Accommodations and Food
Accommodations are decentralized, to say the least, but there are many options from La Junta in the north to the Río Ventisquero and vicinity in the south. For nearby accommodations, see Puerto Puyuhuapi and La Junta.
Near the main trailheads, Conaf’s Camping Ventisquero (US$7.50 for up to 10 persons) has 10 relatively barren sites with sheltered cooking areas and immaculate toilets, but if the shower water were any colder the pipes would freeze.
On Lago Risopatrón’s western shore, 12 kilometers north of Puerto Puyuhuapi, Conaf’s 10-site Camping Angostura (US$7 for up to six persons) has similar facilities in a humid temperate rainforest with soggy soils.
About 17 kilometers south of Puerto Puyuhuapi and five kilometers north of the turnoff to Sector Ventisquero, a garden of technicolor lupines marks Hospedaje Las Toninas (US$11 pp with breakfast and shared bath), a shingled roadside inn where cyclists, campers, and backpackers can sleep cheaply and ingest enormous plates of fresh crab salad at giveaway prices. Inexpensive campsites are also available.
Thirty kilometers south of Puerto Puyuhuapi, fly-fishing is the focus at Fiordo Queulat Ecolodge (tel. 067/233302 in Coyhaique, www.aisen.cl, US$178 s or d), but it has branched out to include other activities such as hiking and sea-kayaking, leaving directly from its own property. Formerly just a cluster of cabañas, it’s added a handsome new clubhouse with a fireplace and comfortable common areas, and it has 24-hour electricity from a water-driven turbine. Lunches and dinners cost US$28 each per person.
About half an hour north of Puerto Puyuhuapi on Lago Risopatrón, Cabañas El Pangue (Km 240, tel. 067/325128, www.elpangue.cl, US$111/129 s/d) offers spacious cabins with natural wood, large double beds, and sunken tubs in a woodsy setting; off-season rates are about 40 percent lower. Larger units, sleeping up to seven, cost less on a per person basis; breakfasts are also available for US$7–10, onces for US$8, lunches and dinners for US$9–12, and lamb barbecues for US$17. The management also rents canoes, rowboats, motorboats, and horses, and has a sauna and Jacuzzi.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition