Ansorena 425 local 4 · Pucón · Chile · · · Phone/Fax (56) 452444040 · Mobile phone (56) 9-93536886
Home > Excursions > Hikes > Hike in the Turbio and Correntoso valleys
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


Hike in the Turbio and Correntoso valleys – Villarrica National Park
Interesting excursion that allows you to know areas which were affected by ancient lahares (volcanic flows) and lava flows which created many waterfalls. It offers spectacular views to the Villarrica volcano and an impressive contrast between barren dumps and thick forests. Even though the area is close to Pucón, and even some parts are inside the Villarrica National Park, it is not a very visited place.
The excursion combines the valleys of Turbio and Correntoso through the La Montura pass, which is due to the orientation and physical demand the most difficult; but there are a number of other possibilities for an easy family half-day-excursion, or you can choose an even more demanding one.
General Information:

Distance and duration:
It depends on the starting point. From the fork mentioned in the description there are about 18 kms or 4½-5 hours. If the gate after the Correntoso Bridge is closed, you have to add 5 kms and an extra hour to the walk.
If you want to make the CONAF Río Turbio circuit (without crossing the Montura) there are 9,3 kms from the Pichi Turbio or 2½-3 hours walking. However, if the gate after the Correntoso Bridge is closed, you have to add 11 kms and 2½ hours walk.

Río Correntoso Bridge: 420 meters
Fork Pichi Turbio/Pedregoso: 550 meters
Waterfalls Pichi Turbio: 680 meters
Highest point of the CONAF circuit: 980 meters
La Montura Pass: 1,080 meters

Physical demand:
Low, except the part of the ascent to the La Montura Pass; if the gate of the Correntoso Bridge is closed, the distances are bigger and the physical demand rises to medium.

Easy (except the La Montura Pass, where it is really difficult). There are signs at the entrance, and the CONAF circuit is marked with numbered iron stakes. Since the trail is scarcely visited, there are some parts in the dump where it is hard to follow.

Best time to do it:
November to May.

Best are good trekking shoes. It is also possible with resistant sport sneakers.

Entrance fee:
There is a charge of $ 3.000 per person.

How to get there:
Getting out of Pucón, take the paved road to Argentina (Camino Internacional) until km 7 where there is a road to the south with the sign “El Cerduo”. The dirt road goes to the slopes of the hills and gets closer to the valley of the river Correntoso, an outlet of the river Turbio. At km 10 you must ignore a fork with the sign “Kawellu-Co”, and soon after that you will get to a bridge over a river. Usually the gate on the other side is locked, but it is possible to continue on foot or riding a bike. If it is open, you can drive to the other side. When the road gets into the forest, starts a tough ascent that can only be done with a 4 x 4 vehicle; there is a place where you can leave your car just before this part. If you can take the first ascent, then you can continue until a fork about 2 km ahead, where wooden signs indicate “Cascadas del Turbio” to the left and “Pedregoso” to the right. If you want to do the whole hike through the Montura Pass, it is better to the take the car to this area, since you are going to come back through the road on your right. If you just want to walk the circuit “Cascadas del Turbio” you can continue until a parking place next to the Pichi Turbio 3 km ahead.
From Pucón there are about 20 minutes until the bridge Correntoso (km 11), about 30 until the fork Turbio/Pedregoso (km 13) and 45 minutes to the Pichi Turbio (km 16).

Route description:

At the fork “Cascadas del Turbio/Pedregoso” you must take the road to your left. 5 minutes after that you will cross a ravine which is usually dry, before you get closer to some isolated hills that you must get around to the left. Twice you will have to open and close a gate. Wooden signs “Cascadas del Turbio” show the route, which gently ascents. There are only three houses in this valley, and sometimes they charge $ 500 entrance fee to visit the waterfalls, the ones you will reach after a 30 to 40 minute-walk.
The brook that is formed by the waterfalls is called Pichi Turbio. It is possible to go on in order to get better views of the waterfalls. It is very interesting to see the different layers of eroded lava.
The route crosses the brook Pichi Turbio, and a fence on the other side indicates that we are entering now the National Park. After 5 minutes walking the path gets to a plateau with volcanic dump, which makes it very difficult to follow. There are some rocks stacked one on top of another that show the trail. The basic route is to continue towards a small forest to the right (south). Out of the volcanic dump the road gets clearer and soon you will find another path. There is an iron stake with the number 21: we have reached CONAF’s trail Río Turbio.
Now there are two possible routes: the shortest but less interesting is to take the path to the right until reaching the stake 16. More attractive is to follow the circuit to the left. After walking 15 minutes through a path, you cross a lush forest and get to the wide ravine of the
Turbio river. In case of a volcanic eruption, when the ashes and hot lava melt the snow in a beat, huge mud slides originate in this area, destroying everything in their way.
At stake 24 you get out of the forest and find another path, few meters ahead is stake number 5 and an arrow indicates to enter the forest upriver. The explanation to this “strange numbering” is that the official entrance to this path is 15 minutes on the other side of the
Turbio river. Nevertheless, a private person prohibited the entrance and closed the access. Getting out of the park there is an abandoned steam machine in pretty good shape, that was once used to work a mobile sawmill.
Back to stake n° 5, the path continues uphill along the ditch of river Turbio. Sometimes it gets off the main route to cross some creeks that only carry water after heavy rain, sometime it gets closer to the main water course or passes through small isolated forests that survived to mud slides. The ground changes between solid lava that formed creases after cooling and sand fields or fine pumice stone only a few millimeters deep. The only vegetation is little invasive specimens that learned to survive under these extreme conditions.
After 25 minutes walking from stake n° 5 we reach a viewpoint to the first big waterfall of el Turbio, which falls between rocks and large lava pieces that have been dragged to this place. 10 minutes ahead there is another viewpoint to a second waterfall, much higher than the first one. The landscape turns drier, and the views to the Villarrica volcano get more and more spectacular.
At stake n° 14 the path turns to the right. It is possible to follow the riverbed of el Turbio, which is unmarked, to get to other three waterfalls and finally reach the glacier Turbio, covered with volcanic ashes, after a 2 to 3 hours walk.
From stake n° 14 the path continues to the Pichi Turbio which runs at the bottom of the hills you can see in the background, which separates the valley of the Correntoso. It is clearly to see a pass that due to its form is called the “Paso la Montura” (Saddle Pass).
If you prefer to come back to the waterfalls of the Pichi Turbio, you can continue this path to the north, downriver, until reaching after about 40 minutes the stake n° 21 and same path you first took. The hike goes through a forest along an ancient timber road, no longer in use.
To cross the “Paso La Montura” you must take a detour from the CONAF’s path after stake n° 16. A small creek makes it easier to cross the riverbed of the Pichi Turbio. On the other side you have to get off the riverbed and continue upriver about 500 meters and look for a path that runs parallel, which is hard to recognize. It becomes more notorious when you enter the forest –still climbing parallel next to the river-, and about 100 meters afterwards there is a detour hardly visible to the right, which you must take. This path gets 50 meters closer to the mountain slopes, and you clearly will notice when it starts to climb. If you don’t find it, follow the slope through the forest, without climbing the hill until you’ll finally reach it. Due to the roughness of the hill, the rocks, and the vegetation, there is no other way to cross through.
If you find the path, take it for about 10 minutes an then you will see another path that comes from the pass, which you will soon reach. A much eroded road goes downhill to the wide valley of the river Correntoso, which is more barren than the Turbio. Once reaching the bottom of the valley you have to follow the road downhill that goes through the right around an isolated hill which is in front, and after 75 minutes you will get to the fork from where you started.


Support for this hike:

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

Cascades of the Pichi-Turbio

The lava flows have formed the landscape

An old steam machine, relict of the timber activities

The Turbio river flowing through the lava fields

One of the waterfalls formed by the Turbio river

View to Cerro Patrón, wall of an ancient volcanic caldera

The "La Montura" pass, with its shape of a saddle

For more information, please contact us at:

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