Tours and Activities:
Making Our Way across Puerto RamírezMónica Pons Eduardo Epifanio
Two good reasons to devote our energy to walking through forests and huge rocks towards a vantage point and an incredibly beautiful cascade.
Puerto Ramirez, located 42 kilometers from Alto Palena, is a small town with 40 permanent residents and an attractive tourist infrastructure, particularly as far as sport fishing is concerned.
This town offers several activities for visitors to spend a true mountain day. While some members of the family preferred boat fishing, others decided to choose two of the many usual mountain hiking tours within this area.
It was an ideal morning, with a smooth mist on the other side of the port. There we could find the road leading to Futaleufú and towards the Southern Road. After breakfast, Baltasar and Jose arrived to pick us up as agreed on the previous night.
It was a long way to hike and climb, but the best thing was at the top. We were going to visit a natural vantage point and a cascade known as El Salto.
At last, we all were ready to begin our ascent. We only had fresh water, sun glasses and a camera inside our jacket to enjoy the places we were going to see.
We started climbing behind Jose’s house. His domestic animals and newly born pigs were there and Jose greeted one by one by their names.
On the first stretch towards the vantage point, we went along a shadowy trail lined with fruit trees, some bushes and many small rocks we could easily avoid. Below us, the powerful sound of the concealed river captured our attention.
A very interesting talk with the hosts revealed some features of the lifestyle in this place. This small population attracts many enthusiasts in search of excellent fishing opportunities and others eager to practice hiking and horseback riding.
As expected, the terrain became so much rougher that we had to carry a dry cane as a walking stick to move forward with a firm step.
We stopped in a forest clearing to recover energy and take some pictures, since there was a better image of the river. Baltasar and Jose told us that we had only few meters to go and they were right.
A 360-Degree Look
We hit the summit as we reached a large rock and we all felt astonished by the beauty around us. We could appreciate a tiny Puerto Ramirez below us, like a triangle amidst high mountains and meandering rivers.
Much farther, there lay the Futaleufu River, with much white foam, and the Enredaderas River, which carries its waters to Lake Yelcho. This is a lake of glacial origin and a stunning emerald green shade, whether the weather is sunny or not. We wished we could stay longer.
We slowly descended following the same path. And once again, we went past don Jose’s corral and his domestic animals.
But it was not all, because we had promised to climb up o the cascade known as El Salto. So, after drinking mates without sugar served at the right time, with patience and according to the traditional ceremony, we headed for that site.
We went to the starting point by car. It was an extremely white wooden bridge built by the hands of Baltasar and his family. Going across the bridge was a particular experience, since this it is suspended over the Malito River.
Once we were on the other side of the river, we walked along the beach of big rocks until we plunged into a dense and almost inaccessible forest, where animals and men have opened trails upwards.
Only as we approached the cascade, could we feel its strength and listen to its intense sound through the thick vegetation that prevented us from seeing the scenery until we stood in front of it.
Now we were really before El Salto (the Fall) with its three huge main waterfalls bouncing against six big rocks along its way. At the highest point, we found myriad smaller rocks hit or simply touched by the waterfall.
The deafening sound of the cascade was such that we had to talk loud in order to hear each other. This pool where this spectacular volume of water falls is nestled between huge rocks and vegetation.
Constant fog and rain enveloped us, making us forget our hard morning. We were grateful that Baltasar had invited us on such a tour the previous night.
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