Nestled at the mouth of the Murta, Engaño, and Resbalón Rivers, on the shore of Lake General Carrera, Bahía Murta is a small town known for its cattle and handicraft industries. The Engaño River rose significantly in the 1960s and 1970s, forcing the townspeople to move, and the town is now comprised of two main areas, Puerto Murta and Murta Viejo. Bahía Murta lies only 2.5 miles from the Carretera Austral, but it was the opening of the road from Puerto Sánchez in the year 2000 that made the town one of the area’s top emerging tourist destinations.

The town has become famous for its beef and is said to be one of the best places in the region for finding high-quality cuts of meat. Beautiful surroundings, the leafy old-growth Coigues that line the town’s streets, and cultural activities––including the annual “Fiesta del Arreo,” a traditional festival celebrating the way settlers lived and displaying a variety of local customs, goods, and handicrafts––all help to attract a growing number of visitors each year.

Region

Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez

Province

General Carrera

Population

500

Climate and Rainfall

Rainy and Temperate, 49 inches annually

Nearest National Park(s)

Laguna San Rafael National Park

Parque Nacional Cerro Castillo

Patagonia National Park

Don’t Miss

  • Visit the cemetery, which has a stunning view of the lake and is also the site of the Santa Rosa de Lima Chapel’s bell tower, as well as several architectural relics from the older Murta Viejo town.
  • Walk along the shore, where you can find old warehouses and the Puerto Murta lighthouse, which played a vital role before the construction of the road, when access to the town was only possible via the lake.
  • Explore the Engaño and Resbalón sectors.
  • Enjoy the beautiful road between Bahía Murta and Puerto Sánchez, which features steep inclines and sharp curves, but also offers beautiful panoramic views of the area’s natural beauty.
  • Take a boat out in Lake General Carrera.
  • Visit the rustic thermal baths on the Engaño River.
  • See Lucio González’s museum exhibit, which displays objects important to the town’s history.
  • Have a look at the town’s traditional handicrafts, including the rustic furniture.

How to get

Bahía Murta lies 123 miles from Coyhaique and 62 miles from Cerro Castillo along the Carretera Austral. From the Carretera Austral, merge onto Route X-731 and travel 2.5 miles until you reach the town.

Daily bus routes are available from Coyhaique to Cochrane and Puerto Tranquilo, which includes a stop at the intersection that brings you to Bahía Murta. From there, you can contact a local transport agency to complete your trip. Options include: José Vargas (+56 978988578), Transporte Don Pedro (+56 9 69065831), Mabel Vargas (+56 9 87423867), and Transfer M y M (+56 9 87423867).

If you’re coming from Puerto Natales, you can take a ferry to Puerto Yungay. From there, drive 82 miles north on the Carretera Austral to Cochrane, then continue on to Bahía Murta.

Sky and Latam airlines offer daily flights to Balmaceda, 34 miles south of Coyhaique. In Balmaceda, you can rent a car or take a bus. From Balmaceda, take the road 7.5 miles west to arrive at the Carretera Austral and continue your journey.

Tips

  • In the “El Estribo” minimarket, you can find some camping gear, including gas for your camping stove. Payment can be made with credit/debit card.
  • There is an auto repair shop in Bahía Murta, in case you have any problems with your vehicle.
  • Transporte José Vargas, an agency offering transport services, can be found at 18 de septiembre 476, or by phone at +569 78988578 and +569 76480270.

Lodging, Food, and Activities:
In Bahía Murta, you can find cabins, bed and breakfasts, and other lodging, in addition to tourist agencies offering day trips and other excursions in the area.

Basic Services

  • “Caja Vecina” (Rural Bank Services)
  • Basic Medical Services
  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Bike Repair Shop
  • Cell Service (Entel)
  • Visitor’s Center
  • Conaf (Park Rangers)

Visitor’s Center

On the main street

Important Dates

Fiesta del arreo
Each February, the town celebrates the “Fiesta del Arreo,” a traditional festival showing the way settlers lived and displaying a variety of local goods and handicrafts, in addition to celebrating the anniversary of the town.

Rodeo oficial
In January, the town hosts its official rodeo, considered one of the region’s most important.

Fiesta de Santa Rosa de Lima
In August, the town hosts the “Fiesta de Santa Rosa de Lima,” a celebration held in the Murta Viejo sector.

Explora Murta
During the final week of January, the town hosts Explora Murta, a sporting event combining cycling, running, and kayaking.

Copyright 2018 Ruta de los Parques de la Patagonia

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