46km (29 miles) SE of Puerto Montt
The Carretera Austral is also known as Rte. 7, and it begins just outside the city limits of Puerto Montt, following the coast of Reloncaví Sound until it reaches Parque Nacional Alerce Andino, a place to indulge in quiet walks or canoe rides through dense forest. This 39,255-hectare (96,960-acre) park is home to the alerce, which is often compared to the sequoia for its thick diameter and height. These venerable giants can live more than 3,000 years, making them the second-oldest tree, after the American bristlecone pine. Heavy fines are levied against anyone caught harming or cutting one down, though a flourishing black market in the wood still threatens the trees even in some protected areas. Other species in the park include evergreen beech, mañío, canelo, ulmo, and thick crops of ferns. It can get pretty wet here year-round, so bring rain gear just in case.
The park itself is serviced by a rough dirt road that leads to a Conaf guard...more local info
This quiet, remote lodge sits on the shore of a small lake -- which must be crossed by a hand-drawn ferry -- at the edge of the national park and...