How it started
Last Thursday somebody I met at the last winter tourism fair in Santiago, invited me to come to the natural reserve she works in. I was surprised, because I’ve never heard about this place and it seemed to be very beautiful! So obviously I accept the invitation.
The bus always leaves every half an hour and it takes around an hour and a half to get right in front of the natural reserve called “altos de Cantillana”. I was very happy, because on the way out of Santiago sun was coming out and the bus was very comfortably and I was almost alone in the bus. Sometimes we stop and some other people came in, but at the end I was alone again…
Already on my way to the reserve i saw some beatiful views evrywhere…
The natural reserve
When I arrived, Fernanda welcomed me with a hot coffee in their base lodge which is made out of a kind of clay. There were a lot of pictures on the wall which tell you about the history, the families and the residents, obviously only animals…
Fernanda showed me a book they made, which should explain which plants, trees, animals, mushrooms,… you can find in the natural reserve. She explained me a little bit of that and of their history and then we started leaving to see the reserve. We went up a little peace until the parking, there we started walking.
We walked through a wet forest which was very green and the air was fresh. If you rest for a while you can hear a lot of different birds. The most important thing is that in this forest you can see some plant and trees which you normally only can find in the forests in the south of Chile. When you come out of the forest you see a meadow and you can see a lot of hills, which are all part of this, it’s seem that if I would be there alone I could get lost… but all the views are incredible.
We walk a little bit up to a hill, like one hour and we reached a place where you could see a lagoon. The sun already run out a little bit of the picture, but it couldn’t destroy the spectacular view we had! We walked down again and on the way Fernanda told me, that they are only like 4 people who work there and two of them halftime, which is incredible when you see how big the place is. So she told me, that everybody who wants to help them a weekend or something is very welcomed. But anyway, if you visit them you already help them. The entry to the park is 4000 chilean pesos, like 7 Dollars, and if you want to stay over night 6000 chilean pesos, like 10 Dollars. There are two places where you can sleep with a tent and it’s anyway worth it because you have more time to discover.
The last thing
When we came back to the house, we don’t stay for a long time, we left after 5 minutes again, because Fernanda wanted to show me the house of the forest guardian. We drove around the reserve and went up to one of the highest points, and only then I realized how big it is. The house of the guardian is also a place they still are working on, the walls still aren’t isolated, but it’s still very friendly and welcoming.
We came down to the villages again and there Fernanda showed me a small church which they rebuilt after the earthquake. All these people does so much to keep their home like it should be and take care of it, that’s impressive and so I had a lot to think about on my way home to Santiago, where I arrived tired but very happy.
And I truly recommend to everybody who comes to Santiago and wants to go to the nature for a while not only to think in “cajon del maipo” which is the most famous place near Santiago, but also think about Altos de Cantillana!