• Photo: Guido Amrein, Switzerland / Shutterstock

Puerto Puyuhuapi

This mossy fishing village of about 500 residents is one of the oldest along the Carretera Austral. It was founded in 1935 by German immigrants fleeing the economic ravages of post–World War I Europe. As in much of Patagonia, Chile offered free land to settlers with the idea of making annexation by Argentina more difficult. Those early immigrants ventured into the wilderness to clear the forests and make way for farms.

Today this sleepy town near Queulat National Park and Termas de Puyuhuapi is a convenient stopover for those headed farther south in the region. It has a few modest guesthouses, as well as some markets and a gas station.

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