The trees of Alerce Andino National Park come from an old and storied lineage. This regional ecosystem remained isolated from the glaciers that covered the area 12 thousand years ago. Today, its forests are a global icon of endemic fauna––one in three species in this forest is not found anywhere else on the planet. Vertical walls of granite surround the park’s fifty or so lagoons, and its rugged geography has long protected millennia-old Alerce (Fitzroya) trees that grow over more than half of the park’s surface. This priceless ecosystem can be found south of Lake Chapo and is classified as a Biosphere

Can’t Miss

  • Visit the ancient Alerce (Fitzroya) trees in the Sargazo sector of the park––which are around 2,500 years old––or in the Las Chaicas sector of the park, where they’re nearly 3,000 years old
  • See the Las Chaicas waterfall
  • Cross the suspension bridge on the Lake Sargazo trail
  • Visit a few of the lakes you can reach via the trail network, such as Sargazo, Chaiquenes, Triángulo, Chilco, Fría, or Gaviota

Open

Year-Round

Area

97,001 acres

Climate

Rainy and mild

Rainfall

157 inches annually

Ecosystem

Temperate Rainforest

Founded

January 3, 1982

  • Alerce Andino ©Augusto Domínguez

  • Alerce Andino ©Augusto Domínguez

  • Alerce Andino

  • Alerce Andino, Laguna Triángulo ©Augusto Domínguez

  • Alerce Andino

“Green is the world’s first color; that’s where its beauty comes from.”

Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Flora

The Alerce (Fitzroya) trees are present in nearly 50 thousand acres of the park. Other tree species include Olivillo, Ulmo, Tepú, Mañío, Canelo, Coigüe, Lenga, and others.

Fauna

The park is home to species such as the Monito del Monte, the Pudú Deer, the Güiña (Kodkod), the Gray Fox, and the Chingue (Molina’s Hog-Nosed Skunk). Its lakes are habitats for the Black-Necked Swan, the Coscoroba Swan, and the Mallard. Perch Trout have also been spotted. For birds, it’s possible to spot the Magellanic Woodpecker, the Cachaña (Austral Parakeet), the Chucao, the Hued Hued, and the Cachudito (Tufted Tit-Tyrant), among others.

Culture

The Huilliche people, or “people of the south,” navigated the waters of Lake Chapo and the Reloncaví Estuary in dalcas, boats made from wooden planks and bark. They hunted and collected seeds, fruits, and mushrooms in the forest.

infrastructure

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

How to Get There

Alerce Andino Park has two entrances. The first, located 29 miles from Puerto Montt, provides access to the Correntoso and Sargazo sectors of the park. From Puerto Montt, take Route 7 in the direction of Chamiza. Before crossing the Chamiza bridge, turn left on the V-65 route and continue toward Correntoso for 12 miles. From there, take the one-mile detour to the right, which leads to the Correntoso sector rangers’ office. This area features a hiking trail (Huillifoten), a camping area, and picnic areas. From the Correntoso sector, continue 1.5 miles to the Sargazo bridge. From there, continue 6 miles east until you reach the Sargazo port, a sector that has different trails (Los Ulmos, Sargazo, Radal and Alerces Cathedral–Laguna Fría), a picnic area, and a mountain lodge.

The second entrance to the park is via the Lenca sector. From Puerto Montt, take Route 7 toward Caleta la Arena. Around half a mile after you pass the Lenca bridge, continue along the gravel road on the left (Route V-701) for 4.5 miles until you reach the Chaica sector. This area of the park features some trails open year-round (El Encanto, Los Canelos, Salto la Chaica, Alerce Milenario) and others that can only be accessed in summer, since they involve crossing the La Plata River (Laguna Chaiquenes and Laguna Triángulo Trails). It also features campsites enabled only for hikers («El Chucao») and picnic areas.

Trails

Huillifoten Trail

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Duration

    1 hour (out and back)

  • Distance

    1.25 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A hike to lookout points that provide a view of the forest and the Chamiza river valley.

Starting point: Correntoso Sector
Type: Loop

Download trail on kml format

Los Ulmos Trail

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Duration

    30 minutes

  • Distance

    0.5 miles

  • Open

    Year-round

A short loop ideal for birdwatching.
Starting point: Sargazo Sector
Type: Loop

Download trail on kml format

Laguna Sargazo Trail

  • Difficulty

    Intermediate / Easy

  • Duration

    1.5 hours (out and back)

  • Distance

    1.5 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail comprised of wooden boardwalks that leads to a beautiful lake surrounded by native forest, mostly of Alerce trees.
Starting point: Sargazo Sector
Type: Out-and-back

Download trail on kml format

Alerce Milenario Trail

  • Difficulty

    Intermediate / Easy

  • Duration

    50 minutes (out and back)

  • Distance

    1.25 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

The first part of the Laguna Fría trail, which leads to a 2,500-year-old Alerce tree.
Starting point: Sector Sargazo
Type: Out-and-back

Download trail on kml format

Radal, Catedral de Alerce, and Laguna Fría Trail

  • Difficulty

    Intermediate / Advanced

  • Duration

    10 hours to Laguna Fría (out and back)

  • Distance

    6.2 miles

  • Open

    Currently under construction

Currently under construction, this route features a main trail toward Laguna Fría, with detours that lead to a forest of radal trees and the “Alerce Cathedral.”
Starting point: Sargazo Sector
Type: Out-and-back

Download trail on kml format

El Encanto Trail

  • Difficulty

    Intermediate / Easy

  • Duration

    20 minutes (out and back)

  • Distance

    0.4 miles

  • Open

    Year-round

A relaxed walk that begins in the parking lot of the Chaica sector.
Starting point: Chaica Sector
Type:Out and back

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Los Canelos Trail

  • Difficulty

    Intermediate / Easy

  • Duration

    30 minutes (out and back)

  • Distance

    0.6 miles

  • Open

    Year-round

A short, educational walk, ideal for families, that begins 100 feet from the main entrance to the park.
Starting point: Chaica Sector
Type: Out-and-back

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Salto Río Chaica and Alerce Milenario Trail

  • Difficulty

    Intermediate / Easy

  • Duration

    1.5 hours (out and back)

  • Distance

    2.5 miles total

  • Open

    Year-round

A trail that leads to a waterfall and a 3,000-year-old Alerce tree.
Starting point: Chaica Sector

Download trail on kml format

Laguna Chaiquenes and Triángulo Trail

  • Difficulty

    Intermediate / Easy

  • Duration

    6 hours to Laguna Triángulo (out and back)

  • Distance

    3.9 miles to Chaiquenes and 5.9 miles to Chaica

  • Open

    Only in summer

A mountain hike only accessible in summer that leads to beautiful lagoons surrounded by native forest. To access this trail, you must wade across the La Plata River; there is no bridge.
Starting point: Chaica Sector
Type: Out-and-back

Download trail on kml format

Tips

  • The park opens at 9:00 am (summer and winter).
  • During the summer, the latest entry is at 4:00 pm; the park closes at 6:00 pm.
  • During the winter, entry is permitted only until 2:30 pm.
  • Park entry costs $2000 CLP for Chileans and $3000 CLP for foreigners.
  • Camping at the Chucao campsite (Chaica Sector) costs $2000 CLP per person. Camping is for hikers only.
  • The lodge in the Sargazo sector costs $5000 CLP per person; reservations are made in order of arrival.
  • Pets are not permitted.
  • During all seasons, hiking boots appropriate for mud are recommended

Copyright 2018 Ruta de los Parques de la Patagonia

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