The Tagua Tagua Park has conservation as its first objective and the minimum impact measures are quickly noticed. Unlike many other places, the Tagua Tagua park can not be camping so we left the tent along with other things in the cellar. Just after the park ranger shows us a container with water he asks us to wash the sole of our shoes. “We must protect the didymo park,” he says. Didymo is an invasive algae that spreads very fast in the bottoms of rivers and lakes and is considered a pest being the human factor the main responsible for its spread.
Luckily prevention is simple and consists of a simple rinsing. This done and with the approval of the ranger we walked a few minutes to the visitor center where we registered and listened carefully to an explanatory talk about the rules of the Tagua Tagua park and a description of its trails. A talk that of all the reservations and national parks that I have visited I have only received in this place, in Torres del Paine and in El Cañi Sanctuary. A talk that should be mandatory for all visitors to any area that has conservation as one of its objectives.
With the requirements ready we started the 5-kilometer trail that would take us to the Alerces shelter, where we would spend our first night and where we would meet our friends who arrived on the morning barge. The trail is very well marked and as we climb we notice a change in the vegetation very clear. The sun was noticeable during the first kilometer where the low vegetation dominates, and the shade is only given by some myrtles and ulmos at the side of the path. But after this stretch and entering the renovation area we began to enter a forest that looks like stories.
The coihues with their trunks decorated with moss accompanied by some mañíos, palo santo, arrayanes and the ground covered with different ferns (yerba earthenware, cow rib and ampe) transmitted us the typical energy of the southern forests that renew and enchant you Go back again and again. Always with the river to the left we advance through the forest to an area of bridges built to facilitate the passage and avoid the wading of the many water courses that connect with the main river that dominates the valley. The place is so beautiful that it does not make you want to walk fast and the temptation to stay taking pictures is difficult to manage.
The Alerces refuge is located on the shores of the lake of the same name and is the place where people take the photograph that most of them have heard of the park. With the characteristic coihues burned and surrounded by immense granite walls and an enchanted forest, the Alerces refuge is one of the most beautiful areas of the park.