Prior to the Carretera Austral’s completion, Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez was a major lake port, connecting Coyhaique  with Chile Chico  and other settlements on Lago General Carrera’s south shore. Its current livelihood derives from agriculture, both livestock and tree fruit like apples and pears.
Since completion of the highway bypass, it’s lost economic clout, but the ferry from here to Chile Chico , for an easy border crossing to Argentina, is quicker and cheaper than the roundabout road system. It’s about 110 kilometers south of Coyhaique  via the Carretera Austral and a paved lateral that bears south about 10 kilometers east of Villa Cerro Castillo . There’s also a rugged road but scenic border crossing along the lake’s north shore (in Argentina, it’s called Lago Buenos Aires).
Lodging is available at simple Residencial Ibáñez (Ronchi 04, tel. 067/423227, US$6 pp), which also serves meals. Two blocks north, Residencial Vientos del Sur (Ronchi 283, tel. 067/423208, US$6 pp) is similar. The top choice, though, is Swiss-Chilean Shehen Aike (Risopatrón 055, tel. 067/423284, tel. 02/3567064 in Santiago, US$39 s or d). In addition to comfortable cabañas, it organizes local activities and may soon add a restaurant.
Several companies operate minibuses to Coyhaique  (US$6, two hours): Transportes Yamil Alí (tel. 067/250346), Darío Figueroa Castro (tel. 099/0844124), and Minibus Don Tito (tel. 067/250280).
Mar del Sur (Baquedano 146, Coyhaique, tel. 067/231255) sails the ferry Pilchero to Chile Chico  (two hours) at 7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday; schedules are subject to change. Fares are US$4.50 per adult, half that for children. Bicycles pay an additional US$3, motorcycles US$8. Passenger vehicles and light trucks pay US$38; larger vehicles pay US$13 per linear meter.