Cochamó to Puyuhuapi, Chile

16 - 17 Feb 2006

Lush forests and luxury thermal baths


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Our destination for the day was Puyuhuapi, but before that we made a 15-minute flight west to Puerto Montt for refuelling. The aeroclub was run by a young woman and her father who were very interested to hear about our flight around South America. We told them we were friends of Madeleine Dupont, the Abuela Voladora, and they confirmed that she had recently landed there with Günther Mund on their way to the Antarctic.
From Puerto Montt it was just a one hour 20 minute flight to Puyuhuapi – a beautiful, remote spot, looking at its best in the late afternoon sun. It was just as well we had our sat phone, though, as there was not a soul in sight. Even so, we were half an hour’s drive from Puerto Puyuhuapi and it took about 45 minutes for transport to arrive.
We spent the night in a cosy old wooden house with creaking floorboards, called Casa Ludwig. It had been built by German settlers in the early 20th century and was still owned by the same family. The owner, Luisa, was very helpful in arranging for a driver to take us to the Queulat National Park the next morning. We dined next door at the Lluvia Marina, described in the Lonely Planet as the best restaurant in town. Good, it was, but as far as we could see, it was also the only restaurant in town!
It’s not surprising that Parque Nacional Queulat has so much lush forest. It gets a huge amount of rain every year. We were in luck, though, and enjoyed several hours walking in fine weather. The main attraction there was the Ventisquero colgante (hanging glacier). On the way to the lookout point, we spotted a couple of red and black woodpeckers and some chucao (something like a large, rotund, robin red breast).
Our driver picked us up again at the arranged time and drove us to the jetty by Ventisquero fjord. There we boarded a fast launch to the luxurious Termas Puyuhuapi on the opposite shore. It was a delight to pamper ourselves in the hot springs after the strenuous walk and later we enjoyed some fine dining at the restaurant before turning in for the night.

About to leave Cochamó for Puerto Montt to refuel

More glaciers as we head further south

One of the many beautiful mountain lakes we flew past

On the approach to Puyuhuapi airstrip

On final for Puyuhuapi

Thanks to the sat phone (on the tail wing) we were able to call for transport from the deserted airstrip

The gushing river in Queulat National Park

The path led through dense forests

Lookout point for the 'Ventisquero Colgante' (hanging glacier)

Flemming went 'Puck' (see vegetation above his right ear). The 'Ventisquero Colgante' is in the background.

On board the boat that took us across the Ventisquero fjord to the Termas Puyuhuapi

The Termas Puyuhuapi

JAlbum 6.2 Copyright: Angela & Flemming PEDERSEN