This valley entrance is approximately 38km south of Puerto Guadal and is within the Patagonia National Park. It is accessed by turning left, where sign posed, about 24km before entering Cochrane (Cochrane is 62km south of Puerto Guadal).
The Park covers an area of 304,527 sq2 hectares and was declared a National Park in October 2018. Like Pumalin National Park, this area was donated to the Chilean state by the Thompkins Conservation Foundation, in 2017. Its aim is to protect and preserve ecosystems within central Patagonia as well as endangered wildlife populations such as “Huemul” and the Puma. These efforts have been applauded internationally as an example of how to preserve grasslands and reintroduce key animal and plant species.
There is one place to stay if visiting, which we detail below, and from here you can trek on stipulated trails as well as view Tehuelche cave art dating back 7,000 years. The hotel is built, decorated, and furnished to very high standards and provides an excellent base from where to venture out into the wild and rugged terrain of raw Patagonia.
Parque Nacional Patagonia (Valle Chacabuco)
Access: Valle Chacabuco (north of Cochrane)
Vast valleys sculpted by the Chacabuco River form a natural corridor that, since ancient times, has been used for travel both by nomadic peoples and a large diversity of fauna. Once the site of big cattle ranches, today the grasslands have begun to recover after a century of overgrazing and are now home to one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the Aysén region.
This is Patagonian steppe in all its splendour––mountain ranges, Lenga and Ñirre forests that burst with red in fall, active wildlife, and dozens of spectacular lagoons and lakes, such as Cochrane and Jeinimeni, which nourish these landscapes of overwhelming beauty. All this helps to tell the story of one of the most important ecosystem restoration projects in the country.
- Open: Year-round
- Area: 752.502 acres
- Climate: Cold steppe and trans-Andean continentalRainfall: 8 inches annually
- Ecosystem: Patagonian steppe, deciduous forest, wetlands, high mountain
- Founded: December 11, 2018
Suggested Places of Interest and/or Activities
- Drive the scenic Route X-83 toward Roballos Pass.
- Hike the Lagunas Altas Trail in the Chacabuco Valley.
- Take in the vastness of Lake Cochrane from the Douglas Tompkins Lookout Point or from one of the Tamango trails.
- Visit the confluence of the Baker River––the river with the largest water volume in Chile––and the Chacabuco River.
- Cross the 330-foot-long footbridge over the Chacabuco River and the footbridge found in the Avilés Valley.
- Birdwatch at the various lagoons in the Chacabuco Valley.
- Walk through the Lenga forests in fall.
- Take a boat along the Cochrane River.
- Apreciar la belleza del Lago Jeinimeni (Km. 65, Ruta X-753)
- Visit the “Piedra Clavada”- a 130-foot-tall volcanic rock formation, and the Moon Valley in Jeinimeni (Route X-753, mile 15 / kilometer 25).