The Southern Carretera Austral
Even more thinly settled than north of Coyhaique, southern Aisén is wild country, with few and scattered services; barely 10,000 people live in nearly 46,000 square kilometers. The only towns with more than a thousand residents are Chile Chico, near the Argentine border on Lago General Carrera, and Cochrane, directly on the Carretera Austral.
The highway is now paved to Villa Cerro Castillo, 98 kilometers south of Coyhaique, as is the Puerto Ibáñez lateral. In late 1999, it finally reached its terminus at Villa O’Higgins, though the last 100 kilometers still requires a ferry shuttle from Puerto Yungay to Río Bravo.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition