Tuesday, May 14, 2013

La Campana National Park (May 11th, 2013)

We really wanted to go to the nature and therefore decided to visit the closest national park: Parque Nacional La Campana. This park includes one of the last Chilean palm forests, but unfortunately, this forest is located at the entrance which is not easily accessible with public transportation. Thus, we were in another nice area of the park and surprise-surprise, we hiked up a mountain. We took the same route that Darwin did in 1834.

Our day started at 06:30, so we could take an early bus to Limache. There is a good train connection between Valparaiso and Limache, but on Saturday it starts operating at 08:30, which we considered a bit too late. Well, the bus in the end was really slow and we arrived in Limache ca 15 minutes before the train. But it was totally worth it. We met one climber who was very nice and showed us which bus to take to get into the National Park. We also discussed climbing possibilities in Chile with him.

The bus he recommended to us was just great. The woman driving the bus was very talkative and super super nice. She even allowed us to sit next to her. She gave us some tips, but compared to the climber, she was so difficult to understand.
Park entrance
After paying approx. 4 EUR for entrance, we were given a simple map and started to ascend towards the top of the La Campana summit. The first 500 altitude meters were not similar to any hikes we have done before, because of lots of green trees and forests and completely unfamiliar flora.
Plants close to the entrance of the National Park.
The second 500 altitude meters reminded me mainly of hiking in Majorca. Lots of greenery, but quite dry.
Laura in the middle of the hike
And as we were getting closer and closer to the top, it started looking like autumn in Central Europe.
Laura at Placa Darwin - ca 1 hour away from the top
After four hours of hiking with short brakes we reached the top. The view was unfortunately a bit hazy. Not like in Austria, where you always meet somebody knowledgeable telling you which mountain is which, nobody was able to tell us which mountain in the distance is Aconcagua, the highest mountain in all of the Americas.
Radek and Laura on the top with Aconcagua probably somewhere behind us
We enjoyed the view for a half an hour, ate something and started our descent. On the way down we even managed to gather some GPS data to improve openstreetmaps, which turned out to be the most accurate maps of the area we had access to.

At the entrance Laura asked an elderly couple if they could give us a lift. They were again super friendly and could drive us to Olmue, from where we took a bus to Limache. There we met the fourth super nice person of the day, a girl who gave us a card needed for travelling with local trains. So we took the train back and tired but happy fell asleep in our hostel.

And as usually here is the link for more pictures.


  1. hey guys!!!! you look great!!!! have fun :)
    Greetings from Linz
    Pavel and Irene

  2. Nii vahva pilt. Olete väga kallid