The Cerro Castillo National Reserve was created on June 19, 1970 and has an area of 138,164 hectares. It is made up of three independent sectors called: Lake Elizalde, Lake Paloma and Cerro Castillo. In 2018, it was re-designated as one of the new national parks of Chile, as one of the principle jewels of the new “Ruta de los Parques.”
The park is located in the Region of Aysén, in the municipalities of Coyhaique and Río Ibáñez, approximately 64 km south of the city of Coyhaique, capital of the region. It has good connections to a wide range of tourist and transport services.
Furthermore, its proximity to the Balmaceda airport, Coyhaique and Puerto Chacabuco, places where almost all the tourists enter the region, gives it center stage to exploring the region. It stands out for its impressive mountain range and peaks, most well-known Mount Castillo (2318 masl), Palo, Vieja, and Chocolate. The park is also known for their excellent program and conservation efforts in protecting the native huemul.
The first ascent of Mount Castillo was in 1966 by the Chileans Gastón Oyarzun, Osvaldo Latorre, Antonio Marcel and Raúl Aguilera from the west face. For years the first ascension was credited to a group of New Zealanders, who tried in 1976. They arrived 20 m from the summit, when Nick Groves of England achieved the second ascent. Lucky for them, many areas in the park were names for them, such as Lake Duff and the infamous New Zealand Camp.
In the last twenty years, mountaineers from all over the world have increased their interest in the Castillo Mountain range, achieving first ascents in all the main peaks, with many local climbers from Coyhaique opening new routes.
This beautiful place has increased its recognition and interest both nationally and internationally, becoming a national park, where the number of visits increases every year.
For this reason, CONAF requested for the first time a concession of the tourist trails. The entrance “Las Horquetas” is located at KM 70 of the Carretera Austral, Ruta 7, south of Coyhaique. The trail has an approximate length of 51 km. Las Horquetas is the main access for visitors looking to walk the Cerro Castillo circuit, continuing along the Estero Bosque trail or the Estero Parada trail.
HAVE A QUESTION
Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Our staff are ready to help you plan your trek. Beyond our office team, we also have professional guides in the park who are available to answer questions during your trip. Before sending us an email, please head over to the frequently asked questions to see if your question has already been answered. We look forward to hearing from you!