The Aysen region of Chile, also called Northern Patagonia, has some fascinating locations for photography. My visit was in the late (Patagonian) fall, perhaps just a little after the peak foliage for the lenga and nirre trees. Nevertheless, there was lots of color to be enjoyed and I look forward to a return. Snowcapped mountains form a beautiful background. Water flowing from the ice field on the mountain tops creates fascinating, multi-layered waterfalls as the water cascades into rivers such as Rio Simpson, Rio Baker, and Rio Chacabuco. Rio Baker is known worldwide as a fishing and rafting destination. It’s also quite stunning – a gorgeous blue, almost turquoise color, that sparkles wherever light moves across it.
The Aysen region is the location of the new Patagonia National Park which is well worth time to explore. Mountains, Patagonian steppes, lakes, and wildlife are found here. Another national park, Laguna San Rafael National Park, is the largest in Chile and the site of the San Rafael Glacier with its deep blue color, a lagoon filled with floating ice, and a colony of leopard seals relaxing on the icebergs.
Another highlight is Lago Carrera whose vivid blue color is eye catching in the right light. It is the largest lake in Chile. It was formed by glaciers and is still fed by the flow from the icefield. The lake is beautiful itself, and on its shores, roughly midway, are the Capillas de Marmol, the Marble Caves. These cut outs within the limestone and marble rocks were formed by wind and water starting more than 6,000 years ago. The caves are small, but can be explored by boat where, inside the caves, the shapes can resemble slot canyons contrasting with the deep blue of Lago Carrera.