|Cochamó Valley is known as the Yosemite of Chile, a term and comparison first coined by Seattle Times reporter Bill Dietrich, who wrote about his horseback trek and visit in 1997. See 
The valley takes its name from the Cochamó River, which is fed by too-many-to-count streams and waterfalls that plunge down densely forested slopes and granite walls, many of which are 1000 meters high.
A pleasant season to visit the area is from October through April, although September and May can often be pleasantly clear and crisp, too. The months that usually have the best weather are December through March. Between May and August, the climate is generally cold and very rainy (90% of the area's rain falls in these southern-hemisphere winter months.)
The weather in Patagonia is difficult to predict, but locals have followed one general rule that helps forecast stormy weather. Clouds moving north to south generally bring rain.
 Get in
There are usually three buses a day from Puerto Montt via Puerto Varas and Ensenada to the village of Cochamó (2000CLP from P.Montt and P.Varas). The closest stop to access the Cochamó Valley and trail is to get off approximately five kilometers after the village, at the bridge that crosses the Rio Cochamó. Or get off in town and hire a vehicle to take you direct to the trailhead (costs about US$10 per ride up to five passengers). From there, it's usually a muddy but well marked 5-hour hike into Cochamó Valley, and into La Junta area. There are a few signs marking the trail indicating directions to the campground. For hikers seeking accommodations either at the Refugio Cochamó or Mountainside Lodge, it's necessary to cross the Cochamó River in La Junta area via hand-operated 'cable car'. If you are riding, in the summer months it is generally easy to cross the Rio Cochamó on horseback.
 Get around
Many visitors choose to visit the valley by horse or using packhorses. All horses are (or should be) accompanied by guides. Cochamó offers numerous different guides but tracking them down is not a formal task. Ask around town and expect to pay from $18.000 to $25.000 pesos per horse and be sure to find out if the guide charges for the horse he/she uses. If starting the ride from the village of Cochamo, expect to ride for at least 5-6 hours, with a local resident who only speaks Spanish (and to carry your own food.) If riding on a program with Campo Aventura, the ride is an hour shorter; there is often an international guide; and meals and refreshments are provided along the way and upon arrival in the upper valley.
The oldest and best-established provider of guided horseback treks is Campo Aventura, known for its comfortable lodges, delicious food, and commitment to the community. They also offer all-inclusive hiking/trekking programs throughout the valley, and up to the border with Argentina.
[add listing] See
Huge granite walls, waterfalls, rivers, granite arches, Alerce forests, caves, pools - basically one of Patagonia´s most unique and amazing mountain valleys.
[add listing] Do
This is a famous rock climbing destination with many granite walls and domes ranging around 1000 meters. There are many new routes every year and thousands of new long lines waiting to be done. Multi-day horseback trekking and hiking are very popular among international visitors.
In addition to rock-climbing, the Cochamo and La Junta valleys offer visitors a rich feast of nature - crystal-clear pools and streams; towering ancient trees; scattered, occasional encounters with traditional mountain homesteaders; and dozens of hikes - ranging from easy to moderate to challenging.
Relatively unknown until recently, the valley receives more and more hikers and climbers each year, which brings its own set of challenges - ill-prepared or ill-equipped visitors; littering and trash; unauthorised camping and fires. Whether the growing number of local and international visitors will respect the fragile environment and local inhabitants and their property, and do what they can to keep this "Yosemite of Chile" clean and unspoiled, remains to be seen.
 Get out