Coyhaique is a popular Chilean mountain town in Northern Patagonia, filled with the required amenities of a backpacker exploring the national parks and reserves in the area. Most travelers may find themselves in Coyhaique for a night or two, which is a great reason to explore what this small town has to offer.
WHERE TO EAT, STAY & VISIT IN COYHAIQUE, CHILE
EAT & DRINK!
#1: Mamma Gaucha
This popular pizzeria was recommended to me by my tour group, Chulengo Expeditions. It also frequently came up on other hiking posts, so on my second night in Coyhaique, I headed here to try their pizza and beer. Mama Gaucha is conveniently located off Coyhaique’s main plaza, smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of town. It has a really friendly vibe, great pizza and they serve beer made by the local Coyhaique-based brewery, La Tropera. Beware, weekend nights are popular, so try to make a reservation ahead of time if possible.
Chelenko is a self-described Patagonian steak house, serving traditional food from the region. They have outdoor seating, and a wide-ranging menu that will satisfy any hungry customer. It’s also located in main plaza, opposite Mama Gaucha, so it’s a convenient stop as you explore Coyhaique.
#3: LA TABERNA DE D’OLBEK
I first tried the D’Olbek lager in Santiago, and loved its light and airy flavor. When I found out their brewery was located in Coyhaique, I headed straight there on my first day. Their restaurant is located 1.3 miles outside town - you can easily catch a taxi from the main plaza, or walk 30 minutes to get there. Their food isn’t the greatest, but the vibe, atmosphere and service are phenomenal (and of course, the beer is fantastic).
#4: La Tropera
My favorite place to eat and spend time was at La Tropera Brewery located right in town. It’s got fantastic food and a really pleasant staff. Their beer was also some of my favorite along the Carretera Austral. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area, especially if Mamma Guacha is full.
WHAT TO DO
#1: visit the central plaza
Coyhaique’s plaza is a hotbed of social activity for the small town, and is a great place to find outdoor stores, pharmacies and do some great people-watching. You’ll see tourists and locals alike, milling about it in the busy square. Summer weekends usually means it’s brimming with activities - street vendors, musical performances.
#2: visit the house of mate
It seems that most tourists inevitably found themselves drawn to the House of Mate just off the central plaza. I found it to be a bit too tacky and touristy for my taste, but if you’re in the market for a lovely souvenir to take home from your Patagonia trip, this is definitely worth a look.
Have you visited Coyhaique?
Tell me about your favorite places to eat and drink in the comments below!