Many of our travelers dream of visiting Patagonia, an extensive area that in our country covers two regions: Aysén and Magallanes. And it is no secret that the first great attraction to visit is the Torres del Paine national park, whose beauty has been highlighted by Chilean and foreign tourists. Every day more people contact Aysen Journeys to ask us how to connect the Eighth Wonder of the World with the most beautiful scenic route in the world, the Carretera Austral, and that is why we are preparing to present attractive programs that allow you to tour both regions. And to those who ask us, we answer that there are 3 great ways to travel: by sea, air and land. Review those alternatives below on our Blog.
For those travelers who have more time on their itinerary, and who like to sail for three days through the most beautiful and virgin places in Patagonia. One of the alternatives to make this crossing is the one offered by Crux Australis, which runs the route between Puerto Natales and Puerto Yungay. It will be 45 hours of navigation along 770 kilometers, and although the boat is comfortable, it must be considered that it only has lounges with large seats to rest and sleep, not private cabins.
On the way we will cross two regions, a national park and two small towns where there are no streets or cars, only wooden walkways. This subsidized ship is also an important transporter of cargo and vehicles, adapting well during the summer to receive tourists, who pay a little more than 40 thousand Chilean pesos to travel. In total, there are approximately 36 vehicles that it can carry.
The ship does not have great luxuries, but they have taken care of the comfort of the passengers. It has bathrooms, hot showers and a cafeteria. Over our heads is the deck. There we are entertained, we have beautiful views and the vehicles and cargo are also located. Below our feet, there is a dining room where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. All very homemade meals.
Crux Australis is a true solution for many of the inhabitants of Chilean Patagonia who live in isolated locations, such as Puerto Edén. The ship also stands out for transporting products to the inhabitants of Villa O'Higgins, at the end of the Carretera Austral. During the trip, the ferry crosses the Almirante Montt Gulf, the Kirke Angostura, the Sarmiento Channel and the Collingwood Strait, in addition to the beautiful and isolated Puerto Edén.
For those travelers who have little time and want to connect the regions of Magallanes and Aysén in the shortest time possible, these air connections via DAP are the best alternative. Until March 14, 2024, DAP will deliver the service from Punta Arenas to Balmaceda on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m., and from Balmaceda to Punta Arenas on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.
Its BAe / RJ aircraft has four turbines and are capable of carrying out flights with a high degree of safety and comfort while transferring passengers. Passengers will also receive on-board service on what is a flight of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Probably the most adventurous option and one that can be done independently. The regions of Aysén and Magallanes can be connected by land by vehicle, crossing the international crossings of Huemules (Balmaceda) and Río Jeinimeni (Chile Chico), and then entering the national territory again through the Cerro Castillo border control, or vice versa.
The trip between the Carretera Austral and Torres del Paine can be made by own or rental vehicle, with Aysen Journeys being able to take charge of the operation arrangements in the Aysén region in both cases. The route involves the popular Route 40 in the neighboring country, and it is possible to make the trip in approximately 3 days, depending on the stops you want to make and the attractions to visit.
Route 40 runs parallel to the Andes Mountains and is one of the most amazing routes in Patagonia. On the tour, the first stop is Bajo Caracoles - 128 kilometers from Perito Moreno -, an old hamlet where you can go trekking and horseback riding. It has accommodation, restaurants and a gas station. Very close to here is the Cueva de las Manos World Cultural Heritage, an archaeological site with cave paintings.
Further along the route and 340 kilometers away is Tres Lagos. In this town you can eat and fill up with gas. From there, it is best to leave early to take the 130-kilometer route that takes us to El Chaltén and surrounds Lake Viedma. In this area you can observe the immensity of Mount Fitz Roy, one of the most important icons of Argentine Patagonia. This town is considered by trans-Andeans as the capital of trekking. In the end, you have to follow the path that connects El Chaltén with El Calafate. It is 215 kilometers.
El Calafate is a small town that has all the services, including five-star hotels. But the most important thing is that it is the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, where the Perito Moreno glacier is the main attraction: it preserves a unique setting of mountains, lakes and eternal ice. This is almost the end of the road, because from here to Puerto Natales, there are only 360 kilometers left.