- Araucanía, Lakes & Volcanoes
- Puerto Varas
- Vicente Perez Rosales National Park
The Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park is the oldest park in Chile and is part of the reserve of the biosphere forests temperate rainforests of the Andes Australes. It is located in the Lakes Region, 60 kilometers from Puerto Varas.
Vicente Pérez Rosales national park was created in 1926, and as such, it is the oldest park in the country. It has a surface area of 251,000 hectares and is situated in one of the most privileged zones in the country.
Its most important attractions are its volcanoes and mountains, great forests of native trees, and one of the most beautiful and virgin lakes in the south of Chile: the lake Todos Los Santos.
This diverse landscape and the dominant presence of its volcanoes, has turned this park into one of the principal destinations in the region of Los Lagos. Within its limits, the visitor can not only observe the incredible landscape, but also walk and observe the flora and fauna, enjoy thermal baths, ski, take a boat ride and go fishing, amongst many other activities.
How to get there: Santiago-Pto. Montt: by air or by public or private land transport. Pto. Montt-Pto. Varas: via Ruta 5 Sur. Santiago-Osorno: by air, or by public or private land transport. Osorno-Pto. Varas: by public or private land transport on the Ruta 5 Sur. Pto. Varas-Ensenada: public or private land transport by Ruta Internacional 225. Osorno-Ensenada: by the road going to Pto. Octay, but passing the turning for that city. It's 105 km through a paved road, until the Río Blanco sector. Ensenada to Petrohué (Lago Todos los Santos) it is 16 km.
When to go: Year round.
- Winter: Mondays to Sundays from 9:00 to 17:30 hrs
- Summer: Mondays to Sundays from 9:00 to 18:00 hrs
Climate: The climate is humid temperate, with an average annual rainfall index of 2.500 mm in Ensenada. This increases to 4.000 mm in Casapangue, close to the Vicente Pérez Rosales border pass. The average annual temperature is 11.1°C, with an average in January of 16°C and in June of 6.5°C. In the higher areas of the park, most of the precipitations are snow.
Services: Park ranger, environmental information center, trails.
Infrastructure and Services in Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park
Administration Area: The park's administration area is located in Petrohué, where the first stretch of the Ruta Internacional 225 ends. In Petrohué there is also a park ranger's post.
Park Ranger's Post: There is a permanent post in Peulla and another one in Ensenada, on the shore of Lake Llanquihue lake, neighboring the town.
There are also two information posts situated in the access to the Petrohué waterfalls and the Osorno volcano, and two control posts, one in the Ensenada sector and the other in La Picada, 11 km from the crossroads in Puerto Klocker.
- Petrohué Beach: situated in the sector bearing the same name, 16 km away from Ensenada and 6 km from the Petrohué river waterfalls. There are 24 camgrounds equipped with parking spaces, drinking water, restrooms, and fire areas.
- Camping Puerto Oscuro: in Puesto Oscuro sector, 2.5 km north of Ensenada. There are 10 campsites with picnic tables, firea areas and garbage cans.
Accomodation: There are accommodation options in and outside the park:
- Club de Teski Refuge: it is a private refuge, with a capacity for 50 beds. It is 26 km away from Ensenada, at approximately 1.200 mts msl.
- Club Los Pumas Refuge: a private refuge with a capacity for 40 people (in bunks and beds). They can be rented to schools from Puerto Varas. It is situated 11 km from Ensenada, at an altitude of 850 mts msl.
- Petrohué Lodging House: on the shore of Lake Todos Los Santos lake. With 12 double rooms and a restaurant with a capacity for 250 people. It is open all year round.
- Peulla Hotel: located on the east shore of the Lake Todos Los Santos lake, in the town bearing the same name. It has a capacity for 180 people and also offers have a full-service restaurant.
Food Shops: In Ensenada, outside the park and 16 km from Petrohué you can find the following restaurants Yankee Way Lodge, Los Pinos, La Araucaria, Fogón Pucará, and Canta Rana.
Services outside the area:
- Gas Stations: In Ensenada, Puerto Varas, Puerto Montt, Ralún.
- Pay Phone: Petrohué and Ensenada
- First Aid: at the Peulla and Petrohué posts (in the park), in the Ensenada clinic and the Hospital in Puerto Varas.
- Police: there is a post in Casa Pangue, in the Peulla sector, and another one in Ensenada.
What to see:
Some of the highlights in the park are Petrohué river waterfalls, Osorno volcano and its atmospheric cones, lake Todos los Santos, Puntiagudo river valley, Cayutúe valley, and Tronador volcano.
What to do:
- Fishing: in Ensenada, Petrohué, and Peulla.
- Swimming: there are swimming areas in the Ensenada and Petrohué sectors.
- Skiing: in La Picada area you can find "La Burbuja".
- Mountaineering: in La Picada and Volcán Osorno sectors.
- Trekking: in La Picada, Ensenada, and Peulla.
- Wildlife observation: in all areas of the park.
- Horseback riding: in Peulla.
- Environmental educational information: in Petrohué.
Trails: The park has a network of trails designed to help visitors explore the most interesting areas of the park.
- Petrohué River Waterfalls trail: 370 m long and approximately 10 minutes.
- Los Enamorados trail: in the Petrohué river waterfalls area. 600 m long and approximately 30 minutes there and back.
- Laguna Verde trail: 180 m long and approximately 20 minutes.
- Velo de la Novia trail: in the Peulla sector, 400 m long and approximately 25 minutes.
- Paso Desolación trail: on the eastern slopes of the Osorno volcano, with a length of 12 km which takes approximately 5 or 6 hours (there and back). The path rises to an altitude of approximately 1.100 mts msl and allows you to appreciate panoramic views of Tronador volcano and Lake Todos Los Santos.
- Rincón del Osorno trail: on the east bank of the Lake Todos Los Santos, it is 5 km long and takes approximately 4 hours there and back. The path starts in Petrohué and skirts the lake.
- El Solitario trail: it is located 6 km away from Ensenada, on the way to the Osorno volcano. It is 6 km long and it takes 2 hours to cover.
- Margarita Lagoon trail: it is located in the Peulla sector, it is about 8 km long, and can be covered in around 8 hours. It arrives at Margarita lagoon, a landscape surrounded by beautiful forests of lenga.
- Carilemu trail: in the Petrohué waterfalls sector, it is 980 m and takes around 45 minutes.
- Los Pilleyos trail: in the Ensenada sector, 1.200 m long and takes around 45 minutes.
Natural Heritage in Vicente Pérez Rosales national park
Geomorphology: The park is situated in a zone where tectonic, glacial, and volcanic processes have shaped the Andes. The main peaks are the volcanoes Puntiagudo (2.490 msnm), Osorno (2.661 msnm), La Picada ( 1.710 msnm), and Tronador (3.491 msnm).
Hydrography: Retreating glaciers and the rise of Osorno volcano allowed for the formation of the Lake Todos los Santos, which is surrounded by steep mountains draining into Petrohué river and Reloncaví estuary. The volcanic activity also manifests itself through a series of thermal baths, amongst which you can visit Vuriloche, Ralún and El Callao. The Lake Todos los Santos (also known as 'Esmeralda') has a surface area of 2.219 km2, all of which belong to the park. It is located at 190 mts msl and it receives numerous affluents, such as Peulla river, which is born in the snowdrifts of the volcanoes Tronador, Negro, Puntiagudo, Blanco, Chilcón and Cayutúe. Cayutúe drains the lagoon bearing the same name, which is located on the southwest of the park.
Flora: Most of the forests in the park are evergreen, developing in a wide range of environments. In flat areas with bad draining qualities like Cayutué lagoon, the predominant forest is the Húmedo de Galería, comprised by cinnamon tree, patagua and pitra. On the banks of the lake Todos los Santos you can find species like olivillo, ulmo, tiaca and coigüe. The most important evergreen formation is the coigüe forest, which is situated between 200 and 1.000 mts msl, associated with ulmo, tepa, and tineo in higher areas, and a rich lower-level covered in shrubs, nuthatch, and ferns. Alerces are found between 800 and 1.000 msnm, in steep, rugged or marshy places. At higher altitudes, lenga forests are common. There are also mixed forests with coigüe, but beyond the vegetation limit only stunted shrubs and plants grow.
Fauna: As for mammals, you can see species like pudú, puma, kodkod, mountain cat, South American gray fox, Southern River otter, lesser grison, and ferret. There are also two Chilean marsupials: long nosed caenolistid and monito del monte. Amongst the birds you can find in the park, the most important species are the huala, the fuegian steamer duck, torrent duck, common kingfisher, Southern Crested caracara, striped woodpecker, Magellanic woodpecker, ashy-headed goose, red-gartered coot, and the eagle. Regarding fish, the most important species is the Chilean trout and others like the rainbow and brown trout.
Cultural Heritage in Vicente Pérez Rosales national park
The area in which the park is set has never been permanently occupied by indigenous groups. However, it has a strong Huilliche influence, a people that lived on the west side of the park. It is now known that there was intense commercial exchange between the poyas and puelches, indigenous peoples that lived on the east side of the Andes.
An imortant historical event was the search for the Vuriloche route, used during the XVIII century by the Jesuits, with the aim of founding missions in the Nahuelhuapi region. The pass located south of Tronador volcano, helped diminishing the risks of sailing the lagoon, which required crossing Cayutúe lagoon and lake Todos los Santos.
The road to Nahuelhuapi was used, according to chronicles, to connect Chiloé with the northern cities after the huge Indian rebellion of 1600. The search for the City of Caesars and the evangelization of the poyas and puelches drove explorers and missionaries to take part in risky journeys, sailing the lagoon, and climbing mountains.
Important names arised during this period, such as Captain Juan Fernández (1620), the fathers Nicolás Mascardi, Felipe de la Laguna, and the Jesuit Guillél, who failed to find the Vuriloche way. It was not until 1900 that the park was rediscovered by the Chilean Captain Arturo Barrios. Finally, the colonization of the park area began in the late XIX century, when Vicente Pérez Rosales was reopened, marking the beginning of permanent traffic with Nahuelhuapi.
Nesta área do país é conhecida por sua boa comida, tem uma grande variedade de comida tradicional devido a influência de mapuche, mas também a influência alemã que chegou ao país.
Dentro dos pratos típicos é o curanto, uma sopa feita com carne, marisco de salsichas e batatas, chapaleles, que são uma mistura de farinha e batatas cozida no caldo do curanto, milcao, que também é feita de batatas, uma vez que é um dos alimentos mais importantes na área junto com a carne e frutos do mar.
Por outro lado, a influência alemã permitiu esta área a ser caracterizado por seus bolos e tortas de bagas e frutos que crescem no local tais como framboesas, mirtilos ou Murta.
How to go
- Airplane: From Santiago to Puerto Montt (2 hours and 30 minutes)
- Bus: From Santiago to Puerto Varas (12 or 14 hours)
- Tour: From Puerto Varas to the National Park.
For more information about prices press the next link. http://www.conaf.cl/parques/parque-nacional-vicente-perez-rosales/
The weather on this place is oceanic and rainy, with a bit of Mediterranean influence, there’s abundant and constant rainfall, even in summer. The annual average temperature is 11° C.
We advise you to wear clothes that are suitable for rain, because the weather is constantly changes at any time of the year.
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.