Huinay Scientific Field Station


The Huinay Foundation is a private non-profit organization which seeks to generate understanding of the structures and dynamics of the ecosystems of Chilean Patagonia through scientific research and make the gained knowledge publicly available for the benefit of the society.

Research Opportunities

The Huinay Scientific Field Station gives access to both typical and rare marine, terrestrial and limnic habitats from 500 m water depth to 2000 m altitude.

The features that draw most attention are:


Two nearby fjords with very different features can be accessed from the station. Different use types like salmon farming, shellfish and finfish harvesting give the opportunity to study different human impacts.

HighlightsCold-water coral banks reaching into the euphotic zone, brachiopod banks, mussel banks, cold seeps with anaerobic microbial biocenosis, pH gradient 7.4 – 8.1, pronounced Low Salinity Layer, diverse benthic and infauna with numerous species new to science.


The station is surrounded by thousands of hectares of primary forest which hosts a diverse flora and fauna.

HighlightsHighly diverse extratropical (Valdivian) rainforest, natural disturbance regime increasing diversity through successional stages, alerce forests with some trees older than 2000 years, complete coverage of andine altitude stratification, exceptional rich rodent and entomofaun, geological and tectonic features such as fumaroles and active volcanoes.


The station gives access to a diverse set of freshwater bodies.

Highlights: glacial lakes, moor lakes, meltwater creeks, and rivers, ephermal and permanent rainwater creeks with different physical and chemical features, crater lakes and hot springs.

Facilities and Logistics

The Huinay Scientific Field Station has basic equipped dry and wet labs with aquarium room, which includes fresh and saltwater supply, hatchery tanks and cold rooms.

A dive base and two research vessels of 6 m and 8 m length; access to devices, including ROV and  CTD, as well as sit-on-top double kayak, trails in the valley, up the mountain and to a refuge at 900 m altitude.

A dive base and two research vessels of 6 m and 8 m length; access to devices, including ROV and CTD, as well as sit-on-top double kayak, trails in the valley, up the mountain and to a refuge at 900 m altitude.
The Huinay Scientific Field Station also provides dorms, common rooms and a cafeteria offering a full meal plan.

Fields of Research

Baseline research (e.g. biogeographic and taxonomic work, trophic ecology, terrestrial-marine coupling, oceanographic studies, terrestrial and marine primary production, etc.)
Impacts and consequences of climate change and ocean acidification (historic climate reconstruction, carbon fixation, pH patterns, adaptations of cold-water corals to low pH, droughts stress, etc.)

Resource management and conservation (design and promotion of marine protected areas, monitoring of changes in biodiversity, marine spatial planning, human impacts assessments, etc.)


Years of research at the Huinay Scientific Field Station have resulted in more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and more than 200 presentation on scientific meetings.

How to get to and from Huinay Scientific Field Station (HSFS)

Information to download

How to get to Huinay.pdf

How to get
Arrival to Puerto Montt

By Air

At the airport take the “Andrés Tours” shuttle bus. It will take you straight to Puerto Montt bus terminal. This is close to the centre of town.

By Bus

If you arrive by bus you should ask to get off at Puerto Montt bus terminal (generally the end stop). This is close to the centre of town.

We can arrange for somebody to come and pick you up should you have too much luggage or feel more comfortable that way. Just let us know in advance so we can arrange it. Please note that these costs will be borne by you.

Hotels in Puerto Montt

There are several places where you can overnight in Puerto Montt. These are just some of them.

You can book online or call (we can help you with bookings in Spanish if needed).

Hotel Costa Del Mar:
Juan José Mira 975, Puerto Montt.
+56 65 275 0490
+56 9 8804 6123

Andres Bello 972, Puerto Montt.
+56 65 225 1548

Hotel Antupiren:
Freire 186, Puerto Montt.
+56 65 236 7800

Journey from Puerto Montt to Hornopirén

By Bus – At Puerto Montt Bus Terminal 

Take the bus to Hornopirén: 

Buses Kemel (CLP 4000) run this route but there are also several other companies. All bus offices are located inside the bus terminal. Go straight to the ticket booth (look for Buses Kemel, Hornopirén) and buy your ticket there. Beware that in summer and around week-ends it is recommended to make reservations. Please check with the Huinay station for the time table as it sometimes changes.

You need to catch the 8:00 bus from Puerto Montt if you want to come in time for the ferry (Serenade) in Hornopirén that comes directly to Huinay (see the information about the Serenade below).

Buses need 3,5 to 4 hours and include a short passage (30 – 40 min.) with the ferry from La Arena to Puelche. Ask the ticket conductor or the bus driver to drop you off at ‘La Rampa’ (the dock). You will not have to walk with your luggage.

By Private car to Hornopirén

If you are travelling with a private vehicle, you should count with at least 4 hours for the 100 km between Puerto Montt and Hornopirén as the road is bumpy and ferry-transport between La Arena and Puelche is available every 45 min. (up to 1,5 hours as subject to heavy traffic).

You can arrange a guarded parking-lot in Hornopirén on a privately owned property, which will cost you around 2000 Chilean Pesos per day.

Ask anybody where ‘La Rampa’ is. That is where the boat to Huinay leaves.

By private ‘driver’ to Hornopirén

If necessary we can arrange a private transport for you from Puerto Montt to Hornopirén, should you have too much luggage or feel you want to travel a bit more comfortably. Just let us know and we will arrange it for you. The costs will be borne by you. 

Hotel in Hornopirén

This is one option where you can stay overnight in Hornopirén.

Hospedaje Rublas: 

Located about 100 meters from la rampa walking towards the river (slightly uphill and around the corner). 

Hostal owner: Mr. Blas Tampier

Contact: +56 9 9297 8152

Journey from Hornopirén to Huinay

With the Huinay Speed Boat 

We will meet you with the HSFS boat at “La Rampa”, Hornopirén. The captain will be waiting for you and will take you to the Station. The trip will take 1-2 hours (depending on weather and swell). 

The HSFS boat is only used for special trips, as we try to be eco-friendly and not use too much gasoline. Hence, unless it is specifically agreed with the Station, it is advisable to plan your trip in such a way that you can catch the local ferry Serenade. The boat can accommodate up to 9 passengers and the cost of this trip is born by the visitor. 

With the local ferry called the Serenade

The Serenade is the local ferry in the fjord. It leaves from La Rampa. The Serenade generally leaves from Hornopirén to Huinay on Tuesdays and Fridays at 14:00. You need to catch the 8:00 bus from Puerto Montt if you want to come in time for the local ferry. For the time table of the month, please ask at the Station or email us.

 This boat is bigger and has a lot of space so it can accommodate a lot of luggage or equipment. As it services the local community in the fjord and come directly to the Huinay jetty it is highly recommended that you travel with the Serenade.

 The boat trip takes about 4-5 hours, depending on the weather and how many stops along the fjord they have to make.

 The ticket is bought on board (CLP 1600) and you just let them know that you are going to Huinay. They will let you off at the Huinay Station jetty.


With the large ferry plus Huinay Boat (connection in Leptepu)

There is a large ferry (Barcaza) that runs from La Rampa, Hornopirén to Leptepu (at the end of the Comau Fjord, our fjord) that links the Carretera Austral. It services both people and vehicles.

Normally leaves Hornopirén at 10:30 and arriving at Leptepu at approx. 14:00. If you wish to take this option, you will need the Huinay Boat to collect you at Leptepu and bring you to Huinay. In summer (December-April) the number of ferry sailings and times may change or increase, so please check with the research assistants for the timetable.

 Private Boat (for larger groups or groups with a lot of equipment)

or groups with more than 9 people, or if you will need to bring a lot of equipment, there is also the option of hiring a larger private boat to get you to Huinay. We can help you arrange this.

Journey from Huinay to Hornopirén

You can leave Huinay via the same method as you entered, or another: either with

  1. The Huinay boat
  2. The Serenade
  3. The Barcaza from Leptepu (connection with the Huinay boat)
  4. Arranging a private boat

 Make sure you let us know well in advance what you option is so we can plan the trip back and book the ferry if needed.                                 

The Serenade ferry generally leaves from Huinay to Hornopirén on Wednesday at 8:00 and either Saturdays at 8:00 or Sundays at 14:00, depending on the week.

For a detailed time table ask at the station or email us. 

Make sure you book your return flight with a lot of margin as there might be delays getting out of Huinay or Hornopirén due to the weather conditions. You should have at least 2-3 days of margin to be on the safe side.

Journey from Hornopirén to Puerto Montt

There are two ways of getting to Puerto Montt from Hornopirén: either with the local bus or with the private car. 

The bus leaves from the central plaza in Hornopirén. It is a 15 minutes’ walk. Ask for Kemel Bus station or the church (Iglesia) or the central plaza (Plaza de Armas); the Kemel bus station is located in front of the ARMADA.

If you want the private driver, let us know and we will arrange it for you.

Telephone numbers of Huinay Scientific Field Station.

56 65 297 2147 (Research Assistant office)
+56 65 297 2142 (Administration office)

We look forward to seeing you soon!
The Huinay Team

Price and equipment list from Huinay Scientific Field Station (HSFS)

Information to download

Equipment list HSFS.pdf

Price list HSFS.pdf

Price List
Equipment list

Dry Laboratory

Air circulation oven (Heraeus UT 6)
Oven (Nabertherm controller B 170)
Electronic weighing instrument (Precisa xb 120 A)
Scale (Canton-305; max. 30 kg)
Magnetic stirrer (IKA Works Ceramag Midi)
Microscope (Olympus SZ61)
Microscope (Olympus SZX7)
Microscope (Zeiss stemi DV4)
LED light source (Schott KL 1500 LED)
Tritrator (Precisa Ha 300 310m)
Heated Circulating Bath 5ltr (Grant® Model T100-P5)
Sieve Shaker (Retsch)
Laboratory Centrifuge (Sigma)
Ultrasonic cleaner (Cole-Parmer 8892)
Camera traps (STC-TGL2IR)
Plastic film sealers
GPS (Garmin 78 series)
PC workspace with printer and scanner
Common laboratory equipment
Common workshop tools

Dive Area

Compressor LW 160 E

Spare masks, fins, regulator, BCD and more

Double SCUBA tanks (10l, 8l & 7l)

12l SCUBA tanks

15l SCUBA tanks

DAN Rescue Pack Oxygen Kit (1,8l)

Wenoll WS200 Emergency Oxygen Rebreather system (1,8l)

Stationary M122 Emergency Oxygen Cylinder

Defibrillator (Fred Easy)

OLYMPUS E-M5 with UW housing and INON_D-2000 strobes

Pneumatic UW drill

Common UW tools and net bags

Common dive gear repair tools and material

DIN to yoke insert tank valve adaptor

Wet Laboratory


Aquarium air Pumps (Elite 802) with air stones

Handheld Dissolved oxygen instrument (YSI 550A)

Handheld pH measurer (Mettler Toledo AG)

Handheld Conductivity/TDS/Temperature/RS232C Meter (CON 11)

Seawater refractometer (HI 96822)

Water Purification System (EASYpure®II)

Formalin room with ventilation hood

Freezers and Fridges

Common laboratory equipment

Common workshop tools

Oceanographic equipment

ROV (Mariscope Commander MKII) with manip. arm and HD camera

CTD (AML Oceanographic’s PlusX) with pH, o2 and chlorophyll

Current meter (Aquadopp)

Niskin bottle (2l)

Plankton net

HOBO temperature/light logger

Price-list HSFS for scientists (Updated September 2018) NOT CONFIRMED


Accommodation and food (pppn) 60.000$


Trip Hornopirén-Huinay or vice versa with Huinay (10 pax.) 235.000$
Trip Hornopirén-Huinay or vice versa with Noctiluca (5 pax.) 200.000$
Trip Pichanco-Huinay or vice versa with Huinay (10 pax.) 145.000$
Trip Pichanco-Huinay or vice versa with Noctiluca (5 pax.) 90.000$
Trip Leptepu-Huinay or vice versa with Huinay (10 pax.) 95.000$
Trip Leptepu-Huinay or vice versa with Noctiluca (5 pax.) 70.000$
1h boat use Huinay (10 pax.) 95.000$
1h boat use Noctiluca (5 pax.) 70.000$
1h boat use Mytilus / Llonco (5 pax.) 50.000$


Ethanol (1l)


Ethanol absolute (1l)


Formalin (1l)



Tank and weights / day / person


Tank and weights / week / person


Diving from Research Assistants / diver / dive



ROV rental including boat use / day


Colaborating Field Stations/Lodging opportunities

• Fundación Meri: Melimoyu Research Institute
• Añihue Reserve
• Parque Tantauco
• Parque Pumalin

Other Field Stations and Research Institutes in Chilean Patagonia

Ecosystem Research in Chilean Patagonia


Scientific Office: +56 652912147


Casilla # 1150, Puerto Montt, Chile.


Huinay (HSFS)

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