Already before our trip to Chile we read a lot of articles, saying that hiking the Sierra Nevada trail in the Conguillio National Park is spectacular and a must do when you are in the area. Our trusted Lonely Planet showered the hike with superlatives like for example “…the finest hike in southern Chile”. And well what can we say, the tour held up all its promises.
First of all when entering the National Park you pass through an absolute picturesque volcano scenery on windy roads with active volcanoes and mountains on the side. The landscape looks a little bit out of a science fiction movie with all the lava stone making everything feel quite unreal. And then a few meters away you find a super clear lake with dead trees sticking out of the surface.
The hike itself starts at a parking lot near Playa Linda and the roundtrip takes 4-5 hours in total. The path is in excellent condition and climbs steadily. You start of in the forest with birds chirping all over the place and soon reach the first out of the three view points giving you an astonishing view over the area. After that the forrest gets lighter an lighter and soon you start seeing the so called araucaria trees which – I have to admit – had never seen before. The higher you get, the more spectacular the view. To your left you can oversee the entire valley with – in case it’s not cloudy – the volcano in the back and to your right you have this massive mountain range and the sheer endless forests of araucaria trees. The end point of the tour is the Mirador Cumbre on the top at about 1.400 m (4.500 ft) altitude.