Patagonia Phase III (actually, it’s the Aysén Region)
Awesome scenery in the Aysén Region
We splurged on a hotel in Puerto Montt that was right on the water. The entire wall was a window, and this was our morning view.
our rental truck (4X2 diesel Toyota Hilux)
After spending the afternoon and night in Puerto Montt, we flew to Balmaceda airport near Coyhaique, where we rented a truck. Thanks to Matt and Ignacia for saving us a lot of money on the rental.
- A beautiful place to hike, from a few hours to a few days.
Cerro Castillo is the pointy rock on the left in the back
The park office has a precise closing time!
After checking in at our B&B (Hotel El Blanco in El Blanco, a crossroad between Balmaceda and Coyhaique), we walked for a few hours at Reserva Nacional Cerro Castillo.
the Carretera Austral heading west to Villa Cerro Castillo
Happy we had high clearance!
Past (west of) Villa Cerro Castillo, the Carretera Austral is unpaved, and they were working on it.
- Amazing views
We saw more rainbows during this Patagonia 2+ weeks than we had in the rest of our lives.
It just kept getting better.
Sometimes the trail was marked.
The next day we took a walk in a different part of the reserve. This was the start or end of a 4-day trek for many people. We just wanted a day walk. We managed to lose the trail a couple of times, and judging from the numbers of converging paths we saw, we were not the only ones.
- Cerro Castillo (Castle Hill).
We made a friend on the trail.
We hiked high enough and were exposed enough that the wind was too strong for us to continue and still have fun. Plus it snowed a little bit. The views were incredible! We heard that a few days before we arrived the wind picked up a mountain climber and all his gear and he died in the fall. We turned around before getting to the lake we wanted to see. Two guys from Japan with full backpacks had already turned around; we met them on our way up. We later gave them a lift to Puerto Rio Tranquillo.
- Cavernas de Marmol (Marble Caves). We went by boat from Puerto Rio Tranquilo
More Cavernas de Marmol
After the third try, Tim found a bakery in Rio Tranquilo that actually had bread ready. We were hungry after our boat ride to the Marble Caves.
The view from our cabin at Terra Luna. We stayed here two nights but got in very late the first night.
Cool-temperature rain forest, siempre verde (evergreen)
South side of Lago General Carrera
It was cold on the ferry.
Lago General Carrera is the second-largest lake in South America.
Views from the ferry
The water is unbelievably blue.
Our last stop was at Lago Verde before returning the airport.