One of Chile’s characteristics before the eyes of the world is its long
and narrow “figure”, which allows us to have access to the Pacific Ocean and
The Andes mountains within one hour from the capital city. During winter
season, Chile becomes the perfect destination to offer a great variety of activities
and tourist offer in general, from ski resorts, different kinds of
accommodations, adventure tourism and cultural tourism activities, as well as
different trekking routes through amazing places. However, one area that has a
lot to offer due to its closeness to the city of Santiago and because of its diverse
and impressive scenery and mountains is undoubtedly, the Cajón del Maipo.
Declared as Chile’s Mountaineering Capital, it attracts adventurers from
all over the world to get to know its mountains, with a great variety of
different difficulty routes to practice different adventure tourism disciplines.
Located southeast from the capital city (approximately 1 hour away), it is a destination
that offers multiple attractions. There, visitors can learn about its history, its
architecture, flora, fauna and impressive landscape which can be seen along the
road, such as the Maipo River in all its extension, the San José Volcano, El
Morado Glacier, hidden lakes and mountain rivers, native forests, the El Yeso
reservoir (main drinking water source for the city of Santiago), hot springs (Baños Morales, Baños
de Colina, Termas del Plomo), among other attractions which have still not been
opened to tourism. We offer you tourism in The Andes, all year round. Snowshoeing
history dates back to more than 10,000 years in Central Asia. Let’s not let
rain, wind, snow or cold stop us!
Snowshoe hiking is one of the winter activities that we can offer you.
It is believed that Central Asia’s prehistoric peoples invented some rudimentary
snowshoes incorporating flat leather surfaces under their feet, or round wooden
surfaces to prevent them from dipping into the snow. With these, nowadays, modern
equipment we go for a 6-kilometer trekking, in the La Engorda Valley, always
facing the 5,860-meter-high San Jose Volcano, an area of glaciers, snow, high
hills and mountain cold. The hike is always bordering the Maipo River,
Santiago’s basin most important river, until reaching its source.
This snowshoeing adventure is the perfect opportunity to enjoy
impressive snow-covered landscapes and refresh our bodies with pure air.
Another winter must-see of the Cajón del Maipo is to visit the El Yeso
reservoir, and on the way to it, to visit the town of San José, and learn about
its history and culture. From there, we continue the trip upstream the Maipo
River and among the mountains, to cross the Tinoco tunnel, National Historic Monument,
which has also become a point of interest because of local supernatural stories.
On the way to the Reservoir, we can also visit the Refugio Las Cáscaras, old 60’s
settlement, originally used as a camp for men who built the dam, as well as the
amazing Yeso River Waterfall. From there, you can see one of the area’s most
emblematic glaciers between the high tops, to finally go to the Reservoir and
enjoy the astonishing scenery and peace of The Andes.
Another winter must-see is horseback riding tours around Santiago. In Lo
Barnechea, 40 minutes away from downtown Santiago, it is possible to get to see
a part of the mountainside with the area’s classic arrieros (mule drivers), connecting with nature just as our
ancestors did. During the ride you can enjoy seeing the flora, where most species
are endemic and with sclerophyllous forest characteristics. The omnipresent silence
allows us to capture and enjoy the peace transmitted by nature’s sounds. After
a one hour and a half ride, you can enjoy a privileged view of the city, and a majestic
view of the mountains together with arrieros
and their horses. The combination of these beauties offered by Santiago’s nature
together with the connection with the horse is ideal for those travelers who
love animals and outdoors experiences, in an excellent way to connect man, animal’s
magic and their environment.
An alternative experience to The Andes is to visit the Coastal Range
through a trekking to the La Campana National Park and Biosphere Reserve, 160 kilometers away from Santiago. This adventure is especially attractive for travelers who enjoy nature and new interesting locations. Following Charles Darwin steps, who visited the La Campana National Park in August 1834, you will discover this marvelous place designated by UNESCO as Biosphere Reserve, to protect a unique ecosystem that includes abundant and diverse native flora and fauna. It main focus is the conservation of the Chilean; Palm, the world’s most southern palm tree, currently endangered due to its indiscriminate exploitation to produce palm syrup since colonial times, to replace the sugar
cane used in Central America and the Caribbean.
Get in touch to find out more about our Andoandes experiences, and spend a day of outdoor activities with us!