Puerto Río Tranquilo
Until the Carretera Austral’s completion, Puerto Río Tranquilo was a port with a weekly supply boat from Puerto Ibáñez; today it’s a small but steadily growing settlement at Lago General Carrera’s west end, 25 kilometers south of Puerto Murta. At the north end of town, a new road toward Bahía Exploradores, an inlet of the larger Estero Capquelán, has passed the midway point at Lago Bayo; eventually, with a boat connection and an hour’s hike, you’ll reach Laguna San Rafael.
In summer, there’s a helpful Oficina de Información Turística directly on the highway, across from the gas station.
Scheduled buses between Coyhaique and Cochrane drop and pick up passengers here. Transporte Bellavista (Los Arrayanes 380, tel. 067/411904) goes to Puerto Guadal and Chile Chico (US$13, 3.5 hours) Wednesday at 6 a.m. Many backpackers try hitching here, which means heavy competition for a handful of rides.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition