About 62 kilometers east of Panguipulli, the lakeside Puerto Fuy isn’t exactly the end of the road, but it is the departure point for the ferry Hua Hum, which sails southeast to Puerto Pirehueico, where the road continues to the border at Paso Hua Hum. Both the upper and lower Río Fuy have long been popular with white-water rafters and kayakers, but the area has recently gained an offbeat attraction in the Reserva Biológica Huilo Huilo, which is also a summer ski and snowboard area.
Accommodations and Food
For those awaiting the ferry, Puerto Fuy has several basis hospedajes and restaurants. Its 800-pound gorilla, though, is Huilo Huilo’s La Montaña Mágica Lodge (Ruta 203, Km 60, tel. 063/1972651, www.huilohuilo.cl, US$80–89 s, US$146 d), a steep-sided pseudo-volcano whose summit spouts water, in lieu of lava, that cascades down the building’s walls. In truth, this Disneyfied dreck looks as if it might have been airlifted intact from Anaheim or Orlando, though the oddly-shaped rooms seem comfortable enough (they’re building another hotel—resembling a colossal treehouse—nearby). Rates include breakfast, while three-course lunches or dinners cost US$17.
For bus information, see Panguipulli.
In January and February, the two-hour ferry to Puerto Pirehueico departs daily at 8 a.m. and 1 and 6 p.m., returning at 10 a.m. and 3 and 8 p.m. The last fortnight of December and the first fortnight of March, it operates at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, returning at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The rest of the year, departures are at 12:30 p.m., returning at 4 p.m.
Since the Hua Hum (tel. 063/1971585) can carry only 24 vehicles, reservations are a good idea at any season; Panguipulli’s Dirección de Turismo (tel. 063/310436) also handles reservations. Passenger cars pay US$28; pickup trucks, jeeps, and vans US$37; pedestrians US$3; bicyclists US$5.50; motorcyclists US$7.50. The Hua Hum accepts U.S. dollars and Chilean or Argentine pesos, but not euros or credit cards.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition