Cochamó is a sector of the Carretera Austral whose name comes from the Mapudungun and means "where the waters meet", referring to the fact that it is the place where the Reloncaví estuary joins the sea. The village is one of fishermen and people who work the land. A small one on the banks of the fjord, on the side of the road and that has a short walking route to some viewpoints and waterfalls. Its church, built in 1917, reminds us of the famous heritage churches of Chiloé.
Since approximately the year 2000 it has been adding notoriety and relevance in the tourist activity, mainly for the sector called "La Junta": a plain inside the valley of the Cochamó River that is only accessed by land through a horse trail or walking about three hours from the end of the vehicular road, following upstream the course of the zigzagging Cochamó River. It is a place that keeps imposing granite walls and climbing routes, but also many trekking routes, ascent to hills and trails that allow extensive tours. Discover its forests, bathe in its rivers and enjoy a place still protected from the modern world. Where connectivity, in the broadest sense of the word, is still a distant resource, but that has been filled with visitors in the summer months and fortunately an organized community with a lot of work has been looking for solutions to care for and protect the Cochamó Valley for future visitors.
Trekking in Cochamó
To visit the trails of Cochamó it is advisable to have experience in trekking and / or mountaineering. It should be borne in mind that it is a very isolated area and does not have rescue service or medical assistance. In addition to considering adequate equipment and clothing to protect from the cold, humidity and sun. A good physical condition according to the activities we plan to do, always consider that it will rain and that we must bring back everything we climb to the valley. In order to enjoy what makes Cochamó so special we must think about at least two days in these lands. Just to reach the sector of La Junta we will need at least three hours of walking, and it is from this place where we can begin to discover the treasures sheltered by those imposing granite walls and their impenetrable forests. Information needed to visit the valley independently is found at the reservasvallecochamo.org and cochamo.com sites.
Climbing in Cochamó
The most important thing to consider if you plan to climb in Cochamó is that you must have extensive experience in traditional climbing. Most routes start with a difficulty of 6b+ (5.10c), with few multi-length routes with a lower graduation. The valley has long sports overalls routes, including a sector that allows climbing when it rains, but what makes Cochamó special are its big wall routes. It is important to know that to go to Cochamó you must book in advance, without a doubt the best time for climbing is between December and March, early autumn is also a good date, but the days are shorter and cooler. In winter and spring you have to consider finding snow in the upper part of the mountains and other sectors. A recommended route for those who do not have much time and want to have the experience of wall climbing in Cochamó is the climbing of the Shark Fin, a moderate grade route, with equipped meetings and that allows you to enjoy a great climb.