In 1991, North American Douglas Tompkins, a long time visitor to Chile since 1961, bought the Reñihué Ranch with the idea to set aside 42,000 acres of evergreen temperate rain forest from possible exploitation. In the intervening years The Conservation Land Trust has added another 700,000 acres in nearly contiguous parcels to comprise the Pumalín Park. When at Pumalín you will be staying at Cabañas Caleta Gonzalo, in the very heart of the park and short distances from many of the trails that allow you to penetrate into the virgin forest and do some fascinating hikes.
South of Pumalín, in the Queulat National Park, we invite you to Fiordo Queulat Ecolodge, right in the middle of the Park, to immerse yourself in a wild, pristine and natural environment, to hike in the forest on beautiful trails, to enjoy the movement of the tides during the day and in the evening to relax with the sound of the many waterfalls plunging into the forest to finally die as joyful streams that run into the waters of the Queulat fjord.
Day 1: Puerto Montt – Chaitén – Caleta Gonzalo. Flight in a twin engine plane departing from El Tepual Airport at EDT 11:00 am. Flight from PMC to TEN in a local airline plane. Drive north to Caleta Gonzalo crossing the Pumalín Park. Rest of the day free. Overnight at Caleta Gonzalo
Day 2: Caleta Gonzalo (B). Free day to enjoy many of the trails in the park to hike up to beautiful waterfall. Overnight at Caleta Gonzalo
Day 3: Caleta Gonzalo – Queulat (B,D). Drive south along the Carretera Austral and passing by El Yelcho lake, bordering the Palena River and crossing La Junta and Puyuhuapi villages. Arrival to the heart of the Queulat National Park and to the Fiordo Queulat Ecolodge. Short walk on the Ecolodge property to start recognizing some of the native plant species. Dinner and overnight in cozy wood cabins
Day 4: Queulat Fjord Private Park (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we will cross the Queulat River in a small rowing boat to start our hike. We will follow a beautiful trail into the Chilean forest. It will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the native plants and appreciate its amazing variety, especially the under wood vegetation. We will cross an Arrayan (Myrceugenella apiculata) forest with hundred year old trees some of them taller than 82 ft, these trees bloom in summer time, then we will see beautiful Huahuán ( Laurelia philippiana) a very aromatic tree with specimen as tall as 100ft, lumas (Amomyrtus luma), “Palo Santo” or Tineo (Weinmannia trichosperma) and many other native trees, ferns, climber plants, moss and lichens. We will finally arrive to a water fall, 295 ft above sea level with a beautiful view of the fjord. We will then continue along the trail to finally arrive to a white sand beach where if lucky we can see dolphins, seabirds and local wildlife. We will return following the Queulat River border through another trail to complete a 3 hours excursion. The trail is easy, we have built bridges to cross the little streams and we provide rubber boots for the walk and life vests for the crossing of the river.
Back to the Lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon we will board a motor wood boat made of cypress to navigate on the fjord to the little Isla Mona on the Ventisquero sound. From there we have a beautiful view of the Hanging glacier and of its ice field, if weather allows it. We will tour the island, those who want to fish can do it here, nice robalos (local fish) can be caught and if some one has shown interest on shore, we will take kayaks to do some kayaking on the fjord and on the sound. Dinner and at the lodge
Day 5 Queulat Nacional Park - The Hanging Glacier (B,L,D)
Alter breakfast, we will drive to the Hanging Glacier area of the park. From there and after crossing over the Ventisquero river on a hanging bridge we will start a 2 hours hike (4 miles) that goes up a glacial moraine to a terrace with a magnificent view of the glacier. Then we will come back along the same trail to follow the path that goes to the Laguna Témpanos. From there we can board a boat belonging to the park administration to navigate across the Laguna to approach as much as possible the foothill of the glacier. (Excursion depends if boat is operating or not and is optional). Lunch or picnic in the park. Free afternoon to rest or to go to the Puyuhuapi Hot Springs (this excursion is optional and depends on hotel availability). Barbecue at the lodge and lodging
Day 6: Drive Back to Coyhaique and Balmaceda (B,L)
After breakfast, we will start our drive back to Coyhaique. On the way back we will stop at the Padre García waterfall and at the beginning of the Río Cascada (enchanted forest) trail. Picnic on the road. We will continue driving south passing the Piedra del Gato, the Lago Las Torres, bordering first the Cisnes river, later the Mañihuales river and finally the Simpson river. In Coyhaique, rest of the day free. Transfer to Balmaceda for the outgoing flight
-2 nights at Cabañas Caleta Gonzalo
-3 nights stay at Eco-Lodge Fiordo Queulat
-Accommodations based on single and double cabins
-Meals as indicated (B: breakfast, L: lunch, D: dinner)
-Flight from Puerto Montt to Chaitén
-6 days car rental –full CDW – pick up in Chaitén and drop off in Balmaceda
Program does not include:
-Excursions and meals except ones mentioned in the program
-Drinks, wine and beverages during meals
-Gasoline for car and insurance deductible
-Hot Spring baths at Termas de Puyuhuapi
-Navigation on Laguna Témpanos
-Personal expenditures and tips
Price in US$ considering 1Us$ @ Ch$ 440 – requote with new exchange rate when booking
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