Alto Palena - Photo: Eduardo Epifanio
ts name is Alto Palena and this is a commune where the diversity of landscapes associated to the mountain topography and the climatic transition have managed to turn this area into a destination for thousands of travelers who wish to sea this beautiful Chilean region.
In the very core of Chilean Patagonia, Alto Palena is the southernmost commune in the Lake District. It lies 1,350 km to the South of Santiago. It is part of the Palena-Queulat Basin, an unexplored territory reached through the Southern Road.
It stands 360km to the South of Puerto Montt and 403 km to the North of Coyhaique and it is connected with Villa Santa Lucía. It may also be reached by plane. The international land pass known as Río Encuentro (Argentina) joins it with the neighboring country.
There are basic services such as post office, hospital for emergencies, COPEC gas station and the Carabiniers of Chile. It offers countless tourist packages to tour around its rivers and lakes on horseback, hiking or enjoying river rafting or sport fishing, either in the surroundings or at Puerto Ramírez and Puerto Piedra.
Sport fishing is one of the greatest attractions in the region, where the Palena and Yelcho Rivers basins are ideal to catch unique specimens of brown and rainbow trout and salmons from the Pacific. Puerto Ramírez is the starting point for the best fishing outings.
At Alto Palena, agricultural tourism has experienced a remarkable growth and it has reached nearby areas. Visitors may spend at countryside cottages and perform the typical rural tasks such as saddling up horses, take part in the process of making cheese or brand the animals. There are tours on raft or kayaks with professional guides that take travelers deep into almost unknown areas in the mountain range.
The calendar of Alto Palena contains two popular festivals. One is celebrated in February, on the anniversary of town, when the traditional rodeo is displayed as a preparation for the national competition. In November, a folkloric festival is held and the dwellers of the entire region present typical games and dishes.
The Commune of Palena has not been directly affected by the Chaitén Volcano eruption. Its rivers, forests and mountains have overcome the volcanic ash in a short time. This is a magical territory that has everything for visitors to discover.