• Cerro Castillo Mountain, Carretera Austral, Aysen Region

    Cerro Castillo Mountain

Carretera Austral & Aysen

Road trip and Hiking Guide

Home / Best Places to Hike / Carretera Austral & Aysen

Is Aysen Good for Multi-Activity Trips?

From a world-famous road trip route to snow trekking, Aysen is a mecca for active outdoor enthusiasts. Travelers can hike through evergreen forests and lush rain forests, seek out wildlife and rare birds, road bike and mountain bike past misty mountains, and go caving, kayaking and fishing.

The top national parks in Aysen include

• Queulat National Park

• Jeinimeni National Reserve

• Patagonia Park and

• Laguna San Rafael National Park


Which Are the Best Hikes in Aysen?

  • For off-the-beaten-path, multi-day hiking in Aysen, the top choice is Cerro Castillo. This famous trek through a national reserve area takes four to five days to complete and showcases some of the largest mountains in all of the Patagonian Andes. There are also plenty of day hikes in the Cerro Castillo area for those looking for something shorter. The trails that crisscross the region promise peace and quiet, cool mountain streams, impressive mountain views and wildlife sightings (watch for eagles and Patagonian deer).


  • Day hikers can find several options within Aysen’s Queulat National Park, all highlighting the Queulat Glacier. Dark green forests and azure blue lakes complement untouched hanging glaciers for postcard-perfect views. A few to consider include the Bosque Encantado hike along the Cascada River, the Hanging Glacier Moraine Trail and the steeper Puma Trail to Los Pumas Lagoon.

What Are the Best Places to Visit in Aysen and What Can I do?

The top national parks in Aysen include Queulat National Park, Jeinimeni National Reserve, Patagonia Park and Laguna San Rafael National Park. In Queulat, there are a variety of day hikes through the evergreen forest, views of the famous hanging glacier and great wildlife watching (look for pudú, black-necked swan, tepa and tepuala). Within Patagonia Park, there are opportunities for hiking, overnight backpacking, scenic road trips, bird watching and mountain biking. This area is home to the greatest terrestrial biodiversity in this region of Patagonia ad home to guanaco, flamenco, puma and more. Laguna San Rafael National Park is a topographic marvel, home to the Northern Ice Field, San Rafael Lagoon and San Rafael Snowcap. Within this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, travelers can hike, backpack, ski, sea kayak, watch for wildlife, birdwatch and practice nature photography.

  • Cerro Castillo Mountain, Carretera Austral, Aysen Region

  • Capilla del marmol, Carretera Austral

  • Los Leones Glacier, Northern Patagonia

  • Drinking Mate-tea together with a Gaucho, Carretera Austral

  • Jeinimeni National Park, Aysen Region Chile

  • Nalca Plant, Northern Patagonia

What Is the Best Road Trip in Aysen?

The ultimate Aysen road trip is the Carretera Austral road through Chile’s last frontier. Travelers can choose to self-drive or even bike this southern Chile route. The road is unpaved and puts you immediately in the midst of nature on the grandest scale – green valleys, serpentine rivers, fjords, rain forests, hanging glaciers and more. The Carretera Astral road trip is the best way to fully immerse oneself in Chile, with access along the way to fantastic hiking, mountaineering, photo opportunities, kayaking and more.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Aysen?

The best time to visit Aysen is between October and March, with December through February being the most popular. Consider traveling in the shoulder months for fewer cars on the roads.

Why should I book with a local Agency?

A local Aysen tour operator can provide peace of mind, thanks to their experience and expertise in the region, as well as guides who have spent hours on the same trails you will hike and driving along the Carretera Austral. In addition, a local agency can provide porter service to assist on your trek and, should the need arise, are able to provide emergency assistance and first aid. Choosing a local Aysen travel company also supports the community you are visiting and promotes mindful travel practices.