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Sandy Raúl Marín Balmaceda

 Estimated reading time: 3 min.Texts Mónica Pons   Photos Eduardo Epifanio
City Tour around Raúl Marín Balmaceda

The coziness of its people and an environment blessed by nature attracted us during our visit to the sea shore and inaccessible woodlands.

Arriving in Raúl Marín Balmaceda from far away and feeling there is a new way to reach this place is quite quaint. We chose to do it on board the “Temporera”.

We had got to La Junta by car following a road that borders the Palena River amidst almost inaccessible forests. A ferry service that crosses the river on a daily basis has been introduced recently.

Once there, we discovered the village little by little. We walked its streets and became aware of the location of the sea and the fjord. It was a weekday and the locals were busy on their daily tasks. This made the tour even more interesting.

We discovered the shady Los Pioneros Square with its playground, the information office and the building occupied by the Neighbors’ Board. Coigües, lumas and myrtle trees rocked their branches in the square and made the summer heat more bearable.

The streets are made of sand. Following Ministro Palma Street towards the seafront, we got past the Carabiniers Station, the Emergency Center and the Post Office.
City Tour around Raúl Marín Balmaceda
At one end of the seafront, there lies the spot where the ferry connects Raúl Marín Balmaceda with Melinka and Chiloé Island; it takes passengers, vehicles and goods. Likewise, recreational watercrafts offer fishing tours at this spot. Those who are interested should contact expert guides and get a permit.

The seafront street, known as La Costanera borders the channel and is sheltered by a row of coigües and myrtle trees that settled the dunes. This small waterway only allows kayak and canoe rides off Lamota Island.

Following a trail, we saw the mouth of the Palena River into the Pacific. We had crossed this river a thousand times during our ride around the Palena-Queulat Basin. Now, we were bidding it farewell.

Back in the channel, we visited the anglers’ pier with its colorful boats that leave in search for salmon and seafood. It was the fishermen’s day off so we could see all the boats moored there.
City Tour around Raúl Marín Balmaceda
We went by some grocery stores, supermarkets and shops, as well as some lodgings and cabins that offer accommodation and food for visitors, along with the politeness of their owners.

The conversation we held with them gave evidence of the incipient development and the varied and increasing tourist offer that attracts more and more visitors year after year.

Open Up Your Eyes
City Tour around Raúl Marín Balmaceda
It was time to see the treasure of Raúl Marín Balmaceda: the sea. The road is sandy and it was Heriberto Klein who led us there on his 4WD.

It was amazing to reach the huge beaches that open up to the sea featuring a broad horizon. The waves hit the shore bringing the typical aroma. The low shrubby vegetation included mainly gorses that dress these shores in yellow at one season. As we had expected, they had been planted in order to settle the dunes.

We were also amazed to see the countless wild strawberry plants on the sand. It is said that everyone goes there to collect these fruit in December, when they are ripe. Delicious küchen is made with them.

To one side, the Pitipalena Fjord and behind the beach, a spectacular myrtle tree woodland. We reached the lighthouse and we were completely alone. With our hair quite disheveled and hands in our pockets, it was so windy we could hardly hear one another.

Dwelled Islands

We spotted Las Hermanas Island from a long distance. It houses a sea lion colony that may be visited when navigation is allowed by the weather conditions. Another island is dwelled by Humboldt penguins or “patrancas”. Another local attraction is the black-necked swans that reach this area every year.

These huge beaches invite visitors to walk, ride a horse, and of course, to fish. La Barra has everything to be a paradise, very hot in the summertime.

On our way back to town, we saw the facilities of a salmon company branch that employs 30% of the local population.
City Tour around Raúl Marín Balmaceda
On the other end of the seafront, there lies the airfield of Raúl Marín Balmaceda and, next to it, Fundo Los Leones Lodge and cabins on the beach.

Very few inhabitants and much to see in this small village by the sea.
Useful Data
Recreational and fishing outings in charge of expert guides.
Fishing permit required.
Inter Patagonia

Raúl Marín Balmaceda, fishermen's village
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