Jeinemeni Lake National Reserve

Jeinemeni National Reserve in Northen Patagonia

Jeinemeni National Reserve in Northen Patagonia

The Jeinemeni Lake National Reserve is located  40 miles to the south of Chile Chico , is part of the  General Carrera and Capitan Prat Provinces, communes of Chile Chico and Cochrane respectively. It has an extension of 161,100 hectares. It belongs to CONAF and it counts on one park ranger station that can be located in mile 37, the Reserve counts on areas of camping and picnic.

The Jeinemeni Lake National Reserve astonishes by its landscapes with height forests and the possibility of visiting eaves with Tehuelche paintings.

The Jeinemeni Lake National Reserve is characterized for being one of the few places that protects the stepped atmosphere of Aisén, being one of the study units of the Aisén Biodiversity Project. Here, have been studied líquenes, mosses, vertebrates, mammals, birds, vascular plants and insects.

The Reserve was created in order to protect the orients of the Jeinemeni, Ventisquero, Green, Claudio Vicuña and Avilés rivers ; to handle the forest, especially for firewood production; to protect and to investigate the green life formation of the Patagonian Steppe of Aisén and the native fauna; as well as to provide possibilities of environmental protection, recreation and tourism activities.

In the northeastern sector of the Jeinemeni Lake National Reserve, an archaeological deposit denominated “Cave of the Hands” (Cueva de las Manos) exists, placed 4.265 feet  height. In it are cave paintings of 7000 years, of Tehuelche origin. It constitutes one of the few testimonies of this type in the Region, and the only one found within a Protected Wild Area (Área Silvestre Protegida) by the State. The Cave of the Hands (Cueva de las Manos) constitutes a wonderful sample of Cultural Patrimony.

Jeinemeni in Austral Road in Northen Patagonia

Jeinemeni in Austral Road in Northen Patagonia

The  Jeinemeni River borders the route that advances between rare rocky formation and that journeys through the zone of borderline between Chile and Argentina. When arriving at mile 19, you will find the  Cardenio stream and to about 6 miles, the Flamencos Lagoon  , with a large colony of these birds. In mile 27, you have to ford the  Las Nieves River, and after this one, the forest begins to be noticed fully. After a brief section, you arrive at the bridge in the water-drainage of the  Jeinemeni Lagoon, this gigantic calypso mirror with a stony edge, it has a surface of 451 hectares, and in contrast to most of the lakes and existing lagoons in the region, it is surrounded by a mixed sandy beach with rubble, which has a smooth prairie of high graze covered by renewals with a slender figure.

The vegetation of The Jeinemeni Lake National Reserve varies from the east, where it is more of the steppe sort, towards the western sector, more humid, recognizing two vegetate formation, Patagonian Steppe of Aisén, in which the representative species are: Vautro, Coiron, Coirón, Cadillo, Neneo and LLareta; the Forest Caducifolio of Aisén in which the Lenga predominates, in the low parts and valleys the Ñirre, Calafate and Chaura and in the most humid sectors: common Coigüe (Coigüe común), Notro and Honey Grass (Pasto miel).

As far as the fauna that inhabits The Jeinemeni Lake National Reserve, the most abundant group constitutes the birds such as the Condor, the Eagle (Águila), the Kestrel, the Fisher man Martín, the Chucao, the Tordo and the Cachaña. Among the mammals, it is possible to find huemules, gray guanacos (guanacos grises), Patagonian foxes (zorros Patagónicos), piches, chingues, pumas, cats of geofroy (gatos de geofroy), rats of long tail (ratones colilargos), and mice of silky foot (ratitas de piel sedosa).

The Jeinemeni Lake National Reserve is an excellent mountainous sector for the sport fishing in an atmosphere surrounded with native forest and vegetation . In addition, it is possible to make excursions by horse-back riding towards the sector of ventisqueros[1].

On the reserve, a camping and fishing area next to the bridge. In the same spot you may find path which crossing forests of lenga, arrives at the foot of the uneven of the Lioness, in mile 46, place used by the carriers as passage between the Chacabuco Valley  and the  General Carrera Lake. There are also excursions to Chile Chico.

Main Activities that can be carried out in The National Reserve of Jeinemeni Lake (Reserva Nacional Lago Jeinemeni) are: Hiking, panoramic observation, Camping, Photography.


[1] Mountainous zone that accumulates show because of the wind.

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