Siete Tazas park. A secret paradise in Chile

Salto de la Leona, Siete Tazas park.
Salto de la Leona, Siete Tazas park.

If you like camping, hiking, being in the wild and observing the nature you should definitely go to Siete Tazas park. We didn’t know about this place, it is not very famous outside Chile. Luckily in Pichilemu we met a very nice couple Paula and Michael and they invited us to go here with them. We had no  expectations thought it was just a quite place somewhere in the forest. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at Siete Tazas park! The place is absolutely amazing and beautiful, natural pools with crystal clear water, waterfalls, canyons, surrounded by mountains and forest. Definitely recommended to visit if you are in Chile.

Salto de la Leona, Siete Tazas park.
Salto de la Leona, Siete Tazas park.

What is Siete Tazas park?

The main attraction is river Claro, the canyon it flows through, with natural pools, terraces and caves. The river comes down from the mountains and its water is freezing. Nevertheless the temperature the temptation to swim is too strong! Bright turquoise water is absolutely incredible.

Siete Tazas (seven cups) is named after 7 pools or cascades in one of the canyons.

In 2010 after the earthquake the pools dried out but luckily after couple of months they recovered. On summer holidays (January, February) and specially on weekends it gets quite busy, better to go there in a week.

Siete Tazas, seven pools (cascades) in the canyon. Siete Tazas park.
Siete Tazas, seven pools (cascades) in the canyon. Siete Tazas park.

Trekking paths:

Sendero los Cipreses, nice walk through the forest, from time to time the path gets close to the river Claro, where you can swim or just rest in a shadow.

Sendero interpretativo Salto de la Leona, for me was the most impressive trail, couple lookouts over the canyon, here you can see Siete Tazas, seven unreal cascades with turquoise color water, absolutely stunning view! Further you’ll have one more impressive view over the valley and the waterfall Salto de la Leona, from the viewpoint you can go down all the way to Salto de la Leona pool and refresh in its crystal clear water or just relax on the beach.

El Coigüe, a short trail heads to a very big tree (coigue), beautiful tree, impressive size. Around it you can find some dry branches to make a fire at the camping.

Jumping in ice-cold water of the canyon in Siete Tazas park.
Jumping in ice-cold water of the canyon in Siete Tazas park.

 

You can do longer multiday hikes in the area, more info about it you can find here.

How to get to Siete Tazas park?

Siete Tazas is located near town Molina, about 200km from Santiago. In all three months in Chile we never took a bus only hitchhiking and it always was great, so our advise is to hitch. We got to the park by car with our friends from Pichilemu, surfcapital of Chile (where we got hitchhiking from Santiago). If hitchhiking is not your cup of tea you can catch a bus from Alameda bus terminal in Santiago (metro station Universidad de Santiago) to Molino. The journey takes about 2,5-3 hours, buses leave every hour from 8 am to 8 pm. Once at Molina bus station catch another bus to Parque Ingles.

View over Siete Tazas park on the way to waterfall Salto de la Leona.
View over Siete Tazas park on the way to waterfall Salto de la Leona.

Where to stay in the park?

We stayed right inside the park at Valle de Las Catas camping, the main advantage if you stay there you pay only for camping the entrance fee is included in the price. There are some small pools right in the camping area where you can swim. Camping is 7000pesos/10$ per person, the area is very beautiful and spacious, every place has its own fireplace, table and benches, tap with running water (it’s drinkable). There are as well toilets and hot water showers. There is a small shop near the reception where you can buy some food, snacks, pastry, fruit and vegg. Of course due to its remote location everything is very expensive, buy all the food in a supermarket Molinos.

Camping Valle de las Catas, Siete Tazas park.
Camping Valle de las Catas, Siete Tazas park.

Entrance fee

For Chileans 2500pesos, for foreigners 5000pesos.

What can you see in Siete Tazas park?

We saw some birds and cows but apparently you can see some wild animals there, like fox, pudu, skunk (wouldn’t like to meet with it) and even puma. Concerning birds there are condors, eagels, falcons, woodpeckers, ducks and many other smaller birds.

After two days in Siete Tazas we kept hitchhiking south towards Villarrica and had some interesting camping experience at the gas station, yes in Chile it’s possible to camp on the lawn, right in front of a gas station and even have wi-fi in the tent.

Salto de la Leona from the Mirador (view point), Siete Tazas park.
Salto de la Leona from the Mirador (view point), Siete Tazas park.
Small waterfalls and pools.
Small waterfalls and pools.
Turquoise water of the canyon, Siete Tazas park.
Turquoise water of the canyon, Siete Tazas park.
Giant tree near Valle de las Catas camping.
Giant tree near Valle de las Catas camping.
HItchhiking and camping at the petrol station.
HItchhiking and camping at the petrol station.

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