Commune With The Infinite In A Total Solar Eclipse
A diversity of culture and landscape that is unmatched in the world, Chile will dazzle the eye and move the soul. Come and journey with us in the magical land and connect with ancient traditions of all kinds.
This experience puts you in the path of not only a total solar eclipse in totality, but in the way of beauty of connection that is rare in our modern world. You will travel to remote and beautiful community of Curarrehue via Santiago where you will participate in a 4 day celebration of the Solar Eclipse. You will learn the way of life here, and connect with this phenomenon the way the ancestors of this area did.
If that isn't enough, you will also trek through the towering peaks of Cerro Castillo. A journey of awe inspiring views and quiet solitude that provides the perfect venue for reflection on the experience you have had.
Curarrehue is a place to share with the Pehuenche culture of a community that will welcome you with open arms. Surrounded by the Andean peaks and the characteristic landscapes of the Lake District, you can walk in native forests, learn and live traditions and stories, enjoying nature and a unique cuisine that will make your trip an unforgettable experience.
A Spanish writer first described the Pehuenche in 1558:
These people do not sow. The sustain themselves by hunting in the valleys they occupy. There are many guanacos, jaguars, cougars, foxes, small deer, and mountain cats and birds of many species. They use bows and arrows for hunting. Their houses are four poles covered with skins. They move from place to place and have no permanent habitation...Their clothes are blankets made of animal skins.
Juan Ignacio Molina wrote in his Civic History of the Kingdom of Chile (1787) that the language and religion of the Pehuenche were similar to those of other Mapuche, but he described their dress as distinct. The men wore skirts rather than trousers, as well as earrings and mantillas. Molina described them as nomadic and the most industrious and laborious among the indigenous people.
The Pehuernche are known as 'The People of the Trees" because of their affinity and dependence on the trees, roots, and seeds for their survival.
Living The Eclipse According To The Ancestors
It is in the intimate company of our fellow human beings that we find the most profound connections and meaningful experiences. This is especially true when we seek to connect with others whose life is much different than our own.
Over the next four days you will learn the way of life of the Pehuenche and Mapuche people. This is a rare opportunity and something that can manifest in experiences you will never forget.
Ways To Connect
For truly transformative experiences to take place it is important to be intentional about connecting with people and place. A few ways to open up that opportunity are:
Dive In: Open yourself up to new experiences and always be ready to something new, even if it feels foreign or unfamiliar
Be Open: Share your story with your hosts, be open about your life and share who you are with the people you meet.
Listen And Ask: Travel experiences are best when they are reciprocal so make sure to leave room for your new friends to share their story as well.
Reflect: Make time in your day to reflect on what you are seeing and doing, to make meaning from your experience. This is a chance for personal growth and transformation to take place.
You will have the opportunity to experience a totally different way of life, to immerse yourself in a culture and a land that has so much to offer. All that is required is for you to be open to it.
Over the next four days you will engage in amazing adventures with a people who live in intimate relationship to the land. This is a chance to connect to something greater.
December 12th: Your private transfer will pick you up from Pucon and transfer you to Curarrehue where you will be met by your local guide. You will visit a traditional Mapuche family home where you will learn about the traditions of the Mapuche people and their relationship with the land, stars, and the eclipse. In the afternoon you will visit a farm to learn about the raising of sheep and livestock. While there local craftswomen will conduct a workshop on creating artisan textiles. The day will end with a beautiful dinner at a family home.
December 13th: Today will be an active day. You will enjoy a beautiful hike in native forests and breathtaking landscapes. Once atop the highest point you will enjoy a traditionally prepared picnic. In the evening a traditional Asado de Cordero al Palo will be conducting. This is a traditional way of cooking over fire. Share and enjoy with your host family.
December 14th: It is eclipse day! After a traditional breakfast you will visit Villarica National Park, a place of great beauty and home of Araucarias, Lengas, Rauli, Manios, and other native forests. After the hike your local guide will prepare you for the eclipse by teaching you about Mapuche cosmology and their connection with sacred territories. Then it is time to view the eclipse. You will be given special glasses and enjoy the event with your local guides.
December 15th: After a slow morning and a hearty breakfast, your day will center around a local seed protector teaching you the ways of agriculture and caring of the land. You will hike the land and learn about the native plants and their importance to the community. In the afternoon you will be transferred to Temuco for your flight to Coyhique to begin the next phase of the trip.
Once arrived to Coyhique you will be transferred to your hotel for the evening. This is a good time to procure any last supplies you will need for the trek. It will be good to get food, gear, or anything that is needed for camping in the mountains. You will catch an early morning bus the next day to begin the trek in Cerro Castillo.
Trekking Cerro Castillo
Today you begin you journey into the remote and wild back-country of Patagonia: Cerro Castillo. Your day begins early and will end sleeping among the granite giants of the Torres Range.
December 16th: Rise early and catch the morning bus from Coyhique to the start of the trek at Las Horquetas. From the bus drop off point it is a flat 8 mile walk to the park entrance. You will pass by lush forests and granite walls as you step further into the wild lands of Chile. Once you reach the park entrance you will pay your fee and then it is just 1 more hour walking to the first camp at Rio Turbio. Set up your tent and have a meal. Rest good for the real trekking starts tomorrow.
December 17th: Today we have about 8.5 miles of hiking to do with a climb up and over El Penon Pass. Start the day walking next to the river before you begin your climb. Top out at the pass with breathtaking views of the high peaks and surrounding area. Take it slow as you descend 1.5 hours or so from the pass to the first camping option at El Bosque. If the weather is very windy it is better to camp here. If the weather is good continue 1 more hour to the campsite at La Tetera. This site has amazing views of Cerro Castillo lake and is a highlight of the trip.
December 18th: If you camped at El Bosque then begin the day with the 1 hour walk to Cerro Castillo Lake. If you camped at La Tetera, you will begin your day at the lake. From there ascend Cerro Castill pass, turning back to enjoy the views as you climb. Once over the pass descend 1.5 hours down steep, rocky terrain to Los Porteadores. You can either camp there or continue 1.5 more hours to Neozelandes. We recommend continuing on and camping there, it is a very beautiful and unique campsite.
December 19th: Enjoy your last day in the mountains, breathing in the fresh air and views as you descend a few hours to the road, and then along the road about 1 hour to Villa Cerro Castillo. This ends your trek and you can find your way to your lodging for the night. Check into the guest house and enjoy a much deserved shower.