the Galeria Artesanal, where there are displays of regional jewelry and crafts made with wood, wool and leather. Other places are the Forestal Nursey El Mallin, the Rieso Lake, the Rio Simpson National Park, the Natural Monument Cinco Hermanas and the Aysen Fiord. In all of these places you can find a great variety of vegetation and animals, as well as eternal ice floes, which make Puerto Aysen one of the most visited places in southern Patagonia.

Attractions

You can visit the San Rafael Lagoon and drink a nice glass of whisky with ice taken from the snowdrifts themselves. You can cross Puerto Aysen through the President Ibáñez Bridge, fish in one of the many lakes of crystal clear water, walk around the Aysen city or cross by ferry to the islands in front of it.

Activities

In Aysen, one of the main activities is fly fishing, the little darling of all of Southern Patagonia. The lakes where you can go are: Elizalde, La Paloma and Riesco. You can also go to one of the rivers in the area to practice kayak or rafting. It is possible, as well, to simply sit back and enjoy the landscapes and scenery, which is covered with snow during the winter.

Information

Location
Puerto Aysén is located 65 kms away from Coyhaique.
How to get there
Se puede acceder desde el Aeropuerto de Balmaceda, que se ubica a 55 kms. al sureste de Coyhaique. También desde el Aeródromo Teniente Vidal que se encuentra 7 kms. al suroeste de Coyhaique. Por vía terrestre se accede por la Carretera Austral, tanto desde el norte (Puerto Montt) como desde el sur de Chile (Cochrane). En Barco se puede acceder por Puerto Chacabuco, principal puerto de la región, ubicado 82 kms. al noreste de Coyhaique.
When to go
All year.
Climate
The weather in Puerto Aysen and Puerto Chacabuco is rainy, with almost 3000 mm a year. The average temperature is 8° C, with a minumum of 6° C in winter and a maximum of 25° C in summer.
Services
Aysen is considered to be a big city in its region, so it has all the proper services of one. Accommodation, travel agency, restaurant, pubs, coffee house, transportation, airport, bank, post office, tourist information, and others.
Surroundings
Huichas Islands, Maca Volcano, Hudson Volcano, Chilconal Thermal Waters, Cinco Hermanas Natural Monument, Valle Pangal, Villa Mañihuales, Laguna Los Palos, Lago Portales, Laguna Fantasma, Quitralco thermal waters, President Ibáñez Bridge, Cerro Mirador Park, Galería Artesanal, Vivero Forestal El Mallín, Laguna San Rafael, Lago Riesco, Puerto Chacabuco and Río Simpson National Park.