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The lost valley of Cochamo

In the Andes range , south of Chile

all seasons in one day

If you are going to Chile , if you like wildlife and incredible scenery , if you like walking or doing horseriding and mountain climbing
just go to : the valley of Cochamo , in the lakes district , 2 hours from Puerto Varas by local bus.
An amazing paradise for the nature lovers.


Travelers, climbers, trekkers trying to escape the regular tourist stops, wanting to be emersed in Patagonia's nature and desiring for real, unregulated adventure choose to surround themselves by granite domes, waterfalls, rivers and mountains in Cochamó Valley. This trek, known only for a relatively short time, is quickly becoming just as popular as Torres del Paine's trails.

step by step


to Piedra River

The trailhead officially starts at the end of a gravel road by crossing a wooden bridge and passing a gate with a sign above that reads "El Morro". From there continue for 40 minutes to La Piedra River. If the river's too high to cross via rock hopping, there's a log bridge 50 meters up river. Some people get confused after crossing: The trail continues up the valley 100 meters down river from the point where the horses cross.


uphill push

Most of the elevation gain is done during this forested section. There's a great spot to stop with views of waterfalls. Just after the last major uphill climb, or 2 to 2.5 hours from the trailhead, there's a great vista and rest point to view waterfalls through the forest and across the valley.


logs & marshes

You don't have much uphill. Nevertheless, there's plenty of up and down. Kilometers of logs have been laid along the trail to help support the horses and cows that locals bring in and out every season. Plus, the trail passes through numerous mud pools and deeply eroded trenches. *Tip: When the log section goes down to reach a river, walk along a less traveled hiker trail two minutes up river. This will take you to a fallen tree bridge that will connect back to the main trail without wetting your feet. There's a nice open space, or pampa to take another rest about 3.5 to 4 hours from the trailhead. It allows visitors to get their first views of the valley's huge granite walls. After resting, another 40 minutes of marsh and trenches.


La Junta

Once you come out of the marshes, you'll come into a long fenced pampa. You're almost there. Remember not to cross the Cochamó River at any point until you get to La Junta. Once you pass the first wooden gate, you're about 15 minutes from La Junta. The next pampa area is La Junta and Camping La Junta. Continue to the old house to get more information. Or from the house, follow the signs, cross the Cochamó River using the cable car and continue to the Refugio Cochamó.


More than a 150 years ago the firs gauchos helped carve this trail to bring their cattle from the Argentine farm lands to sell at the coastal Chilean slaughterhouse in Cochamó. During the decade that the meat company thrived, they maintained the trail with bridges, a telegraph that ran to El Bolson, Argentina, and kept it clear and wide enough to run an oxen-pulled cart. Since then the trail has seen huge erosion combined by livestock traffic and runoff. Only since the last decade has some has some more significant improvements. Today, the trail is stilled used by the local cowboys and tourists.

for more informations :
www.cochamo.com refuge and info
www.cochamo.net horse ride
www.margouya.com bed and breakfast and outdoors activities

Posted by rouvnico 16:35 Archived in Chile Tagged ecotourism

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