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Tel Code: 65, Population: 4,636, Altitute: 3 ft

The first Spanish explorers founded what is now Cochamó in 1556, yet it did not become a county until1979 when it declared its independence from nearby Puerto Montt. Bandits Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fled to the Cochamó Valley after the Great Train Robbery in the early 1900s, in an attempt to avoid the police who had been chasing them throughout South America.

Cochamó has some of Patagonia's most amazing mountain valley as well as untouched natural land where the local people still live by ancient traditions. There is a wide range of activities for the adventure and nature lover. With granite walls up to 1000 meters high, Cochamó is a famous rock climbing destination (To find tours and guides check out There is also a natural water-slide at the La Junta River and numerous hikes through rivers, rock arches and mountain passes. Trail information can be found at

Accommodations are limited in the Cochamó Valley, but the Refugio Cochamó is a good well priced option ($12-33), to make reservations go to (The Refugio depends on data satellite service from November to April and the “contact us” page on the website is the easiest way to get in touch. In town try Hostal Maura, at $10 a night per person including breakfast. (Tel: (56-9) 82439937, E-mail:, URL:


Other places nearby Cochamó: Lago Ranco, Villarrica, Ralún, Licanray, Puerto Varas, Pucón, Lago Panguipulli, Parque Nacional Tolhuaca, Curacautín and Frutillar .

By Michelle Lillie
I am currently living on my fourth continent. I think that backpacks are one of the greatest inventions of all times. I adhere to the idea that if...
02 Jul 2009

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