Marvels of the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park

Francisca Pizarro | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Bernardo O'Higgins National Park is the biggest one in my country, and it is located between two regions - Aysen and Magallanes and the Chilean Antarctica. The place is stunning and has a lot to offer, from natural landscapes beyond your wildest dreams to impossible ice formations. As usual, the natural park is not only a place of wonder and tourism but also one of native species protection like the huemul (so iconic for our country that it is on our coins and the national emblem). So, let's dive into the marvels of the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park.

Campos de Hielo Sur

Campos de Hielo Sur, or "Southern Ice Fields" in English, is probably the park's most visited attraction. As you surely figured out, there you can witness huge millenary ice formations. One of the most famous ones is the Pio XI Glacier - believe it or not, this glacier is growing despite global warming! In this place, you will come across a one-of-a-kind landscape. There are not as many glacier fields in the world, but this one is truly a sight never to be forgotten. In there, you can breathe the cleanest cold air and feel the whole power of nature as pieces of ice fall, and you can also hear the same noises ancient animals and people once felt. As if it was not enough, you will be next to a giant wall of ice as ancient as time while navigating throughout the deepest lake of South America, the O'Higgins Lake! A fun fact is that this lake is shared with Argentina, but they call it San Martín Lake. *Another fact you should keep in mind upon your visit is that all of this land was once the home of the* Kawésqar People, expert sailors and divers. While visiting, you will obviously sail for adventures you will never forget!

© istock/AdamWallis

Huella de Glaciares

Huella de Glaciares is a trail shared between Chile and Argentina. The glaciers track and trace is the first bilateral long-distance trekking trail you can do on your own. The activity is quite long, it lasts seven nights and eight days, all of them to connect with nature and visit different glaciers along the way. This unique activity to be enjoyed by crossing two countries is quite demanding, you have to wear the appropriate gear, carry your stuff and be very aware of your suroundings. Also, keep in mind, you will not have a cell phone connection for a week! The trail goes through a circuit of glaciers, starting in the O'Higgings National Park and finishing in El Chaltén, Argentina. The track and trace has different stages, and each one corresponds to a different glacier. All of these stages are of medium difficulty, but they are varied regarding length. This trip will never be forgotten, as the view, the air, everything will leave a mark in your heart for life. 

© istock/AdamWallis

Serrano Lake Trail

The best way to visit the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park is by walking it. The Serrano Lake Trail is a medium difficulty trail, yet not recommended if you are not in good physical shape. It has stairs and bridges and many viewpoints for you to enjoy! A pro tip: wear appropriate clothing to avoid getting cold and good trekking shoes since the trail is rustic. As in all places, you are not supposed to leave the course because it is dangerous, and the temperature is usually low. 

© Flickr/Terry Feuerborn

This story is just the tip of the iceberg of all the adventures and places you can do while visiting Chile's biggest national park. This is an overview of the most iconic sites and must-do activities. I hope you choose to come to Chile and live the marvels of the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park. 

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