Pumalin Park & Carretera Austral tour
One of the main attractions of Northern Patagonia is Pumalin Park; a private initiative to protect 42.000 acres of evergreen temperate rainforest.
The park is divided into a north and south section; the first is accessible via Hornopirén (which can be reached by vehicle or bus), but from here there is no infrastructure and access to the region's trademark fjords and the Cahuelmó hot springs is by rented boat or tour only.
The southern section is where travelers will find Caleta Gonzalo and the main information center, with lodging, campsites, park information, and a store selling locally produced crafts. Caleta Gonzalo is reached by ferry from Hornopirén in January and February, and by Chaitén year-round. This is where visitors can explore a rainforest bursting with life via one of the several trails in the area.
Pumalín makes for an excellent introduction to the Carretera Austral; however, outside of the summer months, torrential downpours can go on for days, even in the middle of summer. Most visitors spend only a day or 2 here, unless they are part of an organized boat/kayak tour.
The Pumalín Project is open to the public all year round but the peak months are January and February. March to September can be spectacular but rainy. We recommend that you bring good rain gear and rubber boots.