Called “The Center of the World” due to its strategic location on the Carretera Austral, El Amarillo is known for its gorgeous landscapes. The Michinmahuida Volcano, the Tabique peak, and the Amarillo River welcome visitors to this village, which is located at the southern entrance to Pumalín Park and just 15.5 miles from Chaitén.

In El Amarillo, Tompkins Conservation worked with the local community to carry out a town beautification process, remodeling the facades of locals’ homes and building infrastructure focused on small-scale tourism, with the goal of helping attract visitors, boosting the local economy, and generating a sense of community pride. Today, the town has a supermarket and a gas station, in addition to beautiful public spaces that make for a perfect place to welcome visitors setting off to explore the forests and trails of Pumalín Park.

Lodging, Food, and Activities

In El Amarillo, you can find options for lodging, food, and tourist excursions.

Region

Chaitén

Province

Palena

Population

81

Climate and Rainfall

Rainy and temperate, 94 inches annually.

Nearest National Park(s)

Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park

Corcovado National Park

Don’t Miss

  • Explore the trails of Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park, especially in the El Amarillo sector, including “Ranita de Darwin,” “Mirador,” and “Ventisquero Amarillo.”.
  • Relax in the hot springs Termas El Amarillo, located 1.25 miles east of the village and open year-round.
  • Take photos of the Amarillo Glacier, between the Michinmahuida Volcano and the Tabique peak.
  • See the Yelcho Glacier.
  • Fish for sport in Lake Yelcho.
  • Visit beautiful Santa Bárbara beach, located 7.5 miles north of Chaitén. This beach has great views of the Vilcún peak and is an ideal place to spot Toninas (Commerson’s Dolphins).
  • Hike up the Chaitén Volcano to see the aftereffects of the 2008 eruption.

How to get

Take the Carretera Austral to Caleta La Arena, then board the first ferry to Caleta Puelche (no reservation required). From Caleta Puelche, continue to Hornopirén. At Hornopirén, you’ll need to board another ferry south, and the Hornopirén–Leptepu and Fiordo Largo–Caleta Gonzalo legs should be booked in advance. (You can make reservations at www.taustral.cl.) From Caleta Gonzalo, drive 34 miles to Chaitén, then 15.5 miles to arrive to El Amarillo.

Buses Kemel offers daily routes from Puerto Montt to Chaitén. From Chaitén, Buses Becker offers routes to Coyhaique––with a stop in El Amarillo––on Wednesdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. Find out more: http://www.busesbecker.com/; Address: Bernardo O´Higgins 67; Phone (+56) 65 2 731429.

Naviera Austral ferries run from Puerto Montt and Quellón to Chaitén, though this service is only available certain days of the week.Prior reservations are required. From Chaitén, continue 15.5 miles on the Carretera Austral to arrive at El Amarillo.

Pewen and Aerocord offer daily 35-minute flights from Puerto Montt to Chaitén. These flights leave at various times, depending on the day of the week, and are subject to change depending on weather conditions.

Tips

  • There’s a Pumalín Park office and an information center located at the edge of the town.
  • El Amarillo has a gas station and a supermarket, where you can find camping equipment, locally-sourced organic produce, local crafts, and tools, as well as other mini-markets with basic provisions.
  • You can find campsites and picnic areas in the southern sector of Pumalín Park.
  • There is no cell service in El Amarillo.
  • Bring a rain jacket and rain pants, even in the summer.
  • You can check the schedule for ferries crossing the Reloncaví Estuary at http://transportesdelestuario.cl/. Remember to bring cash to pay for this leg of the trip. No prior reservations are necessary. Pricing depends on vehicle type.
  • The ferries connecting Hornopirén and Caleta Gonzalo make the trip daily, even on holidays, though schedules are always subject to change due to inclement weather. Prior reservations are required and can be made at www.taustral.cl.
  • The ferries from Puerto Montt and Quellón to Chaitén only make the trip a few days a week. They require prior reservations, which can be made at http://www.navieraustral.cl/.
  • There are no car rental services in Chaitén, but various tour operators offer transportation and excursions to different destinations in the area. Tour operators include, among others: Ruta 7 Patagonia, Chaitur, Chonos Tour, Volcano Expediciones, Chaitén Nativo, and Austral Expediciones.
  • Nuevo Chaitén, the aerodrome located 3 miles southeast of Chaitén, offers daily flights to Puerto Montt. It has a café and bathrooms.
  • Reserve flights between Puerto Montt and Chaitén at https://www.aerocord.cl or http://www.pewenchile.com/.

Basic Services

  • Gas Station
  • Visitor’s Center (Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park)

Visitor’s Center

There is no visitor’s center in the town at this time.

Important Dates

In February, Chaitén celebrates its local festival.

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