From Puerto Natales we will go deep into the Patagonian steppe. With mountains and sky as a background, we will watch condors soar, rheas and flocks of sheep cross our way, and guanacos grazing on the pampas.
As we head further towards the northeast, we will see the very distinct silhouette of the Sierra Baguales get bigger and bigger (Bagual means “wild”). The road gradually turns into a rustic track winding inside a magnificent canyon. The crystal-clear Río Baguales flows at the bottom.
In this isolated and wild area we will reach the “Parque Geopalentológico La Cumbre Baguales”. As we get closer to the Park we will find evidence of the last 40 million years of history of the Patagonian landscape formation.
Alongside the eastern bank of the Río Baguales we will start this pleasant hike, following guanaco tracks through the hills.
Our gentle walk leads us to an amazing landscape made up of green valleys surrounded by mountains peaks that were built by lava flows. All of a sudden, we will see Laguna Rodas, an unexpected waterbody, hidden and held by reddish rock cliffs. We can spot the wild trout as they swim through the algae.
Clear rivers and creeks flow down the slopes adding some green to the yellow steppe. Close to them we will be able to see the different species of vegetation and fauna that are unique to this remote place.
Car drive O/W: 2.5 hours
Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours
Distance: 10 km (6.2 mi)
Initial altitude: 700 m (2,297 ft)
Maximum altitude: 960 m (3,150 ft)
Vertical ascent: 300 m (984 ft)