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Hikes in and around Parque Nacional Chiloé

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A couple of short hikes start from the visitor centre at the Conaf Ranger Post. The first is the circular, 770m “El Tepual”, running through an area of tepu forest, a tree which thrives in this humid bogland; there are log walkways across the wetter sections of these enchanted-looking woods, with twisted moss-covered trunks intertwined with other native species. The second hike is the Sendero La Playa, which leads you through patches of nalca (native rhubarb) and tunnels of dense vegetation before emerging on the regenerating scrubland that takes you via sand dunes to the exposed Pacific coast. A little more taxing is the 3km (one-way) walk along the beach to Lago Huelde, where you pick up a 9km trail known as Sendero Rancho Grande, along the Río Deñal up to the edge of the tree line, revealing beautiful views below.

The park’s longest hike is the beautiful 25km (6hr) Sendero Chanquín, which alternates between stretches of coastline, pounded by the fierce Pacific surf, and dense, native evergreen forest, before finishing up at the Conaf refugio at Cole Cole. There you’ll find a rustic campsite overseen by the Huentemó community, and a Conaf ranger post that is only open in the summer. You can also continue another 8km north to the Refugio Anay, though the trail is rather difficult, as there is currently no shuttle across the Río Anay.

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