Tompkins Conservation is a foundation dedicated to the creation of National Parks as a tool to combat the species extinction crisis. We are not dedicated to offering tourist packages, but do work to make this territory visible as one of the last pristine areas of the planet For more information about the Route of Parks, see the tour operators listed on our website The website also provides information for independent travelers.
This section introduces the agencies which operate along the Route of Parks. We recommend that you contact them directly.
Although you can travel throughout the year, we recommend you visit the Route between October and April, when there is better weather, and most National Parks are open (check information on each park here).
We recommend you to be prepared for rain, cold, wind and sun, since the weather can present the four seasons in one day. Always pack waterproof jackets and pants, a hat, warm layers, socks and thermal gloves, windbreakers, trekking shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen. You should also include pants, t-shirts and even lighter shoes for the hot days.
In Patagonia, you can live all seasons of the year in a single day, so it is important to be prepared for rain, wind, cold and sun. Our seasons are:
Summer: from December 21 to March 21
Autumn: from March 21 to June 21
Winter: from June 21 to September 21
Spring: from September 21 to December 21
The Route of the Parks has three regional airports from north to south: Puerto Montt, Balmaceda and Punta Arenas.
1.-El Tepual Airport in Puerto Montt.*
2.-Airport Teniente Vidal Balmaceda.
3.-Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport, Punta Arenas
*also La Paloma in Puerto Montt with connections to Santa Barbara/Chaiten.
There are Rent a Car services in cities such as Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Coyhaique, Balmaceda, Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales. Airports also offer vehicle rental services (Puerto Montt, Balmaceda and Punta Arenas).
You can travel the Route of the Parks in different ways, mainly by vehicle. Depending on your interests, you can go by private vehicle, public transport, motorcycle, motorhome, bicycle, etc.
You should consider a minimum of 20 days to 1 month, but that depends on the amount of time you have to travel and your interest in taking part in activities. We invite you to visit the files of the communities and the National Parks to familiarize yourself with their attractions and plan your trip.
You should consult directly with tour operators on our website to consult the costs of different programs.
13 What are the National Parks with public access infrastructure? (trails, accommodation, visitor center, camping area) enabled and how can I get there?
Of the 17 National Parks on the Route of Parks, 11 offer some kind of public access. Please
note that not all parks have the same level of amenities (with infrastructure rated low,
medium and high).
National Parks with only road access:
The following National Parks do not have public access infrastructure, although some have maritime access.
1.-Corcovado National Park
2.-Melimoyu National Park
3.-Isla Magadalena National Park (Visit by local tour operator)
4.-Kawesqar National Park (Visit by local tour operator)
5.-Alberto Agostini National Park (only maritime access)
6.-Yendegaia National Park
The road is generally in good condition. It has sections of pavement and sections with gravel, so we always recommend 4WD and high clearance for greater safety, however, many sections of the route can be visited by two-wheel drive vehicles.
Below we detail the navigation routes by region, most require prior reservation
Los Lagos Region
Caleta La Arena to Caleta Puelche http://transportesdelestuario.cl
Hornopirén to Caleta Gonzalo http://www.taustral.cl/ y http://www.somarco.cl
Puerto Montt to Chaitén : http://www.somarco.cl
Quellón to Chaitén http://www.navieraustral.cl/
Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez to Chile Chico (Cruce Lago General Carrera) http://www.barcazas.cl
Puerto Yungay to Puerto Natales http://www.tabsa.cl
Puerto Yungay to Río Bravo http://www.barcazafiordomitchell.cl/
Punta Arenas to Porvenir (tierra del Fuego http://www.tabsa.cl
Punta Delgada to Bahía Azul (cruce Primera Angostura) http://www.tabsa.cl
Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams http://www.tabsa.cl
Río Verde to Isla Riesco http://www.tabsa.cl
18.- ¿What are the paved sections?
Los Lagos Region: Route 7 is paved, except for the routes detailed below, which are gravel:
● Between Puerto Cárdenas and Villa Santa Lucía (31 km)
● Between Villa Santa Lucía and Palena (71.0 km) / crossing to Futaleufú (46km)
En la Región de Aysén (Ruta 7)
This route is paved; except for the routes detailed below, which are gravel:
● Queulat sector 20 km.
● La Junta to Puyuhuapi (28 km).
● Cerro Castillo to Villa O’Higgins (468km).
In the Magallanes Region. Route 9 is paved; except for the routes detailed below, which are gravel:
● Internal roads within Tierra del Fuego
● Internal roads around Torres del Paine National Park
There’s no app currently available for the Route of Parks, the best resource to reference is the website.
Many people visit the Route of Parks by bicycle, however, there are no designated cycling lanes so cyclists must exercise caution and share the road with motorists.
You do not need permission to travel on the Route of the Parks, however national park visitors must register with Conaf (national parks administration) and pay park entry fees.
ATMs from North to South by region:
At the airports of Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas you can also find an ATM. In some areas you can pay with Transbank, but it is very important to carry cash.
Below we detail the locations where you can get gas, categorized by region, from North to South.
– Many rural towns in Patagonia have ‘siesta’ between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., when you may find businesses are closed.
-Some businesses accept credit cards, yet many do not. It is important to bring cash for basic purchases, public transport or tickets to national parks.
-Wear hiking or trekking shoes, a windproof parka, raincoat and clothing suitable for both mild weather and cold temperatures, plus a hat and gloves.
-It is recommended to use sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher.
-Drivers should always have a spare tire, water, a flashlight and food for emergencies.
130 CONAF (within a national park)
In most of the National Parks that make up the Route of Parks, and remote areas between towns there is no cell phone signal. Most towns have cell service, but it may be limited to one carrier.
The Route of Parks is a scenic route of 2,800 km between Puerto Montt and Cape Horn with 17 National Parks and over 60 communities that can benefit from tourism as a result of conservation. This route integrates the Austral Highway with the Patagonian Channels and the End of the World Route.
No, it’s not a thru-hike. The Route of Parks is a scenic driving and maritime route which connects over 60 communities and 17 national parks. Trekkers can visit any of the 10 national parks with public access to take advantage of hiking opportunities.
The Route of Parks of Chilean Patagonia is an initiative of Tompkins Conservation, a foundation that has worked for more than two decades in Chile and Argentina to create national parks, restore landscapes and wildlife, implement ecologically-minded farming practices, promote the well-being of local communities, and support environmental activism.
If you are a tour operator and want to be part of this section you must write to email@example.com
The following national parks have campsites, all with different levels of infrastructure and public use access:
–PN Alerce Andino, managed by Conaf.
–PN Hornopirén, managed by Conaf, is rustic and has no facilities.
–PN Pumalín Douglas Tompkins, managed by Conaf
–PN Queulat has concessioned camping, with 10 camping areas.
–PN Cerro Castillo has camping run by a concessionaire.
–PN Patagonia: Managed by Conaf, it has 3 camping sectors in the Chacabuco Valley sector, Jeinimeni sector (Chile Chico), while the Tamango sector has camping (electronic) run by a concessionaire.
– Torres del Paine National Park, the reservation system www.parquetorresdelpaine.cl is only for free campsites managed by Conaf. In www.verticepatagonia.cl and www.fantasticosur.com you must reserve the rest of the refugios and campsites, run by a concessionaire.
The following National Parks have camping sites, all with different levels of infrastructure and public use access:
– PN Pumalín Douglas Tompkins, has seven cabins in the Caleta Gonzalo sector. For reservations contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
– PN Patagonia has two lodges in Valle Chacabuco sector. For reservations contact: email@example.com
– PN Torres de Paine has a wide selection of hotels and cabins.
Entry fees range from $1,500 to $ 10,000 Chilean pesos for an adult (between 5 to 15 dollars). Children and adults with disabilities have a preferential rate, and seniors have free access.
Pets are not allowed. In addition to disturbing wildlife, they can transmit and spread diseases or contract an illness from wildlife.
The use of any heat source inside the park is prohibited by Law 20.653. Violators will be reported to the police.
National Parks are managed by Conaf (The National Forestry Corporation). They are responsible for ensuring safety in the park and can offer visitor information.
-Cook and camp only in authorized locations
-Pets are prohibited
-Do not feed the native fauna and keep a safe distance from them.
-Remove all your trash.
-Do not remove or damage archaeological, paleontological or historical remains.
-Carry a small backpack with water, clothing layers and a first aid kit.
-Wear suitable footwear for walking (that supports the ankle and has a durable sole). Avoid sandals, light shoes or shoes with a smooth sole.
-Dress according to the place and weather conditions.
-Inform yourself about trails and infrastructure with park rangers or at visitor information centers.
-Travel by day in vehicles, as there are no street lights, and remote areas may lack options for assistance and cell phone service.
+56 65 2250079
Klenner N°299, Puerto Varas
Los Lagos Region