Travel to the Nahuelbuta National Park

by Ale Werner
Piedra del águila looking towards the coast, Travel guide to the Nahuelbuta national park, Chile

Nahuelbuta National Park is one of the most popular ones in southern Chile. It was declared a national park in 1939 and has more than 6830 hectares of surface. It is inserted in the Nahuelbuta mountain range, which contains peaks over 1500 meters high above sea level. In this guide to travel to the Nahuelbuta National Park you will find all the information relevant to your visit; what to see in the Nahuelbuta Park, what to do, where to sleep in the Nahuelbuta Park and much more.

The park is popular for the flora and fauna that inhabits it. The most popular is the huge and ancient araucarias; while in fauna they inhabit pumas, foxes, and pudúes.

You can access the map here.

The stone of the eagle (Piedra del Aguila) is a rock on the top of the Nahuelbuta mountain range, located at 1400 meters above sea level. From here there is a 360º view of the national park, the sea, and the Andes mountains.

From both accesses (Angol and Cañete) it is necessary a walk of approximately 4 kilometers along trails until you arrive. During the summer vehicles with traction can approach to a parking lot that will leave you at 700 meters from the viewpoint.

The path is suitable for all audiences in summer and spring, but during the winter it is difficult to pass because of the snow and mud. Consider wearing sneakers that you do not have to use again afterward or that are easily washable.

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Other trails and viewpoints on the Nahuelbuta National Park.

We only walked up to the eagle stone, but there are other trails like:

  • Cerro Anay (Anay Hill): Viewpoint at 1400 meters high. It is accessed by a 5-kilometer trail. You need about 3 hours walking to get to it.
  • Casa de Piedra (Stone House): It is located on the road from the access of Cañete to the Eagle Stone. It requires a detour of a couple of kilometers to reach this rock formation similar to a house.

Important information to plan your trip to Nahuelbuta National Park

When to visit the Nahuelbuta National Park.

The best months to visit the park are from November to February, during the summer. In this season there is less rain, the trails have no snow and the temperatures are not that low.

During the winter temperatures are extremely low, because the trails are at high sea level. In addition, there is a big chance of snowfall and rain. This is from May to September, with July being the worst month to visit the Nahuelbuta National Park.

You can also visit the park during the Solar eclipse in Chile on 2019. If your are lucky the sky would be open and you will get a nice view!

How to get to Nahuelbuta National Park

There are two main accesses to the Nahuelbuta park: through the cities of Cañete or Angol. During the winter, the last kilometers before reaching the park can only be covered by 4×4 cars with four-wheel drive and chains. This is because there are frequent snowfalls and rain, especially between June and September.

From Angol:

There are 37 kilometers of road in approximately 1 hour of travel. The road is called “Vegas Blancas”. It is well signposted, but the last 15 kilometers are of dirt and in winter the road can be closed.

From Cañete:

12 kilometers of paved road; then 30 of gravel and dirt that during the winter can close up to 8 kilometers before the arrival to the park; making it necessary to walk the rest of the route.

How to get to these cities?

Car:

In all the airports in Chile, there are car rental companies. Many people prefer this option because the landscapes on the way to the south are very beautiful and you can stop at beaches, viewpoints, and cities.

From Santiago they are between 7 and 8 hours away; the roads are in excellent condition and all along the road, there are gas stations.

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Airplane:

The nearest airports are in Concepción and Temuco. From here you can rent a car or take a taxi/bus to the bus station in the respective city. Buses leave every day from this cities to Angol or Cañete.

Bus:

Every day there are buses between the main cities of the country to Cañete and Angol. You can find more information about passages here.

Why visit the Nahuelbuta National Park

The Nahuelbuta National Park is a destination for nature lovers. Here you will not find luxuries, restaurants, or big hotels. You can enjoy mountaineering, hiking, flora, and fauna of the Nahuelbuta Mountains, bird watching, and photography.

What to take to Nahuelbuta National Park

Indistinctly if it is winter or summer, temperatures are quite low, especially during the night. In winter it is necessary to have boots and thermal/technical clothing, which allows you to walk without worries along the trails. Find here some tips to get dressed in cold weather.

How to move around the Nahuelbuta Park

Inside the park there are roads for cars and trails for those who are going to visit the Nahuelbuta National Park. Approximately 30 kilometers of dirt roads that allow access to the viewpoints; plus 15 kilometers on walking trails. Some of the trails and roads are also suitable for bikes.

Where to sleep in the Nahuelbuta National Park

Although there are alternatives to cabins in the same park, there are very few. If this is your case, take care that they include an equipped kitchen and light during the night. In addition, you have to carry everything you need for the days your stay will last. There are no restaurants, markets or stores inside the park.

There are also areas for camping. The most popular is in Pehuenco, entering the park by Angol.

If you only want to visit for the day, you can stay in the cities of Angol or Cañete, which are closer. Lake Lanalhue is also a good alternative if you also want to do other activities such as water sports.

Where to eat in the Nahuelbuta Park

There are no restaurants or shops inside the park; You must bring your own food, water and everything you think is necessary for the time you are in it. Please remember to always return with all the garbage and waste that you generate. Let’s help keep our parks and forests clean.

Rates to enter the Nahuelbuta National Park

There are fees to enter the park, which must be paid in cash at the moment of crossing the barrier. Although they are not always charging, bear in mind that you may have to pay them. We went in October and they were not charging

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High season:

  • Chilean adult $ 2500
  • Chilean child $ 1000
  • Foreign adult $ 4500
  • Foreign child $ 2500

Low season:

  • Chilean adult $ 1500
    Chilean child $ 500
    Foreign adult $ 2000
    Foreign child $ 500

Children under 6 years old free of charge.

Adults over 65 years old: 50% discount.

*All prices are in Chilean Pesos.

Hazards and dangers in the Nahuelbuta Park

The Nahuelbuta Park is very safe, but it can be dangers during the winter due to heavy rains and storms. There are cases of tourists who have arrived without being prepared for the area and have suffered falls and fractures in the trails and trekkings.

Also, if you’re not used to the altitude, you can have symptoms of the sea high. Enter here to find out how to avoid it or remedies in case of suffering it.

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