Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine National Park

Saltos del Petrohue Waterfalls

Saltos del Petrohue cascades

   Saltos del Petrohue, one of the tourist icons not to be missed when visiting the Tenth Region of Chile. Petrohue is a group of cascades belonging to the homonymous river, located 50 km. from Puerto Varas, within the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, the oldest in Chile, created in 1926. The origin of the Petrohue River dates back to the retreat of the glaciers and the formation of the Osorno volcano.  Originally, the entire area was one large lake, but the repeated eruptions of nearby volcanoes divided this large lake into two, forming what we know today as the Llanquihue and Todos los Santos lakes.  The Petrohue River would become the only natural drainage of Todos los Santos, giving rise to one of the most beautiful watersheds in Los Lagos Tenth Region.
As in all of southern Chile, vegetation is abundant and evergreen, not based on high temperatures but on a Temperate-Rainy Climate. The renowned cascades were formed about 600 years ago by the accumulation of lava rocks from the eruption of the nearby Osorno volcano. The viewpoints of the Saltos del PetrohuĂ© are visited by more than 600 thousand people a year, making Vicente Perez Rosales the most visited National Park in the country.

Petrohue, south of Chile.
   There are multiple excursions available from the neighboring cities of Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas and Osorno, also many of the tourists who make the route to the Argentine tourist city of San Carlos de Bariloche stop here to enjoy the wonderful views. Undoubtedly the most recommended time to visit the place are the Summer months, between December and March because of its mild temperatures, on average 19Âș C. However, during the Winter, is when the river flow increases and the cascades are even more beautiful.

How to Get There

By bus or car from the city of Puerto Varas, 50 km. away, bound for the towns of Ensenada/ Saltos de Petrohue. Access to the place is through Route 225. Along the way, you can see the landscape of the evergreen forest, Llanquihue Lake, Calbuco and Osorno Volcanoes.



Saltos del Petrohue
   One of the main activities is the 15-20 minutes boat trip on the choppy waters of the river visiting the falls, however, the navigation is safe, carried out by professionals. 

In the place, as well as within the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, there are a good number of trails (Spanish "senderos") to enjoy the magnificent environment. The following is a list of trails within the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, published by CONAF (National Forestry Corporation of Chile):

Sendero Saltos del Petrohue, recreational, 600 mts., of easy access and suitable for all public, 30 minutes
Sendero Laguna de Los Enamorados, recreational, 900 mts., 45 minutes
Sendero Laguna Verde, recreational, 180 mts., 20 minutes
Sendero Cascada de los Novios, recreational, 400 mts., 25 minutes
Sendero Los Pilleyos, recreational, 1200 mts., 45 minutes 
Sendero Carilemu, interpretative trail, with a length of 1200 mts. and it is covered in approximately 45 minutes
Paso Desolacion, excursion of 10 km., 6 hours
Rincon del Osorno, excursion of 5 km., 4 hours
El Solitario, excursion of 6 km., 2 hours
Laguna Margarita, excursion of 8 km., 8 hours
Termas del Callao, excursion of 8 km, 5 hours
Los Alerzales, excursion of 3,4 km, 4 hours
Cayutue, excursion of 25 km, 5 hours
Cerro Rigi, excursion of 8 km, 5 hours
Paso Vuriloche, excursion of 40 km, 5 days (on horseback)
Volcan Osorno, excursion of 6 km, 10 hours

For Sport Fishing lovers, Petrohue river runs along one of the most privileged settings in southern Chile. Surrounded by lush forests in all its extension, the river is born from Lago Todos Los Santos, and after a 36  km. travel, it flows into the Seno de Reloncavi, near the city of Puerto Montt.
The water courses of this part of Chile are famous for the Trout and Patagonian Salmon fishing.
Some Tours to this beautiful place:
Magical Tours