We’ll take the road to the mountains through the canyon formed by the Maipo river: Cajón del Maipo, located in the southeastern portion of Santiago, until we get into the sector of Baños Morales, from where we will start our hike through the 30.09km² (7,435ha) protected area, declared Natural Monument in 1974.
The first section is the steepest of the route, nevertheless quite friendly. After about an hour hike up we will stop in the sector of Panimávidas Mineral Waters, where we can admire the stunning scenery that provides the nearby mountains and unique groundwater outcrops resting on stained bodies that tell us about the presence of mineral concentrations such as iron. Then, we continue walking by the now almost flat trail until we get to Morales Lagoon, propitious place to rest and recharge energies with a delicious lunch while we contemplate the mountains El Morado as a northern backdrop, Union to the east and northwest San Francisco and its namesake glacier.
If we are fast enough and feel the mountain impulse to go further, we could reach the best lookout of San Francisco glacier. One hour will take us from the lagoon to this viewpoint, last stop before heading back.
This excursion can be made all year round, even during snowy winters with the help of snowshoes, or in spring and summer, when the valley reflourishes.
- Activity: Hike
- Tour length: Full Day
- Difficulty: Medium
- Season: All year round
- Total distance*: 13.3km (8.3mi)
- Elevation gain: 620m (2,000ft)
- Max elevation: 2,500m (8,200ft)
* Back and forth
- 07:30 Pick up at the hotel
- 08:15 Entering Cajón del Maipo
- 09:30 Baños Morales, hike begins
- 11:30 Panimávidas Mineral Waters
- 12:30 Morales lagoon, lunch
- 13:00 Start the descent
- 15:00 Ride back to Santiago
- 17:30 Back in your hotel
- Bilingual guide ENG – ESP
- Box lunch: one sandwich and a large salad; cereal bar; chocolate or cookies; tea or an isotonic drink; two fruits and water.
- First aid kit
- Snowshoes if needed
- Park entrance fee
- Trekking poles
- Warm and windproof clothes
- Sun hat
- Hiking shoes
- Thermal shirt (long sleeves if possible)
- Sunglasses (important)
- Winter hat
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Parka or waterproof jacket
In their words
The views/landscapes were so nice. So nice, it looked unreal or it's like a graphic that can be seen (Discovery channel) from a high definition screen.Lester Santiago / Hawaii, USA
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Late winter snowshoeing day September 19, 2015 / View album
Late autumn pics taken on June 15, 2015 / View album