Caleta Tortel - On Carretera Austral
Just wanted to share with you a great time I had in Caleta Tortel, a coastal village in Chile
|What makes Tortel so special in my opinion is that in this village there are NO conventional streets, instead there are wooden walkways that link the houses, where no cars are encountered. This gives the village its distinctive look.|
The town is built on a bay on a lagoon in the midst of many lakes and fjords, its surrounding is rugged, formed by a number of islands, fjords, channels and estuaries.
Caleta Tortel also has stilt houses, typical of Chilota architecture, built along the coast for several kilometers.
|I was really amazed by the ingenious network of footbridges, stairs and bridges that go over rocks, vegetation and marshes, connecting the piers with the houses distributed in different sectors of a large rock, in Caleta Tortel.|
The wood of cypress of the Guaitecas gives its characteristic aroma to Tortel.
Where is this AMAZING village locaed?
Tortel is located on the Carretera Austral Route, Near Cochrane (120 km), between the mouth of the Baker River and a small embayment of the Baker Channel.
If you come from Coyhaique, you can take the daily bus to the city Cochrane (Around 6 hours in Carretera Austral), stay and rest there for a night, and then take the minibus (leaves 3 times a day) to Caleta Tortel. (Around 3 hours in Carretera Austral).
So if you are doing the Carreera Austral, Do not miss this HOT Spot.
What Kind of Tours Can You Do In This Village?
You can do from this beautiful vilalge some boat tours to Jorge Montt Glacier or San Rafael Glacier.
It is possible to rent boats or flat boats, these last ones are smaller and faster to visit the Jorge Montt in the South Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur) and the Ventisquero Steffen in the North Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Norte).
In the Caleta Tortel is recommended to visit the Island of Deads (Isla de los Muertos), declared National Monument (Monumento Nacional), 1.8 miles of Caleta Tortel, 120 workers of the Overexploitation Company of Baker approximately were buried here, those that died by non clarified causes. There are people who attribute the deaths to the epidemic, others to international poisoning, so that their salaries would not be paid. In addition, there are trips to Port Yungay (Puerto Yungay) and River Bravo (Rio Bravo).
Here is a description of the tours:
Ventisquero Steffens: It is located to the northeast of Channel Tortel (Canal Tortel), 3 hours of navigation; it has a mountainous relief among which the River of the eternal ice (Rio de los hielos eternos) ends, originating from the North Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Norte), in the matting of the same name.
Ventisquero Montt: It is located southwest of Caleta Tortel, five hours of navigation, the sector is mountainous with abundant vegetation and ample beaches with rocky ground, this ventisquero displays an enormous bluish ice wall that comes from South Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur). Its beauty exceeds all description.
National Reserve Katalaxiar: It is located to northeast of the Caleta Tortel, has a surface of 674,500 hectares. In its limits you find a large amount of native forest, among which the Cypress of the Guaitecas and ma?io stand out, among others.
National Park Lagoon San Rafael: The Commune of Tortel includes part of this National Park declared World-wide Reserve of the Biosphere by the O.N.U. and within its territory is most part of the North Ice Field (Campos de Hielo Norte).
National Park Bernardo O?Higgins: it has a total surface of 3.524.648 hectares, it is the most extensive of the National Parks, it is very interesting from the fauna, glacial and anthropological point of view, since in its limits inhabit one of the latest Alacalufes communities. This coastal sector was inhabited during 6,000 years by the nomadic towns called Kawasker, lasting until today manifestations such as campings, places with large amount of shells, deposits of lances, etc.
Hope this post will motivate you to come and Visit !
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