Published: January 21st 2013December 30th 2012
The sky is cloudy and there is an intermittent light rain. We can no longer see the volcano. After breakfast, we head over to the Saltos de Petrohué which was very nice. We got there early, but still there were a lot of tourists since this is only a few minutes down the road from the Chilean side of the lakes crossing into Argentina across the Lago Todos Los Santos. I am surprised at the high number of tour buses running up and down this road. We did take the extra few minutes and go all the way down to the lake but there really isn’t much there unless you’re getting on the boat heading over to Argentina or staying at the hotel there. The lake itself didn’t seem as spectacular as we’d been led to believe based on reading the tour book comments.
After the waterfalls, we take the road up to the ski lift at the top of Volcán Osorno. The road is steep and the curves are tight but there are only a couple other cars besides us so I’m not too worried if I drift over the center line. I guess the clouds and rain have something to do with the lack of crowds today. There is an empty parking lot at the top, no view at all. I’m somewhat disappointed. Oh well, we’ll have to come back.
Once we’re back at sea level, we head towards the last place we have on our list of things to see: Alerce Andino National Park. The alerce andino, similar to the sequoia in its thick diameter and tall height, is a type of tree native to this area in southern Chile and Argentina. In contrast to the last several kilometers of road to get to the park entrance which is pretty rough gravel, the trail is nice and well-maintained. Despite the rain and clouds, the hike is nice. After passing through some very nice wooded sections which would be similar to trails in northern California, we reach a waterfalls and just past that is the alerce with a verified age of over 3600 years old, earning it a spot on the list of the oldest trees in the world, which is the highlight of the park.
After we return to the car, we clean off the muddy hiking boots as best we can and put them away in the suitcases along with the raingear as it’s time to head to the airport at Puerto Montt for the flight home. We have just enough time to stop for a couple of souvenirs at the Feria Artesanal de Angelmó before returning the rental car, checking in, and grabbing a bite to eat at the airport’s sole restaurant before boarding the plane. Not a moment to spare. All in all, a great trip!