Hornopirén National Park Basic Information
Location: Región de Los Lagos, province of Palena, 105 km away from Puerto Montt.
How to get there: You can get to the park going through the Carretera Austral from Puerto Montt to La Arena cove, then crossing Reloncaví estuary up to Puelche cove. Then continue until reaching Hornopirén, and from there to Chaquihua Alto, driving towards the park for about 10 km, up to León river. From there continue until you get to the park. The journey lasts about 4 hours, depending on the vehicle. Kemelbus and Buses Hornopirén go from Puerto Montt to Hornopirén (4 hrs). By air: through Hornopirén aerodrome.
When to go: Year round.
Climate: Warm and rainy, with precipitations all year.
Services: Accommodation, food, transport, camping.
Hornopirén National Park Infrastructure and services
Administration: The park's administration office is located in Hornopirén, by the main square, where the only access road to the park is born.
Services: There is an office-refuge in the park, exclusively used by the park ranger. It is located on the southeast shore of Lake Pinto Concha, and it operates in January and February. It offers information, orientation, and help on any matter related to the visitors' stay in the park. It also has a camping area, picnic tables, and trails to Yates volcano and Lake General Pinto Concha. In the Chaqueihua Alto area, there is an information site, where you can find basic info regarding the park and its organisation.
- First Aid: Hornopirén infirmary, 19,7 km from the park.
- Food: Hornopirén and Puerto Montt.
- Pay phone: Hornopirén.
Follow this recommendations during your stay in the park:
- Sign the park's guestbook and let Conaf know about the activities you intend to do.
- Bonfires are strictly prohibited.
- Take the garbage you produce with you because there are no garbage cans in the park.
- Always follow the instructions given by Conaf staff and any other rule regarding Chilean Protected Wild Areas.
Attractions in Hornopirén National Park
What to see:
Some of the most important attractions in this park are the exuberant woods and the mountain lakes hidden in the jungle, especially in primitive areas like Chaicas River valley, Chaiquenes lagoon, Triangle lagoon, Fría lagoon, Sargazo lagoon, and Pangal. Chaicas river waterfall is also worth visiting.
Surrounding Sargazo lagoon there is a circle of 800 year old larches and another of 3000 years near Fría lagoon, in the Correntoso area.
You can also visit Lake Pinto Concha (located on the slopes of Yates volcano), Lake Inexplorado (150 ha), and the 9.000 hectares of native larch forests. There are mixed forests of coihue, tepa, ulmo, and lenga beech in the high areas of the park.
What to do:
- Excursions: everywhere in the park.
- Wildlife observation: everywhere in the park.
- Boat tours: in lake Chaiquenes and the surroundings of the park (Reloncaví estuary).
- Canoe sailing: in Sargazo Lagoon.
The park has a net of trails that will allow you to visit primitive areas and beautiful forests and lagoons. The trails are appropriate for backpackers and other visitors with good physical conditions. The main stretches are:
- Correntoso-Pangal River: 3,2 kms. It may take between 1:30 and 2 hrs to cover.
- Pangal River-Refuge: 2.100 mts and 45 - 60 min.
- Lake Sargazo: between Conaf's station and the west shore of Sargazo lagoon, surrounding it. It is a 4 hour walk on a mountain road.
- Lake Sargazo-Fría Lagoon: it has an extension of 4.500 mts and can be covered in 3 hours. It goes from the west shore of Sargazo lagoon up to Fría lagoon.
- Chaicas river waterfall: with an extenson of 500 mts and is covered in 20 minutes.
- Chaiquenes lagoon-Triángulo lagoon: 3.000 mts, 2 hrs.
Hornopirén National Park Natural Heritage
Geomorphology: The park comprehends an Andean massif, which relief has been molded by glacial and tectonic processes. There are deep valleys with vertical hillsides and a number of lakes and lagoons distributed in different altitudes. The hills reach 1.200 -1.500 mts, with Calbuco Volcano (2.000 mts) standing out among the rest of the peaks. This volcano is located in the neihgbor Llanquihue National Reserve. The predominant elements are Lake Chapo and rivers Lenca and Chaicas, which drain an important part of the park. In the park there are more than 50 medium sized lagoons, the main ones being Sargazo, Chaiquenes, Triángula, Fría, Montaña, and Campana.
Flora: The predominant vegetal formation is the forest, its vegetation being made up by larches, lenga beeches, coihue, and evergreen forests. The larch forests cover almost 20.000 hectares, and are found mainly above 400 mts. Species like lianas, ferns, bushes and herbs are abundant. The Evergreen forest is found from the sea level to the 900 mts, its composition varying according to the general exposure of the mountain chains. The Magellanic Coihue Forest is located above 900 mts, covering the top of the mountains located west from the park. There are also Lengas, which grow on the higher areas, up to the vegetational limit.
Fauna: Some of the mammals you can find are the pudu, puma, South America Gray Fox, Molina's hog-nosed skunk, viscacha, and monito del monte. There are also birds, such as the condor, magellanic woodpecker, chestnut-throated huet huet, Harri's Hawk, Chiloé Wigeon, and Magellan Goose, amongst others. The most common fish species are the peladilla, percatrucha, brown trout, and rainbow trout.
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.