If you looked on a map to see where Puyuhuapi is, it would be exactly in one of those areas you probably never gave any thought to. One of those places where geographically you know exist, but the rest is just blank.
Or that’s what it was like for me before I started planning this trip to Patagonia with my dad. All of Southern Chile was just a large area full of islands and who knew what else.
I was totally uneducated about this long slice of land on the tip on South America. Luckily, my dad was quite knowledgeable about the region. At home preparing for the trip, our kitchen table was constantly covered in maps with scribbled notes and rough routes.
And it turns out that Patagonian Chile one of the most beautiful places in the world, and smack-dab in the middle of it lies Puyuhuapi.
The Aysen Region of Patagonian Chile
With our rental car from Bariloche, Argentina, my dad and I had only been on our trip for a few days before we reached this small, seaside town in Chile. At the tip of the fjord sat Puyuhuapi, a sleepy place with a few spots for camping and some basic guesthouses. We continued on though. While quaint, the town of Puyuhuapi wasn’t what we were there for.
We were first going to camp in the Queulat National Park and then get some real pampering and relaxation at the Puyuhuapi Lodge and Spa.
Driving past the town and towards the national park, the area didn’t disappoint. The calm waters in the fjord were bright blue and crystal clear. The surrounding mountains were covered in thick vegetation by enormous ferns and the local nalca plants. In the distance, snow-capped peaks and glaciers framed the smaller forested mountains nearby.
The Hanging Glacier at Queulat National Park
Knowing we’d have real beds soon enough, my dad and I turned into Queulat National park to camp for the night. In the morning, we’d hike to get a view of the park’s main attraction– the hanging glacier.
The area has basically been left untouched until the construction of the Carretera Austral (the region’s first main highway) in the late 70s. Combine that with the 350-400 centimeters of rain the region receives each year, and you can understand why it’s still so pristine and being overtaken with huge leafy plants, moss and vines.
Knowing the region gets a lot of rain, we assumed the crashing sounds we heard throughout the night were thunder in the distance. On the trail to view the glacier the next morning we realized otherwise.
The thunder-like claps were actually large chunks of ice breaking off the glacier and crashing into the moraine below.
Once we reached the closest viewpoint for the hanging glacier, our theories were confirmed. We stood and watched ice dislodge from the glacier, fall into the waterfall and crash into the ground. Even the glacier’s subtle movements would make echoing booms through the valley.
Perfect summer weather at Puyuhuapi Lodge and Spa
After having camped, hiked and driven down dusty, bumpy roads for a few days, my dad and I were both equally ready for some luxury.
We drove to a small parking lot and walked to the private dock. We’d cross the fjord to the lodge on the only mode of transportation available. It was now our second day of perfect summer weather in this area that is known for consistent rain. Cutting across the glassy water and past some small forested islands, it couldn’t of been more perfect.
And then we saw the lodge.
I was giddy with excitement as it was one of the most beautiful hotels I’d have the pleasure of staying at. Combing elements of wood, stone and tile, the hotel’s architecture fits perfectly with the backdrop and nestles itself perfectly onto the beach of the calm bay.
Relax and Repeat
With no wifi, cell service, roads or nearby anything, Puyuhuapi is the ultimate retreat. Luckily, the resort itself has everything you’d ever need.
It felt more like a cozy family mansion than a 5 star resort. The sitting areas were warm with large windows to enjoy the views. The rooms had cloud like beds and spacious balconies for sitting in the sun. Kayaks were available for rent to take around the bay. There were even chess and pool tables where I could of imagined myself passing the time during periods of rain. The resort also offers daily excursions like nature hikes to glacier tours.
I didn’t have a chance to do any of that though.
The weather was so perfect that I was too busy lounging outside and taking dips in the various pools.
The Puyuhuapi lodge is perfectly placed on natural hot springs. The lodge takes full advantage of the natural resource and utilizes it everywhere possible. There’s an entire indoor spa area, full of different pools and jacuzzis. On the other side of the resort, down some forested paths, a few different pools of different temperatures overlook the bay. You can lounge by the pools with a beer, take a hot dip and then go to cool off in the sea.
Another pool is tucked away surrounded by leafy trees and vines, just like a tropical pond. Surrounding it, the mud is full of minerals and perfect for skin treatment. I let it sit on my body until it became crackly, washed it off in the steaming pool and felt smooth and refreshed.
It was vacation bliss and I enjoyed every minute of it.
The best part is that they never close. At any time of day or night you can go to enjoy each little hot spring oasis.
Given that there aren’t any other places to go for food or drinks, you’re pretty much forced to eat and drink at the resort. Thankfully, this isn’t a bad thing in the slightest. There’s a low key casual cafe, the resort restaurant and a couple bars. Using regional ingredients, my dad and I enjoyed a great three course meal for dinner. It was even pretty economical for a five star resort, costing us only $32 each.
I must say the breakfast buffet was my favorite though. I made my way through cheese after cheese after cheese. I had to try them all!
Needed peace and quiet
After my hectic travel schedule, Puyuhuapi was exactly what I needed. Facing exhaustion, taking a break from the stressers of travel was exactly necessary. It helped hit the reset button so that I could continue on our road trip.
At Puyuhuapi, I felt refreshed and even a little bit spoiled.
I went to sleep that night in the most comfortable bed I’d slept in in months. Out the window I could see the dark shapes of the mountains surrounding the bay. The stars were bright and the water outside was calm.
I hadn’t felt so at ease in a while.
Sadly, we only had time to stay one night. I couldn’t complain though, I was thankful to even have that short time to enjoy this slice of paradise. While we took the boat back across the fjord, I gazed over toward the resort enjoying the warm summer’s sun on my skin for a few more minutes. From the extremely lucky weather conditions to the surroundings, this was one luxury escape I will never forget.
- Puyuhuapi Lodge and Spa offers three types of accommodation: Bed & Breakfast, Half Board and All Inclusive. Obviously the prices are dependent on the package you book.
- If you have your own vehicle you must alert the lodge on which boat you will be taking to get to the lodge. This is a free service but if you happen to need a transfer outside the three daily departures, it can cost you up to $100
- If you do not have your own vehicle the resort offers an airport transfer package from Coihaique airport.
- While the hot springs are free to use, the resort also offers kayak rentals, guided excursions, massages and spa treatments for purchase.
Puyuhuapi Lodge sponsored my stay for this dreamy getaway. Regardless, all opinions are my own and I can’t speak of this lodge highly enough.