Trail Distance: 7 miles Elevation Gain: 2000′
Terrain Rating: Moderate
Get in the Walk: 12:02PM
Hike out: 3:38PM
Trailhead: Go to Banos Morales, and follow the signs for El Morado National Park. It takes approximately 2.5 hours from Santiago.
Route: One trail only
El Morado National Park can be found approximately 2.5 hours from Santiago. The park has a $4 entry fee and is open only from 8:30AM-6.30PM. The San Francisco Glacier is the highlight of this hike. However, we didn’t make it all the way to the glacier as it was summer in Chile. The Lagoon offers a beautiful view of the Andes Mountains, and it is well worth the effort.
Do I have to hire a guide? NO.
If you’ve never been hiking before, you don’t need one. Even though I don’t speak Spanish, my friend and I were able to find the trailhead easily. You only need a GPS and a car rental to get you started. You don’t need a guide for this terrain.
You will need to pay the park entry fee. The official hut is where you start your hike. Because there is only one trail, the trail is well-marked. You may find small rocks and sand in the terrain. We walked 3.5 miles to reach the lagoon. There we had some snacks before turning around and heading back to our car. It was an enjoyable hike, if you’re looking for a break from Santiago.
- 1 Liter of water
- Many energy bars
- Shorts and a non-cotton tshirt
- Salomon hiking socks and boots
- Windbreaker: Always bring a windbreaker. It was sunny and 80 degrees in Santiago, but it was windy in the Andes.
- Emergency gear
You might be wondering why I haven’t written about my trip to W Trek. American Airlines is an awful airline, and I won’t be flying with them again. Do not check your baggage if you fly through Miami. The reputation of AA Miami for losing luggage is terrible. They won’t pay you compensation if you are left stranded at an airport for more than 48 hours without housing.