Villa O'Higgins is a town of about 600 inhabitants, located in the Aysén Region, Chile, at the mouth of the Mayer River to Lake O'Higgins, next to the border with Argentina
It is the capital of the commune of O'Higgins that extends from the source of the Rio Grande in the north to Mount Fitz Roy and Lautaro volcano in the south. The Villa marks the southern end of the Chilean Carretera Austral, at a distance of 1,240 km from Puerto Montt, 2,034 km from Santiago de Chile, 575 km from Coyhaique and 220 km from Cochrane, always heading south. The main attractions are its glaciers and mountains crossed by multiple trails that run through the generous geography of rivers, lakes and Patagonian forests.  Villa O'Higgins is a fantastic base to undertake various Tourist Activities in its natural environment, such as Trekking, Sport Fishing, Horseback Riding, Expeditions, Photography, Observation of Flora and Fauna.The offer of services in the town is varied and growing, although it still does not have everything that a demanding traveler can demand. The Commerce is varied with small supermarkets, handicrafts, there is also a fuel sales station. In Communications, it has Mail, Fixed Telephony and Mobile Telephony (Entel), Internet, two FM Radio Stations and four national open television channels. In Accommodation there are inns, equipped cabins and several family lodgings with very good attention. To eat, in addition to the lodgings themselves there are restaurants. Another feature of Villa O'Higgins in summer is its Cosmopolitan Atmosphere marked by the Border Crossing with El Chaltén, a fantastic Route for travelers and adventurers that connects the Carretera Austral de Chile with Route 40 of Argentina.

 Foundation and development of Villa O'Higgins

Around 1963 the inhabitants of the mouth of the Mayer River proposed to enable an airstrip to receive support from aircraft from the main Chilean population centers of Patagonia. On the land of the settler Pedro Rivera, the works began that came to fruition at the end of the winter of 1964. Subsequently, on September 20, 1966, Villa O'Higgins was founded to support the Chilean colonizing impulse. The name recalls the Father of the Homeland of Chile, Bernardo O'Higgins.

In the following years the town is consolidated. Titles of ownership are given to the settlers, a primary school is created, a health post is created, a gymnasium is built and the construction of housing for the inhabitants is subsidized. In 1980, the commune of O'Higgins was created, which allowed the operation of the local municipality to support the development of the area and channel the needs of the scarce population. In 1983 it began to generate electricity for the town.

In 1992 the young commune of O'Higgins has 337 inhabitants. that same year, the construction of the Austral road from Puerto Yungay to Villa O'Higgins began and the work was completed in 7 years.

Since the opening of the road in 1999, new services begin to be created in the area such as satellite telephony, internet, asphalting of the runway and improvement of all existing services such as electricity and drinking water. Tourism begins to function as a promising factor in the local economy and many villagers undertake businesses in this regard.

At present, the town is recognized as an important point of support for multiple scientific and sports expeditions to Campo de Hielo Sur, originally promoted by the Chilean Air Force and continued by universities, study centers, foundations and independent athletes.


Villa O'Higgins Facts









Captain Prat


48°28′06"S 72°33′36"W


September 20, 1966


265 m a.s.l.

Population (2012):

Total 612 rooms