Tours and Activities:
Time of AdventureMónica Pons Eduardo Epifanio
A national park and three ancient volcanoes are the guardians of this breathtaking natural spot which hosts hiking, zip lining, rock climbing, rappelling and kayaking for all ages in the same area.
The Valdivian rainforest which shelters the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park was the scenery of an experience impossible to forget. Amongst ancient Patagonian cypresses, coihue and lenga trees, adventurers can find a sport area with a wide variety of activities all year round.
Near Petrohué we met a group of experts who guided us in our eco-adventure journey, a feast of action to move our muscles, get our adrenaline pumping and know the best of the rainforest.
Petrohué is a little village with an old and charming hotel which, regardless its major changes, keeps the life of the first dwellers alive through pictures and endless stories. At that point, Lake Todos los Santos gives origin to the Petrohué River which, cruising down the waters, offers the best rapids and is part of the attractive spots of this region.
Several European tourists and four of us were eager to start the same tour. Two extreme sport guides provided us with the necessary equipment such as helmets, harnesses and safety instructions to prevent and avoid accidents along the tour.
Once ready, we begun with the first activity, an interactive hiking which gave us information about the features of the soil, fauna and flora we would come across along our way. This area is home to pumas, coypus (river rats), little mountain monkeys, foxes, but we did not manage to see them. However, we noticed that there was a great number of ducks and different species of birds, even a common kingfisher.
After an easy twenty-minute walk, we faced the first challenge of the day. All the expedition members, as we referred to ourselves, had to cross a giant ravine measuring 100 meters of height through a zip line. The guide was the first to zip and then we all crossed it -one at a time- as laughter, screams and applause crowned this amazing feat.
As a reward, a few meters ahead a stunning view of the Lake Todos los Santos and the first rapids running downhill unfolded before our eyes and its turquoise waters made us speechless.
Going Deeper into the Rainforest
A small trail led deeper into the thick lush forest until we reached a huge rock, which we climbed up through some ropes after we put our harnesses on. It was at this point when we got exhausted and had to take some minutes to recover from this activity. Anyway, we could say “mission accomplished!”
For the second time, a ravine was waiting for us, but this time we saw that it was a rappelling activity instead of a zip line. We had to slowly go down 100 meters. As we looked down we felt dizzy and we paralyzed with fear for a few seconds until our guide’s words calmed our minds. We went down through ropes on the rock wall, full of mud and ferns without haste and measuring every step.
Once on the ground again, we laid there and relaxed, feeling astonished by our feat. The vastness of the forest all around sheltered us until it was time to go back to a narrow trail where we listened to birds trill and managed to see just few of them.
Into the distance, we heard the murmuring of Petrohué River, from where we set off to start our last activity. We got in one of the kayaks waiting over there and energetically rowed upstream like salmons do. This way, with our sweating bodies but excited, we reached the pier of the mouth of the lake, where our expedition came to an end.
We said goodbye to Pérez Rosales National Park and started our way back to Puerto Varas feeling exhausted. Not only did we carry home videos and pictures but also our unforgettable experience.
“If there is a place where it is possible to practice all kinds of extreme sports, that place is undoubtedly called Petrohue. From half-day to all-day kayak trips through the most stunning and secret nooks in Lake Todos Los Santos; from canyoning to reaching the summit of the Osorno Volcano; from fly-fishing to floating down the most beautiful and crystal-clear waters, to going downstream on Class 3 and 4 rafting tours. Or else, 4WD rides, birdwatching or hiking tours to better understand a natural scenery that is still unspoiled and how life begun in this region millions of years ago. Or getting deep into the walls of the only hotel and getting closer to the history of the first dwellers and the tough lives they have lived. All this and much more is what you can expect from Petrohue.”