GPT21 - Lago Todos Los Santos
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Season Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions
- 2021-Dec-13 / Molly and Melissa / GPT21: Northbound, RR - 4 days, but very relaxed
We took the bus from Puerto Varas towards Cochamó, but got dropped at the road about 15 km before and started directly on the gravel road. The bus leaves quite a few times, but you have to ask around for the specific times. We took it at 13, and I think it left at least once more that day. The employees at the different outdoor stores know pretty well where the bus leaves from and who to ask. We camped at the spot marked "camping" near a small lake, it was quite nice, near a river as well. We got to Lago Todos Los Santos around 13 and asked at the first house marked on the GPS. It's situated on a hill behind three newly built vacation houses. Eduardo who lives there came out as soon as the dogs started barking, and was immediately ready to take us across the lake. The place where you want to get dropped of is called El Rincón. We were charged 70.000 pesos like other people have said as well. On the second day we camped right after the first "bridge" waypoint. Termas: The third day we went to the termas. On the way there, you pass Rudy's house - it's about two hours before the termas. They have a cabin which is about 8000 CLP and sell breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as bread, honey, eggs and so on. They also have the option to camp at the termas which is 7000 CLP for camping and access. They have a wooden tub in a small shed, so you need to get the key from them - easiest going nobo as you pass their house. We later found out that there is a second option. A guy who lives in the house right next to the termas has made his own, it's more natural looking with rocks, and it's outside and more private. You have to knock on his house for him to show you. We actually thought it was nicer, but didn't hear the price. He is also a really nice guy who offers trips to Cerro cenizas with great views of Volcán Puntiagudo if he has time. It's a one day trip according to him. The last part of the trail to Las Gaviotas was fairly easy, although with a lot of confusing trails that ultimately seem to go the same way. Las Gaviotas:
In Las Gaviotas there are a few different options for sleeping. There seem to be two or three different people with cabañas, there's a nice camping ground right on the beach with toilets, and we saw a tent further down on the beach which didn't seem to bother anyone. There is a very small shop in a shed on the beach with a few snacks and sodas, and it's possible to buy some bread, eggs and honey but definitely no resupply options. The beach was beautiful and good for swimming!
Access/exit: The ferry to Puerto Buey leaves right from the beach every day except Tuesday and Saturday, and costs 200 CLP as previously written. It leaves around 7-8 am and probably some other times as well, we took it Friday at 14 and we saw it leaving twice in the evening Thursday. Puerto Buey is even smaller than Las Gaviotas. The bus left from Puerto Buey (the shed where you get dropped of by the ferry) directly to Osorno at 15:30. We were told that the morning ferry matches a bus that only goes to Puerto Octay, but maybe there are more busses from there. As has been written before, it's possible to walk to Puerto Buey along a gravel road by the lake.
- 2021-Nov-29 to 2021-Nov-30/ Alex Abramov / GPT21: Northbound. New variant: Lago Todos Los Santos - Cerro Cenizo - Volcan Puntiagudo ridge - Lago Rupanco. 34km, 1.5 days.
This new variant is not the same as GPT21 option 4: it is easier and more logical. Easy/Moderate difficulty. Rudy Jefi and his refugio are still in business (the price for boat from Petrohue 70.000), but Camping Las Nalcas and Mini Mercado Rupanco were closed.
- 2021-Nov-17 to 2021-Nov-21/ Meylin Ubilla and Jan Dudeck / GPT21: Packraft Traverse of Lago Todos Los Santos, Option 2 Rio Blanco and Ruta de los Jesuitas (Vuriloche)
We started this season at Petrohue on the western end of Lago Todos los Santos. Access by bus to Petrohue is easy (Bus from Puerto Varas every 20 to 30 min). Petrohue is a suitable starting point for packrafters that travel southbound with heavier fjord-suitable packrafting equipment.
Lago Todos los Santos: can get very rough with wind but we had two calm days with moderate wind in the late afternoon only. We paddled 40 km in two easy days. Only few of the originally dozens of settlers are still living on the shore and mostly the rich and super-rich of Chile have build vacation homes on the often steep coastline. But since the access to lakes and lake shores is legally guaranteed in Chile, this should not cause a significant problem.
Rio Blanco: 6 years ago we met a settler from Rio Blanco who confirmed that a horse trail traverses this valley and connects to the Ruta de los Jesuitas (Paso Vuriloche). Now we came to investigate and record this route. The well maintained trail includes two river crossings that are well fordable in the morning after some reasonable dry days. Packrafters can cross these fords by packraft if the water level is elevated but hiker may struggle after heavy rain.
Ruta de los Jesuitas (Paso Vuriloche): A well maintained but muddy horse trail connects to Lago Cayetue. Three river generally easy river crossings may become difficult to pass after heavy rain.
Conclusion: Connecting from El Callao to Rio Blanco requires a shorter and more wind protected lake traverse (compared to the current regular route to Cayetue) making it an attractive option for packrafters and southbound hikers if the weather is reasonable dry. I’m considering to change the Regular Route for this option and recommend the route via Cayetue in bad weather only.
El Callao to Cayetue: 22 km on direct route El Callao to Rio Blanco: 14 km on direct route
- 2020-Jan-4-6 / Shaun / Regular hiking route Southbound
I accessed the southbound start of this section by walking 7km east from El Poncho on the dirt road that runs along the south shore of Lago Rupanco (=Oh-Mr-V@20-0a-#001). From settlers Sergio and Sandro, I learned that Esteban is an alternative to Rudy for crossing Lago Todos los Santos. Esteban was able to take me immediately, whereas around the same time Linda (see below) unfortunately had to wait a couple of days. My experience of the rest of section was similar to others’.
- 03 January - 06 January // Linda // Regular hiking route Southbound
Starting on the beach of the North shore of Lago Rupanco (arriving from GPT20). Waypoint in Las Gaviotas Food and Lodging is great! Nelly prepared me a big glass of fresh raspberry juice.
Trail to Lago Todos Los Santos is easy and very nice. Only problem = the horse flies that loved me and I had at least 50 around me!
Stop at Las Termas! Beside the cold river, you will find a cabana with 2 bath tubes carved in wood full of hot thermal water. Amazing to camp and rest here.
Next house you will see on the trail is the one of Sergio. Very nice guy. He makes artisanal beer if you want to try one of them!
Then, as mentioned by Martin, in Refugio Dos cóndores, you can ask for the boat transfer of Lago Todos Los Santos to Rudy Jefi. 80000 CLP. I did and had to wait 2 days before crossing.
Other possibility for the boat transfer : when you arrive on the shore of Lago Todos Los Santos, ask the last house on the beach (waypoint = Settler) for Esteban. Same price 80000 CLP but you won't have necessarily to wait cause he seems to be more available than Rudy. Very nice man who offered me food and Lodging before I could cross the lake with Rudy! Say hello from me if you see him!!!
Between Lago Todos los Santos and Lago Cayutué, trail not maintained for about 2 kilometers. Easiest way to overcome the obstacles is to go on the left in the open fields and then go back on the track. Not that difficult but expect to be slow.
Then, after Lago Cayutué, no problem. Easy Hitchiki'g to Cochaml where you will find everything to resupply. Very good accommodation = Patagonia Nativa!
- 23/24-Dec-2019 / Martín Lizondo / Regular Hiking Southbound
Trail perfectly walkable. Ask Rudy Yefi in Dos Condores for boat transfer to Pto. Cayuthue (CLP 80.000). After crossing Lago de Todos los Santos the minor road finishes in a 1 km unmantained trail. After 1 km the trail becomes opened and it gets better as you aproach to Laguna Cayuthue. River crossings are easy, less than knee level. From Ralun there’s a bus stop to Cochamó or Pto. Montt.
- 07.10.2019 / Sophie & Hendrik
Refugio Las Termas is a great spot to camp out. Beside the cold river, the hot springs and the fire in the refugio are very nice after a hiking day.
- 01.11.2019 / Sophie & Hendrik
The part between Lago Cayutué and Lago Todo Los Santos is a bit tricky. The last winter(s?) damaged the trail a lot. Rivercrossings are up to knee deep and there is a lot of trees and debris on the trail. In wide parts it is easyer to walk to the right or left of it. Also at one point it is likely that you have to jump/crawl some barbed wire to get around some fallen trees. In some parts it is bush bashing. Expect to be slow in this part.
- 01.11.2019 / Sophie & Hendrik
The river crossing south of Lago Cayutué is easier a little bit further south than indicated by the track files. There is a tree as a bridge.
- 30.10.19 / Sophie & Hendrik / 6 days (25,25 walking hours) / Northbound / Regular Hiking Route from one km east of Ralun
First day we camped at Lago Cayutué. Second day (to Lago Todos Los Santos) we had bad weather and were a lot slower than expected. (The trail is very damaged in this part, see recent alerts.) Due to health issues we stoped here and went to Puerto Varas for some days. We reentered the trail and only looked for a goat free campsite on our first day back (some 50min of walking). The next stops before we made it to the end of the section were Refugio Las Termas (we highly recommend to take a bath here) and Laguna Los Quetros.
What we liked: Very nice woods, beautiful lakes, very friendly and sympathetic people, crossing Todos Los Santos in an open boat in very heavy rain was harsh but beautiful, the termas, funny animals on the way.
What we did not like so much: In very long parts extremely muddy (probably depends on the season), the trail conditions between Lago Cayutué and Lago Todos Los Santos (which forced us to crawl beneath barbed wire).
|GPT21: Lago Todos Los Santos||Hiking||Packrafting|
|Group||D: Lagos Chilenos||Total||61.3 km||19 h||85.0 km||26 h|
|Region||Chile: Los Lagos (X)||Trails (TL)||30.3 km||49.4%||26.9 km||31.6%|
|Start||Las Gaviotas||Minor Roads (MR)||15.6 km||25.4%||16.0 km||18.9%|
|Finish||Cochamó||Primary Roads (PR)||15.1 km||24.7%||2.0 km||2.3%|
|Status||Published & Verified||Cross-Country (CC)||0.3 km||0.5%||0.8 km||0.9%|
|Traversable||Oct - Apr (Maybe: Sep, May)||Bush-Bashing (BB)||-||-||-||-|
|Packraft||Very Useful||Ferry (FY)||(21.9 km)||(26.4%)||-||-|
|Connects to||GPT20, GPT22||Investigation (I)||-||-||-||-|
|Options||315 km (4 Options & Variants)||Exploration (EXP)||-||-||-||-|
|Hiking||Packrafting||Total on Water||39.4 km||46.3%|
|Attraction||3 (of 5)||4 (of 5)||River (RI)||2.8 km||3.3%|
|Difficulty||2 (of 5)||4 (of 5)||Lake (LK)||25.1 km||29.6%|
|Direction||Both ↓↑||Both ↓↑||Fjord (FJ)||11.4 km||13.4%|
|Character||Valdivian Rain Forest, Summit Ascents, Hot Springs, Farmland, Settlers, Lake Packrafting, Fjord Packrafting|
Satellite Image Map
Elevation Profile of Regular Hiking Route
Elevation Profile of Regular Packrafting Route
Section Planning Status
Recommended Travel Period
The Regular Route is best hiked between October and April. The rivers crossed are small and the maximum altitude reached is only 840m.
Benefits of Hiking and Packrafting
Recommended Travel Direction
Southbound and northbound hiking is feasible and recommended. It may be easier to arrange a southbound than a northbound boat crossing of Lago Todos de Los Santos.
Section Length and Travel Duration
The 61km long Regular Route can be walked in 2.5 days. Hitch-hiking the final southbound 15km to Cochamó can reduce this. But it is possible to spend a day or two waiting for a private boat crossing of Lago Todos de Los Santos, especially if conditions are bad.
Suitable Section Combinations
There is nice camping at the small, scenic Laguna Los Quetros (Km6) near the northern start of the section. At the highly recommended Las Termas, around Km13, there is a small cabana with bath tubs carved of wood and full of hot thermal water. Settlers along the trail are interesting and welcoming. But perhaps the top highlight is the forty minute crossing (Km24) of Lago Todos de Los Santos in an open motor launch. The lake is beautiful, but can be choppy. Further south, the small Lago Cayutué (Km55) is another lovely spot.
The section is generally straightforward. Coordinating the lake crossing in either direction can involve delays of a day or more if conditions aren’t good. And at CLP80,000 (US$100) the fare is not cheap. For a few kms, the trail between Lago Todos de Los Santos and Lago Cayutué is very overgrown and progress is slow. Crossing back and forth between adjacent fields can ease this somewhat.
Town: Cochamó Cochamó is the gateway to La Junta, also known as the Yosemite of Chile, which is a popular climbing destination. There are also connections to Puerto Varas which has pretty much everything
Cochamó: It is possible to resupply out of the several small markets located here but somewhat expensive. There are several restaurants, including a delicious pizzaría, and many housing options. Also along the road between Ralún and Cochamó, there are many lodgments and meal offers.
A local woman offers a quick and excellent laundry service from her home a few houses down a side street from the main road in Cochamó. Ask around for directions.
Services: ATM and Money Exchange
Accommodation: Hostals and Hotels
Transport: Ground Transport
Transport: Shipping Services
Resupply on the Trail
Location, Names, Available Items and Services
Access to Route and Return
Access to Start
Northbound: The bus leaves from Puerto Varas towards Cochamo quite a few times a day, but you have to ask around for the specific times. We took it at 13, and I think it left at least once more that day. The employees at the different outdoor stores know pretty well where the bus leaves from and who to ask. You can get of the bus around 15 km earlier if you want to save yourself some roadwalking
Southbound: In addition to accessing through GPT20, it is possible to take private transportation on the road that runs along the south shore of Lago Rupanco and walk the final 5-7km to the northern start point of GPT21.
Return from Finish
Northbound: The ferry to Puerto Buey leaves right from the beach every day except Tuesday and Saturday, and costs 200 CLP as previously written. It leaves around 7-8 am and probably some other times as well, we took it Friday at 14 and we saw it leaving twice in the evening Thursday. The bus left from Puerto Buey (the shed where you get dropped of by the ferry) directly to Osorno at 15:30. We were told that the morning ferry matches a bus that only goes to Puerto Octay, but there are more busses from there.
Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
Regular Hiking Route
A pleasant and interesting section of woodland hiking and a fun boat crossing of a large, beautiful lake. For the first 25km, a trail ascends, then descends, through woodland to the tiny port of El Rincón from where it is necessary to take a 22km private boat across Lago Todos de Los Santos. The trail then soon becomes overgrown for a few slow kms before clearing. The route later follows a gravel road and, for the final 15km, a primary road to Cochamó.
A southbound boat crossing of Lago Todos de Los Santos can be arranged with Rudy at Refugio Dos Cóndores, just south of Las Termas. An alternative is to cross with Esteban who lives at the lake shore near the port. Esteban also offers lodging. Northbound crossings can be organized where indicated in the GPT Track Files.
Hitch-hiking or taking a bus are both viable options for the final southbound 15km of primary road to Cochamó, where accommodation and resupply options are good.
Regular Packrafting Route
Route description by Kara Davis after Season 2017/18
Alternate Route: We did not do approximately 37 km of the mapped section from Las Gaviotas to the middle of the paddle of Lago Todos Los Santos due to an attractive alternate. To reach the beginning of the alternate, it is possible to catch a bus from Puerto Varas to Ensenada along 225-CH. You can then hitch north along U-55-V to Puerto Klocker. Follow U-963 east from Puerto Klocker, to its terminus. There is a small cafetería and good camping located here on CONAF land. A well maintained trail winds around the north side of Volcán Osorno and ends at the west bank of Lago Todos Los Santos. Walk south along the lake to Petrohué which is a small town with some lodging but limited resupply options. There is a little café that serves expensive snack foods and burgers (3.500 CLP) and a pricey restaurant located in the hotel. From there, we paddled east on the Lago Todos Los Santos until rejoining the route.
There is little boat traffic from approximately 13 km into the paddle of Lago Todos Los Santos to the take out since most traffic turns north at Isla Margarita. Camping is limited along the shoreline due to the thick foliage and steep grade. The few obvious beaches are privately owned, however the locals may allow camping on the land if asked nicely.
At the end of the paddle, there is an obvious beach just west of the river inlet with a house visible further back from the shore. DO NOT TAKE OUT ON THIS BEACH. It is private and the land owner has asked that hikers take out at the smaller public beach located approximately 1 km northwest from his land (to the right from the southbound paddler’s perspective). As of 2017 this has not yet been confirmed, however the caretaker said there is a road that begins at the public beach and leads back to the GPS route.
The road is generally well maintained but frequently switches between 4WD and single track. The forest is fairly dense on either side, however camping is possible. GPT21H splits from GPT21RP right before Lago Cayutué. There is a potential campsite here next to an old wooden structure a couple hundred meters up the GPT21P route. Along the hiking route, there are several hundred meters of bushwhacking but the single track trail eventually reestablishes. This trail transitions to a gravel road at the top of the climb (elevation 500 m). There are limited camping options once on this road due to dense forest and an abundance of private land. This road ends at V-69, a paved road. Packrafters may paddle the Relocaví Estuary or roadwalk to Cochamó.