Come visit Futangue Park: A natural paradise in the south of Chile
By: Chile Travel - 28 August, 2021
Santiago, San Pedro de Atacama, Torres del Paine, Rapa Nui and Futangue Park are just a few of the natural paradises found in the south of our country. Futangue Park, recognized as home to some of the best kept Valdiviana forests, whose species include the Lenga, Ñirre and Canelo Andino trees, make it one of the most important centers of biodiversity in the world.
If you’re a lover of the moors existent on planet Earth, prepare yourself for an experience that includes impressive natural landscapes covered by virgin forests, majestic mountains, lakes, turquoise waterfalls and lava fields.
Futangue, meaning ¨Grand Canyon¨ in the Huilliche language, is a beautiful valley that marks the beginning of a corner of the world full of mysticism and magic known as the Patagonia.
This remote valley, impenetrable until just a few years ago, is today a 13,500 hectare National park located at the foot of the Caulle mountains in the heart of the Andes and on the banks of Lake Ranco.
Futangue Park has 100 kms of trails, one of the lengthiest and most beautiful in Chile that has become a dreamed-of destination for exploring wild nature in the Patagonian Andes of Chile.
The importance of Futangue Park for the conservation of nature
When you visit this impressive destination in Chile, you’ll realize that Futangue Park is many things at once. It began as a conservation project for native flora and fauna, but has become so much more!
In addition to its conservationist value, it is also a tourism project that offers multiple activities for everyone, like family horseback riding across meadows, kayaking or fly-fishing in rivers and lakes and lagoons, volcanoes embellishing the horizon, excursions to hilltops that have 360 degree vantage points to see the entire south of the world, bike rides and excursions to discover the tiny Darwin’s frog, an endangered species that lives in this true sanctuary offered by the park.
Futangue Park is an ideal destination to educate kids, teens and adults about the importance of caring for the environment, while being immersed in an entertaining place that offers real outdoor nature experiences!
There are also ongoing reforestation projects in the park that, to date, have been able to recuperate 60 hectares of native vegetation that was once cut down and that today is being rehabilitated by reinserting species back into their habitat.
The projects in the Park are not limited to flora but also include efforts to offer a safe haven to the fauna including a variety of pumas, pudúes, fox and different types of birds that have made Futangue Park their new home.
Getting Around in Futangue Park!
If you like to hike, there are a little over 100 kilometers of exquisite trails to trek in Futangue Park.
If you’re going with kids, we recommend the famous Darwin Trail, that has clues of how to find this species of frog, once discovered by the English naturalist, Charles Darwin, in the XIX Century.
The circuit is about 2 km long and goes through a native forest that has specific opening hours at 10 AM, 2 PM and 5 PM- in efforts to maintain it and also to make it easier to find the small endemic amphibian named after the scientist. Before getting too close to the little creature, the biologist who will also be your guide, will clean your shoes in order not to contaminate the area.
You’ll be amazed by the frog’s ability to mimic its surroundings. It grows to a maximum of only 3 cm (about an inch) and can look like leaves or part of the soil!
Again, if you choose to hike, the reserve offers several options, some are intense and others moderate, but all of them have spectacular views. For example, one low intensity trek heads to the Pichi volcano and another more difficult one leads to the Mayo hilltop, that’s 8 km before the principal entrance to the park on Km.14 of the Camino Riñinahue road.
For lovers of sports fishing, this park is especially for you! Here, fly-fishing is first-rate! If you’re enthusiastic about the experience, you can take advantage of the Parks’ Four Day Fly-fishing Program for you to catch wild trout in the south of Chile.
Get ready to visit Futangue Park
In Futangue, like in all the south of Chile, one needs to be prepared with adequate clothing and equipment in the event of heavy rain, especially if you’re headed to the high country of the Andes mountain range.
This is a temperate rain climate, with annual precipitations of close to 4,000 mm., primarily between March and November.
The altitude varies from 90 to 1,600 m.a.s.l., with frequent snowfall between June and September especially above the 1,000 m.a.s.l. In the summer, temperatures oscillate between 8º and 30ºC (46,4º and 86ºF); and in the winter between -4 and 4ºC (24.8 and 39.2ºF).
We recommend that you pack clothes for both extremes, summer and winter! If you want to enjoy the comforts of a Hotel, a swimsuit and bathrobe are both welcome. And in order to enjoy all that is available, good hiking shoes, a windbreaker, hoodies and sun block should also be included in your luggage.
Don’t forget your camera! For sure you’ll want to capture the snow-covered forests and mountains in the winter, the colorful lengas in fall, perhaps a selfie of yourself fly-fishing in spring and photos of all the challenging moments along the trails during the summer… all that can be immortalized in your beautiful photos.