General Carrera Lake

General Carrera Lake in the Northen Patagonia in Chile

General Carrera Lake in the Northen Patagonia in Chile

General Carrera Lake (Lago General Carrera) is located in an altitude of 1.148 feet. It is bi-national and has a total surface of 224 thousand hectares, of which 136 thousands are located in Chilean territory and 88 thousand hectares are located in Argentine ground, where it is called Lake Buenos Aires (Lago Buenos Aires). Marine measurements carried out in 1997, determined its maximum depth in 1.936 feet, which turns it into the deepest of South America and the seventh of the world.

General Carrera Lake (Lago General Carrera) was discovered in 1880 by the Argentine geographer Carlos Moyano. In 1902, the shores of the Port Ibáñez (Puerto Ibáñez) and Chile Chico were explored by Hesketh Prichard, an English, and journalist of the newspaper The Daily Express of London, who walked in search of milodones alive, motivated by the finding of the rest of milodón in Magallanes.

The Chilean pilgrims arrived at General Carrera Lake (Lago General Carrera) from Argentine Pampas (Pampa Argentina) in the first decade of century XX. They populated the area, they founded villages and they occupied the best valleys.

The main urban center in Chile Chico and Port Ibáñez (Puerto Ibáñez) is the head port since 1925, when was finished the way that unites it with Coihaique. Port Gadual (Puerto Gadual) is port of entrance to the Valley of Baker (Valle del Baker), as well as Port Murta (Puerto Murta) is of its valley.

There are other towns at the shore communicated by navigation. The good equipped Port Crystal (Puerto Cristal) and Port Sánchez (Puerto Sánchez), in the North shore, arose towards 1948 thanks to the extraction of lead, zinc and copper. Its production removed first through Argentina, via Chile Chico; later, via Port Aisén (Puerto Aisén) through Port Ibáñez (Puerto Ibáñez). In the South shore, it is Fachinal and the Big Mallín (El Gran Mallín), connected through routes.

The landscape of General Carrera Lake (Lago General Carrera) is unusual, compared to that of the lakes located more to the northern part. In Chile Chico and Port Ibáñez (Puerto Ibáñez), when beginning the Chilean part, arise alive rock mountains making them round by the glacier erosion, without any vegetation. These giant rocks are, sometimes, so escarped, that make difficult the passage of the ways.

The lake deep blue contrasts with the green emerald of some bays, where originating rivers of glaciers flow, as it is the case of Port Ibáñez (Puerto Ibáñez). The lake flows into the Pacific Ocean (Oceáno Pacífico) through the River Baker (Rio Baker), the mightiest of Chile.

In this section, the highway borders the west arm of the lake, through lands of transition between the caducifolio forest and the steppe of Patagonian Pampas, with small bays that form beaches, where there are cabins, camping and old houses of pilgrims with remains of old wharves.

The water-drainage of General Carrera Lake (Lago General Carrera) is located immediate to the Lake Bertrand (Lago Bertrand). The place, to one day walking of Coihaique and with an extraordinary fishing, has produced the concentration of the biggest tourist offer of the sector, in the small area among Port Guadal (Puerto Guadal), Port Bertrand (Puerto Bertrand) and the water-drainage. It counts on excellent cabins, programs of fishing and excursions. River down are the cabins Bay Hidden (Cabañas Bahía Escondida) and, after the bridge, the inn Footbridge Lodge 2 (hostería Pasarela Lodge 2). Near 2 miles more to the south are the cabins Bay Catherine (Cabañas Bahía Catalina). Advancing 0.6 miles is Red Mallín (Mallín Colorado), a group of familiar cabins with a care park and a beautiful view to the lake; it offers service of meals, leasing of horses and places for the fishing. 0.9 miles of Port Guadal (Puerto Guadal) it is the Lodge Earth Moon (Lodge Tierra Luna) that offers a big variety of excursions, trekking and mountaineering.

In mile 173, you will arrive at the crossing the Maitén (cruce El Maitén). Shortly before, next to the Lake Black (Lago Negro), it is the Property Three Lakes (Hacienda Tres Lagos), with hotel, cabins, restaurant, leasing of boats, horses and excursions of fishing. From the Maitén appears the attractive side road, in 6 miles leads to Port Guadal (Puerto Guadal) and in 75 miles arrives to Chile Chico.

Continuing towards the south through the Austral Highway (Carretera Austral),  10 miles distance  away, you reach to Port Bertrand (Puerto Bertrand) and, later to Cochrane.

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