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Cochamó Valley

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Valle Cochamó is in X Region of Chile.

Landscape

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.

Climate

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.

Fees/Permits

There are no entree fees or permits needed.

Getting There

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.

See

Huge granite walls, waterfalls, rivers, granite arches, Alerce forests, caves, pools - basically some of Patagonia´s most amazing mountain valley.

Do

  • Rock Climbing - Big Walls Thousand meter granite walls border the valley along the Cochamó River. Valle Cochamó's rock provides route potential beyond the imagination. The area has already become a world class climbing destination, with first ascents from people from almost every continent on the globe. If you're into long routes, sport routes, bouldering, establishing new routes or just hanging in a gorgeous landscape, Valle Cochamó is one of South America's best. Chekout the route info at Checkout the trail info at Cochamo.com/climbing and at Escalando.cl.
  • Rock Climbing - cragging. Sport climbing and cragging exist throughout the valley's basen, including the overhanging Pared Seca which stays dry when it rains.
  • Trekking & hiking Many visitors come to Cochamo to trek the four to six hours into La Junta area, the heart of Valle Cochamo. From there, many day hikes reach spectacular peaks, waterfalls and 3000-year-old alerce trees. The main trail continues all the way to Argentina passing a rock arch, lakes and mountain passes. Checkout the trail info at Cochamo.com/trekking. Guided trekking programs, camping, and lodging information also available at [1]
  • Horseback Numerous visitors also choose to travel through the Cochamo Valley's native rainforest up to magnificent La Junta valley on horseback - a time-tested and traditional way of accessing this hard-to-reach natural gem. Day rides and multi-day trips, combined with hiking, lodge stays, or camping, provide an unsurpassed opportunity to experience the "huaso" traditions and culture - along the centuries-old Cochcamo Trail that was used by Butch Cassid and the Sundance Kid! For information on different horsetrek programs and options, check out the original outfitters in the valley [2]
  • Natural waterslide. La Junta River offers an amazing natural waterslide. Great videos are available at Cochamo.com.
  • Nature Trail This is a well-marked, self-guided trail, with accompanying guidebook to trees and local flora.More info at [3].

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.

Lodging

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]

Camping

You can camp in the campground in La Junta. More info at Cochamo.com/camping. For those seekign seclusion and peace, there are additional camping facilities at the mouth of the Rio Cochamo and also in the La Junta valley (with hot showers, indoor plumbing, & firewood)[4]

Backcountry

There are plenty of hikes in the valley. Recommended is the Cerro Arco Iris peak hike.


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