On Thursday we woke up and really got to see the beauty of Cascada de las Animas for the first time. Such a beautiful spot and a very well designed architecture and theme.
The name means “Waterfall of the Spirits”, not “Cascade of the animals” as I had originally thought 🙂
About Cascada (read more):
Through six generations the Astorga clan has cared for, and protected it´s lands. Currently the Nature Sanctuary has numerous reforestation, erosion control and wildlife reintroduction projects underway. More than 30.000 trees have been planted in the last 10 years and a number of endangered wildlife species, endemic to Chile, are being released to the wild.
Cascada de las Animas
Originally today we were going to be doing the El Morado trek.(an Easy to intermediate 4 hour hike, but due to the unfortunate recent flooding of the Maipo river, the roads and park are closed. We had called/emailed earlier in the week and Cascada had offered for us to do a 4-5 hour hike for some breathtaking views of the Andes in the realm of the Condor. Which we accepted.
After a yummy breakfast (with decent tea), we went to visit the office as our safe had been locked in the open position and we were not sure about our packed lunches. Our Spanish vocabulary is limited, and I had taken a photo of the safe so we were able to mime/Spanglish our communications to get that sorted out (safe was locked, plus the batteries were low).
Then we met our amazing guide, Simon, who suggested we get more water for the trek while he arranged for our packed lunch.
We found out more about the trek, turns out it is a much harder trek than we had originally booked, but we figured they were exaggerating a bit and we were feeling adventurous.
Trip Length: 4 to 5 hours, Available all year
Difficulty: Intermediate to Strenuous
This trek initially follows the route of the ‘Meseta Trek’ then proceeds to climb an additional 500 meters higher into the spectacular Cordillera! After leaving the meseta, the trail climbs steeply upwards to “La Campana” – an 1800 meter, bell shaped mountain that dominates the landscape surrounding the sanctuary.
They were not exaggerating.
The hike was a challenge as it is walking uphill for what normally takes 2 hours. We had a decision point at one stop where we could have taken a shorter hike, but we opted to go for the full hike and just take our time. Simon was very patient with us as we took lots of photos and stopped for water breaks.
Our trek upwards:
After the grueling uphill climb (which took us 3 hours) we stopped at a gorgeous picnic area for lunch. I swam in a mountain pool and we enjoyed our ham/cheese/guacamole sandwiches with nuts and fruit.
Flora/Fauna (the brown lumps are toads, the bird is a Condor):
The view at the top
We walked back down, with our joints complaining the whole way. Overall it took us 7.5 hours to finish the 4-5 hour hike, but it was so worth it for the experience, the views and the nature we encountered.
We headed back to Cascada for a cooling swim, and a delicious dinner.
#IBMCSC Chile #cscChile8