Hiking in Huerquehue National Park and El Cañi Sanctuary

Trail: Los Lagos including Nido de Aguila 14,5 km, 700 meters in elevation

We really wanted to hike the trail “San Sebastian” in Huerquehue National Park, but when we got there the trail was closed half way up because of snow (today it is the 11th of December 2017). So we decided to hike “Los lagos” up the Laguna Verde, and come back down the same way. The weather was pretty good, and at the first viewpoint we could see one of the many volcanoes in the distance. We couldn’t find out which one it was.

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On our way up we took a small detour to a nearby waterfall… we think the waterfall was called “Nido de Aguila”, it was just another waterfall nothing spectacular, so when we reached the detour to the second waterfall “Cascada Trufulco” we decided not to go there.

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I was more fascinated by the big tree log

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We got to “Laguna Verde” and found a spot in the sun the relax. Enjoying the sun, eating a snack/lunch (always bring lunch), taking of the hiking boots and the sweaty t-shirt wlEmoticon-sun Hiking in Huerquehue National Park and El Cañi Sanctuary

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The trail was beautiful with a few bridges

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Trying to get the turkeys closer to Esben and his camera wlEmoticon-camera Hiking in Huerquehue National Park and El Cañi Sanctuary

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Trail: El Cañi Sanctuary including Circuito de Las Lagunas 20 km, 1000 meters in elevation

We visited the El Cañi Sanctuary, which is Chiles first privately protected forest area. The 500 hectares (1,250 acres) bought in 1990, so the natural forest is protected from logging and includes 12 crystalline lakes of volcanic origin. We started at the administration, where it is possible to camp for 3000 (5 USD or 30 DDK) pesos per person per night. The entry fee is 4000 (6,5 USD or 40 DDK) per person. From the administration we hiked up towards the Mirador Melidekin, which is the viewpoint of four volcanoes. On our way to the viewpoint we passed 8 symbols, that each told us something about the area. All the symbols are on the map with the information in English.

Symbol to the left: Mamüll (wood) and to the right: Sendero Las Lagunas (The Lakes Circuit Trail)

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This is the Refugio Aserradero (The sawmill hut), which was built in 1998. Its name comes from the sawmill that functioned here some 50 years ago. It was operated by a stream engine hauled up by catepiller tractor. A arge part of the forest was clear-cut and the timber was transported to the town Villarrica. Part of the hut was constructed from wood left over from that time. This is the entrance to the Cañi Sanctuary. There are still traces of lumber activity around, even as the forest continues to regenerate.

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We didn’t go all the way to the viewpoint because it was cloudy as we go further up. Instead we choose to walk the Sendero Las Lagunas (2,5 km) to experience the ancient forest of pewen/araucaria trees and the volcanic lakes.

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During this small 2,5 km loop we passed 6 lakes

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Lunch: one day hikes we usually eat bread with canned tuna/salmon and cheese with marmalade

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It was a beautiful walk between the Araucaria trees, that are mainly large evergreen trees with a massive erect stem, reaching a height of 5–80 meters (16–262 ft). The tree is familiar to many people as the genus of the distinctive Chilean pine or monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana). The leaves are thick, tough, and scale-like, triangular, 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 in) long and have an average lifespan of 24 years – YES 24 YEARS! Its native habitat is the lower slopes of the Chilean and Argentinian south-central Andes, typically above 1,000 m (3,300 ft). The monkey-puzzle tree is long-lived plant that can survive up to 1000 years in the wild under the optimal conditions (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araucaria_araucana).

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You are never in charge of the weather, so always get the best out of it. On this hike the cloudy weather created a different scene for taking pictures wlEmoticon-camera Hiking in Huerquehue National Park and El Cañi Sanctuary

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Just having fun! wlEmoticon-camera Hiking in Huerquehue National Park and El Cañi Sanctuary

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After the hiking in El Cañi Sanctuary we drove back to Pucon and rewarded ourselves with a burger. Everything just taste better after 20km of hiking. We ate burgers at “Latitude 39” in Pucon. We strongly recommend their burgers – they are American style.

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Spending a lot of time on hiking in December – what are the next hiking adventure and where are we gonna spend Christmas?

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