- Northern Patagonia & Carretera Austral
- Carretera Austral Sur
- Jeinimeni National Reserve
Lago Jeinimeni National reserve is located 57 kms southwest of the city of Chile Chico. It has a surface area of 161.100 hectares, in which you can witness the regions biodversity in all its magnitude. Its scenic beauty allows for the presence of the area's four ecosystems: deciduous forests, evergreen forests, steppe, and high peaks.
At jeinimeni there are over thirteen snowdrifts, three lakes, thirty lagoons, eighteen rivers, vast valleys, archaeological sites with rock paintings such as the "Cueva de las manos" (hands cave), moon valleys, and much more.,
Lago Jeinimeni National Reserve Basic Information
Location: The reserve belongs to the districts of Chile Chico and Cochrane, in the Región de Aysén.It is located a few kms South of Lake General Carrera.
How to get there: The access to the reserve is located 65 kms south of Chile Chico. To get there you must take the international road from Chile Chico and at km 3 take the exit leading to the aerodrome.
When to go: Year round
Activities: Lago Jeinimeni is a great place for ecotourism and adventure sports, and fly fishing in its many lakes, lagoons and rivers. Making reservations in advance is not necessary.
Services: It has park rangers, picnicking areas, camp sites, and several trails. Next to the park there are tables, sheds, and seats.
Attractions in Lago Jeinimeni National Reserve
What to do:
Lago Jeinimeni is a great place for ecotourism and adventure sports, and fly fishing in its many lakes, lagoons and rivers. Making reservations in advance is not necessary.
Jeinimeni river flows along the road, going through peculiar rock formations and crossing the Argentinian border. This is a great spot for fishing, camping, and observing the wild fauna. In km 32 you will see the Cardenio estuary, and 10 kms down the road, the Flamencos Lagoon. After crossing Las Nieves River you will see the reserves beautiful forests to then arrive at the mouth of Jeinimeni lagoon. This huge water mirror is the entrance to the reserve. It has a surface area of 451 hectares and, unlike the nearby lakes, it is surrounded by a beach.
There reserve also has several glaciers, but the most accessible is "Ventisquero" which you can reach by following the road from the Conaf station. It can be done by foot or riding a horse.
The reserve has beautiful trails. Some of them are:
- Piedra Clavada: 6 kms that can be covered in one day. It leads to the archaeological site called "Cueva de las manos"
- La Leona: 20 kms that can be covered in two days. It connects lake Jeinimeni and Chacabuco valley.
- Estero Ventisqueros: 15 kms that can be covered in 3 days there and back. It leads to the reserve's interior snowdrifts.
- Lago Verde: 5 kms, 3 hours there and back.
Lago Jeinimeni National Reserve Natural Heritage
Relief: This reserve has a mountain chain with abrut slopes, and snowdrifts that are cloe to the Patagonian steppe. There are several peaks reaching 1.500 mts, the most remarkable being Jeinimeni Hill (2.600 mts).
Hydrography: The reserve's main water course is Jeinimeni river, which comes from the lake bearing the same name. Other streams are the rivers Guisoca, Verde, and El Amarillo. Some lakes include the Verde, Guisoca, Ventisquero, and Escondida.
Climate: Jeinimeni National Reserve has an annual precipitation index of 1000 mms, with variations reaching 600 mms at higher altitudes. The average annual temperature is 4º C. At higher areas there is a microclimate, with precipitations that do not exceed 350mm near Chile Chico and 600 mms at the highest peaks. In contrast, the Southern area exceeds 2500 mms. Without a doubt, Jeinimeni is a Patagonian paradise that has remained untouched, with less than 300 visitores a year, most of which are scientists of CONAF personnel. This is why the reserve is still virgin and pollution free. You can go thorugh its forests and find millennial lengas, cross its valleys moving amongst huemuls to then ascend to the highest peaks, from where you can see the Patagonia, the Lake General Carrera, the Northern Patagonian Ice Fields, and the Mount San Valentín.
Flora: The vegetation in the reserve changes going from east to west, from a steppe landscape to a more humid area. There are two recognizable vegetal formations: Aysén's Patagonian Steppe, its most representative species being the coirón Coirón (Festuca pallescens), Cadillo (Acaena splendens), Neneo (Mulinum spinosum), Llareta (Azorella incisa), Leña de piedra (Azorella monatha), Orquídea de flor dorada (Chloraea alpina), and Pico de loro (Chloraea magellánica). The Aysén's deciduous forest is characterised by the presence of lenga beeches (Nothofagus pumilio) and ñirres (Nothofagus antarctica) in lower areas and valleys, and Calafate (Berberis buxifolia) and Chaura (Pernettya mucronata) in more humid areas.
Fauna: Birds are the most abundant type, with species like the Condor (Vultur gryphus), black-chested buzzard eagle, (Geranoetus melanoleucus), American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), Black-thorated huet-huet (Pterostochos tarnii), Pato Anteojillo (Anas specularis), Magellanic woodpecker, (Campephilus magellanicus), Carpinterito (Picoides lignarius), Austral trush (Turdus falklandii), Austral blackbird (Curaeus curaeus) and Austral parakeet (Enicognathus ferrugineus). Regarding the mammals, it is possible to find the Huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), Guanaco (Lama guanicoe), Austral Vizcacha (Lagidium wolfshonni), Markham's graass mouse (Abrothrix olivaceus), Pichi (Zaedyus pichiy), Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus humboldti), Cougar (Puma concolor), Geoffroy's cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi), Eastern Patagonian Laucha (Eligmodontia typus). Amongst reptiles it is possible to find the Liolaemus zullyi, and the Large four-eyed frog (Pleurodema bufonina).
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.