Stay informed about the latest reopening dates for national parks and their sanitary protocols for visiting via the official Conaf website
Villa Ponsomby–Río Verde is the capital of the Río Verde municipality, located approximately 56 miles northwest of Punta Arenas, on the shores of the Skyring Sound. It’s a cattle farming town, bordered by the Fitz Roy Channel and the Otway Sound.
Cowboys long called the area «The Northern Cowshed,» a reference to the large number of cows that wandered off their farms in the area and began roaming free. Later, the area was named after the river that winds through the region. The well-known explorer Robert Fitz Roy chose the name Villa Ponsomby to honor Williams Ponsomby for his important role in the Battle of Waterloo.
Take Route 9 north (toward Puerto Natales) and, after around 30 miles, merge left onto Route Y-50. At mile 25 (kilometer 40), you’ll arrive at Villa Ponsomby, the only town along the route, where you can take the ferry to the Río Verde Municipality. From there, you can cross the Fitz Roy Channel and arrive at Isla Riesco.
Transportes Ruiz offers routes from Punta Arenas, beginning at the rural bus stop along Calle República, at the intersection of Avenida España and Armando Sanhueza. In Río Verde at Villa Ponsomby, the buses leave from the Passengers’ Terminal. Check schedules at
Trips across the Fitz Roy Channel, from Río Verde to Isla Riesco, run daily from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The trip takes 3–5 minutes. Find out more at: tabsa.cl/cruce-isla-riesco
Kawésqar National Park is one of the largest parks in the world and the second-largest in Chile.
Declared the Eighth Wonder of the World and Unesco Biosphere Reserve, the Paine massif is known as one of the most beautiful areas on the planet.
Address: Mile 25.3 (kilometer 40.7), Route Y-50
Phone: (+56) 9-74912592 / (+56) 61-2-311125
Open: 08:00–13:00 / 14:15–17:00 (open year-round)
In December, the community celebrates its anniversary.
In January, there’s an Enduro competition in the area.
In February, the Virgin of Montserrat procession is held at the waterfall.
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