Located southwest of Lake General Carrera, 186 miles from Coyhaique and 71 miles from Chile Chico, Puerto Guadal is known for the natural beauty of its surroundings. It offers panoramic views of the mountain ranges that ring Chile’s largest lake. Called Chelenko by the Tehuelche people, this town is a must-visit destination for fly fishers and anyone looking to enjoy the beautiful drive between Puerto Guadal and Chile Chico, named «the most beautiful scenic route in the world.»

The first settlers arrived in the area between 1922 and 1926. In the 1930s, locals began using the bay for transporting livestock and wool. Its geological history, however, spans back much further. A large variety of marine fossils have been found in the area, as well as fossils from 12 species of vertebrates dating back 16–18 million years. According to paleontological studies, these are hints of the area’s subtropical origins.

Lodging, Food, and Activities

In Puerto Guadal, you’ll find cabins, lodges, and guest houses, along with markets and restaurants. Find more information at:

Region

Chile Chico

Province

Capitán Prat

Population

500

Climate and Rainfall

Rainy and Temperate, 30 inches annually

Nearest National Park(s)

Patagonia National Park

Don’t Miss

  • Visit the Los Maquis waterfall, 3 miles from Puerto Guadal.
  • Organize a trip with local tour guides to visit nearby areas with an incredible number of marine fossils, along with beautiful views of Lake General Carrera, the icefields, and the San Lorenzo and San Valentín peaks.
  • Row or boat on Lake General Carrera and admire the marble formations stretching from Puerto Guadal to Río Ibáñez.
  • Explore the Las Llaves Pass, a route that traverses the cornice above Lake General Carrera, offering gorgeous views.
  • Fly fish in nearby areas.
  • Lago General Carrera

  • Lago General Carrera

  • Lago General Carrera

  • Cascada Maqui

  • Cascada Maqui

  • Lago General Carrera

How to get

Puerto Guadal is located 171 miles from Coyhaique. Head south on the Carretera Austral, until you reach the Maitén intersection, where you’ll continue on Route CH-265 for 7.5 miles until arriving at Puerto Guadal.

From Argentina, cross the border at the Río Jeinimeni pass, then take Route CH-265 for 66 miles until arriving at Puerto Guadal.

You can also drive from Coyhaique to Puerto Ibáñez, where there’s a ferry that crosses Lake General Carrera and docks at Chile Chico, a voyage of around 2 hours (prior reservation required).

Bus routes are available from Chile Chico to Puerto Tranquilo and Coyhaique, along with routes to Cochrane (Buses Aldea, +56 672638291), with stops in Puerto Guadal.

There is no sea access; however, you can reach the town via lake, taking the ferry from Puerto Ibáñez to Chile Chico.

If you’re coming from Puerto Natales, take the ferry to Puerto Yungay. From Puerto Yungay, drive 82 miles north on the Carretera Austral until you reach Cochrane. From there, continue on to Puerto Guadal.

Sky and LATAM Airlines fly daily to Balmaceda Airport, located 34 miles south of Coyhaique. Car rentals and buses are available at the airport. From Balmaceda, continue west 7.5 miles to reach the Carretera Austral.

Puerto Guadal also has an aerodrome, where you can organize private flights.

Tips

Basic Services

  • Gas Station
  • Rural Health Services
  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Cell Service
  • Police Station
  • Aerodrome

Visitor’s Center

There is no visitor’s center at this time, but you can find one in Chile Chico.

Important Dates

The local community celebrates Puerto Guadal Week during February.

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