Coyhaique is located 1,017 feet above sea level, at the confluence of the Simpson and Coyhaique Rivers. The largest city in the Aysén region, Coyhaique is framed by Lenga forests and striking hills, bluffs, and mountains made by tectonic forces and glacial erosion that, over many years, caused the dramatic changes in landscape seen in the area today, where the steppes give way to mountains in a matter of just a few miles. The city’s name comes from the Aonikenk word for «a place where there are lagoons”. The Aonikenk people long traveled Coyhaique’s pampas, while the Chono and Kawésqar people rowed along its coasts.

Coyhaique was incorporated in 1929 in an effort to spur settlement in the region and support the Aysén Industrial Society. The society’s infrastructure has since been named a National Monument, due to the historical significance of these buildings. But the first modern visits to what is now the city of Coyhaique came much earlier: in 1872, Captain Enrique Simpson traveled up in the Aysén River in 80 days on his third hydrographic expedition in the area.

Today, Coyhaique is the city in the region with the largest variety of services and shops and plays an important role in the area’s connectivity, given its location just 34 miles from the Balmaceda Airport.

Lodging, Food, and Activities

Various tourist services are available in Coyhaique, including hotels, cabins, hostels, and restaurants, along with various activities. Visit the following pages for more information:

Region

Coyhaique

Province

Coyhaique

Population

57.818

Climate and Rainfall

Cold Steppe and Trans-Andean Continental Climate, 51 inches annually

Nearest National Park(s)

Parque Nacional Cerro Castillo

Queulat National Park

Laguna San Rafael National Park

Don’t Miss

  • Visit the Piedra del Indio, a rock formation that can be observed from the Simpson River bridge.
  • Explore Coyhaique National Reserve.
  • Go to the Dos Lagunas National Monument.
  • Visit the Simpson River National Reserve.
  • Explore different lakes, such as Elizalde, Frío, Polux, Cástor, Atravesado, and La Paloma.
  • During winter, ski in the El Fraile ski center.
  • Visit the Artisan’s Fair, the Monument to the Shepherd, Coyhaique’s cultural center, the regional museum, and the Plaza de Armas (town square), known for its pentagon shape. Coyhaique’s ten central streets begin at the plaza.
  • Fish in nearby rivers, including Simpson––named the fourth-best river in the world for fly-fishing––Aysén, Mañihuales, Ñirehuao, Emperador Guillermo, and Toqui, among others.
  • Tour the Heritage Route of Coyhaique (QR code available).

How to get

Coyhaique is located 180 miles south of La Junta and 205 miles north of Cochrane on the Carretera Austral. It’s also 34 miles from the Balmaceda Airport and 50 miles from Puerto Chacabuco. Finally, Coyhaique is also very close to several border crossings, including Alto Coyhaique, Huemules, and Triana.

Various companies offer bus routes to Coyhaique. A variety of schedules are available. Options include: www.busesbecker.com and http://www.busesali.cl.

Naviera Austral (www.navieraustral.cl) ferries run from Quellón to Puerto Chacabuco, which is located 50 miles from Coyhaique. The voyage takes around 30 hours.
There are also routes available from Puerto Montt to Puerto Chacabuco, a trip of around 24 hours (www.navimag.com).

Sky Jetsmart and LATAM Airlines offer daily flights to Balmaceda Airport, located 34 miles southeast of Coyhaique. Flight times are 2 hours and 15 minutes direct from Santiago and 50 minutes from Puerto Montt. Dap Airlines offers twice-weekly flights connecting Balmaceda and Punta Arenas.

Tips

  • Walk the Paseo Baquedano in a self-guided tour with its 7 sculptures with the «play on tag» application (free download). For more information visit the
    tourism office at the municipality.
  • Because it’s the regional capital, Coyhaique is the city where you’ll find the most tourist offerings to help you prepare for your trip. There are various supermarkets available for stocking up on food, along with many different types of stores.
  • In the Conaf (park ranger) office, you’ll find up-to-date information about the parks, along with maps and pamphlets. The address is Avenida Ogana 1060.
  • There are currency exchange offices, laundromats, post offices, and Chilexpress services in the city as well.
  • At the Balmaceda Airport, you can find transfers to Coyhaique. They cost $5,000 CLP and the trip takes around 50 minutes, on a paved road.
  • Various car rentals are available at the Balmaceda Airport and in the city center, including: http://recasur-rac.cl/rentacar/, http://www.varona.cl/web/, http://www.traeger.cl/esp/, www.hertz.cl, and https://www.europcar.cl/.
  • There are no ATMs at the Balmaceda Airport, but there are ATMs in Coyhaique.
  • In Coyhaique, you’ll find everything you need for car repairs, including replacement parts, tire repair services, tow trucks, auto shops, and more.
  • The international insurance for crossing into Argentina is available in Coyhaique.
  • In the Municipal Library, half a block from the plaza (town square), you can find free Wi-Fi, public computers, and printing services.
  • The Municipal Bus Terminal can be found at the corner of Lautaro and Magallanes (phone: (+56) 67 2 23-2067). There, you can buy tickets to various destinations along the Carretera Austral, including Cochrane, La Junta, Osorno, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Puyuhuapi, and others.
  • In Coyhaique, you can also buy ferry tickets for crossing Lake General Carrera from Puerto Ibáñez to Chile Chico (http://www.barcazas.cl): ventascoyhaique@somarco.cl / Phone: (+56) 67 2247400 – (67) 2247401 / Address: Bilbao 736.
  • Buses Suray (Calle Prat) and buses Ali (calle Dussen) offer services to Puerto Ayén.

Basic Services

  • Gas Station
  • ATM
  • Bank
  • Hospital
  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Bike Repair Shop
  • Cell Service
  • Police Station
  • Visitor’s Center
  • Aerodrome
  • Conaf (Park Rangers)

Visitor’s Center

Tourist Office
Address

Bulnes N° 35, Coyhaique

Email

infoaysen@sernatur.cl

Phone

+56 67 224 0298

Tourist Office Municipality
Adress: Paseo Baquedano (a un costado del monumento el ovejero)
Phone: + 56 67 2 6775186

Important Dates

Expo Patagonia Fair is held the last weekend of January.

During January and February, different traditional festivals are celebrated in the surroundings of Lago Atravesado and Simpson Valley.

In January, the town holds a festival called «Patagonian Theater on the Scene,» along with the Lake Atravesado and Simpson Valley traditional festival.

In February, Balmaceda hosts traditional equestrian demonstrations.

The city celebrates its anniversary in October.

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