When we were researching how to do the Carretera Austral on foot, there wasn’t tonnes of info out there. I hope this blog gives other travellers a bit of help to plan their adventure south!
We spent three weeks travelling south from mid November to the beginning of December. It’s the shoulder season, just coming into summer, so services aren’t running full scale but are still pretty good.
This is how we did it:
– Puerto Montt > Chaitén
Daily bus leaving at 7am, $20,000 including three ferries and bus
– Chaitén > Santa Lucia
Hitchhike. Tip: stand on the road at the bridge out of town, we only waited about half an hour to be picked up. You may even get lucky and taken further.
There is a bus which goes to Coyhaique three times a week. Talk to helpful English speaking Nicholas at Chaitur Tours.
– Santa Lucia > Puyuhuapi
Bus (Weds and Fri, 1pm which comes through Santa Lucia on its way from Futufeulu), $9,000
– Puyuhuapi > Coyhaique
3 x hitchhikes: 1 to the ferry where the road has been swept away, 1 from the other side of the ferry to the campsite 6km to meet friends with a camper van we’d met the previous day in Parque Quelat.
Alternative: bus at 6am and 3.30pm for $8/9,000
– Coyhaique > Villa Cerro Castillo
Daily bus at 9am, $5,000. Buy tickets in advance as this bus gets filled up.
– Villa Cerro Castillo > Rio Tranquilo
Daily bus at 10.30am, $7,000
– Rio Tranquilo > Cochrane
Daily bus at 1.30pm, $7,000
If you’re passing into Argentina overland via Lago O’Higgins, Cochrane is the last place in Chile with a cash machine.
– Cochrane > Tortel
Bus at 6pm, $7,000. We caught this bus on a Friday, it travels other days but you’d need to check which.
– Tortel > Villa O’Higgins
Mon, Thurs and Sat bus at 4.30pm, $4,000 including a ferry
HURRAY! 1240km done! You make it!