The deep forests of Pumalín reach all the way to the fjords, creating one of the most spectacular coastlines on the planet. Hundreds of waterfalls cascade down from glaciers, falling over steep granite walls, as the Michinmahuida and Chaitén Volcanoes crown the landscape. The park’s most notable feature is the threatened Alerce (Fitzroya) tree––25 percent of Chile’s remaining Alerces can be found in this National Park. These ancient trees’ 3,000 years of life help to tell a timeless story of this pristine ecosystem, tucked in the Palena Province.

Can’t Miss

  • Explore the Reñihué and Comau Fjords.
  • Look for marine life from Caleta Gonzalo.
  • Hike up the Chaitén Volcano, which erupted in 2008.
  • Visit the glacier found on the Michinmahuida Volcano, via the Michinmahuida Trail or Ventisquero Trail.
  • Walk through the forests of Alerces (Los Alerces Trail).

Open

Year-round

Area

994,332 acres

Climate

Temperate Rainforest

Rainfall

235 inches annually

Ecosystem

Rainy and mild

Founded

August 19, 2005

  • Parque Nacional Pumalín Douglas Tompkins

  • Parque Nacional Pumalín Douglas Tompkins

  • Parque Nacional Pumalín Douglas Tompkins

  • Parque Nacional Pumalín Douglas Tompkins

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir

Flora

Pumalín’s forests feature a large number of endemic species and unique subspecies. Highlights include the Alerce, Luma, Tepa, Canelo, Tineo, Tiaca, Coigüe, Ulmo, Olivo, Mañío, and Notro trees, among others.

Fauna

In Pumalín’s fjords, visitors frequently see Toninas (Commerson’s Dolphins), Cormorants, Penguins, Herons, and Kingfisher, and its forests are home to birds such as the Chucao, the Hued Hued, and the Rayadito, as well as habitats for more difficult-to-spot mammals such as the Pudú Deer, Foxes, the Colocolo Cat, the Puma, and the only Chilean marsupial, the Monito del Monte (Colocolo Opossum).

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

From Puerto Montt, follow Route 7 toward Caleta La Arena, where you can board the first ferry that will take you to Caleta Puelche (no prior reservation is required). You can also get to Caleta Puelche from Cochamó and Puelo, via Route V-69. From Caleta Puelche, continue south until you reach Hornopirén, where you can board one of the ferries (it’s important to reserve the Hornopirén-Leptepu and Fiordo Largo-Caleta Gonzalo routes in advance; find out more at Transportes Austral and Somarco).

If you’re coming from the south, take Route 7 toward Amarillo, located roughly 75 miles from La Junta.

Kemel buses depart daily from Puerto Montt to Chaitén.

Naviera Austral departs from Puerto Montt and Quellón to Chaitén a few days a week. This service requires a reservation in advance.

Pewen and Aerocord offer daily flights from Puerto Montt to Chaitén. The flights last 35 minutes and are available at various times of day, depending on the day of the week.

Trails

Cascadas Trail

  • Difficulty

    Medium-high

  • Duration

    3 hours (out-and-back)

  • Distance

    3.5 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round (to the river only)

This hike ascends through an evergreen forest, arriving to a river that can only be crossed when it’s not too high (there is no bridge).
Starting Point: 60 feet south of the café at Caleta Gonzalo.
Type: Out-and-back.

Download trail on kml format

Laguna Tronador Trail

  • Difficulty

    Medium–High

  • Duration

    4 hours (out-and-back)

  • Distance

    3 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A steep hike that features various wooden steps and brings you to a mountain lagoon surrounded by old-growth forest in a natural amphitheater.
Starting point: Tronador Bridge, 7 miles south of Caleta Gonzalo.

Download trail on kml format

Los Alerces Trail

  • Difficulty

    Low

  • Duration

    40 min (out and back)

  • Distance

    0.9 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail that winds through an impressive forest of Alerces, offering close-up views of trees that are nearly 3,000 years old.
Lugar de inicio: 8 miles south of Caleta Gonzalo

Download trail on kml format

Volcán Chaitén Trail

  • Difficulty

    Medium–High

  • Duration

    2.5 hours (out and back)

  • Distance

    2.7 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail that ascends the slope of the Chaitén Volcano nearly 2000 feet, reaching the edge of its caldera.

Starting point: Los Gigios Bridge, 21 miles south of Caleta Gonzalo.

Download trail on kml format

Cascadas Escondidas Trail

  • Difficulty

    Low–medium

  • Duration

    2 hours total (out and back)

  • Distance

    2.2 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A hike that reaches three different waterfalls, the first at around 25 minutes of ascent and the others around 30 minutes later.

Starting point: 8.7 miles south of Caleta Gonzalo, starting from the Cascadas Escondidas campsite.

Download trail on kml format

Lago Negro Trail

  • Difficulty

    Low

  • Duration

    30 minutes (out and back)

  • Distance

    1 mile total

  • Open

    Year-round

An easy walk that reaches the shores of Lake Negro and a lookout point on stilts over the water, which is ideal for bird watching.
Starting point: Lago Negro campsite.
Type:Out-and-back.

Download trail on kml format

Volcán Michimahuida Trail

  • Difficulty

    Medium-High

  • Duration

    8 to 10 hours

  • Distance

    15 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail that gently ascends 0.4 miles to the base of the glaciers on the western face of the Michinmahuida Volcano.

Starting point: Carol Urzúa Bridge, 17.7 miles south of Caleta Gonzalo.
Type: Out and back.

Download trail on kml format

Interpretive Trail

  • Difficulty

    Low

  • Duration

    1 hour total

  • Distance

    2.2 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail that explores an old Alerce forest, a campsite, and an area currently being restored.

Starting point: The park ranger offices at the El Volcán Campsite.
Type: Circuit hike.

Download trail on kml format

Ranita de Darwin Trail

  • Difficulty

    Low

  • Duration

    1.25 hours total

  • Distance

    1.9 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail that follows an old logging footpath. It shows how the forest used to be and its process of regrowth.

El Sendero Interpretativo Ranita de Darwin podrás conocer la flora y fauna del lugar del lugar y encontrar 3 miradores espectaculares. Si es atento y tiene suerte, puede ser que incluso vea la pequeña y tímida ranita de Darwin, que se encuentra en peligro de extinción.

Starting point: The road to Grande Campsite, kilometer 4.2 (mile 2.6)

Download trail on kml format

El Mirador Trail

  • Difficulty

    Low–Medium

  • Duration

    1 hour

  • Distance

    1.4 miles

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail that ascends the slope of three volcanic cones––vents for the Michinmahuida Volcano––and later descends to the Ventisquero Campsite. This trail has stretches that are quite steep.


Starting point: The road to Ventisquero Campsite, kilometer 2.1 (mile 1.3).
Type: This route can be an out-and-back, or a circuit for hikers who take it to the Ventisquero Campsite and circle back via the road.
Duration: 1 hour (out and back), 1.5 hours to the Ventisquero Campsite
Distance: 1.4 miles to the lookout points / 1.9 miles to the Ventisquero Campsite / 4 miles as a circuit, taking the road on the way back.

Download trail on kml format

Sendero El Ventisquero

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Duration

    6 hours (out and back)

  • Distance

    12.4 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail at the base of a glacier along the southern face of the Michinmahuida Volcano. Not particularly steep.

Starting point: Ventisquero Campsite.

Download trail on kml format

Tips

  • Bring waterproof coat and trousers, even in summer.
  • There are gas stations and cell service in Hornopirén and Chaitén.
  • You can find lodging, food, and guided excursions in Amarillo and Chaitén: https://www.turismochaiten.cl/
  • In the Caleta Gonzalo sector of the park, 7 cabins are available (prior reservation required; contact reservas@parquepumalin.cl).
  • There are 6 campsites in various locations along the 50-mile extension of Pumalín Park.
  • You need a 4×4 to get to the Ventisquero Campsite.

Copyright 2018 Ruta de los Parques de la Patagonia

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