In response to information from the health authority regarding the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the National Forest Corporation (Conaf) has decided to temporarily close all national parks, national reserves and natural monuments until the health alert is lifted by health authorities.
Located on the western shore of Lake General Carrera––the largest lake in Chile and the second largest in South America––Puerto Río Tranquilo is one of the main entry points for travelers to Laguna San Rafael National Park, via the Exploradores Valley and the Northern Icefields. The town can be found 139 miles south of Coyhaique, and is known for its overwhelming beauty, including several famous icons of the Carretera Austral, such as the Marble Chapels («Capillas de Mármol») and the Exploradores Glacier, which descends from the San Valentín peak (12,828 feet above sea level), the highest peak in all of Patagonia.
Founded in 1955, originally settled by ranching and farming families, today Puerto Río Tranquilo is a key destination for those traveling south, not only because it’s a convenient place to stock up on food supplies and fill up on gas, but also because it’s a beautiful area filled with incredible landscapes and untouched natural horizons.
In Puerto Tranquilo, you can find cabins, restaurants, guest houses, and tourist excursions for exploring the surrounding areas.
From Coyhaique, continue south on the Carretera Austral (Route 7) for around 135 miles until you reach Puerto Tranquilo.
Buses run regularly from Coyhaique to Puerto Tranquilo. Check the schedules in the bus terminal in Coyhaique.
The companies Acuario 13 (Phone: (+56) 672 522143 / (+56) 98748022), Don Carlos (Phone: (+56) 672 522150), and Águilas Patagónicas (Phone: (+56) 672 522020) offer daily routes to Cochrane, with a stop in Puerto Tranquilo.
Transport options in Puerto Tranquilo include: Transporte Bellavista (Phone +56 9 76195125), Transporte Suraustral (Phone +56 9 81936603), Transporte Turismo Patagón Huala (Phone +56 9 88115243), and Transporte Pato Aventuras (Phone +56 9 87559453).
Cruise-style boats travel from Puerto Montt to Laguna San Rafael, near Puerto Tranquilo, in a 5-night voyage (round trip). Find more information at http://www.skorpios.cl/wp-content/uploads/docs/programa_chonos_es.pdf.
There are also various watercraft available at Puerto Chacabuco that visit Laguna San Rafael for the day.
The magnificent Cerro Castillo peak lies 7,605 feet above Coyhaique and Río Ibáñez, and in the area surrounding it, you’ll find a trekking circuit that has been named one of the most beautiful in all Chile.
The largest park in the Aysén region, with a captivating landscape of glaciers and snowdrifts that highlight the immensity of this wilderness.
In October, locals organize a cultural event called «The Accordion and Guitar Meet-Up.»
The first week of February, the town hosts a festival celebrating Patagonian traditions.
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