Puyehue National Park
Puyehue National Park is situated in an extraordinarily beautiful zone in the region of Los Lagos. It has a surface area of 100 thousand hectares (220,000 acres) and it borders with Chile's oldest park,¬† Vicente P√©rez Rosales. Set in the middle of the Andes, with volcanoes within its territory, the park boasts a stunning and diverse landscape with a variety of sport and relaxation activities.
Do you want to visit the park?
|TERMAS PUYEHUE WELLNESS & SPA RESORT
A wonderfull All-Inclusive Thermal Spa located in Puyehue National Park.
|Year Round¬†¬† ¬†¬† Read more...
Puyehue National Park Basic Information
Regi√≥n de Los Lagos, 189 km northeast of Puerto Montt, and 80 km west of Osorno.
How to get there
Santiago-Osorno: by air or land.
From Osorno, take the Road 215 (that connects Osorno, Chile, and Bariloche, Argentina) heading for Cardenal Samor√© International Crossing, which reaches the park and crosses it.
Also, in the km 76 of this route, you can take the turnoff U-215 which heads for the areas of Aguas Calientes and Antillanca.
When to go
Other Nearby Attractions
Vicente P√©rez Rosales National Park
The area belongs to a cold-climate, rainy zone with no dry season. Like the rest of this region, it has a great climatic variety, with unstability and several microclimates. The annual average temperature is 8¬ļC, raising in summer to 10-18¬ļC. The annual rain index borders the 450 mm.
Trails, transportation, park rangers, accommodation.
Chileans and foreigners: CLP 800.
Camping Chanleufe (site per day): CLP 16.000 up to 4 people. Children are free of charge.
Aguas Calientes Area
Adults and Children, Chileans and Foreigners: free.
Camping Los Derrumbes: CLP 8.000 for 4 people or less; CLP 1.500 per additional person.
Camping Catrue CLP 2.500 per person.
Puyehue National Park Infrastructure and Services
The park administration is situated in the Aguas Calientes area, 4 km (2.5 MI) from the international road. The park ranger's office is located in Anticura, 22 km (14 MI) away from Aguas Calientes.
The administration office's phone number is (64)1974572.
Environmental Information Center
The park has two Environmental Information Centers, one in Aguas Calientes and the other one in Anticura. Both of them have exhibitions and displays on the park's natural and scenic resources.
The park has two concession areas, both of them with their respective campgrounds:
Tourist Community (Aguas Calientes): In this area you will find the campground of Chanleufu, with its 36 camp sites equipped with picnic tables, fire areas, garbage cans, water, electricity, sinks, toilets, and firewood. Los Derrumbes campground has 20 sites equipped with picnic tables, fire areas, garbage cans, water, and firewood.
√Ďielay Mapu Indigenous Community (Anticura): in this area you will find Catru√© campground, with its 20 rustic campsites equipped with picnic tables, fire areas, garbage cans, water, and firewood. This area can also be used for picnics.
Aguas Calientes: Canleuf√ļ campground has 70 units available for picnicking. They are equipped with picnic tables, fire areas, garbage cans, water, toilets, and firewood.
Anticura: you can set your picnic in Catru√©.
Refuges and campgrounds
There are refuges in Bert√≠n lagoon, Pampa Frutillas and on the slopes of the Puyehue volcano.
In Aguas Calientes there are 29 cabins that can hold from 2 to 10 people. They have electricity, telephones, hot water, free and unlimited access to the thermal pools, and hotel service (housekeeping, towels, robes).
There is also an inn-restaurant in Aguas Calientes that can hold up to 80 people and provides a la carte service, a restaurant-shelter for 120 people specializing in carbon-grilled meat, a cafeteria for 60 people, and a small grocery store. You will also find a covered thermal pool, an outdoor thermal pool, rooms with individual bathtubs, fangotherapy, honey therapy, and holistic massages.
In Anticura there are 5 type A cabins.
Gasoline: in Entre Lagos 30 km (19 miles) away.
Telephone: In every cabin.
First Aid: in Aguas Calientes, with an emergency ambulance.
Food supplies: A grocery store in Aguas Calientes.
Police: "Carabineros" in the Pajaritos Customs House, inside the Park, 26 km. (16 miles)¬† from Aguas Calientes.
Help us protect the park's natural resources and make your visit more pleasant by considering the following recommendations:
- The most appropriate seasons for visiting the park are winter, between June and October, and summer between November and March.
- It is convenient to book your cabins in advance, since the demand can be high during those months.
- When you go trekking, it is essential to inform the rangers in the area about your itinerary.
- Mountaineers who want plan to climb hills and volcanoes must do the check-in in the Park's Administration Unit, in the Aguas Calientes sector.
- Even in summer, visitors should bring clothes suitable for rain. The rest of the year you should take warm clothes suitable for rain and snow, depending on the sector you are going to visit.
- Do not scratch trees, rocks or other parts of the landscape. Also, do not disturb the peace of the landscape by making loud noises, for they are also a form of pollution.
Attractions in Puyehue National Park
What to see
Puyehue National Park stands out amongst the rest of the protected wild areas in the country for the great diversity of birds and mammals inhabiting it. It holds the record with more than 130 different bird species.
Chanleufu rapids flow in the Aguas Calientes sector. On the road to to Antillanca there are lagoons that originated from glaciers, like El Espejo, La Copa, El Encanto, and the lakes Toro Chico and Toro. The highlights of Antillanca are its ski center, the Raihu√©n crater, and¬†Caulle volcanic area. The main attractions in Anticura are the Gol-Gol river valley,¬†Puyehue volcano, the waterfalls of¬†Indio, Repucura, La Princesa, and Los Novios, and Mirador del Puma viewpoint.
What to do
Fishing: you can fish in Gol-Gol, Chanleuf√ļ and Anticura rivers, and in the lakes Toro, Para√≠so and Puyehue (prior authorization required).
Skiing: you can ski in the Antillanca zone and cross-country ski in the Antillanca, Anticura and Puyehue volcano sectors.
Mountaineering: You can go mountaineering on the Puyehue and Casablanca volcanoes, on Pantojo hill, with previous authorization and registration with CONAF.
Other activities: swimming (thermal pools), trekking, wildlife observation, rowing, environmental education.
The park has a number of types of trails, which are detailed in the following sections:
Aguas Calientes Sector
- Bert√≠n Lake Escursion Trail: It is 11 km (7 mi) long, and takes 5 hrs. to hike there and back. The route goes from Aguas Calientes to the Bert√≠n lake alongside the Chanleufu river, and at the end there is a rustic refuge with a capacity for 6 people.
- "Lago Para√≠so" Trail: The mountain lake borders the evergreen forest which is a 7km (4 MI) trail from the Toro lake. There is abundant fauna and fish.
- "El Pionero" Interpretive Trail: This trail is 1.5 km (1 MI) up to the viewpoint which is on the highest part of the hill in front of Aguas Calientes. From here you can admire part of lake Puyehue, a large part of the Chanleufu river, and practically all of the Aguas Calientes developed area. This trail has information signs posted throughout.
- "El Recodo" Interpretive Trail: It is 380 m (1,246 ft) and its entrance is at the side of the bridge on the Chanleufu river. It runs along the banks of this river until the picnic area of Aguas Calientes. This trail also provides informational signs.
- "Rapids of Chanleufu" Intepretive Trail: This is 1.25 km (approx. 1 mi.) long. It crosses the hanging bridge which is at the edge of the outdoor swimming pool. Then it follows the water down where there is a signal to the entrance. This path leads to the rapids of the Chanleufu river which give the trail its name.
- Excursion Trail to Puyehue Volcano: it is 16 km (10 MI) long with an approximate journey time of 2 to 3 days. The path is self-guiding and runs into the Puyehue volcano, to the Azufreras (area where sulfur is extracted) and to the hot springs. There is a rustic refuge for 12 people on the slopes of the volcano.
- Excursion Trail to Pampa de la Frutilla: 20 km (12.5 MI) long with an approximate journey time of 2 to 3 days. This path follows an old trail from the Ultimo Puesto area. In the Seca lagoon there is a rustic refuge at the end of the trail.
- "Los Derrumbes" Recreational Trail: spanning 580 m (1,902 ft.) with a journey time of about 45 minutes.
- The Rapids along Chanlufu Trail
- "Salto de la Princesa" Recreational Trail: 710 m (2,328 ft) and 30 minutes long.
- "Salto del Indio" Educational Trail: Approximately 950 m (3,116 ft) and 40 minutes long to hike. On this trail you can see some interesting specimens of the evergreen forest.
- Repucura Educational Trail: 1.1 km and one hour long.
The geography of the park is a result of intense glaciation and volcanic processes, factors which molded the Andean massif. It presents typical glacial valleys like those of the river Gol-Gol and Chanleuf√ļ, and numerous gorgeous lakes throughout the Andean peaks.
The park's volcanic formations are divided into two main chains. The first one starts in Nevados de Payachatas, a range made up by the volcanoes of Pomerape (6.252 msl), Parinacota (6.342 msl), and the cones of Ajata. The second formation crosses Guacollo with the volcanos of Quisiquisine, and the chain of Quimsachata. Quimsachata is in turn made up by Humarata (5.730 msl), Acotango (6.050 msl), and Guallatire. Its inner chain starts in Nevados de Putre, which are made up by Tarapac√° hill (5.815 msl) and Putre (5.500 msl) Massif.
The volcanic activity manifests itself in the Antillanca area, where¬†Casablanca volcano lies, rising to an altitude of 1,990 m (6,527ft) above sea level. There are also some nearby craters and the volcanoes of Fiucha and Sarnoso. Heading north is the Puyehue volcano at 2,236 m (7,334 ft) msl, and¬†the volcanic chain of Caulle, which has recorded recent lava flows, thermal activity and geysers.
Most of the hydrographic systems in the Park are endorheic, the main stream being Lauca river, which is born in Parinacota meadow. Lake Chungar√° is a water mirror located at 4.517 mts, and its main tributary is Chungar√° river. Another lake system corresponds to Cotacotani lagoon, located 4 km away from lake Chungar√°.
The main drainage lake in the zone is lake Puyehue, situated outside the park. Also, another highlight is Gol-Gol river, which drains into lake Constancia (1,290 m or 4,231 ft. above sea level) along with its streams, Anticura and Pajaritos. Other important lakes are Gris and Para√≠so.
The Humid Evergreen forest, which originated because of the high rainfall in the zone, is the predominant forest in the park.
Its most common species are the ulmo and coig√ľe, which abound in the lower areas of the park. Some coihues can reach up to 45 mt (147 ft.) high. Nevertheless, these heterogenous forests feature not only coihues, but also olivillos and tineos. The forest floor is abundant in shrubs, moss, ferns and lichen, which add to the great floral richness.
At higher altitudes there are coig√ľe forests with tepa and ma√Ī√≠o. Close to the peaks there are pure, developed forests of Magellanic coig√ľes, with a dense forest floor. The lenga is also present at this level, and exhibits spectacular beauty when its leaves change and take on the warm autumn colors of the season.
You can also find marsh communities called ‚Äúmaullines‚ÄĚ, coverings of thick layers of moss and rushes, low thickets of √Īirre and Guaitecas cypresses.
The most common mammals in the park are the puma,¬†grey fox,¬†lesser grison,¬†coypu,¬† kodkod, and the molina's hog-nosed skunk.
Regarding avifauna you can find species like correntino duck, black woodpecker, woodpigeon, black throated huet-huet,¬†condor,¬†huala,¬†cherc√°n duck and stork.
Puyehue National Park Historical Heritage¬†
Lake Puyehue and its adjacent territory were discovered by the first Spanish conquistadors that set foot in the south of Chile, when Francisco de Villagra reached the lakes Puyehue and Rupanco in 1553. Even though the Mapuche population in Puyehue was scarce, there was a rich cultural exchange with the Poya and Puelche Indians, who lived in the east side of the Andes. This zone was mountainous and covered in native forests.
Several excavations found in Gol-Gol river suggest that there were a number of gold-panning sites in the area. The evidence says that indians were forced to dig for Spanish conquerors. In Anticura you will find ‚ÄúSalto del Indio‚ÄĚ, a waterfall which name comes from the legend of an Indian who hid from the Spanish underneath the water curtain, thus obtaining his freedom.
The first settlers arrived in the park in 1900, using little steamboats to cross lake Puyehue.
Puyehue Forest Reserve was created in In 1914 after being in private hands for years. Finally, on the 8th of April of 1941, Puyehue National Park was created by the Ministry of Lands and Colonization, with the aim of protecting this hugely attractive zone. With an original extension of 65 thousand hectares (143,000 acres), it was later increased to 106,772 hectares (234,898 acres) in 1981.