There are a couple of options to consider for transportation across O’Higgins/San Martin Lake. There is a large ferry which is the primary option for transport when it is functioning. The second option is a smaller ferry run by Marco Campo. This was the only option during the 2017/2018 season because the main ferry had broken down. Marco Campo frequently caused hikers difficulties for several reasons: the ferry only runs a few days a week; the ferry only seats around 15 people and is in high demand since crossing the lake is a part of the Carretera Austral; the waiting list is long and it was not uncommon for travelers to spend several days in Villa O’Higgins waiting for a seat; it does not run when the wind is strong so last minute cancellations were frequent; it’s expensive (~45.000CLP). If possible, try and make arrangements beforehand or be prepared to wait for several days in a primarily cash-functioning town without an ATM.
Jan: Once the big ferry is repaired crossing the lake should be easier. The big ferry carries up to 100 passengers. Advance reservation is still recommended.
If you are lucky enough to get spot on the ferry, board your ship at Puerto Bahamóndez. Marco Campos offers a shuttle from Villa O’Higgins for a price or you can road walk ~5 km. The ferry ride across Lago O’Higgins is notorious for being pretty choppy. It takes about 3 hours.
“Town”: Candelario Mancilla
Candelario Mancilla consists of a single, small hospidaje and campground. Sometimes you can purchase meat or eggs from the owners, but there are very limited options for buying food.