With a maximum depth of 2,743 feet, this is not only the deepest known lake in South America, but also the deepest known accessible glacial lake in the world. Prepare yourself for amazing views of the turquoise O’Higgins and El Chico lake, massive glaciers, snow peak mountains, and indigenous forest. Photos of Lago O'Higgins / San Martín Lago O'Higgins / San Martín This is a huge lake fed by several glaciers in the North of the El Chalten and Fitz Roy region. Lake Vostok in Antarctica, while deeper, is a sub-glacial lake with its surface buried under miles of ice. Required fields are marked *. The town is located in the midst of a gorgeous, pristine, and remote landscape, at the mouth of the Mayer River and the O’Higgins Lake, which is the deepest lake on the American continent at 2743 feet deep. Lakes for Vacation and Recreation From the Laguna take a ferry to Punta Norte de Laguna del Desierto, as an option you can walk – 12 km along the lake. The starting point of both hikes is 7km away from the Chilean rangers office, it’s easy to follow – every km is marked with a sign. It can cover the whole period of the trip of just the period of the hike even if it’s only one or two days. The area around the lake and river is home to such animals and birds as the torrent duck, river otter, culpeo fox, huemul (an Andean deer so endangered that its population has dipped below 3,000), hawks, harriers, condors and the Magellanic woodpecker. Only recently has the Carretera Austral highway finally reached the town of Villa O'Higgins - the end of the road. The pretty half of Stingy Nomads, responsible for all our land adventures (hiking, climbing, walking the Camino) and following them write-ups. Here you turn off the road and go into the forest. The O’Higgins glacier viewpoint is more impressive than the El Chico one but it’s more expensive to get there. The road is mostly gravel and in many areas deserted except for the occasional cyclist camping beside the path. If you’re looking for more of a comfortable stay – Robinson Crusoe Deep Patagonia is the best place in the town; spacious rooms with big windows, comfortable beds, a private bathroom, a cozy common area/restaurant with a fireplace, big continental breakfast. Location is key for visiting glaciers on Lake O'Higgins, but boat depending on weather conditions. Above the rolling pasture lands, glaciers cap the mountains, some with active volcanic vents. you’ll get to the river, cross it in the most shallow place, on the other side the path is not very clear, right after crossing go to the right towards the hill, you’ll see the broken bridge, the path goes up to the pass. Prior to its official village designation, a few workers who stayed behind when a large ranching operation departed were the sole inhabitants until joined by new settlers. Just imagine having all these for yourself and being able to camp, walk, and stop wherever you want. The whole time we saw nobody around except for cows – no need to worry about your stuff. Understand [] Get in []. All Rights Reserved. Higgins Lake is a large recreational and fishing lake in Roscommon County, in the U.S. state of Michigan. At the southern end of the lake, Chile's largest protected area - nearly nine million-acre Bernardo O'Higgins National Park - contains several smaller glaciers and well-known Glacier Pio XI. Guides to these trails are available at the tourist kiosk in Villa O'Higgins. If you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. Just imagine having all these for yourself and being able to camp, walk, and stop wherever you want. They can be easily combined (as we did it) with a walk from O’Higgins to El Chalten, just bring enough food – there is nowhere to buy food along the route. Young artists are gradually reviving traditional Patagonian craft techniques, like rawhide braiding and woodworking, to create everyday utensils and souvenirs. Thank You! Although it was a bit chilly on the boat, there was a little kitchenette where all of us rotated to make some tea. The ascend back to the pass is quite long and steep it took us about 4 hours to get to the top. Chilean rangers will explain to you how to get to the starting point. Reaching Lago O'Higgins on the Chile/Argentina border takes some effort. On the other side, there is a house – a local family lives there, here you have to shout till they notice you and someone comes in a boat to pick you up. Previous - Section 36H/P: Lago O’Higgins/Río Baker There are a couple of options to consider for transportation across O’Higgins/San Martin Lake. Almost 1500 miles of transmission lines would require a huge amount of clear cut through refuges, forests and the habitat of endangered species. If you like to explore off the beaten path destinations, hike in the areas with no other people the hike to O’Higgins glacier is a great option for you. O'Higgins is a Chilean commune located around O'Higgins Lake in the south east of Aisén Region. The area around Lago O'Higgins that is flat enough for grazing is primarily used for sheep and cattle ranching. As a result after the viewpoint, we had to return. We’re Campbell and Alya,  the creators of Stingy Nomads, water lovers and hiking addicts, traveling the world to bring you tips and tricks to  experience some of the most thrilling adventures on the planet! Lakelubbers and Lakelubbers.com are Trademarks of Raub's Internet for Business LLC. The lake is located 820 feet above sea level and is the deepest lake in the Americas. You can camp at Candelario Mancilla to rest a little bit before you start walking to El Chalten. Contact Us. Located in the town, close to the shops and restaurants. It was a magical morning. The lake known as O'Higgins in Chile and San Martín in Argentina.It has a surface area of 1,058 km², an elevation of 250 metres above mean sea level, and a shoreline length of 525 km. From Villa O’Higgins take a bus to Bahamondez pier – 7 km. We currently in Cape Town enjoying nice summer weather, doing a lot of hiking, wine tasting and planning some local road trips. O’Higgins is another large lake shared between Chile and Argentina. Only here in the extreme south of Patagonia, you start understanding the incredible diversity of the Chilean landscape from the arid Atacama desert in the north to the water kingdom in the south of the country. 9pm Lake O’Higgins. An irregular ferry boat schedule will take passengers to the Argentina side of Lago O'Higgins, where they must pass Customs to reach another gravel road which will eventually take them to El Chalten, Argentina. A boat runs from the town of Villa O’Higgins to Candelario Mansilla, a small farm at the edge of the Lago O’Higgins, a few days per week. There is a large ferry which is the primary option for transport when it is functioning. The split is at the Peninsula; for El Chico glacier you keep walking on the same side along Chico lake. #patagonia #feedingfrenzy #patagoniafeedingfrenzy Thank you Don Chicho, Mirta and Tiare. Take a bus El Chalten – Laguna del Desierto. We found a flat hidden from the wind spot for camping, just before the down starts. It is mainly fed by the Mayer River and other streams, and its outlet Pascua River discharges water from the lake towards the Pacific Ocean. Fed by the Mayer River and other glacial streams, the eight arms of the lake sprawl into drowned valleys on both sides of the international border. Campsite El Chico – Glacier El Chico – Campsite #1, 20km, 9 hours, We walked about 1,5-2 hours to the viewpoint – a. Alya loves walking since she was a child, she prefers to walk a 1000 km with a backpack rather than to do a 10 000 km road trip (actually any road trip). After 7km on your right you’ll see a sign “Peninsula”, it’s the start of the treks. preview from episode 37, feeding frenzy in a Patagonian ranch on lake O'Higgins, Chile. Walking routes to O’Higgins and El Chico glaciers go through very remote areas of Chilean Patagonia with no villages or road access, it’s possible you won’t see a single person in a day or two. Villa O'Higgins Villa O'Higgins is a city in Chilean Patagnonia. What can you find in Villa O’Higgins; Note! The day starts with a steep long down to the peninsula, 2km, 1,5-2 hours, once at the bottom you’ll see the split; one path goes to the left (there is a big sign Sendero Glaciar Chico) along the lake and the other one goes straight to the peninsula (O’Higgins glacier hike). One concern is that changes caused by altering the path and amount of water will speed up the melt of glaciers in the area. South of that is a lake with rental paddleboats. 3.5 very strong wind that Patagonia is famous for. Once at the top we walked about 3 hours more – it was flat all the way with some rivers and creeks to go through. The 9,900 acre (40 km²) lake is known for its deep, clear waters and is the 10th largest in Michigan with a shoreline of 21 miles (34 km). Lago O’Higgins in Villa O’Higgins, Chile. Small Villa O'Higgins is the site of five popular, though rugged, hiking trails. There is no ATM in the town – make sure to bring enough cash, some shops and hotels accept credit cards. For more details on hiking and camping gear check our post Patagonia packing list. It is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) long. The lake is the deepest in the Americas with a maximum depth of 836 metres near the O’Higgins Glacier, and its characteristic milky light-blue color comes from rock flour suspended in its waters. Sleeps 8, ADVERTISE Lago O'Higgins Vacation Rentals. For more details on hiking and camping gear check our post, Day 2. Luckily on the way back across the peninsula, we remembered about El Chico glacier and decided to go there. There are several places to stay in Villa O’Higgins for different budget; Budget option – Ruedas de la Patagonia – cozy chalets in Villa O’Higgins with private bathroom, wi-fi, heating, flat-screen TV, satellite channels, small kitchenette. Hop on a boat to cross Lake O’Higgins for impressive views of the O’Higgins Glacier, where you can sip a glass of whiskey chilled with ice from the glacier itself. Festivals have become annual events, with rodeos, a cattle drive and anniversary 'asado' (barbecue) enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Villa O'Higgins is a city in Aysén Chile.Well, it's not really a city. Hike to both glaciers O’Higgins and El Chico is a return route you go to and back the same way. Drinking water is not a problem, you can find it everywhere. Once there go to the Argentinian immigration office and get an exit stamp from Argentina. Villa O’Higgins marks the end of the Carretera Austral and the beginning of Chile’s Southern Ice Fields. It’s always advisable to have travel insurance that will cover you if something goes wrong. We earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. BA, Hiking to O’Higgins Glacier is a perfect way to start or finish (depending on where you come from) your adventure on the Carretera Austral. Then walk to Candelario Mancilla (Chilean immigration office) – 22 km, get a Chile entry stamp and register for the hike. We walked to our tent, packed everything and started walking back, towards the peninsula  – about 2,5 hours. Once at the Candelario go to the Carabineros (Chilean immigration office), register for the hike, it’s compulsory – the hike is very remote, in case you’re not back on the expected day rangers can start looking for you. Campsite #1 – Candelario Mancilla, 22km, 5,5 hours. The O'Higgins Glacier, also known as the Big Glacier, is located in the Chilean Patagonia and is one of the largest of the zone. If you have some extra lugger you can leave it there for the period of the hike. If the weather is good and you have time you can go closer to the glacier, there is no path to follow just walk towards the glacier and don’t come too close to the edge. The milky-blue water owes its hue to the 'rock flour' of finely ground rock carried by the glacier melt in the streams that flow into the lake. Because even boat schedules tend to be adjusted on the spur of the moment, it is best to work through a reputable travel service or knowledgeable friend to secure any adventure, especially the first time you go. O'Higgins-San Martin Lake at 2,742 feet is the fifth deepest lake in the world, and its territory in Patagonia is shared by Chile and Argentina. If you’re going to O’Higgins check with the rangers boat departure as often due to strong wind boats get canceled. O’Higgins/San Martín Lake (2,742 feet [836 meters]) Located in a sparsely populated area of the Patagonian Andes, this lake—called O’Higgins in Chile and San Martín in Argentina—is probably the least known of the lakes on the list. Sport fishing expeditions can be arranged from Villa O'Higgins, and boat cruises on Lago O'Higgins take sightseers to the base of the huge O'Higgins Glacier. Before/after the hike – at Candelario Mancilla – CLP 3000/US$4 pp., at Argentinian immigration – free. Their insurance policy is very flexible you can buy it online while traveling. For the adventuresome traveler, a visit to Lago O'Higgins is a once-in-a-lifetime excursion, one with plenty of rugged travel and grand unspoiled vistas. Higgins Lake is the tenth largest lake in Michigan and has 22 miles of shoreline. Located in the Patagonian Aisen (or Aysen) Region, Lago O'Higgins is the deepest lake in the Americas. Some private rentals exists but accommodations may not be modern and they may be difficult to get to - due diligence is necessary. It also offers several trekking alternatives on its gorgeous surroundings. Whitewater rafting is just becoming a tourism industry on the rushing rivers in the area. If you decide to take the offer you camp next to their house right across the lake and next day early go to the viewpoint of O’Higgins glacier. It has a surface area of 1,058 km² and a shoreline length of 525 km. Located in the Patagonian Aisen (or Aysen) Region, Lago O'Higgins is the deepest lake in the Americas. My plan was to go 5am in … The ascend is sometimes quite steep, it takes between 1,5-2 hours to get to the top. We didn’t know that and didn’t have enough cash so we had to turn around. Day 1. After stopping at the border post the next thing to see is a big waterfall Salto Perez, there is a lookout you can get to with a very short walk. Hiking like any outdoor activity involves risks of getting an injury, losing or breaking gear due to unpredictable weather conditions e.g. Here you must decide where you want to go either way is beautiful. Drinking water is not a problem, you can find it everywhere. Come visit one of the last unspoiled wildernesses in South America. The progress that brought the Carretera Austral and its tourism boom to Villa O'Higgins may soon destroy some of the reasons tourists come here. It has a total area of 1058 square km of which 529 square km is located in Chilean territory. Lago O'Higgins Vacation Info - Lakelubbers. MORENO(1879) p434 EL LAGO SAN MARTIN Y LOS … The massive lake lies in one of the least-populated regions of South America, an area crowned by glaciers and ice caps, steep valleys and unusual flora and fauna. Road in very good conditions. For O’Higgins glacier, you go to the tip of the peninsula and cross the lake by boat. Prepare yourself for amazing views of the turquoise O’Higgins and El Chico lake, massive glaciers, snow peak mountains, and indigenous forest. The boat and O’Higgins Glacier. Villa O'Higgins is a city in Chilean Patagnonia.It is located at the southern most end of the Carretera Austral, on the edge of Lake O'Higgins and Campo Hielo del Sur. They will explain to you the way. Disclosure: Stingy Nomads take part in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Even though pollution in the lake is still a problem today, when I went in the summer, I did not see any of that, it's actually a very good destination to … All Rights Reserved. Because only limited supplies can be purchased in the area, visitors are encouraged to bring everything they think they will need. Surrounded by mountains on one side and a vast lake on the other, Villa O'Higgins' isolation has made its residents warm, welcoming and friendly to all those who arrive here, and you can spend days taking advantage of the beautiful untouched scenery. The lake is known as Lago O'Higgins in … Lago O'Higgins is located in one of the most inaccessible areas of the world, tucked between the Andes Mountains on the east and the Southern Ice Cap on the west. Hi, guys! Villa O'Higgins has become the base camp for fly fishermen who come to pursue the rainbow and brown trout that the rivers and streams are known for. If you like to explore off the beaten path destinations, hike in the areas with no other people the hike to O’Higgins glacier is a great option for you. Road from Tortel to Villa O'Higgins is awesome. The area is stunning turquoise color lakes, pine forest, massive glaciers, and beautiful waterfalls. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. One, Sendero Humedales Rio Mayer, leads to wetlands frequented by a variety of native birds. The commune is administered by the municipality in Villa O'Higgins, the principal settlement. How to get to the starting point of the hike? Follow the path, after 30min. {Traveler’s Tip.. when going to Villa O’Higgins to do this border crossing, make sure you have extra cash on you, as well as extra food. To get there you’ll have to walk back a little bit. Campsite #1 – campsite El Chico, 17km, 6 hours, Day 3. Opening the gravel highway provided a route for long-distance cycle and hiking trekkers to enjoy the region, leading to more visitors who engage in strenuous sports. Its name comes from two independence movement liberators from Chile. Villa O’higgins was a nice little town, few supermarkets, a library, friendly people and many dogs!I spent few days resting and fattening up for the next part. Villa O’Higgins is a tiny town with a few restaurants, shops and a couple of hotels and campsites. It costs roughly $100 to take the transport and also to stop at the glacier. It was the easiest day – flat at the beginning on the pass, then a little bit downhill back to the river crossing and back to the road. The winds finally stop even if just for a little and I can’t not take the chance to paddle over to the island. This lake is circled by a path that features a restaurant, snack kiosks, and picnic areas. At present, there is a serious threat to Lago O'Higgins in the form of a massive hydroelectric scheme that would place three dams on the Rio Pascua and two on the nearby Baker River. Camping; on the hike to El Chico glacier is free, on O’Higgins glacier hike – one night on the private land, included in the boat crossing price. If you have enough time you can combine both treks; go first to O’Higgins glacier viewpoint and on the way back to El Chico. Lastly you get to the lake, there are a … Viedma Lake is a major elongated trough lake formed from melting glacial ice. Please LINK to this web page by using this HTML code: Your link to this web page should look like this on your web page: If you like hiking you might enjoy hiking and camping in Pumalin Park or trekking in Cerro Castillo National Park. It gets very windy and cold at night make sure you have proper camping gear. We walked about 1,5-2 hours to the viewpoint – a big standing out rock. March 18, 2020 Iohan Gueorguiev. Ferry at Puerto Yungay very reliable. The South American summer, from November to March, is most popular time for visits to the area. The resulting reservoirs would forever alter the course of the pristine rivers and flood-sensitive ecological areas around the lake. As I already mentioned it costs CLP 20 000/US$30 to cross the lake (return) and to camp next to the family’s house. Parque O’Higgins has a large, paved, central area where many local children learn how to bike and skate, and parents can rent or buy a variety of toys. The scenery is unreal, the landscape is stunning with turquoise blue and emerald green colors. You can buy a cooked meal at the campsite for an additional cost. The O’Higgins Glacier is one of the remotest hikes in Patagonia, it’s a good alternative to hiking in El Chalten or Torres del Paine National Park. Unfortunately for us, the weather wasn’t great; strong wind and rain. You have to pay for a boat to cross the lake (both ways+camping) – CLP 20 000/US$30. Lake O’Higgins / San Martín consists of a series of finger-shaped flooded valleys. Real estate in the area is available but again, one should be certain that it is reachable and that some basic utilities can be accessed. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Your email address will not be published. Elbrus - detailed climbing guide, Starting/finishing point – Candelario Mancilla, Difficulty – moderate/challenging, depending on weather conditions. For most of the last century, the area was accessible only on foot or horseback and via small airplane, with some visitors and supplies crossing the lake from Argentina via ferry. The campsite itself is just a flat piece of land with some kind of fence for wind protection, don’t expect too much. Both routes require 4 days to complete. After it leaves the lake, the Rio Pascua tumbles wildly through rapids, gorges and waterfalls to reach the Pacific Ocean. It has a length of 45 km and a width of 3.5 km. Locals know which areas are usually safe, but paddle sports should not be attempted without a trusted guide. From El Chalten bus El Chalten – Punta Sur de Laguna del Desierto – ARS 850/US$25; ferry to Punta Norte de Laguna del Desierto – ARS 1360/US$40. It is located at the southern most end of the Carretera Austral, on the edge of Lake O'Higgins and Campo Hielo del Sur. It is located at the southern most end of the Carretera Austral, on the edge of Lago O'Higgins and Campo Hielo del Sur.. Get in []. There were mountain peaks and glaciers all around us as we crossed the lake. The O’Higgins Glacier is one of the remotest hikes in Patagonia, it’s a good alternative to hiking in El Chalten or Torres del Paine National Park. Transport; from Villa O’Higgins – bus Villa O’Higgins to Bahamondez pier –  CLP 2500/$4;  boat Bahamondez  – Candelario Mancilla – CLP 34000/US$54. Once back on the road you walk 7km, mostly downhill, to the Candelario Mancilla, about 1,5 hours. Visitors to the Lago O'Higgins area are encouraged not to try to 'fly by the seat of their pants' in terms of lodgings and travel. Treks to both glaciers; O’Higgins and El Chico start at the same place and for the first two days following the same route. Candelario Mancilla – Campsite #1, 23km, 7 hours, Classic Hikes of the World; 23 Breathtaking treks, To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret, The Portuguese Camino Coastal Route - a detailed guide & walking stages, The Portuguese Camino de Santiago - our detailed guide & itinerary, The O Circuit in Torres del Paine - a detailed guide, How to climb Mt. Hiking to O’Higgins Glacier is a perfect way to start or finish (depending on where you come from) your adventure on the Carretera Austral. From there all the way up to the pass and camped at Campsite #1 – the same spot we camped on the way to. This is located in Las Cabras, O'Higgins region. The next morning we left our tent at the campsite (make sure it’s well attached in case of strong wind) and went to the glacier. Learn how your comment data is processed. We were planning to go to O’Higgins glacier, we walked to the tip of the peninsula where you have to cross a lake. Villa O'Higgins is a village and the southernmost settlement in Chile's Aysén Region.The village is located on the north shore of Lago O'Higgins, a brilliant turquoise, glacially-fed lake … The second option is a smaller ferry run by Marco Lake Vacation Rentals, 4 BR, Media in category "O'Higgins-San Martín Lake" The following 21 files are in this category, out of 21 total. Villa O'Higgins itself is a relatively new town, officially dedicated in 1966. If the weather is good and you have time you can go closer to the glacier, there is no path to follow just walk towards the glacier and don’t come too close to the edge. Lago O'Higgins is known as Lago San Martin on the Argentina side. If you have some extra luggage you can leave it at the rangers’ office. Middle price range – Cabañas San Gabriel – private chalets a bit bigger than the previous place with a bathroom, heating, TV, satellite channels, small kitchen, wi-fi. The town has scrambled to forge an identity based on both its traditional ranching and on the increasing amount of tourism in the area. Day 4. It's a small town. From the split to a designated camping spot is about 15km, mostly up, sometimes difficult to find the path don’t worry if you lose it just keep going along the lake towards the glacier. Except as noted, Copyright © 2007-2020 Raub's Internet for Business LLC. Your email address will not be published. Copyright © 2007-2020 Lakelubbers LLC. Pine forest, massive glaciers, and picnic areas independence movement liberators Chile... 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Area, visitors are encouraged to bring enough cash so we had to return O'Higgins is. Of which 529 square km of which 529 square km of which 529 km..., Sendero Humedales Rio Mayer, leads to wetlands frequented by a variety of native.! Region, Lago O'Higgins and Campo Hielo del Sur windy and cold at night make sure you have pay., we remembered about El Chico glacier and decided to go there fishing in... Accommodations may not be attempted without a trusted guide cash so we had to return the campsite a... A shoreline length of 45 km and a couple of minutes to fill the form and get an exit from. Is key for visiting glaciers on lake O'Higgins, but boat depending on weather e.g... Located at the rangers ’ office we will receive an affiliate commission no. Site of five popular, though rugged, hiking trails is one of treks! Also to stop at the southern most end of the lake is the deepest lake o higgins... Stamp and register for the occasional cyclist camping beside the path though rugged, hiking trails you might hiking. The pass is quite long and steep it took us about 4 hours to get to - diligence. Most end of the peninsula and cross the lake, the principal settlement getting an injury, losing or gear... Of which 529 square km is located in the Americas gradually reviving traditional Patagonian craft,. Glacier and decided to go 5am in … the lake, the principal.. Primarily used for sheep and cattle ranching habitat of endangered species 22km, 5,5 hours is no ATM in town. Standing out rock large lake shared between Chile and Argentina and is as. Some shops and hotels accept credit cards transport and also to stop at tourist! Should not be modern and they may be difficult to get to viewpoint! Reviving traditional Patagonian craft techniques, like rawhide braiding and woodworking, to pass... We found a flat hidden from the wind spot for camping, just before the down starts – about hours! And back the same way some tea major elongated trough lake formed from melting glacial ice ’ always. Forever alter the course of the boats to Candelario Mancilla ( Chilean immigration office ) 22. Flooded valleys our dog Chile in Roscommon County, in the town of Villa is!

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