Chile
Chaiten

Here you’ll find travel reports about Chaiten. Discover travel destinations in Chile of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

20 travelers at this place:

  • Day98

    Reached Chaiten

    January 5 in Chile

    Finally, around 6:15 pm, we reached Chaiten. Its a small laidback village with one main road and the Carretera Austral passing through. This village was totally evacuated during the 2008 eruption of Chaiten volcano. Most of the village was destroyed by the ash and fires and also the lahars caused due to the melting of the snow caps due to the volcano. The river Rio Blanco changed course causing the sea shore to move about a km further away. This is the reason why the current ferry terminal is almost 2 kms walk outside of the village. In 2011, the mayor of the region declared the place uninhabitable but some of the former residents started coming back in the hope of reviving the village again. Currently, the population is at about 2000 inhabitants, which is almost half of what it was before the eruption but the village has limped back to a place that doesn't show much signs of the destruction before. The village is split into 2 due to the river and one can find places to stay on either side of it (more on the Northern side though).
    We were dropped off at the main junction of the Northern part. After we thanked and waved goodbye to the lovely, helpful Dutch couple, Hristo and Maria went to look for a place to stay, Melinda stayed with our bags while I went to a tours kiosk (Chaitur) nearby to get some info about what all we could do from here and what are the possibilities for transportation.
    Chaitur turned out to be a tour operator and the bus stop for the village as well. The manager (I think his name was Wilson) was busy jamming up on his Ukulele with a Basque guy playing the guitar. I waited for about 5 min but tgey continued on and on. He plays quite well and it was nice to hear them play but Melinda was waiting outside on the road so I started walking out. That's when Wilson turned and asked me to get my bags etc and that he'll give all the information about the tours etc. I went and returned with our bags. The jam session continued. A German girl sitting inside whispered to me that this might take a while sinve she had already been sitting for almost 2 hours without getting any information from him. I tried to interrupt and informed him that we were in a bit of a hurry and we needed to get a place to stay and book a tour for the next day. That's when he said Patagonia is a place where Einstein actually understood relativity 😄😄
    We were there at Chaitur till almost 8 pm. Every few minutes I tried to get more information about the tours and prices but within seconds of starting the answer, Wilson would divert to a totally different topic. Finally, Hristo and Maria came back and informed that they had found a nice place nearby. We left Chaitur with no information about what we could do the next day or what tours were offered. We told Wilson that we would come there around 9 am next day if we wanted to join any tour.
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  • Day258

    Meeting Edgar

    March 29, 2017 in Chile

    Edgar is how I named a giant glacier in Pumalin national park. The wilderness park was just recently given back to the Chilean government after being in private hands for 25 years. Unfortunately, I only had one day here, but fortunately got to make the most of the little time.

    The three of us started around noon - my French travel buddy Nicolas, our new friend and adopted travel cousin Leo, and I. The plan was to hitch hike to a campsite from where we would do a 6 hour hike to the "Edgar" glacier and then hitch hike back. We got a ride quickly, but only for parts of the way. So we simply started hiking along the road. And of course, we were joined by a dog, as it always seems to happen in Chile :) (pic 2)

    We soon figured that it would take too long to go all the way. So we decided to hike up a viewpoint so we could at least see the glacier from afar. On the base, a sign greeted hikers with an estimated 2 hours to get to the viewpoint. This convinced Nicolas to turn around and enjoy the rest of the sunny day in town ;) Having come all the way, Leo and I walked up the steep trail and up there, saw the beautiful glacier and the trail to it (pic 3). We were soooo close. And it was only midday. We did the math and long story short: we hiked all the way to the glacier, finishing 40km and 10 hours of hiking in beautiful weather (until it got dark and we hiked with our headlamps). And a lovely family gave us a ride back to town just after 11pm.

    We certainly missed Nicolas, but had a great adventure that won't be forgotten.
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  • Day89

    Laguna Verde at Llanquihue lake

    December 27, 2017 in Chile

    The Laguna Verde is right next to the Llanquihue lake with a small channel probably joining them at high tide or during heavy rain. The colors of the 2 lakes are quite different though. Llanquihue is blue in color, while Verde is green as suggested by its name.

  • Day99

    Wooden ladders in the trail

    January 6 in Chile

    Deeper in the forest, the trail had to be maintained by wooden ladders going many meter up and down across the hill face. Now covered in moss and rain water, these were extremely slippery and we had to walk backwards to maintain our footing. On the way, we also saw the Gomita del Bosque or Rubber band of the forest. These are a very small rubbery variety of mushrooms that grow here.

  • Day98

    Brisas del Mar, Chaitén

    January 5 in Chile

    Brisas del Mar was a lovely place to stay. It was a row of cabañas with a central parking space. The rooms were neat and clean. The cabañas cost us 50000 CLP for the 4 of us.
    After checking in we all went out to have dinner. It was already 10 pm. There was one pizza place open. We had our dinner there.

  • Day99

    Half a day of nothing

    January 6 in Chile

    The initial plan had been to get up by 8 am and get ready to go to Chaitur by 9 am and then decide which tour to do that day. When the alarm went off at 8 am, it was raining heavily and we all were quite tired so we decided to sleep in late. Mr. Wilson (actually now I remember his name was Nicklas) found our place and came looking for us in case we wanted to join a tour. We told him we were too tired and went back to sleep.
    Finally, around 11 we were up and got ready. We had our breakfast and then started to go around looking for someone else who could offer us tours around the place. That's when we came across Patagonia Ruta 7. They had full amd half day tours. We had already marked what all we wanted to see in this area and they had tours to all these places.
    We decided to go on a half day tour of the Alerces forest trail. It wasn't cheap at 56000 CLP for the 4 of us but knowing that we didn't have any other means of transport to and fro, we took it. The tour started at 3 pm and we drove North again on the route we had come South on the day before. It was still raining steadily but it wasn't a heavy downpour.
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  • Day99

    The hidden hot spring

    January 6 in Chile

    We hit it off quite well with our guide Igor and our driver Alejandro. Both are joint owners of the company. On the way, we stopped at a hidden hot spring right next to the road. Not too many people know about this place. Alejandro was told about it by his father when he was small. Igor told us about the Nalka plant with the huge leaves. The stem of Nalka can be eaten if the leaves are shriveled. If the leaves are still open and green then it is not ripe yet. The taste is almost like that of rhubarb.Read more

  • Day99

    Trail of the Alerces

    January 6 in Chile

    Around 4:30 pm, we reached the trail of the Alerces. It was still raining steadily but we were fully dressed for the rain. Igor had a lot of knowledge about the flora and faina of this area. He showed us the plant of Canelo. The leaves are white on the underside amd shine in the night. They have a sharp lemon grass like flavor and a nice lingering aroma. The leaved are boiled with ginger to cure throat pain and congestion. The forest was blooming with the red flowers of Estrellas or little star.Read more

  • Day99

    More flora in the forest

    January 6 in Chile

    Next thing along the trail we saw was the Kila trees. These look exactly like bamboo bit much thinner and are very flexible like the bamboo. These trees are the only homes to the endangered marsupial species of Moneto del Monte. This species is the smallest living marsupial in the world and is about 3-4 cms big only. They are a nocturnal species making it extremely hard to see or observe them.
    The rain continued to pour as we moved deeper into the forest. Next thing that Igor showed us was the Brifits or tomato of the forest. These are tiny versions of tomatoes but are not edible and can cause severe stomach aches. The species help preserve the humidity of the Patagonian forests by absorbing the rain water in its leaves and holding it.
    Next, Igor showed us the Cow Rib Fern. So called because it looks like the ribs of a cow when the leaves are fully open. These plants are sacred to the Patagonian people since when the leaves are new, they are closed into a spiral shape somehow representing the circle of life.
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  • Day99

    Jungle flowers

    January 6 in Chile

    The trail passed through some dense undergrowth and then up a wooden ladder from where we had a nice view of the river Rio Negro.
    The forest was blooming with the first of the spring flowers like the small star like red flowers, Estrellas,
    the similar shaped but orange color flowers called Campanillas.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Chaiten

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