This reserve owes its name to the Rio Simpson, the river which crosses the park on its journey westward, and which is one of the best rivers for fly-fishing.
The protected area is 40,452 hectares (88,994 acres) of rugged geography, with some peaks reaching higher than 1,600 m (5,248 ft) above sea level, creating valleys and narrow canyons that shelter the descending rivers. As well as the Simpson, there are the Correntosos and Cascada de la Virgen rivers, branches of the Simpson, both surrounded by beautiful scenery and lush vegetation.
In terms of vegetation, there are mainly forests of coigües, tepas, mañío, ciruelillo, canelo and tepú. There is also chilco, which is the most abundant tree of the zone. In terms of fauna, the huemul is found in the eastern sector, where the geography is rocky, and on the steep slopes of the Andean and Huemules hills. The puma, on the other hand, lives in areas of medium altitude, spending the summer at a higher altitude and the winter on the plains. Other species which live in the reserve are the pudú, fox, güiña, bandurrias, queltehues and a large variety of wild ducks.
Río Simpson National Reserve Basic Information
Location: Región de Aysén, 32 kilometers (20 mi) northeast of Coyhaique. Puerto Aysén is 32 km (20 MI) northeast.
How to get there:
- Santiago-Coyhaique: by air.
- Coyhaique-Puerto Aysén: by land. crossing El Farellón tunnel.
When to go: Year round.
Climate: It has a rainy climate with an annual rainfall averaging between 1,500 mm and 2,500 mm (59 in. and 98 in.) in the westernmost part of the reserve, while the highest altitudes have snow, particularly in the winter. The average annual temperature is 6°C (43ºF) and the average in the summer varies between 15° and 17°C (59º and 63ºF).
Services: Rangers, environmental information, trails.
Entrance Fees: 400 CLP.
Río Simpson National Reserve Infrastructure and Services
It is located on the 37 km between Coyhaique and Puerto Aysén
Park Ranger Post:
In the administration area and San Sebastián (camp site). There is another station in the Cerro Huemules area, located 16 kms away from Coyhaique.
San Sebastián, located next to the public road, 5 kms East of the administration post. It has ten sites, one of which has a capacity for 20 people, fresh water, and hot showers.
Services outside the reserve
- Gas: Coyhaique, Puerto Aysén
- Pay phone: Coyhaique and Puerto Aysén
- First Aid: Coyhaique and Puerto Aysén
- Groceries: Coyhaique and Puerto Aysén
- Accommodation: Coyhaique and Puerto Aysén
Attractions in Río Simpson National Reserve
What to see:
Among the most beautiful areas of the park are, undoubtedly, the "Cascada de la Virgen" and the "Velo de Novia" (Bride's Veil) waterfalls.
What to do:
- Wildlife observation
- Environmental information
- Horseback riding
- Pedestrain road in Cerro Huemules: 3 kms.
Río Simpson National Reserve Natural Heritage
Flora: The flora in this reserve is mainly made up by coihue, laureliopsis, podocarpus, Chilean firetree, canelo, and tepualia forests, besides the hardy fuchsia.
Fauna: Huemuls can be found in the reserve's eastern end, in rocky areas and the slopes of the hills Cordillerano and Huemules. There are also pumas in medium heights. Other species found in the reserve include the pudu, fox, kodkod, theristicus, southern lapwing, and a great variety of wild ducks.
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.
Hotels close to Rio Simpson National Reserve
This is a list with some of the hotels close to Rio Simpson National Reserve
Carretera Austral Sur, at 1,9 mi from Rio Simpson National Reserve
Luxurious hacienda for vacation tourism in Chilean Patagonia, on the Southern Austral Highway, situated on the shore of the Negro Lake…
Coyhaique, at 10 mi from Rio Simpson National Reserve
These comfortable cabins, cosy and of excellent category, are located in the beautiful city of Puerto Aysén, to single 15 minutes of…
Coyhaique, at 16 mi from Rio Simpson National Reserve
Located in the Bay of Puerto Chacabuco, in the midst of a privileged environment. Loberías del Sur Hotel has the following services:…