Sleepy Puyuhuapi is a cosy pueblo on the edge of a small harbour. This town serves as a gateway to Queulat National Park, but is a destination in itself. Situated along the legendary Carretera Austral, Puyuhuapi is a future road trip in the making.
Puyuhuapi is quaint, with small family run businesses and home to the luxurious Puyuhuapi Hot Springs. However, the majority of people come here to visit the impressive hanging glacier in Park Queulat. (Queulat means “sound of waterfalls” in the Chono people’s language).
Top things to see/do
- The Ventisquero Colgante – hanging glacier that is best seen on a clear day. Even if visibility is difficult, the glacier will fill the park with sounds of thunder as large chunks of ice calve into the fjord
- Lagoon Los Tempanos – so picturesque, and you can explore it on boat
- Cross Ventisquero River footbridge – this hanging bridge is fun to cross, and you can enjoy the milky colour of the river below
- Padre Garcia Waterfall – 100ft tall waterfall
- Los Pumas Lagoon
Uniqueness of Queulat
- Home to protected species of the black woodpecker, condor, chucao, the rare pudu (a very small type of deer), the puma and more
- Home to many species of trees native to the Andean Patagonia
- The amazing hanging glacier – which could be a thing of the past as global temperatures rise
Things to know
Weather is unpredictable in Patagonia. It is easy to have weeks of overcast, rainy days. This makes exploring the national park difficult as the hanging glacier can be completely covered in clouds (as can be seen by our photos). It is best to visit in summer, for a higher chance of a clear day. Setting a few days aside can also raise your chances.
Adult National – $8 AUD or $4.100 chilean pesos
Adult Tourist – $16 AUD, or $8.200 chilean pesos
Getting there and away
Fly to Balmaceda Chile, from there you can get a bus to Parque Nacional Queulat via Coyhaique
Via the famous Carretera Austral (Ruta 7). The closest large town is Coyhaique. This route is a mixture of paved and gravel road, so prepare for a bumpy ride and go with caution during rainy days. Accessible by 2WD.
Private transport is more direct, but it is possible to get a bus from Coyhaique to Puyuhuapi. Keep in mind that most things shut down during winter months.