Cochamó––a town with a name that means “where the waters meet” in Mapundungún––offers visitors spectacular views of the Yates Volcano and the Reloncaví Estuary. The crystalline Cochamó River runs through valleys surrounded by temperate evergreen forests and crowned with jagged granite walls, well-known by climbing and hiking aficionados from around the world.

The area was long inhabited by the Cunco, Poya, and Huilliche people. At the end of the 14th century, families from the Huar, Mailén, and Pulqui Islands began to arrive in the area, and settlers from modern-day Argentina also began to populate the mountains. In 1901, townspeople built the Immaculate Conception Church, which can still be visited today. They also began to develop the local lumber and cattle industries. The municipality was officially formed in 1979.

Horses were long the main method of transport between the ocean and the mountains, which fostered a strong equestrian tradition in the area. In 2013, Cochamó’s “arrieros” (muleteers) were declared Living Human Treasures by the Cultural Council.

Lodging, Food, and Activities

Various cabins, lodges, hostels, hotels, and a few restaurants are available in Cochamó. Find out more at:

Region

Cochamó

Province

Llanquihue

Population

4.124

Climate and Rainfall

Rainy and temperate

Nearest National Park(s)

Alerce Andino National Park

Hornopiren National Park

Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park

Don’t Miss

  • Visit the famous Cochamó Valley, on foot or horseback, and take in its granite walls and natural slides, found in the La Junta sector and the Arcoíris lookout point sector, among others.
  • Visit the rock art in Torrentoso and Lago Vidal.
  • Boat on Lake Tagua Tagua.
  • Explore the beautiful Tagua Tagua Park, a private protected area.
  • Fish on the Cochamó and Puelo Rivers.
  • Drive the Reloncaví Estuary Circuit, starting at Caleta La Arena and taking Route V-69 to Cochamó, then returning to Puerto Varas.
  • Ride on horseback in the Ventisquero Valley.
  • Visit the mountain villages Llanada Grande and Segundo Corral.
    Trek to León Pass.

How to get

Cochamó is located 72 miles from Puerto Montt. From Puerto Varas, take Route 225, which follows the shores of the Llanquihue Lake, toward Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. When you get to Ensenada, merge right onto Route V-59 toward Cochamó.

You can also reach Cochamó via the Carretera Austral. Take the Carretera Austral to Caleta La Arena, where you can board a ferry to Caleta Puelche (no prior reservation is required). From there, take Route V-69 to Cochamó.

You can find buses to Cochamó at the terminal in Puerto Montt. Around 4 buses depart daily for Cochamó, from Monday through Sunday. Contact the terminal via phone at +56 65 2 841200.

Tips

  • In 2013 the muleteers (arrieros) from Cochamó were recognized as “living human treasures” by the Ministry of Culture.
  • Bus tickets cannot be purchased online. You can buy them at the Puerto Montt bus terminal (booth 42, in the section of the terminal where the Río Puelo company sells its tickets). The trip in bus takes around 2.5 hours.
  • Remember to bring cash. There’s no ATM in Cochamó, only “cajas vecinas” (rural bank services). Some business accept debit cards.
  • Bring a rain jacket and rain pants, even in the summer.
  • Reservations are needed to camp in the La Junta sector. Demand for campsites is very high in the summer, so be sure to plan ahead of time and make your reservations at www.reservasvallecochamo.org.
  • In January, there are a lot of tábanos, which are similar to horseflies. Avoid wearing dark clothing, which attracts them.
  • Make sure your fishing license is up-to-date to enjoy catch-and-release fishing.
  • If you like birdwatching and spotting wildlife, you can take a boat trip or kayak in the estuary.
  • For those who love trekking, there are various trailheads at La Junta with different lengths and difficulty levels (Cerro La Paloma, Base Cerro Trinidad, Circuito de Cascadas, Matelandia, El Arco, Anfiteatro, Paso El León, and Cerro Arcoíris).
  • If you love adventure, you can cross to Argentina walking through Paso El León (Río Manso) or Paso Río Puelo (Paso el Bolso). Remember to go through immigration control in Carabineros.
  • The commune of Cochamó is part of the cycling network of Lago
    Llanquihue and Seno de Reloncaví.
  • The public library offers wifi and computers for free use.
  • Download the map of the commune in
    http://municochamo.cl/turismo/servicios.php

Basic Services

  • “Caja Vecina” (Rural Bank Services)
  • Basic Medical Services
  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Bike Repair Shop
  • Cell Service (Entel)
  • Police Station
  • Visitor’s Center
  • Aerodrome
  • Fire Station

Visitor’s Center

Address

Juan Soler Manfredini, no number (Plaza Río Puelo)

Facebook

Descubre Cochamó / Discover Cochamó

Important Dates

Cochamó’s local festival is held during January.

On December 8th, the Chilean-Argentine Brotherhood meeting takes place in
Paso el León.

The first week of February the minga (a house-moving ceremony) is held.

The second week of January is the Potato and Lamb festival.

On Marimeli Island, the cancato festival takes place in January.

The first week of February is the mussels festival in Pueblo Hundido
(Cochamó)

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