Hiking in Chile: Radal Siete Tazas National Park & trails

Francisca Pizarro | Live the World

November 23, 2022

A breathtaking view you must see if you come to Chile can be found in the province of Curicó, Maule Region. The Siete Tazas National Park is a natural area well-known for its beautiful waterfalls and many walking trails. Until last month it was completely dried up, but since nature is awesome and wise, the rain brought it back to life. I cannot let this opportunity pass: I will tell you everything about the place and the waterfalls themselves - also if you like t**rekking and hiking**, this is the place for you!

A bit about the park

First, let me tell you about the park: The place was declared a national park in 2008. Before that, it was just a touristic hotspot, while now it is specially protected since it is an environmental heritage of Chile. A very important feature of the park is that it protects the local flora and fauna, as there are many forests of ancient trees that you can walk through! Keep in mind these are the highlights of the park, a sort of a first stroll through it. The place is quite big, and there is so much to see not only inside the park but also in its surroundings (for example the "Colmillo del Diablo" or Devil's fang, a famous mountain for trekking, among many others).

Salto Velo de la Novia

The first thing you will encounter in the park is this beautiful waterfall!  It is approximately 50 meters tall and is shaped, as the name suggests, like a bride's veil. Do you believe in true everlasting love? The locals do and tell a very tragic story behind the waterfall's name: A couple got married nearby and decided to visit the waterfall. While they were walking, appreciating the magical surroundings, the woman lost her balance and fell; in despair, her husband jumped behind her so that they could be together forever. People say their bodies were never found and got lost in the cold waters of the waterfall. The legend of the Bride's Veil has been told from generation to generation, and it is still very alive. Visitors (mostly couples) go to the place to ask the bride to favor them with a strong everlasting love or, if they are single, to find the love of their lives.

©Istock/Claudio Arriagada

Salto de la Leona

The name of this waterfall translates to "the lioness," why? You might ask... well, locals say that if you pay attention, you can hear a roaring coming from the water. The waterfall is approximately 25 meters long. If you want to refresh yourself after trekking and walking through the park, this is the place! The water of this waterfall comes from the Turquoise watered Río Claro (Clear River), which you can also see while there. To get here, you have to take the "Salto la Leona trail" and follow the path through the native forest; I recommend you enjoy the surroundings and breathe the fresh air of the woods!

©Istock/Claudio Arriagada

Siete Tazas

In English, it means seven cups, and it is named like that because the waterfall has seven falls of water and seven "cups." The latter were formed through millions of years by water erosion on the hard basalt stone. This is the main attraction of the park and the one that it is named after. There is no wonder why: it is gorgeous and different from many other waterfalls! It is worth mentioning that the water of the falls comes from the Andes mountain range, through the Río Claro. Fun fact: even though there are seven cups, you can not see them all! But what you get to observe nature and its amazing creations: this place is definitely a must-see if you are in Chile.

©Istock/Paltita Viajera

Different trails inside the park

Do you like hiking or trekking? The park has many trails for you to enjoy! I will tell you about some of them:

Salto La Leona Trail:  The trail is  1200 meters long and takes about 45 minutes to complete. If you choose this one you get to see the "Siete Tazas" waterfall: as I told you before and it ends on the "Salto de La Leona", where you can bathe and refresh!

La Montañita Trail: it is 1 kilometer long, and surrounded by an ancient forest - this means a lot of oxygen and a quiet fresh walk thanks to the shade of the Oak trees.

El Coigüe Trail: By taking this trail, you get to see the "Parque Inglés" (English Park). The trail is 1 kilometer long- pick this trail if you are interested in walking by a centennial Coigüe forest

Valle del Indio Trail: The longest of them all! it is 15 kilometers long and is supposed to take a whole day! The walk mostly takes place under a deciduous forest. If you really like hiking and trekking, this one is for you!

Los Chiquillanes Trail: The whole trail is at the shade of an Oak tree forest - this makes the trekking very pleasant and refreshing. The trail is 7 kilometers long and takes 5 hours to complete

Universal Trail: It is 300 meters long, as the name suggests it is apt to everyone! The trail has a wooden path that makes it accessible to wheelchairs and in the end, there is a "balcony" with a perfect view of the "Siete Tazas" waterfall.

©Istock/Claudio Arriagada

Relevant information 

The best time to visit the parks is between November and March when it is summer in Chile. If you want to camp, keep in mind, it is not possible to do so inside the park, but there are plenty of camping places in the surroundings. If that is your case, I strongly recommend you book in advance. Also, the park has different entrance fees: for kids (11 years and younger), it is free, for teenagers (from 12 to 17 years old), it is USD 3.90 ($3000), and for adults, it is USD 7.60 ($6000). 

©Istock/Paltita Viajera

I always say Chile is a magical country; the Radal Siete Tazas National Park is proof of that. While in the park, you get the feeling you are in a place not meant for humans: enjoy the clean air, turquoise waters, and the breathtaking views that will remain in your heart and memory forever. 

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