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Chile’s Southern Highway, begun in 1976 under the determined project management of General Pinochet, snakes south from Puerto Montt through the country’s remote Aysén region down to southern Patagonia.

Landscape

The landscape through which you pass is dramatic, pristine, and enticingly studded with waterfalls, rivers, forests and lakes.

The road’s romantic ending is a forced one; at the tiny hamlet of Villa O’Higgins it can go no further, obliged to trail off as the vast Southern Icefield takes over.

Exploring the region

Driving to San Rafael Glacier, AisenFor those keen on road trips, we can organise a hire car and maps, or we can arrange a guide if you are heading for a specific attraction, maybe the towns of Cochrane or Coyhaique, the hanging glaciers of Queulat, or a cruise through the maze of fjords to the mighty glacier upon Lake San Rafael.

If you are short on time, you can fly in to the town of Balmaceda, which allows easy access to the attractions of the region. In this area we recommend the rustic lodges of Mallín Colorado.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Nick

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Northern Patagonia by contacting one of our Chile specialists

Suggested itinerary featuring Northern Patagonia

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Northern Patagonia, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Northern Patagonia

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Northern Patagonia

    Our expert guides to exploring Northern Patagonia

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Northern Patagonia, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Northern Patagonia at its best.

    • Self-drive holidays in Chile: 3 wilderness road trips
      Driving between Balmaceda and Lago General Carrera

      Self-drive holidays in Chile: 3 wilderness road trips

      Self-drive holidays in Chile: 3 wilderness road trips

      When it comes to driving trips in Chile, you’ll find the most fulfilling journeys are to be had in the Lake District and Chilean Patagonia, says Audley Chile specialist Chloe. Just make sure you allow time to stop and explore.

      7 min read

      Read this guide