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In the 1920s, the first settlers made their way from Puerto Ibáñez, around Lake General Carrera, to settle at Puerto Sánchez. Later, the discovery of mineral deposits would spur the development of a mining industry in the area, with the most important mine located at Puerto Cristal, or «The Humberstone of the Patagonia,» where workers extracted lead and zinc. In the 1950s, the discovery of copper further increased the mining industry’s interest in the region, drawing new inhabitants to the area and leading to the construction of a mining camp and mineral transportation infrastructure called Puerto Eulogio Sánchez, in memory of the company’s president.
Over time, the minerals began to become scarcer, and the mining companies eventually suspended work. In 1992, the town and the mine were purchased by private individuals, who donated the land to the area’s first settlers. These families keep this gorgeous area alive, and have fostered the local tourism industry, which has grown substantially since the year 2000, when land access to Puerto Sánchez became possible with the opening of a beautiful 15-mile road between Puerto Sánchez and Bahía Murta.
Puerto Sánchez is a small village, but there are a few options for lodging in family guest houses, along with campsites and eating establishments.
Puerto Sánchez is located 137 miles from Coyhaique. To reach the town, head south on the Carretera Austral, then take Route X-731 for 15.5 miles until you pass Bahía Murta and finally reach Puerto Sánchez.
Buses run between Coyhaique and Puerto Tranquilo, and Cochrane and Puerto Tranquilo. In Puerto Tranquilo, you can organize a transfer to Puerto Sánchez with local transport providers like Don José Vargas (+56 9 78988578).
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 Sánchez.
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.
You can find tourist information in Puerto Sánchez’s plaza (town square) from December to March.
During the last week of January, Puerto Sánchez hosts a celebration called the Miner’s Festival.
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