Are you planning a road trip through Chile’s Southern Highway?
Then you have chosen wisely!
The Route 5 or Carretera Austral has all the makings that are guaranteed to make your road trip an unforgettable one. Why wouldn’t it be?
The southern highway is a stretch of 1000km winding road that passes through some spectacular sights. We are talking about everything from dense forests, winding rivers, steep hills, and frozen glaciers to snowy peaks. Saying that the ride will be breathtaking is an understatement!
Where to get started?
The road begins from Puerto Montt and winds up in the Villa of Higgins. In between these two ends you might have to make a few pit stops. Albeit, you love the nature as much as we do these pit stops may be triggered by a need to admire the land than refuel your engines.
We know that you’d love to explore the land on your own. That is the most exciting part of this adventure trip.
However, be on the lookout for these stunning spots:
1. The Perfect Start- Puerto Montt
Your journey will begin by crossing one of the oldest forests (Alerce Andino National Park) in Chile.
Here you will get to meet the ancient trees (almost 4000 years old) and hear the whispers of this enchanting forest. Bird watchers may be able to identify some exotic creatures fluttering around the branches.
Next, a little down the road you will behold the first fjord named, Reloncavi Estuary that is soon followed by the Yate Volcano.
2. Parks Galore-Parque Nacional Queulat
Your next stop could be the Parque Nacional Queulat. If you are up for a hike, then head on to witness a natural phenomenon. The park features a hanging glacier.
This jaw-dropping glacier is hanging between two snowcapped mountains. It then gradually converts into a waterfall that drops into the Ventisquero lagoon.
3. Vital Sights-Villa Cerro Castillo and Lago Carrera
Next up, the second largest lake in South America, Lago Carrera is sure to stop you in your tracks. We suggest you walk on the suspension bridge named, Puente General Carrera to see the tranquil waters flowing below.
Driving further on, you will start noticing the Cerro Castillo rising in the distant. This next stop will give you a chance to ski on the icy slopes or dive into calm waters.
4. Purely Carved-Puerto Río Tranquilo
Interested in visiting the Marble Cathedral?
Puerto Río Tranquilo is a small fishing town that is a ferry ride away from nature’s pristine sculpture. The Marble Caves are a series of caverns carved by the Capilla de Mármol. They open up to cerulean marble-walled caves that have silence echoing through them.
5. The End-Villa O’Higgins
This isolated town is your last sight of the Northern Patagonia. The most attracting feature of this land is that it is still hidden among the snowy mountains. Not many reach this far on the trip as they run out of gas or get lured into staying in and flying out of accessible areas like Chalten or Coyhaique.
Are you ready to drive through this trail of terrific sights? Will you reach the very end or drop out in the middle?