History of Coyhaique

“Coyhaique” stands for “village surrounded by water” and it was formerly dwelled by native groups that lived on hunting and fishing. They were called Chonos and Alacalufes.

In the late nineteenth century, colonization began with the arrival of several companies exploiting wood. These companies destroyed millions of hectares of wood and carried out excessive logging.

Later on, the provincial government founded the city on October 12, 1929 in an attractive and fruitful valley made up by the Simpson and Coyhaique Rivers and Mount Divisadero. The purpose was to encourage and support the work done by the colonists and Aysén Industrial Society, which had had its headquarters upstream from Coyhaique ever since 1906.

The climate and geographical features of the area have always been appropriate for cattle raising and sheep husbandry. In fact, there is a significant monument to pay tribute to "shepherds", who worked with and fostered this activity in the region.

In 1948, the municipality was created and in 1974, Coyhaique was appointed as the capital of the XI Region. Its downtown is very singular, as it is made up by a pentagonal square which is the starting point for ten central streets that give shape to a checkerboard.