Hotel Review: Hotel Mi Casa, Chaiten, Chile

Here is our honest hotel review of Hotel Mi Casa in Chaiten, Chile while visiting Carretera Austral
 

Are you traveling to Chaiten, Chile and looking for the best hotel where to start your Carretera Austral experience? We stayed in Hotel Mi Casa and here's our review.


Despite its size, a small town Chaiten in Southern Chile is not a place to be skipped.

On the contrary, for many travelers, it is a significant and unmissable stop on their itineraries. For us (as for many others), Chaiten was the beginning of our Patagonia trip while for the other group of visitors, the town means the end of the ultimately picturesque Carretera Austral journey. Either way, it doesn't matter if you travel by car, by bus or if you hitchhike your way north or south, there's still a good chance you will spend at least one night in Chaiten.

But it would have been a wrong assumption to think of Chaiten only as about first or last stop on Carretera Austral, as the town has more to offer to all mountains, volcanoes and overall all nature lovers. It is the closest town to Pumalin National Park which is definitely worth your time and effort to get there.


PUMALIN NATIONAL PARK

If you want to get a sense of Patagonia, head to Pumalin National Park where you can admire fjords, snow-capped mountains, glaciers or volcanoes.

Right after our arrival, we did a hike to the viewpoint of Michinmahuida Glacier, and the other day we walked up the path to Chaiten Volcano and it was a great way how to begin our Chilean adventure. But those hikes are not the only things you can do here - kayaking, relaxing in hot springs, biking of fly fishing on one of the many lakes also belong among the most popular activities in the park.

Chaiten town is a perfect gateway for Pumalin National Park

CHAITEN VOLCANO

Talking about volcanoes, it is almost impossible to write about Chaiten and not to mention the Chaiten Volcano eruption which happened in 2008. In that year, until then the dormant volcano violently erupted and covered a large part of southern Chile with ash.

Residents of the Chaiten town had to be evacuated as the majority of it has been destroyed severely - it was so serious that today's town of Chaiten stands 10 kilometers north from the original one.

Pumalin National Park is best visited from a small town Chaiten on Carretera Austral

CARRETERA AUSTRAL

You might be wondering by now why being a part of Carretera Austral is such a big thing.

The construction of the road has commenced in the eighties in order to connect the remote southern part of Chile.

The difficult access and harsh weather conditions cause that the whole, more than 1000 kilometers long road has not been entirely paved yet. But for travelers, Carretera Austral is a symbol of a perfect road trip: with many lakes, glaciers, mountains and thick forests along the way this stretch of road belong among one of the most beautiful highways in the world.

Carretera Austral is 1000 kilometers long road connecting remote southern part of Chile

Because of its popularity, especially during the summer months (December to March), Carretera Austral and natural attractions along the way are visited by thousands of local and foreign travelers and finding a pleasant accommodation becomes a daunting task.

We will make it easier for you as in Chaiten we found a nice, comfortable and affordable hotel which will make your stay in the town exceptional.



HOTEL MI CASA

We couldn't have experienced more obvious difference within South America than crossing borders from cheap Bolivia to expensive Chile. Or at least expensive for us, budget long-term travelers. From time to time we don't mind to pay a bit more for accommodation to enjoy the comfort and take proper rest from being constantly on the road, but it was not until we had reached Chaiten, where we had a feeling that the price asked for is in balance with the quality and customer service.

Hotel Mi Casa is one of the best hotels in Chaiten and on Carretera Austral, Chile

Since we entered the Hotel Mi Casa, we had an instant feeling that we are genuinely welcomed. It probably corresponds to the fact that this hotel is family-owned by two Chilean siblings and from our own experience, you can always tell when you enter a place which is run by the family who takes care of everything. The atmosphere is relaxed, nothing is a problem, and the spirit of the well-taken care of house make for the home-like vibe.

And because of our poor Spanish, we really appreciated the effort of Federico and Maria to speak English with us - not a standard in South America and surprisingly not even a standard in the tourism industry.


LOCATION

When it comes to location, it is hard to beat Hotel Mi Casa as it stands on one of the Chaiten's most privileged places, a small hill overlooking the town, ocean, Corcovado volcano (when it is clear) and other beautiful hills and mountains.

Although the hotel is located almost at the end of Chaiten, you don't need to worry at all as the town is so small that you can reach all points of interests such as grocery stores, bank, square, information center, travel agencies or bus companies literally within five minutes. The advantage is the quiet and peaceful environment where you can slow down and feel like at home.

Town of Chaiten is about 5 minutes walk from Hotel Mi Casa

Overall, when staying at this place in Chaiten, you won't have a problem with connections as buses regularly go north to Puerto Montt, or south along the Carretera Austral to Futaleufu, Puyuhuapi or Coyhuique.

Another way how to get to Chaiten from Puerto Montt is by ferry or by a rental car.


BUILDING

If you already have enough of staying in impersonal concrete hotels, Hotel Mi Casa will really make your day.

The building is made of native wood, and it is incredibly pleasant to spend time inside - you will have an enjoyable sleeping experience. Honestly, we haven't slept that well for a very long time and were quite upset that the bad weather forecast did not work out and we 'had to' go explore Pumalin National Park and couldn't have stayed in bed all day long.

Wooden made building has a great vibe and makes you feel like home

The hotel was opened in 1982 during a time when Carretera Austral was being built, but a lot changed here since then, the building definitely doesn't live from the past, and we could see that the place is well-maintained and renovated little by little.

The hotel is located about 500 meters from the city center

FACILITIES

When you arrive in Chaiten, you wouldn't probably expect that it is possible to find accommodation with proper relaxation facilities, so we found truly surprising that Hotel Mi Casa has an awesome home-made outside hot tub, a sauna, and a pretty big fitness center.

Sauna and the hot tub will make you feel amazing after long day adventures in the Pumalin Nationa Park

All those facilities were built by Federico, the owner and we were really impressed by what he was able to construct with his bare hands not only for his guests but also for residents of Chaiten and for his friends.

Fitness center is well equipped and perfect for morning yoga or exercise

Everything comes super handy after a long actively spent day outside, especially when you take into consideration that weather in Patagonia is unpredictable and rain, wind or cold is no exception, even in the summer.

Tranquil environment is one of the main features of the Hotel Mi Casa, Chaiten

To make your evening even cozier, you can visit the well-stocked bar and meet new people over a glass or two or get to know the owners a bit better. They live in the area for a long time and have interesting stories to share.

You will find a sauna, bar and fitness center in the hotel

The hotel also features free parking: something many people driving Carretera Austral will appreciate for sure.


BREAKFAST

Breakfast is the only meal served in this hotel, so try to come as soon as possible and enjoy it without rush as the view from the dining room is spectacular. We never skip breakfast and you shouldn't too and not only because it is not healthy but also because it would have been a shame.

Breakfast is nice and simple in Hotel Mi Casa and there is a homemade cake every day

Breakfast consists of tea or coffee, cereals, yogurt, bread, jam, ham, cheese, and last but not least, tasty and homemade fruit pie - we couldn't resist and had some.


ROOMS

There are only sixteen rooms in Hotel Mi Casa which adds up to the friendly atmosphere: doubles, twins and some rooms can fit an extra bed.

We had a room with twin bed and view into the lush green forest

Our room was comfortable, clean, light and we enjoyed the family-like vibe there.

Hotel Mi Casa has cozy and clean rooms with a heating

All rooms feature a private bathroom with hot water, heater (although it was not somehow cold outside, it was convenient, and we can imagine that it is a must during colder nights), and strong wi-fi service (much better than we have expected in a remote place like this).

Read our guide on where to sleep in Chaiten, Chile

PUBLIC AREAS

If you want to enjoy the company of other guests or you only want to be outside your room, you can either go to a bar, hang out on a terrace or watch TV, play chess or read in the hotel's lounge. There are two TV rooms, but the one downstairs by the reception is particularly welcoming.

Reading a book after a day-long hike in a warm room with fireplace was amazing relaxation

MAKE YOUR RESERVATION

Hotel Mi Casa is among the best hotels of the northern part of Carretera Austral, so if you like it, do not hesitate to secure your room today. You can make your reservation here.


WHAT TO PACK FOR PATAGONIA

We've written an in-depth Patagonia packing list about what to pack when planning on traveling to Patagonia, but if we should pick ultimate things you need to pack for one-day hikes in this area, we would have chosen the following items.

  • Hiking Boots for Him & for Her | Wearing quality and waterproof hiking boots will make your hikes much easier as your feet will stay dry for the most of the day, and the correct boots will prevent blister.

  • Daypack for Him & for Her | When hiking in Patagonia, you need to pack not only snack and water, but also rain poncho and extra layers of clothes to stay warm, so opt for a backpack with a good back support and waist strap.

  • Waterproof Jacket for Him & for Her | It rains and winds blow often in the mountains. Staying warm is the most important thing.

  • Hiking Poles | They are great not only for multi-day treks but also for day hikes.

  • Water Bottle | Patagonia was the only place in South America where we drank water from the streems and taps. Pack water bottle so you won't need to by single use plastic bottles.


This post was written in collaboration with Hotel Mi Casa. As always, all opinions are our own.


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