El Amarillo: The charming town located on the Carretera Austral

El Amarillo: The charming town located on the Carretera Austral

The architecture of its houses look as if they would have taken them straight out of a European town, its colors, well-kept gardens, and wooden fences are complemented by the simplicity and humility of the place. A small rainbow only minutes from Chaitén.

Known for its hot springs, El Amarillo is a small rural town located 25 kilometers southeast of Chaitén and south Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park. It only has one street, few inhabitants, and a clean and green evironment.


El Amarillo from above















For locals, this place is “the center of the world. Its tranquility and safety overwhelm you, giving you the feeling that nothing bad will happen.  Everyone kindly greets you with a smile on their face. And its privileged location offers gorgeous views of green meadows, snowy mountains, and the imposing Michimahuida Volcano.

A few years ago, this area was not considered a tourist attraction for its precarious appearance, until businessman, Douglas Tompkins began a project to make this area beautiful – “The Conservation Land Trust”-, that consisted in remodeling the few houses in this town.

The result is surprising: paved streets that have dozens of wooden houses on their sides. These have an architecture inspired on European countryside, all of them very well-kept and painted in attractive colors. Each house has a garden and wooden fences that give life to a unique landscape in the Carretera Austral.

Despite its location in the southern end of the country, visitors can find accommodation, Internet connection, good cell phone service, and a market that has food, clothes, camping items, fly fishing accessories, or crockery, to mention some of the products.

El Amarillo Hot Springs
The Green Puma, the last oasis in the Patagonia

One of the main attractions of El Amarillo is “The Green Puma,” a complete store where you can find everything you might need for your trip, or, even, if you live in the area.

Despite its clean and sophisticated appearance, the prices of this place are the same you would pay anywhere in the country. Here, they offer organic fruits and vegetables, bread, ice-cream, beverages, meat, dairy, and sweets. For the household, you can find toiletries, hardware, decoration, crockery, woodwork, wool handcrafts, and books. Other things to point out are that you can pay with debit card and the staff knows English.

An important characteristic of this market is that it is the last chance to get fuel until Coyhaique. Its gas station operates through self-service and it is the last prelude before entering, furthermore, into the wonders of the Carretera Austral.