Lake Tagua Tagua
Lake Tagua Tagua is a glacial finger lake in the Chilean Lake District sitting in 3000 hectares of forest that was turned into a Private Protected Area in 2013 dedicated to ecotourism. Access is by boat from the jetty at Puerto Canelo on Tagua Tagua’s northernmost point, a short walk from a cascading waterfall that marks the point where the Puelo River flows out of the lake to begin its descent to the Reconlavi Fjord. It’s possible to kayak near the falls or paddle to one of the lake’s many stony beaches.
The surrounding landscape is thick with temperate rainforest and braided with well-marked hiking trails and walkways that climb the park’s steep slopes. The forest is well planted with Chilean cypress trees as well as ancient alerces, some of which might be as old as 3000 years. Under their branches, the forest floor is thick with ferns and fuschias that thrive in the damp alpine climate.
The park has three refugios, Notros, Alerces and Quetrus. The first is near the entrance to the park, while the other two reward hikers prepared for a 7km and 10km respectively with truly spectacular locations. Refugio Alerces looks out across the ghostly fingers of long-dead alerces trees poking out from the waters, while Refugio Quetrus is at is near a smaller lake of the same name, which opens out to give tremendous views of the surrounding granite peaks.
At the southern end of Lake Tagua Tagua is the Mitico Puelo Lodge, a former fishing lodge offering hikers a taste of mountain luxury.