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public transportation  public transportation

Getting to Puerto Montt-Puerto Varas

Most travelers aim to get to Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt and continue from there on to Cochamó. Below are options to get to Puerto Varas-Puerto Montt area.

Flights. There are several flights a day from Santiago to Puerto Montt via LAN airlines. You can also get flights from Punta Arenas (Torres del Paine) and Coyaique.

Buses from Santiago. Buses from Santiago leave in the afternoon or night and arrive early the next day. There are different classes of buses, some of which are quite confortable.

Buses from Bariloche, Argentina. Various Bariloche-Puerto Montt buses leave from early morning to early afternoon. There are no night buses. Buy your ticket in advance during the summer season.

Ferries from the south. If you're arriving from the south - Torres del Paine, Coyaique or ChaitÚn, numerous ferrys go to Puerto Montt. Go to Navimag Ferries website for schedules and costs or call them at +56 (2) 442-3114.

Puerto Montt-Puerto Varas to Cochamó town and trailhead

Buses to Cochamó. From Puerto Montt there are four (less on Sundays and holidays) buses daily to the town of Cochamˇ or Cochamó-River bridge. The trip takes more than two hours. There is no bus schedule here because it changes too often to update its schedule here.

  • If the bus is full leaving Puerto Montt, it will NOT stop in Puerto Varas This is especially common during the busy traveling season of January and February. It's recommended, therefore, to take the bus starting in Puerto Montt during these periods.
  • If catching the bus from Puerto Varas, it does NOT stop at the bus station. It passes through downtown. Ask locals exactly where.
  • Get off in town and arrange a taxi to the trailhead if you are planning to hire pack horses or save energy for the hike in. See below for more info. Otherwise get off at the Cochamó-River bridge and walk the gravel road heading up river for six kilometers (one hour plus walk) to the trailhead.

Hiring a van. Hiring a van is especially good for larger groups, spending less time in the city and more in the mountains, climbers with lots of gear and those who want to travel more confortably. Since they can pick you up at your hostal, airport or bus station and drive you straight to the trailhead, it's the fastest and easiest way. We recommend the following van services:

Pedro Barrientos
minibuses: one that holds 12 passengers and another for 20.
Phone: +56 (9) 8569-0420. Spanish spoken only.

Patagonia Nativa
four-door pickup: for 4 passengers
Phone: +56 (9) 9316-5635. English spoken.

Cecilia Alvarado Rojas
minivan: up to 5 passengers Email:
Phone: +56 (9) 9237-0475. English spoken.

Getting to Cochamó town or trailhead from directly south (Puelo, Camino Austral, Parque Pumalín)

Chaiten-Parque Pumalín to Cochamó. It's also possible to get there from the south via the Carretera Austral that passes through Chaiten, Parque Pumalín, Horno Piren, Puelo and Cochamó. This way takes numerous connections via ferry and different bus companies. It's only possible January and February when the ferry runs connecting Parque Pumalín to Horno Piren.

Lago Puelo, Argentina to Cochamó. This a great option either as a multi-day trek or a combination of boats and transport with minimal walking. Just outside of El Bolsón, there are numerous boat, van and bus connections that carry passengers across Lago Puelo and eventually connecting with Cochamó. The crossing includes beautiful lakes including Lago Puelo, Lago Inferior and Lago Las Rocas. From the latter, a road leads through Llanada Grande, across Lago Tagua Tagua via a ferry, to Puelo and eventually Cochamó.

Cochamó town to trailhead

It's recommended to hire a taxi from Cochamó town to the trailhead. Fit hikers and those not in a hurry can get off the bus at the bridge three kilometers past town and hike the gravel road six kilometers up to the trailhead. Otherwise tell the bus driver to drop you off in Pueblo Hundido, Cochamó.

Taxis. There are many automobile owners willing to transport people to the trailhead, the majority of which include jumping into the back of a pickup. Some of the more economic choices are listed below.

Taxis, minibuses. There are serveral transport services that run from Cochamó town to the trailhead.

Pedro Barrientos
$1,500 pesos (~US$3) per person.
Transport service every 90 minutes from Cochamó town to the trailhead.
Phone: +56 (9) 8569-0420. Spanish spoken only.
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