It is certainly not (yet) as famous as the legendary Route 66 in the United States. However, Carretera Austral is without a doubt one of the most beautiful dream roads in the world. Beginning in the port city of Puerto Montt, it meanders over 1000km through the Chilean Patagonia to the south of the country and finds its natural end on the edge of the Campo de Hielo Sur (Southern Patagonia Ice Field) in the small town of Villa O’Higgins. Set aside snow-capped mountains, deep blue lakes and ancient forests, the Carretera Austral makes every adventurer’s heart beat faster.
Manoeuvring safely over the largely unpaved gravel road requires appropriate driving skills, and spare parts are a must during your road trip. But this driving challenge has as its reward one of the most breathtaking landscapes on the globe, with natural treasures awaiting you around each curve. These are mostly secret treasures as only a few travellers have visited the romantic wilderness of this remote region and only a handful of people call this area their home. It is not uncommon to drive for hours without encountering another human soul; though you will pass many peacefully grazing cattle herds. That’s what makes the Carretera Austral so special.
The direct contact with this imposing nature attracts outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s the boat trips to the massive ice sheets of the San Rafael Glacier or the filigree marble cathedral designed by nature, or relaxing on walks through the secluded mountains or while fly fishing, travellers will feel the power of the impressive nature surrounding them the seemingly endless silence.