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Sector Aguas Calientes

Sector Aguas Calientes is best-known for its hot springs. It is also the easiest section of the park to reach with public transportation. From its interpretive center rangers lead guided hikes in January and February. The center also has reliable, bilingual flora and fauna guides for sale (daily 9 a.m.-1 p.m, 2-6 p.m.). Services include a restaurant, café, picnic area, lodging and camping.


The area is home to two different types of hot springs: covered and open air. You can find the covered pools in the main compound of the sector. To get to the open-air pools, take a path leading down to the banks of RĂ­o ChanleufĂș. There are also individual, private basins available. The waters, which reach a maximum temperature of 74ÂșC (165ÂșF) are rich in sulfates, potassium, sodium, magnesium and other mineral salts. They are said to be good for a host of respiratory, skin and joint ailments. (Hours: daily 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Covered pools: adults $14, children $7; Open pools: adults $6, children $3).


A number of trails wind through the forest to different points of interest. Most are short and easy.

Los RĂĄpidos (Distance: 1.25 km/0.75 mi, Duration: 1 hour): After crossing over a hanging bridge near the open air thermal pools, this path continues downstream to the rapids on RĂ­o ChanleufĂș.

El Rocodo (Distance: 380 m/1235 ft, duration: 15 min): A short loop that begins near the picnic area on the other side of the river from the hot springs.

El Pionero (Distance: 1.8 km/1 mi, duration: 1.3 hours): To a mirador behind Aguas Calientes, giving views over Lago Puyehue and RĂ­o ChanleufĂș.

Lago BertĂ­n (Distance: 11 km/6.6 mi, duration: 5 hours): Along the RĂ­o ChanleufĂș, heading into Sector Antillanca to Lago BertĂ­n where there is a rustic refuge for six persons.

Lago ParaĂ­so (Distance: 7 km/4.2 mi): Beginning from Lago Toro, through evergreen forest to Lago ParaĂ­so.


Another attraction in Sector Aguas Calientes is the Mallines, a lagoon with vegetative pillow formations, plus views of Volcån Casablanca with ciprés de las guaitecas (on Ruta U 485, 8 km/4.8 mi from Aguas Calientes). On the road to Antillanca are several other lagoons: El Espejo (3.5 km/2.1 mi from Aguas Calientes), La Copa (3.7 km/2.25 mi) and lakes El Encanto (5 km/3 mi), Toro Chico (9 km/5.4 mi) and Toro (10 km/6 mi).


Both cabins and camping are available at Aguas Calientes. Cabins with kitchenette: 4-person $140 (high), $96 (low) to 10-person cabins $20 (high), $190 (low) (Tel.: 64-33170, E-mail:, URL:; in Osorno: Oficina Comercial Osorno, Matta 1216, Tel.: 064-23-6988; major credit cards accepted). Campers have two campgrounds to choose from. Camping ChanleufĂș, past the ranger station, has 34 sites with full services: (low season $20, high season $28). Camping Los Derrumbes, at the end of the road, past the park administration building has 20 more rustic sites (no showers or water, $16). Food service is provided by Restaurant Los Canelos y Quincho (both very expensive, daily special $12-18); also picnic table rental ($12) and snack shop.



Other neighborhoods in Parque Nacional Puyehue: Sector Anticura and Sector Antillanca.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

07 Jul 2009

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