Much of southern Chile developed as fishing villages where the only transportation was by boat. Although more recently stretches of road have begun to tie together some villages there are still many fjords that are unbridged. Here the only means across is by the ferry, the Chilean word for which is "trasborador".

All of these small ferries are of a similar design. Both ends have a hinged ramp that can be dropped down on the beach. There are no docks or piers, at most just a paved or blacktopped road down to the edge of the water. The ferry pulls up, drops its ramp, uses its engines to hold the ferry up against the land, and the vehicles come off. Then another set of vehicles loads and the ferry travels the other way, drops the other end, and so the process repeats.

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