Experienced visitors often arrange to lease a horse for convenient travel. For O’Higgins glacier, you go to the tip of the peninsula and cross the lake by boat. 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. Just imagine having all these for yourself and being able to camp, walk, and stop wherever you want. 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. Villa O'Higgins itself is a relatively new town, officially dedicated in 1966. {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. Villa O'Higgins is a city in Aysén Chile.Well, it's not really a city. Location is key for visiting glaciers on Lake O'Higgins, but boat depending on weather conditions. There is no ATM in the town – make sure to bring enough cash, some shops and hotels accept credit cards. Want to know more     ABOUT US ? Hike to both glaciers O’Higgins and El Chico is a return route you go to and back the same way. Lake Vacation Rentals, 4 BR, Before/after the hike – at Candelario Mancilla – CLP 3000/US$4 pp., at Argentinian immigration – free. Above the rolling pasture lands, glaciers cap the mountains, some with active volcanic vents. A number of small hotels and fishing resorts have grown up in the area, and a few restaurants and markets now serve up basic supplies. It has a maximum depth of 2,743 ft near the O'Higgins … The winds finally stop even if just for a little and I can’t not take the chance to paddle over to the island. Whitewater rafting is just becoming a tourism industry on the rushing rivers in the area. It has a length of 45 km and a width of 3.5 km. Both trails are quite demanding due to difficult weather conditions, badly marked the path and remote location. The world's environmental organizations are fighting the plan and have managed to get a temporary court injunction on construction, but their long-term success in halting the project is in serious doubt. The O’Higgins glacier viewpoint is more impressive than the El Chico one but it’s more expensive to get there. Get advice from a source you can trust. We would also recommend doing this border crossing during high season only, so you don’t run into some of the same problems we did.} This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Here you must decide where you want to go either way is beautiful. It has a surface area of 1,058 km² and a shoreline length of 525 km. Their insurance policy is very flexible you can buy it online while traveling. Lakelubbers and Lakelubbers.com are Trademarks of Raub's Internet for Business LLC. It costs roughly $100 to take the transport and also to stop at the glacier. Lake Vostok in Antarctica, while deeper, is a sub-glacial lake with its surface buried under miles of ice. Villa O'Higgins Right at the end of the Carretera Austral is one of the remotest towns in Chile. Campsite El Chico – Glacier El Chico – Campsite #1, 20km, 9 hours, We walked about 1,5-2 hours to the viewpoint – a. Lake O’Higgins / San Martín consists of a series of finger-shaped flooded valleys. The area around Lago O'Higgins that is flat enough for grazing is primarily used for sheep and cattle ranching. Higgins Lake is a large recreational and fishing lake in Roscommon County, in the U.S. state of Michigan. My plan was to go 5am in … One, Sendero Humedales Rio Mayer, leads to wetlands frequented by a variety of native birds. O'Higgins is a Chilean commune located around O'Higgins Lake in the south east of Aisén Region. Follow the path, after 30min. 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. Lake O'Higgins part 1: North Arm. Campsite #1 – Candelario Mancilla, 22km, 5,5 hours. 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. The town has scrambled to forge an identity based on both its traditional ranching and on the increasing amount of tourism in the area. Its name comes from two independence movement liberators from Chile. As a result after the viewpoint, we had to return. It has a total area of 1058 square km of which 529 square km is located in Chilean territory. It is located at the southern most end of the Carretera Austral, on the edge of Lake O'Higgins and Campo Hielo del Sur. The South American summer, from November to March, is most popular time for visits to the area. Road from Tortel to Villa O'Higgins is awesome. 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. Your email address will not be published. Alya is a big fan of Latin America, Spanish language and dancing. It is located at the southern most end of the Carretera Austral, on the edge of Lago O'Higgins and Campo Hielo del Sur.. Learn how your comment data is processed. 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. Once back on the road you walk 7km, mostly downhill, to the Candelario Mancilla, about 1,5 hours. The whole time we saw nobody around except for cows – no need to worry about your stuff. Luckily on the way back across the peninsula, we remembered about El Chico glacier and decided to go there. One concern is that changes caused by altering the path and amount of water will speed up the melt of glaciers in the area. 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. The ascend is sometimes quite steep, it takes between 1,5-2 hours to get to the top. 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. The lake is located 820 feet above sea level and is the deepest lake in the Americas. 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. 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. Hiking to O’Higgins Glacier is a perfect way to start or finish (depending on where you come from) your, Both trails are quite demanding due to difficult weather conditions, badly marked the path and remote location. Treks to both glaciers; O’Higgins and El Chico start at the same place and for the first two days following the same route. If you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. Once there go to the Argentinian immigration office and get an exit stamp from Argentina. Prepare yourself for amazing views of the turquoise O’Higgins and El Chico lake, massive glaciers, snow peak mountains, and indigenous forest. Here you turn off the road and go into the forest. Hello! 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. Reaching Lago O'Higgins on the Chile/Argentina border takes some effort. We walked about 1,5-2 hours to the viewpoint – a big standing out rock. 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). Extra things were mailed back and shoes were glued back together, hope they last. 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. 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. Guides to these trails are available at the tourist kiosk in Villa O'Higgins. There were mountain peaks and glaciers all around us as we crossed the lake. Hiking like any outdoor activity involves risks of getting an injury, losing or breaking gear due to unpredictable weather conditions e.g. Villa O’Higgins El Chalten, the border crossing from Chile to Argentina off the beaten track. 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. Prepare yourself for amazing views of the turquoise O’Higgins and El Chico lake, massive glaciers, snow peak mountains, and indigenous forest. 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. BA, 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. The boat and O’Higgins Glacier. Because only limited supplies can be purchased in the area, visitors are encouraged to bring everything they think they will need. We experienced everything on this blog and wrote every word. Unfortunately for us, the weather wasn’t great; strong wind and rain. Then walk to Candelario Mancilla (Chilean immigration office) – 22 km, get a Chile entry stamp and register for the hike. Lago O’Higgins in Villa O’Higgins, Chile. The resulting reservoirs would forever alter the course of the pristine rivers and flood-sensitive ecological areas around the lake. We found a flat hidden from the wind spot for camping, just before the down starts. Chilean rangers will explain to you how to get to the starting point. 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. For O’Higgins glacier hike add CLP 20 000/US$30 – it includes a return boat trip across the lake and one night of camping on the island. 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 … 3.5 O’Higgins is another large lake shared between Chile and Argentina. 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. Almost 1500 miles of transmission lines would require a huge amount of clear cut through refuges, forests and the habitat of endangered species. Its area, of 820 kms, starts at the Lautaro Volcano and ends at Lake O'Higgins. From the Laguna take a ferry to Punta Norte de Laguna del Desierto, as an option you can walk – 12 km along the lake. 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. Media in category "O'Higgins-San Martín Lake" The following 21 files are in this category, out of 21 total. We were planning to go to O’Higgins glacier, we walked to the tip of the peninsula where you have to cross a lake. There take one of the boats to Candelario Mancilla. This lake is circled by a path that features a restaurant, snack kiosks, and picnic areas. You have to pay for a boat to cross the lake (both ways+camping) – CLP 20 000/US$30. 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. 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: Lago O'Higgins certainly isn't easy, but it sure is grand! 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. 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). Understand [] Get in []. 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. We walked to our tent, packed everything and started walking back, towards the peninsula  – about 2,5 hours. 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. 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. The ascend back to the pass is quite long and steep it took us about 4 hours to get to the top. Day 1. Advertise Get in []. For all adventure seekers and nature lovers crossing from Chile to Argentina (or the other way) at O’Higgins is a must-do activity. Located in the Patagonian Aisen (or Aysen) Region, Lago O'Higgins is the deepest lake in the Americas. Lago O'Higgins is known as Lago San Martin on the Argentina side. 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. If you have some extra luggage you can leave it at the rangers’ office. Lastly you get to the lake, there are a … 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. Road in very good conditions. 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. 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. 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. very strong wind that Patagonia is famous for. Transport; from Villa O’Higgins – bus Villa O’Higgins to Bahamondez pier –  CLP 2500/$4;  boat Bahamondez  – Candelario Mancilla – CLP 34000/US$54. Drinking water is not a problem, you can find it everywhere. Viedma Lake is a major elongated trough lake formed from melting glacial ice. 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. Young artists are gradually reviving traditional Patagonian craft techniques, like rawhide braiding and woodworking, to create everyday utensils and souvenirs. Campsite #1 – campsite El Chico, 17km, 6 hours, Day 3. All Rights Reserved. You can camp at Candelario Mancilla to rest a little bit before you start walking to El Chalten. 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 … 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. 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. Disclosure: Stingy Nomads take part in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. The campsite itself is just a flat piece of land with some kind of fence for wind protection, don’t expect too much. You can buy a cooked meal at the campsite for an additional cost. Locals know which areas are usually safe, but paddle sports should not be attempted without a trusted guide. If you have some extra lugger you can leave it there for the period of the hike. 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. Small Villa O'Higgins is the site of five popular, though rugged, hiking trails. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Located in the Patagonian Aisen (or Aysen) Region, Lago O'Higgins is the deepest lake in the Americas. Once at the top we walked about 3 hours more – it was flat all the way with some rivers and creeks to go through. Winters can be chilly, although the lake does not freeze, and snowstorms can quickly turn into howling blizzards in the valleys. Festivals have become annual events, with rodeos, a cattle drive and anniversary 'asado' (barbecue) enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. It is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) long. 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. 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). To get there you’ll have to walk back a little bit. Villa O'Higgins Villa O'Higgins is a city in Chilean Patagnonia. Drinking water is not a problem, you can find it everywhere. March 18, 2020 Iohan Gueorguiev. World Nomads insurance company has special packages for outdoor and hiking lovers. Lago O'Higgins Vacation Info - Lakelubbers. Some private rentals exists but accommodations may not be modern and they may be difficult to get to - due diligence is necessary. Villa O’Higgins is a tiny town with a few restaurants, shops and a couple of hotels and campsites. 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. It was a magical morning. 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. They can be easily combined (as we did it) with, How to get to the starting point of the hike, The cost of hiking to the glacier O’Higgins and El Chico, Good tent, during the hike we had all seasons weather: pouring rain, stormy wind, hail, sun, and snow, so be sure your tent won’t fall apart or leak. 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. From Villa O’Higgins take a bus to Bahamondez pier – 7 km. 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. It takes a couple of minutes to fill the form and get your insurance. The split is at the Peninsula; for El Chico glacier you keep walking on the same side along Chico lake. The locals in O'Higgins are hoping one day this will be a crossing but the Argentinians seem in no hurry. If you’re going to O’Higgins check with the rangers boat departure as often due to strong wind boats get canceled. The second option is a smaller ferry run by Marco Camping at Candelario costs CLP 3000/US$4 pp. If you like hiking you might enjoy hiking and camping in Pumalin Park or trekking in Cerro Castillo National Park. It’s always advisable to have travel insurance that will cover you if something goes wrong.