A booming, blue-collar industrial town that’s growing into one of the ecotourist gateways to Patagonia, Coihaique is now awash with tourHQ guides eager to take you into the Laguna San Rafael and the hiking trails of the Andes.
Set in a truly photogenic landscape of chiselled cliffs and table-top mountains, Coihaique hardly lives up to its Patagonian position. Industry and agriculture dominate the central streets and the suburban peripheries, creeping out ever deeper into the wilds of Aysén as those metropolitan tendrils continue to boom. And while utilitarianism and commerce remain the two defining features of this settler town of the 1930s, ecotourism and adventure travel have also begun to take hold, giving rise to a smattering of suitable accommodation choices and a whole cascade of Coihaique tour guides who offer guided hiking excursions out to spots like the Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael and the trails of the High Andes to name just a few. Those who linger a while can enjoy the intermingling of rural and urban characters that this regional centre does so well, moving between the folksy local beer bars and sampling fiery Chilean creations in the restaurants.
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