The entire Carretera Austral was dotted with small port towns and fishing villages. Every night, we were able to go off of the beaten path, park in an isolated area, camp, cook and hike to desolate glaciers and forests. One of the coolest was an abandoned campground hidden off the side of the road on a river complete with an amazing hiking trail to Ventisquero Yelcho Chico (a glacier three miles from the road and hidden in the trees).
The last national park we visited was Parque Pumalin, which had all the amenities that a national park in the states would have. It is just outside of the town of Chaiten, which was annihilated by Volcan Chalten in the last decade. We were able to hike up to the crater and see the volcano still smoking. There are hikes galore here, and we were able to do quite a few before boarding a series of ferrys to take us to the end of the Carretera Austral in Puerto Montt.
We were happy and surprised to find that the Carretera was very mild when it came to rough roads. We imagine that the entire route will be paved within this decade, making it more accessible to travelers, which of course, comes with positive and negative effects. For any questions, feel free to comment, and we will get back to you with any detailed info we can.
Safe travels, and Lots of Love to you and yours,
-Trevor and Bree