Puyahuapi Lodge review

It’s quite a journey to get to grand old Puyuhuapi Lodge on the Carretera Austral in Chile, but that adds to the feeling you’ve made a real journey to somewhere special. In a postcard-perfect location on a quiet bay, with mountains rising up all around, this is not a place you go to sit inside and stare at a screen. It’s a lodge meant for exploring and soaking in the natural hot springs.

Opened in 1993, this is not a hip and modern hotel, but rather a comfortable word-of-mouth discovery that lets you commune with nature.

It has now become something of an institution, and the 30 bedrooms have received many a return guest. Arriving at Puyuhuapi is something of a feat as you have to conquer the dirt roads that wind through Queulat National Park in order to arrive at the little jetty to catch one of the daily boat transfers across the fjord to the hotel (there are set departures, but you can also book a private crossing).

With planked walls, a communal fireplace, and expansive windows to take in the view, this place has the feel of a real mountain lodge, one that encourages mingling rather than isolation. The local thermal pools are mostly in a natural state, without being turned into resort swimming pools. Meals are served in a long dining room overlooking the fjord and there’s an emphasis on hearty fare to fortify adventurers who have been kayaking or hiking.

Rooms come in several categories, with the top choice being the large Captain’s Suite with a terrific view. Next best are the waterfront suites with small terraces. Rates start at $250 double without meals or $700 for an all-inclusive plan.

See our full review of Puyuhuapi Lodge and Spa in northern Patagonia.