Chile: The Carretera Austral

A Guide to One of the World's Most Scenic Road Trips

Book Description

This is the first guidebook focused entirely on the magnificent and historic road uniting northern and southern Patagonia. The few hardy travellers that embark on this journey struggle to find even basic information about the region. The book provides visitors to the often-visited Bariloche and Chilean Lake District with a spectacular alternative means to reach the southern extremes of Patagonia.The road passes through world-class national parks. It stretches from the high Andes to the remote Pacific coast, fed by five great rivers, countless fjords and the largest ice fields outside of Antarctica and Greenland. Trekking options abound, including to and from neighbouring Argentina through pristine wilderness. The region is home to a sub-tropical rainforest, secluded villages without vehicles, picturesque lakes, dramatic and often active volcanoes, and sufficient activities to satisfy even the most adventurous visitors. In addition to practical advice, the book explores the mythical history of a region cut-off from the outside world, and the social and economic impact of the relatively recent connectivity to both mainland Chile and Argentina. Travelling in one of the last unknown regions of South America is challenging, and this book facilitates such travel for those wishing to escape the "gringo trail."

About Sinclair, Hugh

Hugh Sinclair has lived and worked in Latin America since the late 1990s. After graduating from Durham he worked as an investment banker in Canada, Holland and the UK. In 2001 he moved into the development sector, specializing in microfinance. His first book, Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic, was a ground-breaking exposé of the inner-workings of the sector, and his blog is one of the best-read in the sector. He has lived in various countries but five years ago decided to settle down in Patagonia. He has extensively explored the region on both sides of the border. He lives near the northern Carretera Austral, and first stumbled across the road in 2011, and has visited it repeatedly since. When not travelling in Chile and Argentina Hugh works as an economist, and speaks fluent Spanish.

Warren Houlbrooke was raised on a remote sheep farm in New Zealand, where he developed a "fix anything" attitude. He has travelled extensively in Latin America, in particular in all of Patagonia (both the Argentine and Chilean sides). He is a tour-guide for Compass Motorbike Tours, and has worked with Bariloche Moto Tours, who also offer trips along the Carretera Austral. He is a highly proficient motorcyclist, scuba-diver, skier, equestrian, cyclist and sailor, has an Argentine wife and speaks Spanish.