Where Chile almost ends, by the end of the world, you can visit Coyhaique (Coihaique), in the middle of the Chilean Patagonia.
The name of the region comes from Mapudungun, the native language of the aborigines or mapuche people, who called the area "coyhaique", thinking of the words "koi" (lagoon) and "áiken" (camp).
As any other tourism attraction in Southern Chile, vegetation is wild, with enormous millenary forests that include native species and where thousands of animals seek shelter and try to survive in a very fragile environment. It is a very rainy area and winters are particularly cold, with snow that covers the lower mountains and paints all landscapes of white.
The city, one of the new in the country that were not part of the Spanish colonization, keeps native features where open spaces are the protagonists and buildings are low, delivering an amazing landscape that is worth visiting.
This is where you can walk to the Artisan’s fair, where different hand-made products are sold, including items made of wood, wool, clay, rocks and leather. It is right across the main Square in the city and it is an excellent example of the artistic expression in the region, considering artisans from all over travel to the fair to showcase their work. It is open since 9 in the morning.
To the west of the city, by the Simpson River, you can find La Piedra del Indio (The indian’s Stone), a rocky formation carved by erosion, which shows the profile of a man, an Indian. It is a natural work of art framed by beautiful vegetation and blue skies. You can plan a trip for the day, find a picnic site nearby and enjoy the surroundings.
Near the Piedra del Indio you can visit the Fish Farming Station, where visitors can get to see more of salmon and sturgeon farming, both powerful examples in Southern Chile of a product more demanded by foreign markets, especially the Asian market. It is by the river of Río Claro.
In the northern part of the city, however, you can visit the Coyhaique Reservation, where native flora and fauna are simply spectacular, including many endemic species and some which are in danger of extinction. The park includes over 13 kilometers of roads, paths for walks and excursions, biking routes, mountains to climb, camping sectors and many places to photograph. A small fee is charged at the entrance and you can visit the reserve between October and April.
Another place to visit is the regional museum, in the middle of the city, where you can see a permanent photographic exhibit dedicated to the aborigines, as well as seeing objects and utensils that tell the history of Coyhaique.
Coihaique includes tourism for everybody: more adventurous venues and rural tourism, as well as historic places to visit. Starting at the main square, even, landscapes are already a breather and something new to the places we are all more used to, the hustle of big cities and noise made by technology.
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