Puerto Chacabuco Things to Do Tips by wadekorzan
Puerto Chacabuco Things to Do: 9 reviews and 9 photos
Though the town itself has no sights, it is surrounded by spectacular scenery. The mountains and glaciers are peaceful here, as there has been very little development in this part of the world. There are no shopping malls, no fast food chains, no movie theatres...well, there's none of that really. It's just full of beautiful views and nature everywhere you look. Come and see it before it's gone!!!
Coyhaique handicrafts market
Once you finally reach Coyhaique, the regiona capital, make your way to the main square. The main square is quite unique in that it actually has the shape of a pentagon. On one side of the dquare, there s a small but very nice handicrafts market where you can find many things made by local people. Quite unique to this region are fish skin handicrafts and pottery with decorations of nature such as leaves and various animals.
There is a viewpoint just a little before Coyhaique which I definitely would not miss. It tends to be very windy here so be prepared! Coyhaiqye is the regional capital of the Chilean region known as "Aisen", and has a population of about 45,000. There are many soldiers in the town due to the town's close proximaty to the Argentine border which runs along the Andes Mountains. You will also see three windmills from the viewpoint which generate elctricity for about 90 familes living in Coyhaique.
Simpson River Valley
If you are driving from Puerto Chacabuco to Coyhhaique, you will pass throgh a sort of tunnel when you start to ascend. Actually it is more like a snow shed to protect the road. After a short time you are going to curve to the right and then you have this fantastic view of the Simpson River Valley! There is nowhere to stop along the road, so simply be ready and drive slow t enoy the view!
As mentioned before, the drive between Puerto Chacabuco and Coyhaique is really incredibly beautiful!!! You will pass through mountains, see glaciers, waterfalls, lush scenery, and have great views of the Andes. Have your cameras with you and be ready for a lovely drive!!!
Cascade de la Virgen
This is a must see. You'll find these waterfalls along side the road when driving between Puerto Chacabuco and Coyhaique, in the Simpson Valley. The waterfall is known as the "Cascade of the Virgin", because it is said that on occasion, the Virgin has been seen here and for this reason you will also find a shrine to which people come and pray and leave offerings.
This mountain doesn't have a name, but you'll see it if you stop at the information center of Simpson Valley National Park, located along the road between Puerto Chacabuco. It is also very close to the "Virgin Falls". There are still some glaciers in this region, but long ago, the entire valley was filled with an enormous glacier which swept through carving the unique rock formations which exist here today. When you are here nd look carefully at the mountain, you should be able to make out what seems to be a Moai statue carved into the mountain. The Moai statues are those fund on Easter Island. Check out my Easter Island page for more on that.
Leo in Puerto Aisen
Puerto Aisen is situated along the banks of the Aisen River, and in the town along the river is a very small but nice wooden promenade where you can stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It makes for a nice photo opportunity!
Puerto Aisen lies about 20 minutes inland from Puerto Chacabuco, and it used to be the main port for the region. In the 1940's, the Chilean government granted a long term lease to the "Aisen Industrial Society" to clear the land for settlement. They did so by burning literally millions of tress, and the smke could be seen for 10 years as the fired burned out of control. It is said that the smoke could even be seen in Buenos Aires, Argentina! As a result of the loss of trees, the port silted up and could no loner be used as a port---hence the birth of Puerto Chacabuco.
Today Puerto Aisen is a poor town of 20,000 inhabitants. Most people live from the timber or salmon farming industries, and there is also a prison (which by the way, I do not recommend visiting).
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