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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.
Various tourist services are available in Coyhaique, including hotels, cabins, hostels, and restaurants, along with various activities. Visit the following pages for more information:
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.
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).
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.
Queulat National Park is 165 kilometers north of Coyhaique. Created in 1983, its area consists of 154,093 hectares.
The largest park in the Aysén region, with a captivating landscape of glaciers and snowdrifts that highlight the immensity of this wilderness.
Tourist Office Municipality
Adress: Paseo Baquedano (a un costado del monumento el ovejero)
Phone: + 56 67 2 6775186
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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