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Perched below an immense basalt cliff and enclosed by rolling hills and emerald lakes, Coyhaique boasts dramatic vistas from almost every angle. From November through May, fly-fishermen congregate here to cast their lines in the Simpson and Coyhaique rivers, which are known for their trout and salmon populations. While exploring this quaint town, you're bound to stumble upon the Feria Artesanal (an outdoor street fair lined with colorful craft stands).
Recent visitors recommend staying at the Coyhaique River Lodge, which offers many excursions, including horseback riding, rafting, and fishing. One TripAdvisor user raves, "Every day was an adventure. Activities suggested by hosts included fabulous guided fishing, birding, horseback riding, Condor sighting, kayaks, mountain bikes, and trekking."
Coyhaique is easily accessible by bus, car, ferry, or plane from Santiago or Puerto Montt in the Lake District. A variety of domestic carriers—including LAN and Sky Airline—offer multi-stop flights (with a stop in either Temuco or Puerto Montt) from Santiago International Airport (SCL) to Coyhaique's Aeropuerto de Balmaceda (BBA). BBA is just an hour-drive from downtown. If you are driving from Puerto Montt to Coyhaique, you'll want to head south on the Carretera Austral (the "Southern Highway"). From Puyuhuapi on the Southern Coast, head south on Route 7, turn onto Puerto Aisén-Puerto Chacabuco, and continue southeast along the Río Simpson National Reserve for a scenic drive into town. For more information, consult our guide to Getting Around Chilean Patagonia.