Patagonia and Altiplano Expedition | #10 – Cochamó Loop

After exploring the area around the Lago Llanquihue from our base camp in Puerto Varas for a couple of days we decided that it was time to leave Puerto Varas and continue our trip to Cochamo and the Reloncavi Fjord.

The plan was to drive a loop via Ensenada and Cochamo to Hornopirén and then back to Puerto Montt.

On the first day, we drove to Cochamo and visited the beautiful Cascada Escondida. With a good 4×4 you can drive very close to the falls.

Don’t attempt this with a non-4×4. The track has some rough and steep sections. From the upper parking spot, it’s a short 5-minute walk to the falls.

We spent our first night on this loop in the beautiful Las Bandurrias Eco Hostal. It has a nice view of the fjord and a lovely wooden interior. The Swiss owner Silvie is extremely friendly and helpful. We can highly recommend this place.

On the next day, we briefly explored the Cochamo Valley and then continued south along the Reloncavi Fjord.

From Puelo, we did a side trip to the Tagua Tagua Valley. The landscape in this valley is breathtaking.

If you have more time and like multi-day hikes, you could also explore the Parque Tagua Tagua on the other side of the lake. We returned to the main road and continued our trip south.

From Puelche the road follows the Ruta 7, the northern end of the famous Carretera Austral. At the ferry station Hornopirén to Leptepu we turned around. In a couple of months, we will hopefully be back here after driving the complete Carretera Austral from South to North.

The next night we stayed in Hornopirén, a small village that was more attractive than expected.

On the way back north we followed the small road along the coast via Hualaihué and Tentelhue, where we were able to watch some dolphins and many birds (all the wildlife images in this blog post were shot again by Linnéa with her RX10).

Three days and two nights later our Cochamo loop trip ended in Puerto Montt after a short ferry ride from Puelche to La Arena.

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