On May 2, 2008, Volcán Chaitén, at the foot of which nestles its namesake town, erupted for the first time in over nine thousand years, taking the local residents completely by surprise, as the volcano was thought to be dormant. The town, and much of the surrounding area, had to be evacuated as the 19-mile (30km) plume of ash and steam from the volcano affected the local water sources. Worse was to come when the a mudslide caused floods which devastated the town. While the Bachelet government ordered the the town to be abandoned, the Piñera administration subsequently reversed the decision and, with vital services now reinstated, Chaitén is once again connected to Puerto Montt and other destinations along the Carretera Austral by frequent boat and bus.

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15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
Quiz: can you locate these national parks?

Quiz: can you locate these national parks?

National parks are some of the world's most awe-inspiring natural places, taking in mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and forests (sometimes all in the same one…

02 Jul 2015 • Rebecca Hallett help Quiz
Off the map in the Atacama: Chile's eerie ghost towns

Off the map in the Atacama: Chile's eerie ghost towns

Thousands of foreign travellers visit the geysers, salt flats, oases and volcanoes of north Chile’s Atacama Desert, but few make it to two of the region’s m…

14 Jan 2015 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
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