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A third of Chile lies south of Puerto Montt and yet it remains sparsely populated.

Here the ocean eats up the valley between the Andes and the coastal mountain range, providing a maze of channels and fjords and islands.

Five rivers run westward, and provide some of the best fly-fishing available.

The Carretera Austral, began in 1976 and completed in three sections, links Puerto Montt to the north with Cochrane in the south, via 1098 km of "camino ripio".

The whole area is pristine forests, many national parks, spectacular fjords, lakes and rivers.

The Skorpios II ship offers a 6-night cruise from Puerto Montt south through the channels and fjords, with the highlight a day at anchor in front of the San Rafael Glacier.

The modern expedition ship Mare Australis offers expedition cruising from Chiloe, near Puerto Montt airport, to Laguna San Rafael.

The Termas de Puyuhuapi offers an opportunity to cruise the scenic splendor of the channels and fjords, travel the famed Carretera Austral, explore nearby Quelat National Park, view the hanging glacier, go fly-fishing or just partake of the spa facilities and thermal pools.