Melinka, is the oldest town in the Region of Aysén, is located on the island Ascension, in front of the Port Raúl Marín Balmaceda, on the northern limit of the Region of Aysén.

Melinka is currently the most important town in the commune and the entire Guaitecas Archipelago made up of more than 40 islands and islets scattered in a territorial area of ​​459 km2, between the Moraleda channel and the Pacific Ocean; where a large part of this Archipelago integrates the beautiful Natural Reserve of the Guaitecas.

Its main attraction is that it is inside the places of transfer of the fantastic blue whale and impressive humpback whales; The only known place in the world where some rare specimens that managed to survive the whaling massacre meet. It is said that there are not more than 3,000 in all the seas of the world, but in Corcovado more than 150 have been seen and around 85 specimens have been identified by their fins.

No less wonderful is watching the playful dolphins that accompany the boats; like the great community of sea lions and penguins of Magellan. In addition to South American terns, petrels, and several species of gulls and cormorants abundant by these channels.

Ecotourism companies promote trekking routes through wet tundra trails, as well as the rescue of the traditions of the chonos, indigenous nomads that inhabited the island.

The Los Canales route and the Padre García route, approximately four hours away through the Melinka channels, allow you to appreciate the abundant flora and fauna of the archipelago and take a walk through the cypress forests that are preserved in the area; while the second, inspired by the trip made by a Jesuit priest in 1700, is sailed for five days from Melinka to the San Rafael lagoon, through the Guaitecas National Reserve.

Gastronomy plays an important role, since the island has a wide variety of products from the sea, where the king crab is one of its star products, as well as salmon and sea bass. It also highlights the native potato of Chiloé, which has adapted to the climatic conditions of the archipelago and which has become one of the protagonists of the local menu. The curanto or the saw to the stick, are a new way of cooking the fish using a stove and stakes of luma.

As for crafts, the older inhabitants still preserve the techniques of the jonquil weaving, with which they make various ornaments and objects.

Visitors can lodge in replicas of the rucas used by nomadic sailors, based on the knowledge of José Lepío, a former fisherman of the area and an indigenous descendant. Replicas of the huts where the chonos lived on the same conchales that they used as base of their homes.

There you can also learn the smoking of fish, a technique used by the natives to preserve their food. In addition, you can practice the fishing method used by the chonos, in which each of the fishermen hit the water with a stick to corral the fish and force them to go to where the network is.

Without a doubt, Melinka is a place where traditions, culture and the preservation of the ecosystem go hand in hand.

The Bosque Encantado trail is located within the Queulat National Park, which in turn is part of the National System of Wild Areas Protected by the State, on the Carretera Austral.

The entrance to the trail is about 180 kilometers north of Coyhaique and 45 kilometers from Puerto Cisnes. It is a natural attraction of thousands of years, which contains a unique wealth of flora and fauna. For those who practice trekking, this is one of the must-see spots in southern Chile.

This path of medium difficulty lasts approximately two hours, where you can learn about the biodiversity characteristic of the Evergreen Forest, with centuries-old forests of coihues, mañíos, mosses and lichens.

You can find an open area of ​​moraine wrapped in bushes, which clearly reminds us of the glacier pass through the valley that is today crossed by the Cascadas River.

Walking along this rocky path, you will reach the lagoon popularly known as “El Duende” or “El Gnomo”, fed by El Pudú snowdrift, which is abundant with icebergs that break off from the ice mass above the glacial cirque. .

Its most outstanding attractions are: Centennial forests, among which are coihues (Nothofagus dombeyi), mañíos (Podocarpus nubigena), mosses and lichens; In addition to the Cascadas river and El Duende lagoon

Its year of Creation: October 13, 1983. It has a Total surface: 1,700 meters approximately.
Path located within the Queulat National Park, in the provinces of Aysén and Coyhaique.
Nearby localities: Puyuhuapi, Puerto Cisnes and Lago Verde.

In the Enchanting Forest you can do trekking, contemplation of flora and fauna and photography.

The San Rafael lagoon is a proglacial lake and measures approximately 15 kilometers (north to south) long and 10 kilometers wide (east to west), and is up to 200 meters deep.

It is one of the most important tourist attractions of the region of Aysén and Patagonia, the gigantic San Rafael glacier, has a front of 2 kilometers wide (north to south) and an approximate length of 20 kilometers. Its wall exceeds 50 meters in height, from which huge pieces of ice fall over the lagoon. In the southern hemisphere is the glacier that reaches the sea level closest to the line of the Equator.

The glacier is monitored for studies of climate change, whose tracks are present on the slopes eroded by ice over thousands of years.

The San Rafael lagoon and its glacier are located in the Northern Ice Fields, which in turn are entirely located in the San Rafael Lagoon National Park, where CONAF maintains a nursery and infrastructure in the park near the camping area sector.

In this national park it is also possible to appreciate the terrestrial and marine fauna of the region, among the birds stand out: the huala duck (Podiceps major navasi), the black-necked swan (Cygnus melancoryphus) and the cormorant (Phalacrocorax atriceps). In the sea, they can be observed habitually: tonina (Cephalorhynchus eutropia), wolves of a hair (Otaria flavescens), chunchungos (Lontra felina) and southern marine elephant (Mirounga leonina).

In 1979, this park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

The San Rafael National Park, where the lagoon is immersed, was created on June 17, 1959. It has a Total surface area: 1,742,000 hectares.

Distance and estimated time from Coyhaique: 5 hours, 1 hour to Puerto Chacabuco and 4 of Navigation.

This island is located at the mouth of the Baker River, this is characterized by being smooth and low and without much vegetation.

However, it is a historical monument because it was one of the first colonization vestiges in the area and also because of the legend of the workers who arrived in the area and ended up dying after experiencing strange symptoms that were deteriorating them: bruises on the legs and arms , hemorrhages, bleeding gums, headaches and other ailments.

The “Island of the Dead” is the oldest site with “western” constructions known in the Aysen Region and it may be the most valuable historical site that currently exists in this region, where these are particularly scarce, due to the recent settlement, deterioration typical of inclement weather and fires, among the most relevant reasons.

It was declared a “Historical Monument” because of its great cultural value, since it contains an old cemetery dating back to 1906, when around 120 “hacheros” chilotes who worked for the “exploiting company of the Baker” died of rare symptoms. This has 33 crosses, is testimony of the respect that the community of Tortel has had towards this space for more than a century of the permanent deterioration caused by natural forces. The caua of the death of the workers is a mystery that no one knows if one day it will be resolved.

In addition to its historical values, it is an excellent representative of the special and interesting natural conditions that occur in the delta del Baker, the main river in Chile. It summarizes here, in addition to its fluvial geomorphological constitution, the existing biomes in the commune, producing a beautiful frame of cold forest in an environment of superb landscape of mountain ranges and glaciers, which, apart from the value that it has by itself, enhances even more the mystery of what happened there.