Cochamó Valley: hiking paradise

Worldwide recognized Granite Mountains attract serious hikers from all over the world.

Monday, July 27, 2009  
Valle de Cochamó Valle de Cochamó (Photo: Sernatur)

Every day, the Cochalmo Valley gains recognitions not only for its hiking, but also for the wild mountain pumas and condors, as well as, the lack of civilization.  Recognition of the Cochamó Valley has spread largely by word of mouth, but has also recently been designated by the Chilean National Service of Tourism Sernatur as one of the best sites to visit in southern Chile. 

The valley is located 138 km north of Puerto Montt and close to the Reloncaví River watershed.  Starting from the town of Cochamó, it is a four hour hike to the first refuge located on one of the few flat areas of the mountainous location.  The experience of this landscape and its 20,000 hectares of mildly rainy near virgin forest are worth the effort. 

There are also several walking trails traced by European settlers across the mountains to Argentina.  Extra preparation and food for several days is required to make this passage.  It is often recommended that hikers take the Río Puelo—Llanada Grande trail to Paso del León. 

Another key attraction to the area is the valley’s granite mountains.  They include several rock walls of varying lengths and difficulties that are suitable for climbing. Due to the wide variety, difficulty, and rock composition, the area has been dubbed South America’s Yosemite.  Many consider it to be one of the most beautiful site in the region.