Along Melimoyu’s coasts, the Blue Whales are the protagonists. It’s estimated that 10% of the world’s population of cetaceans migrate to the Corcovado Gulf during the Southern Hemisphere summer to feed on Krill. Dozens of rivers flow from the area’s glaciers into its channels and fjords, bringing organic material from the forests and bogs and giving life to an aquatic ecosystem rich with biodiversity where an abundance of wildlife makes its home. This pristine habitat in Cisnes features incredible landscapes dominated by the imposing Melimoyu Volcano (“four pieces” in Mapudungún). It was once considered to be a possible entry point to the mythical––and perhaps enchanted––City of the Caesars.

Can’t Miss

  • See the Melimoyu Volcano (7,874 feet above sea level)
  • Explore the channels and fjords in February and March, looking out for Blue Whales and other species such as Orcas, Humpback Whales, Chilean Dolphins, and Peale’s Dolphins
  • Spend time in the forest trying to spot endangered species such as the Pudú Deer and Darwin’s Frog
  • Visit the town of Melimoyu to learn firsthand about the last wave of settlers in Chile

Open

Not currently open to the public

Area

258,223 acres

Climate

Rainy and Temperate

Rainfall

113 inches annually

Ecosystem

Evergreen Forest and Patagonian Subantarctic Forest

Founded

In process

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”,

Gary Snyder

Flora

Melimoyu is the nexus point between the southern edge of Chile’s temperate rainforests and the far north of the Patagonian subantarctic forest. Its dense forests mix species from the Valdivian rainforests with temperate resinous forests made up of Ciprés de la Guaitecas (Pilgerodendron) and Tepú. Coigües, Cipreses, and Canelos are among this forest’s most emblematic species.

Fauna

This unique ecosystem is home to a variety of species, such as Darwin’s Frog, Pumas, Foxes, Pudú Deer, and a vast number of different species of birds. Along the coasts, you can find Chilean Dolphins, Peale’s Dolphins, Penguins, Seals, and Sea Lions, in addition to Humpback Whales and Blue Whales, among others.

Culture

The parklands are ancestral territory of the Chono people, a nomadic people that navigated the islands and channels in their canoes, moving between the south of Chiloé and the Taitao Peninsula. They hunted sea lions, fished, and gathered shellfish and seaweed along the coast.

infrastructure

  • Bathrooms
  • Lodging
  • Camping
  • Restaurants
  • Information Center
  • Trails
  • Trekking Circuits
  • Picnic Area

How to Get There

Melimoyu National Park does not have land access at this time.

From Quellón, it takes 12 hours by ferry (Naviera Austral–Cordillera Route) to reach the town of Melimoyu.
From Puerto Cisnes, it takes 7 hours by ferry (Naviera Austral–Short Cordillera Route) to reach Melimoyu.
It’s also possible to organize private boat trips from Raúl Marín Balmaceda, which is located 47 miles from La Junta.

The town of Melimoyu has a landing strip, and you can schedule a private flight with companies such as Archipiélagos, Aerocord, or Pewén.

Trails

Melimoyu National Park does not currently have any official trails, but there are various paths known by locals, used to explore the forest and reach hidden waterfalls.

  • Difficulty

  • Duration

  • Distance

  • Open

Tips

  • February and March are the best months for spotting Blue Whales in the Corcovado Gulf.
  • In the town of Melimoyu, you can find lodging, food, basic medical services, and guided excursions.
  • Melimoyu National Reserve, part of the MERI Foundation, offers suggested trails that are ideal for exploring the area’s pristine ecosystem.
  • Rain boots can be useful, given the large number of bogs in the park and the frequent changes in tide.

Copyright 2018 Ruta de los Parques de la Patagonia

made in puerto varas by 2litros