Huerquehue NP

  • Huerquehue NP - Laguna Tinquilco - © Copyright Flickr User chilered10
  • Huerquehue NP - Lago El Toro - © Copyright Flickr User chilered10
  • Huerquehue NP - Circuito Quinchol - © Copyright Flickr User JavierPsilocybin
  • Huerquehue NP - © Copyright Flickr User chilered10
  • Huerquehue NP - Lago Chilco - © Copyright Flickr User Bird Brian
  • Huerquehue NP - Lago El Toro - © Copyright Flickr User chilered10
  • Huerquehue NP - Laguna Tinquilco - © Copyright Flickr User Pato Novoa
  • Huerquehue NP - Laguna Verde - © Copyright Flickr User chilered10
  • Huerquehue NP - Lake Pequen - © Copyright Flickr User pellaea
  • Huerquehue NP - © Copyright Flickr User Bird Brian
  • Huerquehue NP - © Copyright Flickr User Pato Novoa
  • Huerquehue NP - © Copyright Flickr User pellaea
  • Huerquehue NP - © Copyright Flickr User Phillie Casablanca
  • Huerquehue NP - © Copyright Flickr User JavierPsilocybin
  • Huerquehue NP - Volcan Villarrica From Quinchol - © Copyright Flickr User JavierPsilocybin
  • Huerquehue NP - © Copyright Flickr User pellaea

Key information: Huerquehue NP

    • Although without the barren volcanic splendour of Laguna del Laja, Conguillio and Villarica, Huerquehue National Park's lake strewn highlands, blanketed in ancient rainforest, have their own drama and glory.
      • Explore the lakes of Huerquehue Plateau on a three to four day trek taking in the attractive Lago Chico, Lago El Toro, and Lago Huerquehue, with an optional side trek to lush Lago Verde.
        • Cerro Quinchol and San Sebastian offer the best views in Huerquehue: a short and relatively straightforward walk will take you to Quinchol's summit, with its outlook across the park's verdant vegetation and scattered lakes, the horizon dominated by distinctive Volcan Villarica to the southeast. Take the tougher route up San Sebastian for a panorama reaching out across a vast swathe of Patagonia.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating84
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest0
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating84

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: Variable
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Huerquehue NP - Lago El Toro - © Copyright Flickr User chilered10

WALK SUMMARY

Huerquehue NP, just 35km from the popular tourist town of Pucon, lacks the desolate volcanic majesty of some of the other Araucanian national parks. However its picturesque lakes, rough highland slopes coated in atmospheric ancient rainforests and the distant views of impressive Volcan Villarica make for what is arguably some of the best walking in Chile.

The Araucaria tree, so symbolic of this area, grows in abundance here. Its distinctive shape rises high above the clear waters of the lakes, emphasizing the magnificence of Chile's national emblem and "living fossil". These trees are historically both an important food source and sacred to some Native American Mapuches and their long lifespan, thought to be up to 1,000 years, makes these a genuine piece of living history. Previously popular for wood, they are now actively protected in many areas, and in this endeavor parks such as Huerquehue are critical.

A trek, exploring the rainforest and glacial lakes of Huerquehue Plateau takes in the picturesque Lago El Toro, Lago Chico, Lago Huerquehue and Lago Verde: these can be enjoyed on a popular day walk (sometimes known as the "Sendero Los Lagos") or extended over a 3-4 day long return hike from the Guarderia Tinquilco to the hot springs of Termas de Rio Blanco. To relieve tired legs dip into Lago Tinquilco, warmed by the summer sun, or opt for a bathe in the Termas - the brave can break this up with a dash to the cold waters of the Rio Blanco.

The park's best panoramas are those seen from the outlooks of Cerro Quinchol and San Sebastian. Although the straightforward ascent to Cerro Quinchol can be fairly uninspiring, clambering up the forested slopes to the summit of San Sebastian, with its unfolding views across the Andean foothills and to distant volcanoes, has a prehistoric - even Jurassic -feel. Once at the top gaze down across Huerquehue's lush, dense rainforests and numerous lakes, to Volcan Villarica's textbook cone dominating the skyline in the southeast.

Huerquehue's proximity to Pucon makes it an easy trip for both locals and the many tourists who base themselves in this resort town. This does mean that, particularly in high season, the park can get quite busy. The day walk to the lakes is generally the busiest, so some may consider it worthwhile to spend time getting a little further away from the park entrance, by making this into a multi-day trek.

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Huerquehue NP - ©Copyright Flickr User chilered10

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Huerquehue NP - Lago Chilco - ©Copyright Flickr User Bird Brian...
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