Cerro Castillo National Reserve Basic Information
Location: Región de Aysén, 64km (40 mi) south of Coyhaique.
How to get there: Santiago-Coyhaique: by air. From Coyhaique to the reserve by the Carretera Austral towards Cochrane.
When to go: Year round
Climate: There is a tendency towards a cold-steppe climate and continental trans-andean. It can be very cold here with snow in the winter.
Services: Accommodation, food, transportation, cafeteria, museums, information center, camping.
Admission Fee: Adults and children, Chileans and foreigners: CLP 500.
Attractions in Cerro Castillo National Reserve
What to do:
- Horseback riding
- Wildlife observation
The reserve has a variety of trails, originally used by the colonists for cattling, but now used by tourists. The most important ones are "Estero Parada" (16kms), which leads to an area called "Campamento neozelandés", and the Valle La Lima-Villa Cerro Castillo Trail (45 kms in 3-4 days). Bot of these take you through beautiful landscapes, with hills, lagoons, and snowdrifts.
Cerro Castillo National Reserve Natural Heritage
This reserve was created to preserve the areas natural conditions, protect the soils and defend the exotic flora and fauna. With over 100.000 hectares, Cerro Castillo National Reserve was founded in the late seventies. It is crossed by the Carretera Austral, from where you can see the majestic hills Castillo and Iglesia, both of which reach over 1.500 mts msl.
Its natural beauty and archaeological heritage make it one of Chile's most attractive wild landscapes, being the only valley that still preserves Selknam patrimony.
Flora: The predominant vegetation is the Aysén's deciduous forest, with species like the lenga beech, Antarctic beech (nothofagus antarctica), Chilean firetree (Embothrium coccineum), Calafate (Berberis buxifolia), and Chaura (Pernettya mucronata). There are also a number of exotic species, like conifers introduced to protect the soils. The predominant native tree of the reserve is the lenga, and can be found forming pure lenga forests at altitudes between 600 and 1,200 m (1,968 and 3,936 ft) above sea level. With its aim to protect the land, the park reforested around a thousand hectares (2,200 acres) with exotic species.
Fauna: Among the animals and birds that live here, there are huemuls, guanacos, culpeo foxes, piches, Patagonian skunks, pumas, Geoffroy's cat, long-tailed mouse, Andean condors, black-chested buzzard eagle, American kestrel, Austral Parakeet, and Austral trush, amongst others.
The weather in this place is both rainy maritime (in the coastal zone and fiords) and cold near the mountains). It rains all year round, even in summer. The average annual temperature is 8°C.
It is advisable to wear clothes that are suitable for rain.
Make sure you buy everything you need in the big cities. The rest of the towns have limited stock of things, and the prices are higher than in the city.
Stores in rural areas are open all day, but they close between 13.00 and 15.00. We advise you to carry local currency (Chilean pesos), since it isn’t possible to pay with debit or credit cards in kiosks and rural stores.
Do not litter on parks or streets. Taking care of our environment is everyone's responsibility. Avoid fines by following the rules.