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Home > The Patagonia Run > Punta Arenas to Coyhaique

Punta Arenas to Coyhaique

Punta Arenas to Coyhaique

Wicked Campervan Trip Options: Pickup & Dropoff in Punta Arenas only

You’re about to drive through some of the most lonely places in the planet. Your trip starts at Punta Arenas, one of the southernmost cities worldwide. From Punta Arenas drive northwest on route 9, in direction to Puerto Natales, a city to chill out for a while, eat delicious food like the typical and famous lamb stew, start making some amazing photographs and enjoy the bayside. Natales- in case you didn’t do it at Punta Arenas- is a good spot for buying some food and prepare for the next part of the trip. Now you’re going to Torres del Paine and then we will cross the border to Argentina!

Before and after being in Natales, there are some places you can stop at to eat great Patagonian food. Just keep your eyes wide open and you’ll see on the route restaurants or what we call “picadas” (small restaurants originally made to cater truck drivers but well known for having great food, in large quantities and with small prices!).

From Natales keep driving north this time through route 9 to visit one of Patagonia’s Highlights: The impressive Torres del Paine.

The famous towers of rock and ice that we call Torres del Paine are located in a National Park with the same name. There you’ll find not only the Towers but trekking routes of different duration that include visits to Glaciers- that you can even climb- lakes and corners of the park that will amaze you.

Of course the main attraction is to go to the towers, the Macizo de Paine that reaches the sky up to three thousand m.a.s.l. Depending on the time of the year and the weather, you can even scale the towers!!

Now, once you’ve enjoyed the park and everything that has to give, it’s time to cross the borders in order to visit more astonishing corners of the Patagonia, this time in Argentina. You just need to go back through Route 9 in direction to Natales and go to Dorotea Border Crossing.

Once you’re in Argentina, you have to drive north through route 40, to visit the town called El Calafate. Besides its proximity to Los Glaciares National Park, the city offers different attractions, of course, all of them with reference to the glaciers. There you will find the Center for Glacier Interpretation, the Patagonian Ice Museum and the “Glacio Bar”, the only bar worldwide completely made of glacier’s ice!

Now you know near to El Calafate is Los Glaciares National Park, where you can visit different attractions like trekking routes that will take you to Lenga forests or the trails and balconies over the Perito Moreno Glacier, the biggest of the glaciers you’ll see, with 60 meters tall and up to five kilometers long on its front!

You can go of course with your campervan to most of the places inside the park (for those where you cannot drive you can always take a healthy walk) but if you want it, near the park there’s a small farm from where you can go riding to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

Once you leave the park (not without enjoying every corner of it!) drive north to Viedma Lake, where you can watch more amazing and millenary light blue colored glaciers and even make a short ice Trek!

Being in Viedma Lake means you are really near two nice destinies more to visit: El Chaltén and the Fitz Roy Mount.

El Chaltén is a small 30 year old town, located near the Fitz Roy Mount and known in Argentina for being the “Trekking Capital” of the country. There are trekking routes for everyone, with different levels of difficulty, going across fields of ice, the slopes of the range or directly to the almost unbelievable Fitz Roy Mount. It’s up to you where to go.

Now, we guess you didn’t come to the end of the world to look the Fitz Roy from far away so, let us first give you an advice: If you`re a smoker, stop smoking days (or weeks if possible) before going. The Fitz Roy Mount is famous because of its height, for its imposing summit and because of the challenge it means to every visitor. You’re about to step in front of a three thousand meters tall tower of rock and millenary ice. Not every day you can say that (right?).

After visiting El Chaltén and Fitz Roy, you got to keep driving north. There’s a lot of road to drive yet and Coyhaique is waiting for you! But first, there are some other places to visit and to keep in touch with nature and living the Wicked experience!

First one of this places is General Carrera/ Buenos Aires Lake. This Lake is placed between both Chile and Argentina and is the point where you can return to Chile and enter to Chile Chico and all the attractions the circuit around the General Carrera Lake has to offer. One of the most famous is the sailing circuit to see the Marble Chapels, real sculptures of marble made by the time and the hard work of the water.

Near Chile Chico you have also Jeinimeni Lake National Reserve, a perfect place where to admire nature of the Patagonia. There you can see native flora and fauna and practice hiking, as well as visit the Hand’s Cave (which has antique hands paintings made by ancient habitants of the area) and the amazing “Nailed Stone”, a 40 meters tall rock, embedded in the landscape and offering no answers to the questions you might have about it, it’s just incredible.

On your way to Coyhaique, drive around the lake through route 265 until you reach route 7, which leads to the north side of the lake where you can visit the Puerto Ibáñez rapids and go to Cerro Castillo National Reserve to do trekking on its principal summits, Cerro Castillo (Castle Hill) which is 2318 m.a.s.l and Las Cuatro Cumbres (The Four Summits) which is 2273 m.a.s.l.

Before getting to Coyhaique, visit the Laguna San Rafael National Park, be amazed with its colors and, most of all, don’t miss the chance to sail the lagoon and visit the San Rafael Glacier, an attraction you just can’t miss!

Go to Campos de Hielo Norte (North Ice Fields) and take a tour through the cold waters of the lagoon to see the millenary ice and the snowdrift, main attractions of this part of Chile, known also for being one of the rainiest areas in the country.

From Coyhaique drive to Simpson Valley to enjoy the view of the Six Lagoons and the color of its waters, practice trekking and admire the landscape of this sort of oasis placed in the heart of the wild southern Chile. You should also go to the Lago Atravesado (Crossed Lake) where you will have the chance to enjoy the sound and view of beautiful waterfalls, forests and more!

After visiting every corner around Coyhaique, it’s time to go back. From Coyhaique (where you should fill the tank) drive east to cross the border to Argentina and drive to the coast, in direction to the town if Comodoro Rivadavia, in order to visit one of the biggest wind farms in the continent, learn about the history of oil and development of the Argentinian Patagonia, go relax on its beaches and much more!

Once you leave the town, you have the chance to drive south following the coastline and visiting small towns, or go back to Perito Moreno (and visit again some of the most impressive places you have been) and then keep driving south through route 40, pass through El Calafate and then go back to the coast to visit Río Gallegos where you can visit the surroundings and admire the beauty of the Argentinian Pampa an even fly over the town, the “Lighthouse of the End of the World” and the Strait of Magellan!

Río Gallegos is the last trace of civilization you’ll see until you arrive back to Punta Arenas. A piece of advice: Look for a spot where you think it would be nice to sleep, in the middle of the Argentinian Pampa and, if you have the time, enjoy the loneliness of those distant lands for the last time before going back to normal life.

That was the taste of freedom. That’s what we call “Living the experience!”

Cheap Campervan Hire Trips

Here at Wicked Campers we’ve developed a range of Campervan Trip Ideas for roadtrips around Punta Arenas – check them out!

Punta Arenas to Puerto Varas

Punta Arenas to Puerto Varas

Punta Arenas to Coyhaique

Punta Arenas to Coyhaique

Punta Arenas to Los Glaciares

Punta Arenas to Los Glaciares

Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine

Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine

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We have a variety range of van from a 2, 3, 4 and 5-seater campervans, minicampers and 4WD that will accommodate your travel in Chile. Enjoy the country and save your pocket money for beers and tickets to atractions and activities, instead of putting it in expensive accommodation.
Check out our campervans and see which one is the perfect option for you:

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2 Seater Deluxe Campers

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3 Seater Adventure Camper

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Rooftop 6 Seater Campers

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4 Sleepers Deluxe Campers

Bigfoot Rooftop 4 Sleepers

Bigfoot Rooftop 4 Sleepers

4WD Mini Camper

4WD Mini Camper

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