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Reserva Nacional Lago Palena - National Park Palena - Chile

24 kilometers (14.5 miles) south of Palena village

ENTRY: Free

Reserva Nacional Lago Palena, created in 1965, is a 41,380-hectare park composed of Andean foothills ranging from 600 meters (1950 ft) to 2024 meters (6578 ft) in altitude. The highest peak is Cerro El Serrucho east of Valle Vista Hermosa. The namesake lake, surrounded by snow-capped pinnacles, straddles the Argentine border, being called Lago General Vinttner in the sister republic. Reserva Nacional Lago Palena is divided into three major sectors: Zancudo, Valle Vista Hermosa sector and R├şo Corto.

The park offers a variety of sporting activities, such as hiking, trekking, horseback riding and fly fishing. A network of trails wends through the lenga beech forest mixed with Magellan's beech and Antarctic beech:

  • Zancudo (12 km/7.2 mi, 6 hours)
  • Siberia (13 km/7.8 mi, 7 hours)
  • R├şo Corto to Puntilla L├│pez (9 km/5.4 mi, 4.5 hours)
  • Arroyo Colorado (5.5 km/3.5 mi, 2.5 hours)
  • Las Piedras (5 km/ 3 mi, 2 hours)
  • La Cascada (4 km/2.4 mi, 1.5 hours)

From Palena to Lago Verde is a 65-kilometer (39-mile) stretch of the Sendero de Chile. It has two parts. The first part traverses the countryside from Palena to Valle El Azul. It is heavily used by locals (27 km/16.2 mi). The second leg, from Valle El Azul to the boundary between the X Regi├│n de los Lagos and XI Regi├│n de Ays├ęn (38 km/22.8 mi) is lesser used. The trail then continues into the neighboring region to Lago Verde. For complete details see: www.senderodechile.cl.

If trekking in the park or on the Sendero de Chile, a good map and compass are recommended. The map provided by Conaf, the national park service, is rudimentary.

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