Trekking

Trekking is one of the most popular activities in the Aysén region and most of it is done in Protected Wildlife Areas, which take up to 51% of the territory.

Trekking is one of the most popular activities in the Aysén region and most of it is done in Protected Wildlife Areas, which take up to 51% of the territory. When travelling through Aysén, all of nature is at your reach!

The myriad of trails that are part of its winding valleys and rugged mountains make this continental territory into an excellent option to travel by foot, almost in its entirety, and through these walks discover the wonderful landscapes that give life to the area.

The numerous natural reserves and national parks of the territory include several paths, especially traced for trekking, an activity that consist in walking for several hours, days or weeks, through different natural landscapes that may include flat trails, slopes, valleys, gorges and forests as well stream and river crossings. There are 17 Protected Wildlife Areas, of which five are National Parks, ten are National Reserves and two are Natural Monuments, resulting in more than five million hectares of land protected by the State.

Expert hikers usually climb up the mountains and walk through glaciers, waterfalls and lookouts. But not everything is extreme. Trekking has no age limit and any person willing to do it can accomplish it, given that routes are rated into low, medium or high difficulty. It is important to make sure you take suitable clothes, according to the season you intend to travel: sunglasses, sunscreen, a good hat and lots of water. The ideal is to dress in layers to improve temperature regulation.

The roads in Aysén are full of trails suitable for this activity, and there are so many that it is difficult to list them all out. However, there is one main road that travels the whole country, from Arica to Antarctica, and in this region, it is divided into three major sections. It is called Sendero de Chile.

The first of the sections to penetrate the Aysén region is the tranche Lago Verde – La Tapera, an old route used by settlers and cattle-drivers to move cattle, it is rated at medium difficulty, and it crosses through mountain foothills and steppes. It is advised to travel through it on horseback, and preferably with guides.

Further south we encounter the second tranche, Villa Cerro Castillo – Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez, throughout which it is possible to appreciate incredible panoramic views of Cerro Castillo, numerous lakes and the valley of Ibáñez River. In addition, during the course of the trails, travellers may discover how the vegetation changes from deciduous woods to Patagonian steppes. On the road, you will find vestiges of the Aboriginal peoples that lived in this southern part of Chile, and you will find Tehuelche paintings in what today is called Las Manos National Monument.

The route begins in Villa Cerro Castillo, and continues to the south through the trails of Carretera Austral, penetrating the different sites of the region. It makes its way through the plateaus of the Patagonian steppes and lenga forests, passing by numerous lakes, including the lakes Tamango and Claro, where villagers usually offer visitors horseback tours and fly fishing activities. The second tranche ends in the town of Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez, with a sample of the typical culture of this village and the famous representation of rupestrian art “La Guanaca con Cría” (The Female Guanaco and her Calf.)

The third and final tranche, called Circuito Reserva Nacional Cerro Castillo (Cerro Castillo Circuit National Reserve,) begins in the sector of Las Horquetas, along the sides of Carretera Austral, where the landscape is dominated by the presence of valleys and mountains. It is a meeting point for hikers, and it is a tranche that groups several lakes, such as the lakes Paloma, Azul, Desierto and Elizalde, which are accompanied by an endless number of smaller creeks. The route, then, continues through Cerro Castillo National Reserve, for most of its way, until it reaches Campamento Neozelandés, where it begins the descent towards Villa Cerro Castillo, to finally end at the valleys that surround Ibáñez River.

The great diversity of landscapes and the beauty of Patagonia in all its forms, turn this extensive route into an unforgettable experience for those who dare to walk these virgin southern trails. Below, you will find a list with the most popular trails of the region. Dare to travel them!

 

TRAIL NAME
KILOMETERS / DURATION
PLACE
DIFFICULTY OF THE TRAIL
Ruta Pirata Ñancupel (Pirate Ñancupel Route)
2.1 km / 30 min.
Melinka
Low
Sendero del Chucao (Chucao Trail)
3.6 km / 1 hour
Raúl Marín Balmaceda.
Low
Sendero Los Arrayanes ( Arrayanes Trail)
5.4 km / 2.5 hours
Raúl Marín Balmaceda.
Low
Sendero de Montaña Lago Rosselot (Rosselot Lake Mountain Trail)
5 km / 2 hours
La Junta
Medium
Lago Verde (Green Lake)
55 km / 4 days
Lago Verde (Green Lake)
Medium
Sendero los Pumas (Los Pumas Trail)
5.8 km
12 km north of Puyuhuapi
Medium
Sendero Ventisquero Colgante (Hanging Glacier Trail)
Several trails / ½ day
20 km south of Puyuhuapi
Low, medium
Sendero Bosque Encantado (Enchanted Forest Trail)
1.7 km (one-way) / 2 hours (one-way)
35 km north of Puerto Cisnes
Medium
Sendero Lago Carlota (Charlotte Lake Trail)
7 km/ 3.5 hours
43 km east of La Tapera
Low
Cerro Gilberto (Gilberto Mountain)
27 km / 1 or 1 ½ days
Puerto Cisnes
Medium
Bahía Acantilada (Cliff Bay)
10 km / 2.5 hours
Puerto Aysén
Low
Cordón Mountain
6 km / 4 hours
Puerto Aysén
Medium
Trekking Cerro Rosado or Colorado (Rosado/Colorado Mountain Trek)
3.8 km / 6 hours
32 km northeast of Coyhaique
Medium
Coyhaique National Reserve
16.4 km (all trails) / 1 ½ days
Coyhaique
Low, medium
Dos Lagunas Natural Monument
2.1 km (2 trails) / 1 hour
20 km east of Coyhaique
Low
Simpson River National Reserve
2 km / 30 min
Between Puerto Aysén and Coyhaique
Low
Huemules Mountain and Simpson River National Reserve
5 km / 1.5 hours
20 km east of Coyhaique
Low
Castillo Mountain National Reserve
45 km / 4 to 5 days
64 km south of Coyhaique/ 10 km Villa Cerro Castillo
Medium, high
Glaciar Exploradores (Explorers’ Glacier)
7 km / 7 hours
52 km west of Puerto Tranquilo
Medium
Lago Leones (Lions Lake)
9 km (one-way) / 4 hours
46 km south of Puerto Tranquilo
Low
Mina Escondida (Hidden Mine)
8.4 km / 3 hours
Puerto Guadal (Guadal Port)
Low
Jeinimeni National Reserve
7.4 km / 3 hours – Sector Piedra Clavada (Pinned Rock Area)
20 km/ 1 ½ hours – Lago Jeinimeni Sector / Lago Verde (Green Lake)
32 km south of Chile Chico
65 km south of Chile Chico
Medium
Medium
Tamango National Reserve
39.2 km (total) / 1 ½ days
7 km northeast of Cochrane
Low, medium
Parque Patagonia (Patagonia Park)
24.4 km / 1 day – La Vega Sector and Lagunas Altas (High Lagoons)
50 km/ 2 to 5 days – Avilés Valley Sector
27 km northeast of Cochrane
53 km northeast of Cochrane
Medium
Medium, high
Cordón Esmeralda (Emerald Mountain Range)
8 km (round-trip)/ 8 hours
14 km south of Cochrane
Calluqueo Glacier
3 km / 4 hours
47 km southeast of Cochrane
Medium
La Bandera Mountain
2.5 km / 45 min.
Caleta Tortel (Tortel Cove)
Low
El Mosco Glacier
34 km / 11 hours
Villa O’Higgins, Santiago Mountain Park
Medium
El Tigre Glacier (Tiger Glacier)
10 km / 8 hours
24 km north-west of Villa O’Higgins
Medium