Trail to Los Hitos – Lago Puelo National Park
This hike took us 3 to 4 hours and led us to the Argentina-Chile border.
If you plan doing this walk we suggest taking enough drinking water with you, as during the day it can get very warm inside the forest because of the humidity, and there are only very few places to refill your bottle.
Authorities from the National Park Lago Puelo required us to fill in a trekking permission before doing this hike, which had to be given back at our return.
If you enter the park by the main road you will get strait to the lake Lago Puelo. You have to walk around the lake heading West until you get to the Rio Azul (Blue River) that flows into the lake at that point.
There you have look for the markings that indicate where to wade across the river. Markings are done by the national park authorities and change every day depending on the rise of the waters.
If the river cannot be crossed you have 2 options to get to the other side:
1) Hire a boat to cross you over (in this case you also have to arrange the return time)
2) Cross over on a long walkway located close to the town of Lago Pueblo (this means adding 8 km to this trek).
The river Azul is not deep, but it is wide and the stones inside the water are very slippery!
Right after crossing the river Azul you will see yellow markings that indicate the beginning of the trail, that is clearly seen during the entire walk. There is no chance to lose the trail.
On the way you will cross a fence and get to a clean area that, in our opinion, could be used for camping (but we think it is not allowed).
Most part of the trail goes through a high forest that in this part of the country is called “Valdivian Jungle”. This is a typical forest you can find in Chile mostly, as it needs a lot of humidity to grow.
After approximately 1:30 or 2 hours walk you will arrive to the Chilean border where 1 or 2 border policemen will receive you and ask for your documents and the permission paper.
Close to that area there is a camp site (without services) and you can approach to the lake Lago Pueblo for rest or having lunch.
From here you can see the trail continues approximately 2 more hours on the Chilean side. But you have to inform the border police if you want to cross over.
As we were short on time we did not continue much more, but returned to town on the same way.
After arriving to the national park offices we had to hand our trekking permission over.