If you look for Puerto Natales on Google Earth, you will note that it’s located on the shores of the Admiral Montt Gulf, the entrance to Last Hope Sound. Following the gulf to the south, you will see a delicate stretch of water winding southwest until its course is obstructed by mountains. That section is aptly named Obstruction Sound. More than a specific place, it is a scenic route bordering said waterway for approximately 45km. Start your trip in Puerto Natales and finish in the small town on the coast of the sound. It is tremendously interesting to witness the landscape changes in the south, entering a zone both humid and mountainous, with the appearance of the Coigüe (Nothofagus betuloides) and the Guaitecas cypress (Pilgerodendron uviferum). Both species are typical in areas surrounding the canals and fiords. The roadway winds around the sound while gaining altitude, allowing for spectacular views of the mountains and, in the very distance, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. It is one of my favorite views, without a doubt.
This route can be done from Puerto Natales in a rental car, without much trouble. Take all the time in the world to explore and enjoy the coastal landscape, with its infinite seabirds and forests appearing along the way. One of the views that I have enjoyed most in my years in Magallanes is this route, by bicycle, from the highest point in the road to the border of the beach (approx. 10 km). In some sections the road rises suddenly, as it does for downhills as well. Take the proper precautions to enjoy this activity safely.
In case you prefer walking, there have been various people along the way who have summited the nearby peaks (Mount Rotundo, Cerro Pelario). At this moment we aren’t aware of any tour agency offering activities in this area. We will continue searching!
Whichever activity you wish to do, you can take an entire day to delve into this stunning region. At the end of the day you’ll be able to say you have known a part of the profound, silent and solitary Patagonia.More...
How to arrive
Take the southern exit from Puerto Natales (also called camino Dumestre) and continue bordering the sea. Around kilometer 25, the road winds upwards to the forests and higher altitudes. Don’t worry, you’re on the right track. Continue straight for approximately the next 20 kilometers.
Good to know
It is important to clarify that on this road there is no gas station or any place to buy food or supplies. Plan ahead and bring everything you need from Puerto Natales. If you would like to camp, remember that the coasts are public access, no one can prevent you from accessing, roaming, or the possibility of camping.