November 29, 2022 #ChileDiverse

Trekking Season in Chile: the best trails from north to south

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Chile is the world's favorite destination for hiking because of the jewels of trails it has from north to south. Although the selection was not easy, together with @jesuossandon and @mapascompass -authors of Trekking Guides for Chile and Santiago by @columbia_chile-, we made a selection of the best trails to hike and enjoy throughout Chile this summer.


This park covers part of the Atacama and Antofagasta regions, and is located in a desert environment, where its variety of cactus species and abundant endemic marine and terrestrial flora and fauna stand out. For those who are just starting out in the world of trekking, the El Mirador trail is an excellent challenge with its 5 kms that take you to a lookout point on top of a cliff, with spectacular views of Pan de Azúcar Island and the surrounding area. With the same intensity, there is the option of doing the Las Lomitas trail, where one walks through hills crowned with large cactus and varied colors typical of the desert landscape.

Difficulty: low.

Time: 3 to 4 hours each way.


Located in the Valle del Yeso Park in Cajón de Maipo, this lagoon stands out for its crystalline waters and for being located in the middle of the mountain range almost on the border with Argentina. The extensive valley and its rocks are of a unique geological richness, as they contain a great geodiversity that ranges from Jurassic rocks of marine origin to volcanic rocks. You always walk above 3,000 meters above sea level. After the hike, the well-deserved reward: a thermal bath in the Termas del Plomo hot springs, right where the trail begins. Be careful! you must be well hydrated and walk at a leisurely pace due to the altitude.

Difficulty: low.

Time: 4 hours, round trip


Santiago's emblematic summit at 4,180 meters above sea level. It forms a mountain range together with Cerro El Plomo, Cerro Leonera, Cerro Altar and Cerro Littoria. Its access is through the La Parva Ski Center. We recommend going between the months of November and April because of the weather, and also because during that period the ski lift that takes you to Laguna Piuquenes, where the trail begins, is open. Since it is a high mountain, you should hydrate well and dress warmly.

Difficulty: medium.

Time: 5 to 6 hours, round trip.


Pichillancahue means "small place of green stones" in Mapudungún and is one of the "secret" trails offered by Villarrica National Park. Located within this park, on the east side of the Villarrica volcano, you reach a glacier covered by volcanic ash, known as the Turbio Glacier. The trail starts in a forest of lengas, araucarias and coihues and offers spectacular views of four volcanoes: Villarrica, Quetrupillán, Lanín and Mocho Choshuenco.

Difficulty: low.

Time: 2 to 3 hrs, round trip.


This trek is located in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, one of the largest in Chile. This route dazzles for its environment, its abundant presence of the Valdivian Forest, its hot springs in the middle of the trail, as well as for its impressive views of the Osorno, Puntiagudo and Tronador Volcanoes. On the route you will find cabins to sleep, also sell bread and cheese in some sectors. It starts at Todos los Santos Lake and ends at Rupanco Lake.
Difficulty: low.

Time: 3 to 4 days.


This reserve, one of the first private protected areas in Chile, is located 21 km from Pucón and is mainly dedicated to the conservation of Araucaria forests, one of the oldest species in the region. It has 12 lagoons of volcanic origin, and some of them can be seen during the trail as in its final viewpoint, Melidekiñ. It is called sanctuary because the place is known for having a very powerful and unique energy. It can be done during the day or with a camping night.

Difficulty: medium

Time: 6 to 7 hours, round trip or 2 days, depending on whether it is a day trip or camping.


Located south of the island of Chiloé, Tantauco is one of the best developed private conservation areas in Chile. This park is attractive for its unspoiled nature, its beautiful white sand beaches and warm lakes, as well as having a complete infrastructure that surprises the visitor. The place allows day hikes of up to two, five and eight days, the last two ending in Caleta Inío, a place located at the southern tip of the island and which can only be accessed by trails or by boat.

Difficulty: medium/high

Time: 1 to 8 days, depending on the trail.


This park is increasingly competing with Torres del Paine and is a shorter alternative to appreciate the wild landscapes of Chilean Patagonia. Its name is due to the majestic facade of this summit. The route advances between Lenga and Ñire forests, with views of Cerro Castillo, its milky lagoons of calypso and greenish colors, and its imposing glaciers. The Ibáñez and Turbio Rivers accompany the trail, providing a variety of landscapes that leave many stopped and countless amateur photographers along the way. It is also known for being a great spot for huemul sighting. Located in the commune of Coyhaique and Rio Bueno, this has been catalogued as one of the most beautiful trails in Chile.

Difficulty: medium/high.

Time: 4 days.

To discover more trails and get more information: @guiadetrekking.




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