Starting from Puerto Natales, the road makes a big loop during the day: starting on an eastern road that heads to the north, and coming back south from the west side.
This route will allow us to see all the possible Patagonian landscapes: from the desert steppe made up of golden coirón grasses, to the rainy evergreen forests, evidence of the humidity increase caused by the presence of the Andes.
Each environment hosts its own bird communities.
In the morning we will take Route 9 that leads to the village of Cerro Castillo. From there on, taking a rustic track locally named “Castillo Viejo”, we get deep into the more remote Patagonian steppe. With mountains as a background, we will watch condors and eagles soar, rheas cross our way, and flamingoes wading in shallow lakes around us. We will stop at several little lakes and ponds where waterfowl are abundant and varied.
Once we enter the Estancia “Vega Castillo”, we are in a birders’ paradise. This unique wetland with several reed islands, serves as home to a wide range of plant and animal life; and is a magnificent spot to observe a great number of bird species.
Around the lake, patches of Nothofagus trees hold a variety of forest birds. Everywhere in the area, birds of prey and scavengers take profit from dead hare and sheep from the estancia.
After spending a full day enjoying this incredible spot, we will continue our journey toward the west and then to the south. This area by the Andes is more humid and lush; the road passes through forests, in between mountains and lakes, to finally reach the Fjord of Última Esperanza again.
This trip is ideal for birders, birdwatchers and wildlife lovers; also for photography and Nature enthusiasts.
Total time: 8 - 9 hours
Car drive distance: 180 km (112mi)