Conguillio National Park is one of the jewels from IX Region and the south of Chile, a place with an incomparable beauty where you can enjoy nature in all its magnificence. It was named natural heritage for the its araucaria's forests, high volcanic ridges, lagoons, rivers, and its considerated for many people, one of the most beautiful parks of the country.This park, located 120 km from Temuco, is an ideal place for backpacking: campings, countless trails, spectacular views and the chance of enjoying an intimate contact with the nature awaits its visitors. It's always an excelent destiny to delight activities such as fishing, swimming, boat rides, hiking and mountaineering.Share this destination:
Rojo: Sendero Sierra Nevada
Azul: Sendero Los Carpinteros
Naranja: Sendero Pastos Blancos
AccessGenerally, the city of Temuco is used like the starting point to visit the park. This city has an airport and daily flights from and towards Santiago, and it's located 120 km to the park. You can also reach to Temuco by particular vehicle or by public transport. From Temuco, you have a number of alternatives of access to Conguillio.The park has two access points: the northeast entrance (Laguna Captrén Main Door) and the south entrance (Truful Truful Main Door), both conected by R-925-S route, that go across the park. Recently, it began to offered the service of public transport, only in summer, from Temuco to the park by the south entrance (CLP 3.500). Norheast entrance: You have to first reach to the location of Curacautin (by public transport you can only get to this point). The way form Curacautin to Laguna Captren Main Door is passable all year with 4x4 vehicles. The way from the main door to the inside of the park its only passable in summer period (November-March).South entrance: you have to reach first to the location of Malipeuco. The way form Malipeuco to Truful Truful Main Door and to the inside of the park is passable all the year, but you have to have in consideration that the road conditions are worse in winter and you have to transit by a 4x4 vehicle.You can also reach the park by hitch-hike, especially in summer period, when the park receives the largest number of visitors.The ParkThis is a park that has a variety of trails which they vary in both difficulty and duration. You can spend days knowing and enjoying all the park's corners. In this article you will see with more detail some of the principal trails, like Sierra Nevada, Los Carpinteros and Pastos Blancos, however, its worth mentioning that there are many more, that go from short trails of less than 1 km to mountaineering routes. Generaly, most trails are accesibles from camping zonez, and for more motivated people, it's possible to build circuits of many trails to do it in journeys of 10 or more hours. You can also rent bycicles to travel the park by the vehicular road and enabled paths for bycicles (rent for half a day has a cost of CLP 10.000). The park can be visited during all day, but in winter you have to be prepared for the low temperatures and especially for snow.The park's entrance fee is CLP 4.000 for national adults, CLP 6.000 for foreign adults. The cost of the entrance is low for children and adults over 65 years. You can check the entrance prices here. In respect with accomodation, the park has a variety offer of camping zones and cabins. This are located at the inside of the park, close to Congullio Lake. There are 2 camping areas: Curacautin and La Caseta. In Curacautin camping area there is a special place for backpackers (without motorized vehicle) that has a cost of CLP 5.000 per person. You can check the prices and services of the other campings and cabins here, site where you can also make reservations. In general, campings are closed between May and November for winter conditions.
Sierra Nevada TrailThis incresible trail in one of the most emblematic and beautiful of the park. The ascent to Sierra Nevada allows you to enjoy the spectacular views to Conguillio lake and Llaima volcano from the from above while you advance in the middle of the centenarians araucarias' forests. The excursion covers a distance of about 10 km (round trip) and has a ramp of 550 mt, with a approximated duration of 5 hrs. It has a medium difficulty, and, even though it's one of the most demanding trails of the park compared with the others, it's done every year by families without major problems. The path begins in the sector of Playa Linda and it's property signposted.Los Carpinteros TrailThis 6 km (going) trail starts at the park's information center and it advance between dense araucarias, lengas and coigües' forests to Captren Lagoon. It's a low difficulty trail of about 2,5 km (going). This trail is specially interesting for the bird lovers, because you can observe woodpeckers through the way, and other bird species at the Captren Laggon' wetlands. The most interesting point of the journey is the Araucaria Madre, an araucaria of over 1.000 years and a diameter of 2 mt. It can be found by the way. To return, you can take the same path or you can also take the vehicular road.
Pastos Blancos TrailWith a distance of 13 km (going) and a approximate duration of 5 km, this is one of the longer park trails, combining a great variety of landscapes during the journey. It starts at Laguna Capten main door and it advances by the foot of the Llaima volcano through a middle mountain landscape, where you can enjoy incredible views to Sierra Nevada and Conguillio lake from its lookouts. Then, it advances by volcanic scum fields to reach finally to Verde Lagoon, where the scum fields ends and give place to dense forests. The trail has a medium difficulty and to return to the camping zones you have the alternative to return by the same way you reach or by R-925-S route, vehicular road which pass close to Verde Verde Lagoon and that advance to the north passing through other interesting places like Arcoiris Lagoon (by this route you can return walking or by hitch-hike).Others Trails and RoutesThe park has a number of short trails (less than 1 km). Some of this trails are Las Vertientes, Cañadon Truful Truful, Las Araucarias, La Ensenada and Lan Lan. For the mountaineering lovers, there are mountain routes like the ascent to Llaima, Travesia Rio Blanc and Travesia to Malalcahuello, routes that you can't do it by yourself, you need special mountain equipment. Conguillio has something for all tastes.
VolcanosConguillío is a park that stands out not only for its spectacular views and nature, it's also a place of contrasts and constant changes. The green and dense forests drastically change to vast areas of volcanic scum, because of Llaima volcano eruptions. This is one of the most active volcanos of South America, recording more than 70 eruptions. The two last recorded, in January 2008 and April 2009, increased the height of the volcano to 70 meters. This volcano has influenced during millions of years the place's morphology, that changes with every eruption, forming new lakes, lagoons, forests and landscapes.It also stand out the Sierra Nevada volcano, with its araucarias forests, glaciers in height and the Conguillio lake at your foot. This is an inactive volcano.
Lakes and LagoonsOne of the park's main attractions are its lakes and lagoons with crystalline waters and volcanic formation. The Conguillio lake it's the biggest lake at the park, a beautiful place where you can enjoy incredible views to Sierra Nevada and Llaima volcano. The Conguillio lake is suitable for bathing and it's an ideal place to practice kayaking (you can rent kayaks in the park). The Verde lagoon is another park's attraction, with its green waters draining underground in the Truful Truful river. But if there is a place that draws attention in the park for its beauty and charm, this place is Arcoiris Lagoon. Volcanic scum by one side and denses forests by the other, this lagoon stands out noy only for its strong contrast of its environment, but also for its incredible waters colors, where turquoise intermingles with different green shades in sunny days. An incredible and beautiful spectacle.
Flora and FaunaKnown for its intact and beautiful nature, many animal species have been protected in Conguillio National Park, including pumas, foxes, ducks, condores, black-necked swans, brown strips lizards and guiñas (wild cats), among others.Regarding the park's fauna, the araucarias forests are definitely which catch the attention. Inside the park, there are zones of very difficult access in which the forests of this species reach 1.200 years old. You can also find another species like coigüe, rauli, lenga, ñirre, avellano, maiten, cordillera's cipres and lleuque.
Precautions and Recomendations
1. Best season: This park is open all year, and has unique attractives during every season. In summer you have the best temperatures and weather, so you can enjoy a good bath in Conguillio lake and it's possible to do all the park's trails. Between Januaru and February, the park receives the largest number of visitors. In winter, the temperatures goes down and the snow falls over the park. The landscape of snowy forests and frozen lagoons is very beautiful. However, you have to have consideration that the access roads are in worse conditions in this season (mainly for the amount of snow) and that you can't camp (you have olny the choice of staying in cabins.2. Food: There is a store basic supplies at Curacautin camping zone. It's recommended however, stock up in Temuco, Curacautin or Melipeuco, because the store's products are more expensive.3. Equipment: Conguillío is a destiny in which you have to go prepared for cold and heat. In summer it can be days where the temperature is over 30°C, drastically lowering the temperature in the night to 5°C, for example. It's important then to take light clothing and swimsuit to use it in hot days and you also have to take warm and waterproof clothing for cold nights and rainy days. Removable trekking pants are ideal, as its adapt to both scenarios and its dry relatively fast. It's recomendable to also carry thermals dry-fit shirts, thin polar and a sheltered raincoat. Rainproof trekking boots or shoes are ideal to the different park's trails. In case you go in winter, you have to be prepared to low temperatures and to snow especially. It's recomendable to have always sun block in your backpack, independent the year's season. 4. Physical condition: It's not necessary to be in an excellent physical condition to enjoy the park. Most of the trekking paths can be done in less than one day and its has medium and low difficulty. The mountaineering routes on the other hand, like the ascent to Llaima volcano, are more demanding.5. Trash and Fire DON'T leave any kind of trash in the routes, or set fire under no circumstance (to cook, use gas kitchenette). Neither interfere the flora and fauna of the place. ¡Be a responsible backpacker and helps to care for our parks and nature!