Tortel

From the mouth of Baker River, Caleta Tortel emerges as a beautiful and quaint town, full of magical stories of hard-working settlers and explorers.

From the mouth of Baker River, Caleta Tortel emerges as a beautiful and quaint town, full of magical stories of hard-working settlers and explorers.

What makes this town unique, is its picturesque architectural style, legacy of the immigrants and first Chileans who came to inhabit this territory, especially, from the island of Chiloé. This is reflected in its ancient mansions made from cypress trees, adorned with old wooden tiles, which provide a great finishing to all their facades. Pieces of wood carved with axes, display the unique beauty and warmth of this noble and aromatic wood.

TORTEL’S WALKWAYS

These wooden walkways and stairs are the streets of the village, and they cover over 7,5 kilometres in the town. Due to the rugged geography, the sector is divided into a first area of archipelagos with countless islands, channels and estuaries; and a second area of steep mountain ranges topped with glaciers, and cut through by narrow valleys. This has forced the building of a series of walkways and footbridges in order to move around without problems. The walkways are made from native Guaitecas Cypress wood (Pilgerodendron uviferum), which abounds in the area. There is a long bridge at the edge of the sea and other random walkways located at higher grounds, all interconnected by endless stairs. Through some of the walkways runs the matrix of the town’s drinking water (* Excerpted from www.plataformaarquitectura.cl.)

Three kilometres away from Caleta Tortel you may visit La Isla de los Muertos Historic Monument (The Island of the Dead,) where there are thirty three cypress crosses that remain unidentified, which were found in 1950 amongst the thick vegetation . The crosses date back to the beginning of the XX century.

a- General Information

Year of Establishment: Founded on the 25th of May 1955

Location: 465 kilometres south of Coyhaique, between Campos de Hielo Norte (Northern Ice Fields) and Campos de Hielo Sur (Southern Ice Fields,) next to the mouth of Baker River and where the famous Golfo de Penas (Gulf of Sorrows) is located.

Nearby Towns: Tortel, Cochrane, Villa O’Higgins

Distance and Estimated Time from Coyhaique: 462 kilometres. 2-day trip (12 hours)

b- Access Routes (by land/ by sea/ by air)

By land

c- What to do / Activities:

Available tours and activities: Boat rides, sighting of flora and fauna, trekking and photography.