We depart early from the pier in Puerto Montt, (or as arranged) driving toward the Laguna Sargazo area of Alerce Andino National Park for an encounter with the ancient Alerce tree. This National Park (39,255 hectares) is part of the Temperate Rain forests of the Austral Andes, and was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2007.
The park in named for the Alerce, an evergreen tree that reaches a height of 45 meters and whose diameter can exceed 4 meters wide. It was declared a Natural Monument in 1976, and cutting down any living Alerce tree in the Chilean Territory is prohibited.
Without hurry, the route of 5 kilometers of extension (round trip), is feasible in about 3 hours of walking. The first part, of low difficulty, is through a road enabled for vehicles, but after about 15 minutes the most scenic section begins, since the footprint goes into the forest and the walker begins to be embraced by the exuberant nature from the park.
One of the landmarks is the footbridge that crosses the Lenca River, where you can appreciate carefully the charm of the evergreen forest, with lenga, coigüe and ulmo, among other species, as faithful representatives of the area. By the way, the fauna is also present. Peucos, pigeons, black carpenters, chingues and the inevitable chucao are some of the inhabitants of the Andean Larch.
Once in Sargazo lagoon, you can rest, enjoy a picnic in authorized areas or on the beach, or simply contemplate one of the most remarkable environments not only of the park, but of the whole commune, thanks to the undisturbed waters that reflect the green and lush hills, plus the blue of the autumn sky, surrounding the lagoon.
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