Located very close to the border with Argentina and on the shores of the gorgeous Lake General Carrera––the second-largest lake in South America––Chile Chico has a microclimate that allows for the cultivation of species typically found in Chile’s central zone, such as cherries. For this reason, it’s also known as the “City of Sun” or “Sun of Patagonia”.

Chile Chico is also one of the oldest communities in the region. Its first inhabitants arrived from Argentina in 1905. Its history was marked by conflict between its earliest settlers and large cattle ranchers; one episode in 1918 was known as “The War of Chile Chico.” In 1931, the town was officially incorporated, and today it’s known for its beautiful landscapes and, in particular, the contrast between the dry pampas and moonscape valleys, the clear waters of the General Carrera and Jeinimeni Lakes, and the striking Lenga forests that turn bright red in the fall.

Lodging, Food, and Activities

Various lodging options, including hotels, cabins, campsites, and other alternatives are available in Chile Chico, where you can also find tourist agencies and restaurants. For more information, visit:

https://www.chile-chico.com

Region

Chile Chico

Province

General Carrera

Population

4.500

Climate and Rainfall

Rainy and temperate, 29 inches annually

Nearest National Park(s)

Patagonia National Park

Don’t Miss

  • Visit the Plaza de Los Vientos, which is 650 feet from the Plaza de Armas (town square)
  • Admire the beauty of Lake Jeinimeni (mile 40/kilometer 65, Route X-753), where you can take various trails, including the Escorial del Silencio Trail, the Mirador del Lago Trail, “Costanera del Lago Jeinimeni”, “Ruta de los Valles” or the Laguna Esmeralda Trail.
  • Visit Cueva de las Manos circuit, the Piedra Clavada, a 130-foot-tall volcanic rock formation, and visit the Moon Valley in Patagonia Park, Portal Jeinimeni.
  • Visit Cerro Colorado for professional climbing.
  • Walk through the Lenga forests in fall in Patagonia Park, portal Jeinimeni.
  • Enjoy Lake General Carrera, the largest lake in Chile and the second-largest in South America.
  • Visit the he Barco Andes Museum in Casa de la Cultura (opening times from 8 to 5 pm).
  • Picnic at Jara Bay, which has beautiful beaches and is just 10 miles from Chile Chico.
  • Explore the Las Llaves Pass, a 19-mile road that winds along a ledge overlooking the lake.
  • Visit Los Antiguos, an Argentinian town just 9 miles from Chile Chico.

How to get

Chile Chico is located 237 miles of Coyhaique. Head south on the Carretera Austral. At the Maitén intersection, take Route CH-265 to Puerto Guadal. Drive along the shores of Lake General Carrera and cross the Las Llaves Pass, until finally arriving at Chile Chico.

You can also travel from Coyhaique to Puerto Ibáñez, where you can take a ferry (prior reservation required) and cross Lake General Carrera, docking at Chile Chico. The voyage in ferry takes around 2 hours.

Finally, you can also reach Chile Chico from Argentina, crossing from Los Antiguos at the Río Jeinimeni Pass.

Bus routes are available connecting Chile Chico to Puerto Tranquilo, Coyhaique, and Cochrane. Find out more by calling Buses Aldea at +56 672638291.

There is no sea access to Chile Chico, but you can get there via lake from Puerto Ibáñez, where ferries depart for Chile Chico.

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, until you reach Cochrane. From Cochrane, continue to Chile Chico.

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.

Chile Chico also has an aerodrome. Private flights are available.

Tips

  • Check the schedule for the crossing between Puerto Ibáñez and Chile Chico at http://www.barcazas.cl/barcazas/wp/region-de-aysen/lago-general-carrera/horarios-y-tarifas/.
  • There are gas stations in Chile Chico and Los Antiguos.
  • If you’re renting a car and would like to cross the border into Argentina, don’t forget to ask for the mandatory car insurance (“seguro obligatorio”) and permission to cross the border to be included in your rental agreement.
  • There are currency exchanges and international insurance vendors in Chile Chico.
  • For more information about the Jeinimeni River International Pass, visit http://www.pasosfronterizos.gov.cl/complejos-fronterizos/aysen/paso-rio-jeinemeni/.
  • Get in touch with local tour operators and guides to find out more about available excursions, including trekking routes, bike or kayak rentals, and more.
  • The public library has free Wi-Fi.
  • Various companies offer trips to various destinations in the region visit www.chile-chico.com for more information.
  • Campsites in Patagonia Park, portal Jeinimeni, cost $10,000 CLP per night for a campsite (1 to 10 people), and $5,000 CLP per night for a picnic site (1 to 10 people).
  • The entry fee to Patagonia Park, portal Jeinimeni, costs $2,000 CLP for Chileans and $3,000 CLP for foreigners.
  • More recommendations for your visit to Patagonia National Park here.

Basic Services

  • Gas Station
  • “Caja Vecina” (Rural Bank Services)
  • Bank
  • Hospital
  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Bike Repair Shop
  • Cell Service
  • Police Station
  • Visitor’s Center
  • Aerodrome Chaitén
  • Conaf (Park Rangers)

Visitor’s Center

Address

Bernardo O’Higgins #333

Phone

+56 67 2 411787

Website

www.chile-chico.com

Open year-round

Important Dates

Aniversario de Chile Chico
The last week of January, the people of Chile Chico celebrate their town’s anniversary, which culminates in the International Festival of the Voice.

Festival Internacional de La Cereza
In mid-January, Los Antiguos hosts the International Cherry Festival.

Copyright 2018 Ruta de los Parques de la Patagonia

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