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Los Jesuitas Route in Chile: How to get there and all the points you should visit

Los Jesuitas Route in Chile: How to get there and all the points you should visit

By: Hernan Claro - 31 January, 2024

Jesuitas Route in Chile

We’ll guide you on how to get there and what points you should visit along the Los Jesuitas Route, a communication route between indigenous communities and settlers that has become a must-do trek in the Los Lagos Region, located in southern Chile.

Prepare to go all over 20 kilometers of Valdivian rainforest and be amazed by the landscapes of southern Chile on the Los Jesuitas Route, stretching from Rupanco Lake to Todos Los Santos Lake. The route takes three to four days to complete, depending on how much time you spend in each place. The ideal time to embark on this journey is during the summer, though it’s crucial to have the right gear for the wind and rain characteristic of the region.

How to Get to the Los Jesuitas Route from Santiago

If you started your journey in Chile from Santiago, we recommend flying to the town of Osorno, located in the southern part of our country. This area is known for having low temperatures in winter and slightly higher temperatures during the Chilean summer.

Once in Osorno, consider taking a bus or traveling by private vehicle to the El Poncho sector of Rupanco Lake to start the Los Jesuitas Route.

What to Visit Along the Los Jesuitas Route

1. Rupanco Lake

From the El Poncho sector of Rupanco Lake, you can take a boat to the Las Gaviotas area. Alternatively, you have the option to hike around the lake, which takes about 3 hours.

Las Gaviotas serves as the starting point for the Los Jesuitas Route, offering cabin services, accommodation, food, and parking. It’s the last point where you can leave your private vehicle before starting the trek, so remember to plan logistics to come back for it later.

Always choose accommodation registered with Sernatur.

Photo: @cata.lopezf

2. On the way to Los Quetros Lake

From Las Gaviotas, a four-hour hike to the south will lead you to Los Quetros Lake. It’s a relatively straightforward stretch passing through open hills and local farms. This part is not well-signposted, so it’s important to ask for directions from the friendly locals.

At Los Quetros Lake, you’ll find a family offering camping services and horseback rides, making it a good place to rest amid fantastic natural surroundings before continuing your adventure.

3. Callao Hot Springs

Continue south through the forest towards the Callao Hot Springs, a four-hour hike away. The route becomes a bit more challenging here as streams may become difficult to cross due to rain. If the rainfall is significant, it’s better to wait.

It’s essential to coordinate in advance with the hot springs caretakers to notify them of your visit. There, you’ll find a beautiful cabin and camping areas with a panoramic view of the Puntiagudo Volcano.

If you’re up for it, from the Callao Hot Springs, you can climb Cenizo Hill, offering a fantastic panoramic view of the Andes Mountains and the lakes in the area. The trail takes around 8 to 9 hours, and it’s crucial to have a guide as it’s not entirely well-marked.

Photo: @davidvasquezgonzalez

4. Todos Los Santos Lake

Now, walk towards Puerto Rincón on the northern shore of Todos Los Santos Lake. The terrain will become more challenging, and rain may wash away some parts of the trail. Additionally, you’ll need to cross several suspension bridges.

Coordinate in advance for a boat to cross Todos Los Santos Lake, a lake with fantastic surroundings that will leave you in awe. On the southern shore, head east to reach the beautiful Petrohué Falls before concluding your adventure.

Photo – Sernatur Audiovisual Bank

Tips for the Los Jesuitas Route

As the chances of rain are high, especially in winter, it’s important to wear suitable clothing, bring two layers, spare underwear, a hat, water, and everything necessary for camping to ensure a smooth journey. Consider that the required physical demand is moderate to high.

Be a responsible tourist and don’t leave trash on the trail, remembering that we all contribute to caring for the environment.

It is worth noting that there is another trek known as the Los Jesuitas Route starting in Ralún, in the Reloncaví estuary, crossing the Viruloche Pass to reach Bariloche in Argentina.

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