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The peculiar houses of Puyuhuapi are the architectonic reflection of the German roots of the first inhabitants of the zone, who came to these lands seeking to bring about a future for themselves due to the vicissitudes of history. There is a series of flashy constructions from those times still standing, thus offering us an idea of the drive and perseverance of these colonisers.
But the charms are not reduced to the port, they prolong to the Queulat National Park and its different sectors, also to the famous thermal baths and a series of places yet to be explored, where you can practice diverse activities, some of which are as exciting as rafting and kayaking, and others rather serene like sport fishing.
You cannot miss the following places in Puyuhuapi:
-Factory of Rugs: it is one of the sources of pride in Puyuhuapi; it was founded in 1945 by textile engineer Walter Hopperdietzel, one of the first German colonisers to arrive in this beautiful southern land.
A strapping and enterprising man, Hopperdietzel began enlarging the installations of his factory with the painstaking drive of an ant and with the help of his father, who had the same profession, and his brother, when he realised that the raw material (sheep wool) was abundant in the zone. Besides, he wanted to generate a source of work for the nascent community.
The family designed a rustic vertical loom to which the rugs were knotted by hand, an activity that required the dexterity and ability of the weavers from Chiloé; this system is used even today.
Due to their fine finishes and the originality of their designs, the rugs of Puyuhuapi began to gain a space and recognition on national and international levels. Nowadays, travellers can go on guided tours through the factory in order to learn everything concerning the production process of the rugs, from the dying of the wool, the cutting, the weaving knot by knot, the shearing and the final touches.
The tour ends with the appreciation of several styles: classical, ethnical and modern; nevertheless, the dexterity of the work that continues to support itself on the skill of the artisans is evident in all of them.
It is located on Aysen Street unnumbered, in the Port of Puyuhuapi.
-The Ludwig House: it is one of the main constructions in the port; it is entirely made of wood and its ambiences and halls were witness to important events during the development of the community.
The house was raised between 1953 and 1963 by Ernest Ludwig, one of the founders of Puyuhuapi, and you can enjoy spectacular views of the bay and the hills surrounding the port from its interior. It is currently a lodge with space to host up to 36 guests, which is administered by the descendants of the old coloniser.
It is located on Otto Uebel Avenue unnumbered, at the kilometre 220 of North Austral Highway.
-Mansion of Puyuhuapi: it has three storeys and was built in 1944 by Otto Uebel to shelter the first group of Teutonic immigrants that arrived in these lands, and its architectonic features are clear evidence of the German roots of its founder.
The beautiful house is now an attractive lodge and restaurant located on Austral Road unnumbered, in the southernmost end of the town.
You need to visit other constructions of great interest in downtown Puyuhuapi, such as the Walter Hopperdietzel House, built in 1956; or the so-called German Lodge, built by Helmut Hopperdietzel between 1960 and 1970; besides its traditional pulpería (convenience store), where a series of products, mainly home supplies, are expended.
On the outskirts
-Thermal Baths of Puyuhuapi: it is one of the main thermal resorts in Chile and a spectacular tourist compound, with a 4-star hotel, a superb spa in which treatments based on thalassic or marine therapies are offered, including the use of algae and hydro-massages; along with a series of pools and private Jacuzzis into which the medicinal waters coming from the Melimeyu Volcano flow.
The thermal waters of Puyuhuapi reach a maximum temperature of 85º Celsius and they are characterised for having a strong mineralization, presenting chlorides and sulphates, magnesium, chromium and zinc, and a PH of 6.3; they are recommendable for treatments against rheumatic illnesses, arthritis problems and for the skin.
Its pools at sea level, which allow guests alternating their bathes between the thermal waters and the sea waters, thus making their stay yet more fun in this warm and elegant compound surrounded by exuberant vegetation, also stand out.
It is located on the shores of the Fiord of Puyuhuapi, on the Dorita del Seno Ventisquero Harbour, 10 kilometres southeast of the Port of Puyuhuapi, and 213 kilometres northeast of the City of Coyhaique, in the Province of Aysen. You need to follow Austral Highway to finally come aboard on one of the regular ferries that weigh anchor at Puyuhuapi.
-Queulat National Park: it is a territory mostly intact, a fantastic natural refuge with an exuberant evergreen forest, imposing glaciers and fiords, absolutely calmed lakes and rumbling rivers that crisscross its 154093 hectares. The Hanging Ventisquero, the Port of Queulat, the Risopatrón Lake, the Fiord of Queulat and the Pedro Garcia Falls stand out amongst its attractions.
The park is divided in various sectors, some of which border the Puyuhuapi Canal; it has camping and picnic areas, besides specific zones for the practice of trekking or hiking, rock scaling, sport fishing and flora and fauna watching, amongst other activities.
It is located in the Communities of Cisnes and Lago Verde, in the Provinces of Aysen and Coyhaique, in the XI Aysen Region, 10 kilometres southeast of the Port of Puyuhuapi.
Puerto Cisnes is well attended due to its excellent fishing possibilities, like the waters of the River Cisnes, which are also the perfect scenario for other sport activities such as rafting and kayaking.
Puerto Cisnes is currently head of an ample insular territory that includes Puerto Gaviota and Puerto Gala, both fishermen's islands.
It is located at a little over 50 kilometres from the Port of Puyuhuapi, and 145 kilometres north of Coyhaique.
Activities in Puyuhuapi
-Sport Fishing: it is one of the most widespread activities in Puyuhuapi thanks to the diverse canals and rivers that run along its ample geography, most of them easily accessed.
Fly fishing is the most practiced modality, in which an artificial lure known as "fly" is used, which is most suitable for the capture of the salmons and trout (in its brown and rainbow varieties) that are abundant in the Chilean Patagonia.
Amongst the most attended zones for the practice of this sport we have the Queulat River and the Risopatrón Lake and River, located within the Queulat National park. There is also the River Cisnes, located in the homonymous port.
-Navigating along the canals: there are several routes for canoeing and kayaking in Puyuhuapi, sport activities that allow enjoying nature and its splendid settings. The most frequented places for the practice of these sports are the Puyuhuapi and Yacaf Canals, the Fiord of Queulat and the Rivers Figueroa, Cisnes and Palena.
It is advisable to practice these sports in the company of specialised guides.