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Coyhaique, Chile - Halfway Down The Carretera Austral (Route 7)

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Map location: Coyhaique, Chile
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Chile travel blog by Mark Berman - October 2017   » View Photoset (26 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 12yrs!
Coyhaique is really the only city for quite some distance in any direction of notable size with an abundance of shops and supermarkets! It's the best place to stock up on food and other items before traveling further on. Coyhaique is located a little over halfway down the Carretera Austral (Route 7) which runs from Puerto Montt all the way down to Villa O'Higgins. Futaleufu where I had travelled from by bus is 10hrs north and is a very small town. Puerto Rio Tranquilo (4hrs by bus) and Cochrane (7hrs by bus) further south are also very small. Balmaceda 56kms south-east has an airport which is accessible from Puerto Montt and Santiago with Sky Airlines. To the west 90mins drive from Coyhaique is Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Aysen (port cities) where ferries travel to and from the north and south. Coyhaique is a pleasant city to hang-out in for a few days. I needed a rest after traveling for several weeks through Chile and Argentina to get here!

City Sights & Shopping

Coyhaique is a good place to stock up and shop. There are many electronics shops in town which indeed are very tempting. I bought a power pack to charge my phone without needing a power socket. This definitely is a good idea and saves a lot of hassle while traveling! The Plaza de Armas (main square) has plenty of trees and grassy areas to relax as well as a fountain. The arts and crafts fair also located in the plaza has handmade products crafted from native wood (clocks), leather, metal (jewellery) stone, wool (small dolls) and sugar (sweets)! On one side of the plaza is the information office, across the road from here are several arts, crafts and clothing shops with a Bohemian atmosphere. The cathedral is also nearby. From a long distance away can be seen a huge Chilean flag flying high in the wind, this is Plaza Mirador Rio Coyhaique where you can see a fantastic view of Rio Simpson National Reserve (valley and river). Around town you can see colorful tulips growing in gardens, tulip gardens are very common in this region of Chile!

Paseo Baquedano & Special Monuments

Paseo Baquedano de Coyhaique is a walkway with several monuments, an awesome childrens playground, public seating areas and trees. Starting at the city end of Paseo Baquedano is Plaza del Pionero where the 'Al Ovejero' monument is. This monument was donated by the city of Punta Arenas and honours the work and labour of the shepherd, his dogs, horses and stock (sheep). The next monument is called 'La Familia Tehuelche' - a sculpture of indigenous people. The monument called 'Los Chilotes' pays homage to the immigrants and features a family working - mum and the kids bag produce while dad does woodwork. The monument called 'Puestero, Pionero de Tradiciones' features another shepherd with his dog and sheep. The work called 'Cultura y Transicion' pays homage to the Mapuche people who helped create the Aysen region.

Rio Simpson National Reserve

Rio Simpson National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Rio Simpson) in Coyhaique is known for its river, waterfalls, lakes, lagoons, flora and fauna! It has wildlife such as puma, huemul deer, condor, eagle, kingfisher, thrush, chucao, cachana, bandurrias, guinas, wild ducks, pudues and foxes. Flora composed of canelos, ciruelillos, coigues, chilcos, manios and tepas. Activities include hiking, trekking, fly fishing, rafting, horseback riding, picnicing, camping, enjoyment of nature and of course photography. The Rio Simpson National Reserve can be enjoyed all year round!


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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Coyhaique, Chile:

Hospedaje Coyhaique, Coyhaique, Chile - Large Photo
Hospedaje Coyhaique, Coyhaique, Chile (October 2017 - 5 nights) - I stayed here in Coyhaique before and after I travelled down the Austral Road and back. This hospedaje is located in the middle of town near the Unimarc supermarket. Comfortable room and bed, WIFI and TV with shared bathroom. The kitchen for use is downstairs. The place is kept clean and has a nice owner and staff. $15000 pesos ($23USD) per night. I enjoyed my 2 stays here. Recommended.

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Coyhaique, Chile - Halfway Down The Carretera Austral (Route 7). Coyhaique is really the only city for quite some distance in any direction of notable size with an abundance of shops and supermarkets. It's the best place to stock up on food and other items before traveling further on.