Vicente Perez Rosales National Park

Vicente Perez Rosales National Park in the Lake District in Chile

Vicente Perez Rosales National Park in the Lake District in Chile

Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park (Parque Nacional Vicente Pérez Rosales) is surrounded by an extraordinary landscape of forests, mountains and snowed volcanoes. The richness of its fauna is represented by more than a hundred species of birds and thirty species of mammals, added to the marvelous natural attractions such as the Osorno volcano (volcán Osorno), the Todos los Santos Lake (lago Todos los Santos), the Petrohué Falls (Saltos del Petrohué), the Negro river (río Negro) and the Tronador volcano (volcán Tronador), among others.

Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park was created in 1926 and is the oldest one of Chile and South America, with a total extension of 625 thousand acres. It’s located in the Andean Mountain Range in the tenth region, Province of Llanquihue. Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park is an important place for the development of ecotourism due to the great diversity of environments that it has, and the good accesses available not only from Puerto Montt, but from other cities as well.

Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park is accessed by the International Route 225 from Puerto Varas up to Ensenada and Petrohué, which is a distance of 39.7 miles until this last point. The trip counts with 36 miles of paved road and 3.7 miles of gravel road in good conditions. After crossing the Todos los Santos Lake up to Peulla, continues a gravel road of 15.5 miles up to the limit with Argentina.

View of Osorno Volcano from Vicente Perez Rosales National Park in Chile

View of Osorno Volcano from Vicente Perez Rosales National Park in Chile

Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park is located in an area where the volcanic activity together with the Tectonic and glacial processes have been the factors that shaped the Andean Mountain Range. The highest altitudes of Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park correspond to volcanic peaks of different ages, standing out the Puntiagudo volcano at 8,169 feet above sea level and the Osorno volcano at 8,730 feet above sea level, among the most recent ones, and the Picada volcano at 5,610 feet above sea level and the Tronador volcano at 11,453 feet above seal level, among the oldest. The retrieval of the glaciers and the appearance of the Osorno volcano allowed the formation of the Todos los Santos Lake, which counts with numerous affluents such as the Peulla, Negro, Puntiagudo, Blanco and Cayutúe rivers. The volcanic activity is also reflected in a series of thermal baths available, including the Vuriloche, Ralún and El Callao.

At Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park stand out for its beauty the falls of the Petrohué river, the Osorno volcano and its parasitic cones, the Todos los Santos Lake, the valley of the Puntiagudo river, the valley of the Cayutúe and the Tronador volcano. These can all be appreciated from Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park.

The frequent flora and of interest in the area of Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park, corresponds to the evergreen type, which is developed in an ample myriad of environments. Mainly is formed by canelo (Drimys Winteri), coigüe (Nothofagus dombeyi), patagua (Crinodendron patagua), olivillo (Aextoxicon punctatum), ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia), tiaca (Caldcluvia paniculada) and pitra (Myrceugenia exsucca).

The road of Nahuelhuapi was used, according to the chronics, to communicate Chiloé wit the northern cities, after the great rebellion of the natives in the year 1600. The search for the City of the Caesars and the evangelization of the Poyas and Puelches people, made explorers and missionaries undertake risky voyages; mainly they used the route of the lagoons, going inland to the mountain range from Ralún, in the Reloncaví estuary. From that time appear names like Captain Juan Fernández (1620) and the fathers Nicolás Mascardi, founder of the Nahuelhuapi mission in 1670, and Felipe de la Laguna. Finally, the Jesuit father Guillel did not find the road of Vuriloche; in 1990 it was re-discovered by the Chilean Captain Arturo Barrios. The area of the park began to be colonized at the end of the XIX century, when the passage Vicente Pérez Rosales was re-opened, thus starting a permanent traffic with Nahuelhuapi.

Among the mammals at Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park, it’s possible to observe the pudu (Pudu puda) or small deer, the puma, the güiña (Felis guigna), the wild cat, the zorro chilla (Dusicyon griseus) or gray fox, el huillín (Lontra provocax) or river otter and the quique (Galictis cuja) or ferret. There are also two species of Chilean marsupials: the long-muzzled weasel (comadreja trompuda) and the little mountain monkey (monito del monte).

Among the birds that we can find in Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park, is important to mention the presence of the great grebe (huala), the flightless steamer duck (pato quetro), the torrent duck (pato correntino), the kingfisher (martín pescador), the crested caracara (traro), the green-backed firecrown (picaflor chico), the Magellanic woodpecker (carpintero negro), the ashy-headed goose (canquén), the Chilean coot (tagua común) and the eagle. Among the fishes, stand out the Chilean trout and the introduced species such as rainbow trout (truchas arcoiris) and brown trout (trucha café).

In Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park there are diverse activities that you can practice, for example, fishing, which can be practiced in the areas of Ensenada, Petrohué and Peulla; swimming, for which the areas of Ensenada and Petrohué are implemented; sea kayaking, river kayaking, rafting, skiing in the area of the Picada where there’s the “La Burbuja”, mountaineering, in the areas of La Picada and Osorno volcano; trekking, observation of fauna and flora, in all the areas of the park; cultural trips, photography, horse riding in Peulla and excursions in the areas of La Picada, Ensenada and Peulla.

Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park has a network of trails of great interest that allow seeing the most interesting areas of the park. Following you will find a description of each:

Recreational Trails:

  1. Falls of Petrohué river Trail: It’s 1213 feet long and lasts about 10 minutes.
  2. The Lovers Trail: It’s located in the area of the Falls of the Petrohué River. It’s 1,968 feet long and it lasts 30 minutes round trip.
  3. Verde Lagoon Trail: It’s 590 feet long and it lasts 20 minutes.
  4. Velo de la Novia Trail: It’s located in the Peulla area, is 1,312 feet long and it lasts 25 minutes.

Excursion Trails:

1. Paso Desolación Trail: It’s located in the eastern hillsides of the Osorno volcano, is 7.4 miles long and lasts between 5 to 6 hours round trip. The trail reaches an approximate altitude of 3,608 feet above sea level and allows appreciating panoramic views of the Tronador volcano and the Todos los Santos Lake.

2. Rincón del Osorno Trail: It’s located on the west bank of the Todos los Santos lake, is 3.1 miles long, and lasts 4 hours round trip. The trail starts in Petrohué, and borders its bank.

3. El Solitario Trail: It’s located at 3.7 miles from Ensenada by the road to Osorno volcano. It’s 3.7 miles long, and it’s traveled in two hours one way, reaching up to 0.62 miles from the Falls of the Petrohué river.

4. Margarita lagoon Trail: It’s located in the area of Peulla and is about 4.9 miles long, it lasts 8 hours round trip. The trail has a hard level of difficulty and reaches the Margarita lagoon, surrounded by beautiful lenga (Notohofagus pumilio) woods.

Educational Trails

  1. Carilemu Trail: It’s located in the area of the Falls of Petrohué, is 3,215 feet long and it lasts about 45 minutes.
  2. Los Pilleyos Trail: It’s located in the area of Ensenada, is 3,937 feet long and it lasts 45 minutes.

In Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park the following attractions can be appreciated:

Todos los Santos Lake

It is also known as Lago Esmeralda, on account of the emerald green color of the water, the Todos los Santos Lake is a beautiful lake surrounded by forests of pure coigües or associated with ulmos and olivillos. It’s also enclosed by the snowed peaks of the Osorno, Puntiagudo and Tronador volcanoes, all within Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park.

Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park was re-discovered and baptized on November 1, 1670 by the Jesuits missionaries, on a day dedicated to All Saints. The religious men came from Castro, where they lived, in Chiloé, searching a passage towards the pampa in order to found a mission among the Tehuelches people and find the mythical City of the Caesars. They first heard that this place was inhabited by trans-Andean tribes, from the Tehuelches prisoners, captured by the Mapuches. Therefore, they went up by the Reloncaví estuary until Ralún. Then, they climbed up the hill to later go down to the Cayutué inland, in the Todos los Santos lake. They cross aboard pirogues up to Peulla and continue to the East using the actual Pérez Rosales passage. These voyages continued until 1718, when the Nahel Huapi mission was abandoned, due to the murder of various missionaries.

Falls and Petrohué River

The Petrohué river originates in the Todos los Santos Lake and then passes by the torrential Falls of Petrohué, and later drains to the Reloncaví estuary. The spectacular rapids of the Petrohué river make it one of the most beautiful places of this area of Vicente Pérez RosalesNational Park, since the river runs between stones of curious formation.

In the Falls of Petrohué, the river runs between huge masses of solidified lava, immunes during centuries to the erosion, consisting of small stones set hard in an eye-catching vitreous material. The Falls of Petrohué were formed when the crystallized lava cracked as it cooled, and was subsequently re-sealed by a new layer of lava

Tronador Volcano

The Tronador Volcano is 51.5 miles northeast of Puerto Montt. The height is 11,351 feet above sea level and its three peaks are the highest points of this part of the mountain range. The frontier between Chile and Argentina passes through the highest peak.
There is a high level of precipitation throughout the year. The climate is mild and wet, with an average annual temperature of 51.8º F.

The Tronador Volcano has access routes that are only passable on foot or horseback. It is perfect scenery for excursions and for the observation of flora and fauna such as skunks (chingüe), foxes, humming birds and hares

Cayutúe Valley

Cayutúe is an extensive land of beautiful forests of coigües, ulmos, tepas (Laureliopsis philipiana), canelos, avellanos (Gevuina avellana), etc. Here we find diverse bird species such as: kingfisher, chucao tapaculo (chucao), buffed-necked ibis (bandurrias), parrots, seagulls, condors, ducks, etc. In regards to the visible fauna in the Cayutúe Valley, stand out: pudus, wild boars, foxes, otters, among others.

The Cayutúe valley is located in the mouth of the Coyutúe river that is about 3.1 miles long, of which only 1.2 miles are suitable for sailing. The river originates in the Cayutúe lagoon. At both places fishing can be practiced, and in its affluents we find an abundant quantity of rainbow and brown trouts.

In the Cayatúe valley you can observe the natural beauties of the place such as volcanoes, rivers and glacial lakes. Besides, It’s a gate of entry to the Republic of Argentina; through the Pérez Rosales international passage you can access Bariloche.

In the Cayutúe valley there’s a micro climate with pleasant temperatures that allow the exploitation of syrup of ulmo.

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