The Cochamo Valley Organization prepares measures to minimize the impact of tourism

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Viewpoint at Arcoiris trailViewpoint at Arcoiris trail
Press release, Nov. 22 - The Cochamó Valley Organization, which brings together tour operators, proprietors, muleteers, local NGOs and friends of the valley, are preparing for the third consecutive year measures to control access to the Cochamó Valley in Chile’s Lake Region in order to reduce environmental impacts and improve the visitor experience. The program, called “Reservas Valle de Cochamó,” establishes the maximum carrying capacity for campsites and the communication campaign “IF YOU WANT TO VISIT, YOU NEED RESERVATIONS” to raise awareness, which is the result of collaborative work between the community,  social organizations and public health services, tourism, the municipality and the local police.
The Cochamó Valley has been declared an official “Zone of National Touristic Interest” by the government. It is inside a biosphere reserve and its main river was declared the first water reserve of our country. Its granite walls, thousand year-old alerce trees and the good state of land conservation make this valley a leading destination for lovers of adventure tourism everywhere.
Contrary to popular belief, this natural wonder however is not a protected public area nor a private park. It is a set of mostly private land, connected by a path that has historically been used by mountain sheep and cattle herders and today is shared with the more than 15,000 visitors who enter the valley each year. The distinctive feature of being made up of private properties and being of great national and international value has been an opportunity for those interested to reach consensus and work on creating a collaborative, protected area that can be responsibly shared by the people who value this destination, the environment and outdoor sports.
This year we’re continuing the reservation system of previous years and also implementing a recycling system, green zones for camping in La Junta, a new registration center, and beginning the construction of an information center, all financed thanks to a donation from the outdoor clothing brands Mammut and Andesgear, who understand the importance of caring for this marvelous destination for outdoor lovers.
Arcoiris cascadeArcoiris cascade
The collaboration and work between different stakeholders that understand the importance of caring for the valley have the goal to conserve and protect this destination, thus contributing to the local economy and conservation of this so-called Chilean Yosemite. “We are very happy with the reaction that reservation system has had among tourists that visit us each year. Especially, because we have achieved a general awareness that there are few places in the world as pure and beautiful as the Cochamó Valley and we should all care for and protect it so future generations can enjoy the valley as much as we do,” said Paul Sanza, tour operator in the Cochamó Valley and a director of our organization.
The donation given to us has the goal of improving the management of this destination and strengthen the administration that integrates and represents all of the valley’s stakeholders. Also, that this destination can be managed collaboratively with responsible and sustainable tourism over time, at the same time helping to conserve natural and cultural attractions and promote widespread, fair, social development. “The donation and support generated for the Cochamó Valley is intended to maintain the pristine nature and history of the place. We have been a witness to giant sports milestones and we know that it is a rock climbing paradise that still has an indomitable side. It is the willingness to lose phone service and begin an adventure that we want to maintain and strengthen through care, awareness and responsibility for both people and the environment,” said Felipe Peró, Mammut representative.
The call to tourists is to respect the rules established for campsites, don’t camp on private properties without authorization and above all to follow the principles for minimal impact: plan the trip, camp only in authorized areas, take all garbage back, recycle, respect the flora and fauna, don’t make campfires in unauthorized areas and respect other visitors.
How to reserve your spot?
2. Choose the campsite you want to reserve.
3. Contact the service provider or campsite directly and wait for their response.
4. Save your voucher and take it on your trip. With this voucher, you ensure your spot and access to the La Junta sector.