A u-shaped valley lined with 1000-meter granite walls and peaks. Rivers and streams form waterfalls and pools throughout the valley.
Flora and fauna
The huge and rare alerce trees should be on your list to check out.
This area receives a huge amount of rain every year. The best time and dryest, however, is January through mid March. The weather can be good from December to the end of March.
There are no entree fees or permits needed.
If you are heading to Valle Cochamó from Santiago (Chile) or Bariloche (Argentina), you must get to Puerto Montt. Once you arrive to Puerto Montt, there are three buses daily to the town of Cochamó or Cochamó-River bridge. You can also utilise the town of Puerto Varas as a starting point. It has several travel agencies and the local bus service passes through here also.
The trailhead is located 8 kilometers up river following a gravel road. It's possible to hire a car in town to drop you off at road's end where the trail begins.
At the end of the road or trailhead, cross a small bridge and pass through a gate. From that point, hiking into the valley takes four to five hours. The trail is well marked and never crosses the Cochamó River. The hiking is relatively easy except for crossing through some trenches, pools and streams, which can become harder to cross when it rains. Water proof hiking boots are highly recommended. Gaitors help significantly on rainy days. Continue to La Junta River, the center of activities and accommodation in the valley.
Huge granite walls, waterfalls, rivers, granite arches, Alerce forests, caves, pools - basically some of Patagonia´s most amazing mountain valley.
Eat & Drink
You can get breakfast, pizzas and, most importantly, home-made beer. Try Tabano Pale Ale.
Delicious international and traditional fare, wine, beer available at the two lodges run by Campo Aventura, at the start of the trail and in the La Junta Valley.
In La Junta area, you can stay in bunks or get a private room at the Refugio Cochamó. More info at Cochamo.com/lodging. Campo Aventura, which has two lodges -- one at the river mouth, near Cochamo village, and the other up in La Junta -- offers cozy accommodation, including all meals. [www.campo-aventura.com]
You can camp in the campground in La Junta. More info at Cochamo.com/camping.
There are plenty of hikes in the valley. Recommended is the Cerro Arco Iris peak hike.