Coyhaique is the Capital of Chile's distant XI region. The city was founded in 1929 and had a slow growth until the construction of the Carretera Austral in the eighties. Since then, Coyhaique has begun to grow to reach the present population of about 45000 inhabitants. The word Coyhaique means "landscape of lakes" in the language of the original inhabitants of the region the Tehuelches.
The best time to visit Coyhaique is in the austral summer season, from late November to early April. In winter the temperatures could be extremely cold with the possibility of snowfalls. In the City itself, it's worthwhile to visit the Reserva Nacional Coyhaique, 5km north of the town. In this natural reserve you can find many native and exotic flora as well as a wide variety of birds. Besides, you can visit the small local museum in the pentagonal Plaza de Armas. However, it is in the beautiful scenery, full of mountains, rivers, lakes and forests, which surrounds the city where the main tourist attractions are found.
Yes, Coyhaique is synonym of outdoor activities. The rivers Simpson, Aisén and Baker are excellent for fly fishing. There are also some lakes where the trout, thanks to the plentiful of food and the unspoiled water, got amazingly developed. However, because of the geography of the landscape these lakes are best fished on a boat. Rio Simpson has also excellent sections to the lovers of rafting and kayak, some parts even are tamed enough to let to the occasional tourist enjoy rafting too. Another activity near the town of Coyhaique is horse riding, an ideal way to enjoy the nature and fauna of the region. At last, Coyhaique has nearby two Reserves: Recerva Nacional Rio Simpson and Reserva Nacional Cerro Castillo that are fantastic for trekking.
Coyhaique and the Aisén region were neglected as tourist destinations for many years because of the lack of population and the inaccessibility of the region. Today these same reasons turn Coyhaique into a paradise for nature enthusiasts from all around the world.
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For more information about Chile visit: Tourist Attractions in Chile. Also check Sightseeing in Chile and Travel to Pucon to know more about this beautiful country.