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Getting to and away from Chile Chico

Chile Chico is located on Ruta Ch-265, three kilometers (1.8 mi) from Paso JeĂ­nemeni on the Argentine border, 115 kilometers (71.5 mi) from Puerto Guadal and 125 kilometers (78 mi) from the Carretera Austral (Ruta 7). Between Puerto Guadal and Chile Chico are two major passes through the mountains, Paso Las Llaves and Paso MallĂ­nes. Both entail steep ascents and descents with blind curves. Chile Chico has a gas station, mechanic and tire repair. For bike parts or repair of rental, go to Garnik Bike (Baquedano 51, Tel.: 09-949-6899, E-mail:


During the low season, bus service is less frequent. Rains or snows can temporary close the road at any time of the year. Buses stop along O’Higgins, near the Telefónica.



To Guadal: Eca, Jarita (Wednesday, Friday 4 p.m., $12, 3 hr)

To RĂ­o Tranquilo: Nieves des Sur (Monday 3 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 5 p.m., $20)

To Cochrane: Transportes Ale (Wednesday, Saturday 1 p.m., $26) – passes by Puerto Guadal ($13), Puerto Bertrand ($20)

To Coyahique: tickets sold at El Refugio, where the ferry office is (west end of Rodríguez). Buses meet the ferry in Puerto Ibáñez. Buy a ferry ticket first, then a bus ticket. Buses Carolina, Miguel Acuña, $8.

To Los Antiguos, Argentina: Transporte Karla, Minibus Jorge Vargas (daily 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., $4). Some vans meet the ferry, but charge a higher price. All stop for immigration procedures.




Mar del Sur (El Refugio, west end of RodrĂ­guez, Tel.: 41-1864, E-mail:

To Puerto Ibáñez: In summer there are departures daily, at other times of the year, six days per week. Schedules are published in the local newspapers. Passenger $9.25, bicycle $4.35. These reservations should be made in advance: small vehicle $54.50, pick-up $18.50, motorcycle $10.90. Need passport.

To Puerto Avellano, Puerto Cristal and Puerto Sánchez: Last Saturday of each month, 1 p.m.

The lake can get rough and cause seasickness.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

07 Jul 2009

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