Ansorena 425 local 4 · Pucón · Chile · · · Phone/Fax (56) 452444040 · Mobile phone (56) 9-93536886
Home > Excursions > Hikes > Santuario El Cañi
Villarrica National Park:
  Mirador Los Cráteres
  Los Nevados
  Valle Turbio
  Quetrupillán Ascent
  Villarrica Traverse:
  First Part:
Ski Center - Chinay
("Challupén - Chinay")
  Central Part:
Chinay - Puesco ("Los Venados" and "Las Avutardas")
Huerquehue National Park:
  Los Lagos Trail
  Quinchol and San Sebastián
Villarrica National Reserve:
  Laguna Huesquefilo
Other areas:
  Santuario El Cañi


Santuario El Cañi
Hike to the highest part of the private owned natural reservation. Its biggest attractions are its majestic araucaria trees, several small lagoons and one of the most impressive views in 360° you can have from the region.
General Information:

Distance and duration:
8 km one way, 3 - 4 hours uphill, 2-3 hours back. Starting point is at 370 meters, maximum height 1.550 meters, total ascent 1.240 meters.
There are several detours you can combine, including circuits, or going downhill to Coilaco. All possibilities are described further in the text.

Physical demand:

Easy, there are signs at the access road. Inside the reservation, the trail is marked with red arrows until an abandoned shelter at Laguna Negra. However, there are no signs to the Mirador (Viewpoint).

Due to the steep trail we recommend trekking boots and hiking poles. In dry season it is also possible with good sport shoes.

Entrance fee:
The Fundación Lahuén, owner of the reservation, charges an entrance fee of $ 3.000


How to get there:
From Pucón, take the road towards Caburgua until km 14. Then take the paved road with the sign “Termas Huife”. At km 18 you drive past Villa San Pedro and, after crossing the bridge over river Coilaco, you get to the area known as Pichares. At km 21 you have to look after “Café del Centro” (Ex Restaurant “Cuatro Vientos”) which is at the right side of the road. 300 m afterwards there are the headquarters of the Cañi Reservation. There is public transportation until the door, it is infrequent though.
Driving your own vehicle you can take the dirt road that continues between the Café del Centro and the Cañi office, and follow it for about 1.5 kilometers until another fork.
Route description:

From the Headquarters’ office of Cañi you have to cross the garden towards the hill until meeting with a dirt road where you have to turn left. After 20 minutes of a soft walk, we reach a bifurcation to the right with an indicative arrow. Here starts a very rough path that climbs through the hill slopes. It is much eroded, and closed curves are only possible to overtake with a short jeep. At the end of the first climbing there is a gate where sometimes there is an entrance control or entrance charge to the reservation.
After 10 minutes walking we reach Casa La Loma, the last inhabited place. The path continues climbing with many curves, in part through forests that were once exploited, and in part through steep prairies with cattle. While we are climbing, the view opens towards Pucón. After walking for about 75 to 90 minutes from Cañi Headquarters, the faint path ends at the shelter Aserradero, a rustic place where, previously asking the administration, it is possible to stay overnight. It is important to take sufficient water from the fountain, since there is no reliable water ahead.
The shelter marks the entrance to the reservation, and shortly after we enter the path, the vegetation gets thicker and soon we find ourselves in a beautiful forest with mañíos and giant coigües. With luck you can hear and even see the Magellan woodpecker: the male has an impressive red head and the female is completely black. To the left of the path you hear a river running, but it is seldom visible. About 15 minutes after the shelter, the steep climbing ends and we reach a plateau at a height range between 1.250 and 1.350 m. It has an area of 2 x 3 kms and it is surrounded by hills. Here there are scattered about a dozen of small lagoons.
After walking for 30 to 40 minutes from the shelter we arrive at Laguna Seca (Dry Lagoon). Different from its name, it is actually the biggest water place in the whole reservation. Its shores have a lot of cattail, which is the perfect habitat for a number of birds. The araucarias, that we have seen isolated previously, grow now to their fullest.
The path continues to the right, along the lagoon. Red arrows nailed to the trunks and fences show the route, in case of any doubts. 20 minutes later, after a short ascent, the path gets to a wider trail: an old timber road. Continuing through the right, it is possible to arrive after 2-2½ hours to Coilaco (later described as “Bajada a Coilaco”).
To continue towards the Mirador (Viewpoint) you have to take the path to the left, in direction northeast. In 15 minutes, after passing by another small lagoon, we reach the old shelter “Laguna Negra”, which nowadays is barely a couple of planks.
Unfortunately, there is no sign here. There is a path that continues in the middle between the two lagoons, which marks the beginning of the circuit “Lagunas del Cañi”, described further on the text.
To continue towards the Mirador you must take one of the paths that go toward the hills behind the shelter, soon all of them get together in one. This is the hardest part. It climbs in zigzag through the rough slopes of the hill, and there are very steep parts. In 20 to 30 minutes we should be able to overtake the last 220 meters of the ascent. The top is formed by large rocks that fall almost vertically to the lagoons to our feet. The view to the south is spectacular, with the volcanoes Lanín, Quetrupillán and Villarrica at the bottom.

Lagunas del Cañi:
It is a small circuit about 2 kilometers long that you can easily walk in 30 to 40 minutes and that you shouldn’t miss. It goes around all the lagoons that you see from the Mirador. It is an old self-guided trail, now a little abandoned, but there are still some signs.
The trail begins at the half destroyed shelter of Laguna Negra. Going between the two lagoons ahead, you will reach in 100 meters a sign “Lagunas del Cañi”. Then the trail turns to the left and continues along the largest lagoon. Continuing to the south you see first a small lagoon to the right and then a bigger and narrower one to the left. Almost at the end of the later you must turn in a fork to the right, and soon you will get to another lagoon, this time a square one, that you follow to the left. Once you reach its south side there are two options: Near a tree with a wooden sign nº 6 nailed to it you can continue along the lagoon towards northwest, or get away from it taking the route southwest. Barely 100 meters ahead there is a bifurcation to the right that goes northeast. Near this bifurcation there is a tree with a mark nº 7. This path leads to another tiny lagoon (nº 8) and then comes together with the other path that goes along the square lagoon (near nº 9). From this point there are about 500 meters to get back to the start of the circuit.
If near point nº 7 you choose to take the path that continues to the south and then southwest, you are in the trail to Las Mellizas, which we describe further in the text.

Getting down to Coilaco:
There is the option to get down through an ancient timber trail towards the valley of Coilaco. From the crossing with the trail that comes from Pichares there are 3,4 kilometers until you reach a road for all-wheel-drive vehicles, and from this point there are another 5,9 kilometers to get to the gravel road that continues along the valley. The scenery is not very attractive, its biggest advantage is that you don’t have to use the same trail you first took. Taking it the other way round, it allows you to get with a 4WD vehicle to a height of 1.150 meters and reach the area of the lagoons without the strong ascent you must do if coming from Pichares.

From the crossing with the trail Mirador, the path goes first to the southwest and then makes a big semicircle around the base of the Cerro Redondo finalizing in direction east. After 45 minutes walking we reach a closed curve to the right, the path gets back to the south and takes a steep descent. Since here there are a number of fallen trees, it is not possible to continue by car, not even a jeep. Ten minutes later a fence and a sign indicate that we are leaving the reservation El Cañi, and after another 10 minutes we reach a timber road in use. You must take the left.
Continuing through the timber road you will reach in 20 minutes a flatter area with several houses, some abandoned, and others in use during the summer. There is river that runs through the bottom of the valley. When you reach a T crossing, you must take the road to the right that follows uphill to the Valley of Coilaco to get together in 45 minutes with the main road.

Las Mellizas Trail:
It is an alternative trail to get back from the circuit Lagunas del Cañi to the Laguna Seca. There are about 3,2 kilometers and 50 to 60 minutes walk. It is not often used, and therefore it is not very clear, but with some experience in orientation it is still relatively easy to follow.
From point n° 6 of the circuit “Lagunas del Cañi”, the south end of the square lagoon, you have to take a trail that continues to the south. Shortly afterwards you have to ignore another path to the right that goes back to n°7. Some minutes later there is another path that visits a small lagoon, the correct path continues in direction south-southwest and gets uphill to a small pass that you reach after 15 minutes. A little further ahead there is a path to the left to the small lagoons Las Mellizas. The path gets downhill to reach 10 minutes later another lagoon without name and immediately afterwards there is the trail that goes to Coilaco, previously described in the text. Here you have to turn right and in 15 minutes you will reach the main trail from Pichares.


Support for this hike:

You can hire an English or German speaking guide for this excursion for Ch$ 50.000 (US$ 100).

If you don't have your own transport, we can organize the transfer for you (please ask at least with one day in advance). These are the different options, all rates for the ride with up to 4 people:

Transfer to the trailhead at Pichares:
Ch$ 20.000
Transfer to the trailhead at Coilaco Alto:
Ch$ 30.000
Drop of at Pichares, pick up at Coilaco Alto(or viceversa):
Ch$ 50.000
Transfers both ways, including bilingual guide on the hike:
Ch$ 80.000

For larger groups over 4 people, please ask for rates.
Note: The rates do not include possible entrance fees.

GPS Rental:
We can also rent you a GPS device with the uploaded track and waypoints you will need.
For detailled information>


Click here to see enlarged images

Area map

Laguna Seca

View to Villarrica volcano

Lanín and Quetrupillán volcanoes from the lookout

One of the many nameless lagoons in the reserve

The lagoons from the lookout

The shelter at the reserve entrance


For more information, please contact us at:

TravelAid · Ansorena 425 local 4 · Pucón · Chile · ·
Phone/Fax (56) 452444040 · Mobile phone (56) 9-93536886 · ·