From Puerto Montt, the Carretera Austral, or “Southern Highway”, stretches over 1000km south through the wettest, greenest, wildest and narrowest part of Chile. Carving its path through tracts of untouched wilderness, the route takes in soaring, snowcapped mountains, Ice Age glaciers, blue-green fjords, turquoise lakes and rivers, and one of the world’s largest swaths of temperate rainforest.
Magdalena Island was first discovered in 1520 by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, as a part of his global circumnavigation route. If you have a soft spot for penguins, this is the place for you. Just off the coast of Punta Arenas, this is an excellent spot to see our waddling little amigos. This is the Magellan penguin hangout in Chile. The most amazing thing is that they are totally friendly and not scared of human beings, so you can get up close and personal! These fabulous furry birds are more than happy to check you out so we recommend that you do the same!
This road is possible one of the most off the beaten destinations in the world. The remote location has many national parks to stop off at along the way and a variety of activities to see and do. This incredible road connects the remote and rugged Patagonia, with the rest of Chile. The Austral road will take you through areas of fjords, glacial lakes, dense forests and you can rent a car, take public transport or even hitchhike! Be aware the weather isn't always compliant and delay travel plans, and some parts of the road still aren't paved. But the sights are incredible.
This is the other main attraction in Chile and why hikers from across the globe come to this incredible national park. The massive glaciers, the enormous peaks, the crystalline lakes and the lush forests are just some of the reasons as to why this is one of the most beautiful places to hike. Nothing really prepares you for your first view of the Torres del Paine national park. The Paine Massif is the unforgettable centrepiece that appears beyond the turquoise lakes, long before you get close to it and why so many people visit this stunning park.
One of the highlights of the "Carretera Austral" are the Marble caves. You will need to head out to Puerto Tranquilo and either take a boat to see the caves or kayak around these spectacular works of natural art, but either way, these caves are unique and a sight to behold. The mixture of turquoise, green and blue colours of the caves are extra-special. However, when you look down below the crystalline water is when the real deal starts: The rock formations below the water are immense and just as dramatic as most of Patagonia.