03/09/2012 07:09 am ET Updated May 09, 2012

Driving Chile's Famed Highway, The Carretera Austral (PHOTOS)

Chile's extraordinary elongated arrangement as a country means it enjoys a phenomenal variation in its landscapes and topographical wonders. One the most incredible and awe-inspiring sections of this is the stretch of Chile's Patagonian region typified by vast lakes, splintered fjords, glaciers, fierce rivers, lush evergreen forests, rolling pampas plains and national parks: all of which you are carried through on the smooth Route 7, better known as the Carretera Austral.

Extending 1,240 kilometres (or 770.5 miles) from Puerto Montt in the Los Lagos Region to Villa O'Higgins in the Aysen Region, this route takes you to some of the country's best known highlights for you to stop, stay and explore: the Glacier Exploradores and the Northern Ice Fields, the majestic peaks and forests of the Cerro Castillo National Park, the serene General Carrera Lake, the various frontier type towns you pass through along the way, fishing or kayaking in the pure waters of Palena River and Lake, as well as the abundant nature, adventure activities and tranquil rural life.

Take a look at the slideshow we've put together below, taken by one of our very own travel designers who journeyed the Carretera Austral, to inspire you to take a trip along this most remarkable of roads.

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Cruising Through Chile's Lake District: Road Trip the Carretera Austral (R7)