Chile: Puerto Varas, La Arena and Boat Ride to Pumalin National Park
La Arena, a sand bay with an important port and our point of interest. Every half an hour a ferry departs it. Our boat was still not there so we had some time to explore this little bay. We spotted a small cart selling snacks. The price for two persons and a car is 9 500 CLP (around 400 CZK).
This got us closer to Carretera Austral, which we desired to see. Thirty minutes later the ferry arrived at a small port of Caleta Puelche. Here we had to travel additional 50 kilometers along partly paved road until we reached the quiant town of Hornopirén. Here we would buy tickets to another ferry departing on the following day morning. The price for tickets is 33 500 CLP (around 1 300 CZK) for a car and two persons. The town of Hornopirén is surrounded by forest. Also, there is Hornopirén volcano. The town is one of the main stops on the way to Carretera Austral. So the choice where to accommodate is vast. We found ourselves a camp by the sea. So, we could observe the sundown and walk along pebble beach.
At 10.30 we departed. Leptepu port would be our next stop. The ride takes about 3,5 hours. There we faced another challenge ahead – to cross unpaved road and reach another ferry. 10 kilometers on such a road seems as eternity. Once we found out when we would have to wait a bit for there was no space left for us it was even worse. Fortunately, it didn't seem that long. Hummingbirds made our waiting shorter as they were flying from flower to flower. We boarded the ferry after an hour of waiting. The ride took half an hour. Then we would experience a lot of fun along unpaved roads.
Once we had left the ferry we were amazed by nature. Wild forest was beautiful, trees were unbelievably high. This and more hides Parque Pumalín.
This is the largest protected area in the world. However, it does not belong to Chile. Instead an American millionaire Douglas Tompkins bought the area in 1995 in an attempt to save one of the most important rain forests in temperate climate. It is truly wonderful spectacle. Huge trees rising to the skies, waterfalls, gorges and even lakes. The entire park is landscaped and you should spend there a day at least. There it is worth to keep your eyes peeled. The park features also many beautiful and maintained camps where you can stay over night. However, we prefered staying outside park's boundries and continued further on.
I recommend to visit this wild nature to everyone. Even though they would be there for only a while. There are many amazing trekking oportunities and walks offering amazing vistas over glaciers, and mysterious land and its wild river. This is a great place for any tourist.
GPS: (Parque Pumalín) 42°33'48.1"S 72°23'01.7"W
Text and photos: Kateřina Janovská
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