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Getting to and away from Futaleufú

Highway CH-231 from Puerto Ramírez to Futaleufú is washboard grade and from Futa to the border is paved. Villa Santa Lucía is the crossroads on the Carretera Austral; buses going to La Junta, Puyuhuapi and Coyhaique pass through there.



In the low season, bus service is reduced. Transport companies are scattered throughout town: Bus Altimirano (Balmaced s/n and Prat, Tel.: 72-1360), Transporte Lago Espolón (from Paquetería Para Ti, Aguirre Cerda 505), Transporte Daniela (Balmaceda s/n and Prat). Buses Feryval and Cumbres Nevadas leave from Librería San Sebastián on Prat, across from the Plaza de Armas. Turismo Futaleufú and Transporte Matamala depart from Centro de Llamadas Ruly (Aguirre Cerda s/n, between Prat and Sargento Aldea, Tel.: 72-1425).


To Chaitén: Bus Altimirano (Friday 6:30 a.m., $10, 3 hours). Alternately, go to Villa Santa Lucía and catch a bus from there or hitchhike. Because of the volcanic eruption near Chaitén, bus schedules can change or be canceled. Check with the bus company for the latest service information.

To Palena: Cumbres Nevadas (Wednesday 8 a.m., Monday and Friday 3:30 p.m., $5).

To La Junta: Bus Altimirano (Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2 p.m., Friday 6:30 p.m., $15, 3 hours)

To Puyuhuapi / Coyhaique: Transporte Daniela (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m., $24 / $40, 5 hours / 9 hours)

To Puerto Montt: 8-10 hours, depending on border procedures; the route is through Argentina. Remember you will be reentering Chile and have your bags checked by aduana for forbidden fruits – Transporte Lago Espolón (Thursday 7:45 a.m., $52), Transporte Matamala (Tuesday 8:30 a.m., $46), Altimirano (Monday, Wednesday 8:30 a.m., $45), Buses Feryval (Tuesday 7:30, $48)

To border: Turismo Futaleufú (Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:45 a.m., 6:45 p.m., $4, 20 minutes)



Futaleufú also has an airfield for emergency and charter flights.

By Lorraine Caputo

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

12 Jun 2009

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