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Getting There

By Boat -- Naviera Austral, at Angelmó 2187 in Puerto Montt (tel. 65/270000; www.navieraustral.cl), used to run four weekly trips from Puerto Montt (10 hr.; one-way tickets from $24/£16) and three weekly trips from Castro, Chiloé (7 hr.; $22/£15), though service has been reduced significantly, down to as little as one trip per week in mid 2009. At press time, Naviera Austral could not confirm when services would return to normal. From Quellón, south of Castro, ferries cross to Chaitén twice a week; Naviera Austral's offices in Quellón are at Pedro Montt 457 (tel. 65/682207). In early 2009 only passengers on vehicles were allowed on the ferries from Puerto Montt and Quellón; however, foot passengers could visit if they arranged their own transportation out, often by hitching a ride with other ferry passengers.

By Plane -- Several small airlines flew back and forth between Puerto Montt and Chaitén; however, after the May 2008 eruption all were shut down with little hope of returning anytime soon. Most were on shaky ground already, but damage to the airstrip and the lack of passengers was the last nail in the coffin.

By Bus -- Bus schedules in this region are always subject to change, especially because traffic here has slowed to a trickle since the 2008 eruption. Both Chaitur (tel./fax 65/731429; nchaitur@hotmail.com) and B&V Tours (tel. 65/731390) have information about service to destinations such as Futaleufú, Puyuhuapi, and Coyhaique. Buses to all destinations used to leave daily, from December to March; from April to November, buses to Futaleufú leave six times weekly, and four times weekly to Coyhaique, with a stop at Puyuhuapi. The road to Caleta Gonzalo and Pumalín was still destroyed at press time and a long way from being rebuilt. Check with park officials for updated information on the route.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.