Chelenko Area

Chelenko Area

To the south is the Chelenco Zone, located around the huge General Carrera Lake, formerly known as Chelenco by the Tehuelche Indians. In fact, this area holds the main archeological sites of the Region, especially cave paintings that date back more than eight thousand years. Currently, it is one of the most visited areas of the Region, with important landmarks such as General Carrera Lake and its marble cathedrals, Laguna San Rafael National Park with its dozens of glaciers (Northern Ice Field), Cerro National Reserve Castillo and its trekking trails, or areas that waste good vegetables and fruits, such as Chile Chico and Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez, thanks to the microclimate that generates the great Lake Chelenco.

Backpack your way towards Cerro Castillo?s towers and ice

Cerro Castillo has become one of the most famous mountains in the Aysén Region, thanks to its tremendous beauty and awesome spires, which resemble a medieval stone castle. There is a fantastic four-day backpacking route that weaves through the passes to the base of the towers before dropping down into the tiny village below. Over the past several years, it has become one of the most popular and highlighted treks in Patagonia; one you probably don?t want to miss!

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Reach the towers of Cerro Castillo in gaucho style

The jagged ice covered peaks of Cerro Castillo are one of the most awe-inspiring sites in the Region of Aysén. This great horseback ride gets you up close to the base of the towers where the panoramic views of the Ibáñez River Valley are unsurpassed; from here you?ll walk toward its hanging glaciers and amazing turquoise lagoon.

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A tremendous legacy awaits you in Villa Cerro Castillo

The tiny village of Cerro Castillo has a tremendous legacy to share, beginning more than 5,000 years ago with the indigenous Tehuelches who left their prints embedded in the rocks near town. Thousands of years later, settlers arrived full of dreams for building new lives at the base of these beautiful towers. Today, their descendants honor their rich gaucho legacy pioneering new adventures and heights.

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Celebrate springtime in Patagonia with a stalk or two of Nalca

Have you noticed a giant plant growing in the humid areas of the Region with long stems, or stalks, H-U-G-E umbrella-shaped leaves and crazy, red flowers that look like something straight out of the movie, Jurassic Park? They're called nalca and their unique flavor makes them one of the favored traditions of spring.

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Explore the undiscovered landscapes of the Ardillas Route

This 45 km country road connecting Villa Cerro Castillo and Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez, is one of the best kept secrets of the Chelenko Area. Grab your camera and a fishing pole and head to the beautiful landscapes of the Ardillas Route for a great 1/2 day of car or bike touring.

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Señora Tati's secret remedy: Farm-raised chicken and polenta cazuela

Señora Oclidia Sandoval (Tati), a settler and artisan of the Claro Las Ardillas Sector, shares her secret Cazuela recipe that combines savory, farm-raised chicken, polenta, and delicious ingredients from her garden. The result? A hearty, flavorful soup capable of curing whatever ails you and filling you with wholesome energy, even on the coldest of Patagonia's days.

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In El Maitenal, there's enough rock for everyone!

Rock climbing in Patagonia is a treat for anyone who enjoys this sport, one of the most intimate ways to connect with nature. And at the end of the day, get ready to enjoy a cold, home-brewed beer, a Patagonian asado and great conversation amongst other climbers once you?ve completed your day of climbing.

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Play in the mud with the Artisans of Puerto Ibáñez!

The village of Puerto Ingeniero Ibañéz is renowned for its talented artisans who hold the secrets to working with clay from the Levicán Peninsula, leather from local goat hides, and the ancient Tehuelche symbols that decorate their valleys. Keep your memories of this area alive by choosing your own piece of pottery or, better yet, join them in creating your own work of art.

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Cowboy up with gaucho-style rodeo in Puerto Ibáñez

The "Festival de Jineteadas y Tradiciones", is Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez's traditional annual folk festival, where the central attraction is a gaucho-style rodeo, known as jineteada. You'll also find plenty of folk music, local foods, crafts, and traditional games like "truco" and "taba". The Argentine influences woven into the heritage of this frontier community come through loud and clear during this festival, especially when it comes to the jineteada.

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Search the shores of Chelenko for delicious picnic treasures

In your journey through the region of Aysén, you'll encounter a part of the world that has not yet been discovered by the fast food chains. Here there is a much better option, thanks to the fertile lands and micro climates of Puerto Ibáñez and Chile Chico, which yield spectacular fruits, vegetables and herbs, perfect for a gourmet picnic to accompany your adventures.

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In Jeinimeni you can walk in the footsteps of ancient nomads

In addition to inspiring geography, one of the best kept secrets of Lago Jeinimeni National Reserve is its important archaeological registry. Evidence has shown that the Jeinimeni plains were frequented ancient groups of hunter - gatherers who moved through the sectors near Chile Chico, Chile, and Los Antiguos, Argentina. Without the modern-day concepts of ?borders?; for these ancient groups, Patagonia was a single area and very different from today.

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Clear your memory card for the drive through Paso de las Llaves

General Carrera Lake, known as "Chelenko" by the Tehuelches, is the star of this scenic drive between Chile Chico and Puerto Guadal. It's a dizzying journey filled with steep cliffs and tight 90° turns, but you"ll be amply rewarded for your bravery with unbelievable panoramic views of the lake around every corner. Ready to explore?

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