The Austral Garden Route has recently expanded two hundred kilometers to the north thanks to the participation of Eric Mayorga and Raxanna Tampier who live in the sparsely inhabited coastal village of Chana, in the region of Los lagos
Eric, a lifelong fisherman, takes people fishing, leads whale tours and introduces visitors to the natural heritage monuments that do their spectacular region of islands, fjords and mountains and forests. Roxanne, a traditional basket weaver, can be found in their small store, weaving the grasses she collects nearby into crafts for sale.
Chana, which has only recently been connected by a gravel road to the Carretera Austral is a short drive from the ferry terminal at Calleta Gonzalo, is a previously unknown gem waiting be explored.
The Austral Garden Route now reaches three hundred kilometers further south with the inclusion of the Rio Cisnes Refugio, a hostal, campsite and cafe located on the banks of the Cisnes river and directly off the Carretera Austral, the refugio is dwarfed by the magnificence of it's surroundings and is the realised dream of Jose Urrutia and Dyana Paris who came in search of sustainability and a life in harmony with nature.
Together with their baby girl they have created a haven, where visitors can fish or bask in beside the mighty river and experience life on the farm, perhaps even feed or care for a sheep. The cafe serves a wide variety of cakes and snacks, maté and genuine coffee made from granulated beans, a luxury in this part of the world!