Siete Tazas is a National park in Chile, 260km south-east from Santiago. The name Siete Tazas from Spanish means “Seven cups” it refers to the seven natural rock pools one of the main attractions of the park. The landscape in Siete Tazas is incredible; rock pools, waterfalls, turquoise color rivers, and lush green forest a real paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Lush green forest and abundance of water in Siete Tazas is an incredible contrast with the arid Atacama desert that we visited just one week before.
The park was founded in 2008, it occupies 800ha of the native forest over the last decade it’s become one of the favorite weekend places for people from Santiago. Siete Tazas is a perfect place to start a journey to the Carretera Austral.
We didn’t know about Siete Tazas for us it was one of the surprise places in South America. We got there by chance from Pichilemu where we met a Chilean couple that invited us to join them for the trip. We ended up spending three days here, we were absolutely happy that we discovered this place.
The best time to visit the park
Summer months November – March is the best season to visit Siete Tazas though during the Christmas holiday and January it gets quite busy if you’re planning to rent a cabin here it’s better to book it beforehand. The shoulder season October-September and April-May can be fine for visiting the park. In winter months June – August the park might be closed due to heavy snowfall, the trails might be not accessible.
Travel insurance for your trip
Always make sure to have travel insurance when going away on holiday to be covered in case something goes wrong. It’s recommended to use a reliable company that covers travelers worldwide. If you don’t have an insurance company yet we can recommend our partners World Nomads. It’s a big international company that covers travelers all over the world. The policies are flexible you can buy insurance to cover the entire trip or just a part of it. It can be purchased online before or during your trip. Get your instant quote right now!
How to get to Siete Tazas?
Siete Tazas is located near Molina (a small town), about 260km from Santiago de Chile. The easiest though the most expensive way of getting here is by car that you can rent in Santiago. To drive to Siete Tazas will take about 3h30min. To rent a car costs about US$25 per day. Note! The dirt road to Siete Tazas is in bad condition.
A more budget option is to take a bus, buses to Molina leave from Terminal Alameda in Santiago (metro station Universidad de Santiago). The journey takes 2h50min., depending on the season and day of the week there are 6-8 daily buses. First bus leaves at 7am, ticket costs CLP 8300/US$12. Consult the timetable and prices HERE.
From Molina catch another bus that goes to Parque Ingles and Radal Siete Tazas. There are two companies that operate buses Buses Hernandez and Buses Radal Tiete Tazas.
During summer months (beginning of January – the beginning of March) there are several buses every day to go there off-season it’s better to confirm times and availability with the park. One way ticket costs CLP 3000/US$4,5, it takes 1h15min. to get to Siete Tazas. It’ll take about 4 hours to get from Santiago to Siete Tazas plus waiting time between two buses. One-way tickets will be US$17 per person if you’re two and more people it might be cheaper to rent a car.
It’s possible to hitchhike to the park but it might take a while depending on the traffic, plus most cars drive to the park quite loaded with camping gear etc. they might just not have enough space for an extra person or two with backpacks.
Where to stay in Siete Tazas?
There are 50 camping sites and 6 cabins in Valle de la Catas the only accommodation option inside the National park. Camping costs CLP 10000/US$14 per person per day, cabins from CLP 50000/US$72 can be shared between 2-6 people.
If you come here in December – January I’d recommend booking accommodation in advance. When we visited the park we didn’t pay for the entrance as it was included in the accommodation price but I’d recommend confirming it when making a booking.
We had our own camping gear so we camped at Valle de Las Catas camping and it was great. The camping sites are in the forest, the are is very beautiful and spacious, every spot has its place to make a fire, a table and two benches, a tap with running water (it’s drinkable). There are shared toilets and hot water showers which were clean. There are small natural pools in the camping area where you can go for a refreshing swim.
The cabins are wooden, with one or two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a dining area, quite spacious and cozy – a perfect option for a family or a group of friends. The cabins are located on the other opposite from the campsite side of the meadow not far from the reception. Note! There is no electricity in the whole Valle de las Catas.
There are several great accommodation options and cabins just outside the park located in nature and surrounded by the forest. The big advantage of staying outside the park is that most of the places have electricity unlike the cabins in Valle de las Catos.
Accommodation outside Siete Tazas
Accommodation in Molia
The cost of the trip
Camping in Valle de las Catas in your own tent is the cheapest option in the park, it costs CLP 10000/US$14 per person per day (children pay CLP 6000/US$ ). To rent a cabin for two people is CLP 50000/US$72, the more people you’re the cheaper it gets per person e.g. a cabin for four people s CLP 55000/US$80 per day, for six – CLP 65000/US$95.
Getting here by bus costs US$17 per person, one way. To rent a car in Santiago costs US$25 per day if you two and more people even with petrol it might be cheaper and easier to rent a car than to use local buses. Hitchhiking is free but it might take the whole day to get here.
CLO 5000/US$ for foreigners, CLP 2500/US$ for locals.
You have to bring food with which is easier to do if you drive a car you can load it with stuff enough for a couple of days including food, wood, pots, utensils etc. There is a supermarket in Molina but it’s quite small it’s better to buy supplies somewhere in Santiago. Shopping will cost you about US$10 per person per day if you buy meat, wood, wine etc.
For more details on the cost of traveling in Chile and other South American countries check our post South America travel budget.
How to explore the park?
Staying inside the park for a couple of days is the best way to see its beauty and to have enough time to complete several hiking trails. If there is no accommodation available in Valle de las Catas you can find a place to stay just outside the park or in Molina (more budget options) this way you can drive or walk if you stay close enough to Siete Tazas for a day.
Coming here for a day trip from Santiago will result in more driving than hiking and exploring especially if you do it by public transport.
Things to do in Siete Tazas
Hiking, camping and enjoying nature are probably the main activities in the park.
There are several day hiking routes in Siete Tazas if you’re a good walker you might be able to complete all of them in one day. Note! All distances are from the entrance to the park if you stay in Valle de las Catas it’s about 3-4km to get to starting points of the routes. The trails are marked and easy to follow ask at the park entrance to indicate where to find the starting point.
- Valle del Indio, 15km, 5-6 hours
- El Bolsón route, 9km, 3 hours (starts in the Parque Inglés and finishes at El Bolsón campsite)
- Chiquillanes Route, 8km, 3-4 hours (starts in the Parque Inglés, a circular route)
- Los Chiquillanes, 7km, 3 hours
Salto la Leona, 1,6km (one way), 1-3 hours (the walk is not long but you’ll want to have some time to swim in the pool at the foot of the waterfall. This route has several viewpoints and is probably one of the most scenic trails in the park. Here you can see Siete Tazas, seven cascades with turquoise water, an impressive view over the valley, and the waterfall Salto de la Leona.
The waterfalls in Siete Tazas are not as big and impressive as the Iguazu Falls but they’re truly beautiful. From the viewpoint, you can go down to the waterfall and the pool to refresh in its crystal clear cold water or just relax on the beach.
- La Montañita, 1km, 30min.
- El Coigüe, 1km, 30min.
You can do multiday treks in the area as well. In this case, you’ll have to be self-sufficient and carry enough provision for the duration of the trek.
If you like the outdoors Chile is a real hiking and camping paradise especially in the south of the country. You can find many incredible hikes in Patagonia.
What to pack for Siete Tazas?
- Salomon Ellipse 2 (ladies), Merrell Chameleon (men)
- boardshorts (ladies’ model)
- mosquito repellent
- water bottle
If you’re planning to camp in the park, you’ll need;
Wildlife in the park
During our stay, we saw only birds in Siete Tazas but apparently, you can see some wild animals here, like foxes, pudus, squirrels, skunks (wouldn’t like to meet this one) and even a puma. As for birds, there are condors, eagles, falcons, woodpeckers, ducks, and many other smaller birds. You have even better chances to see most of these animals hiking in Torres del Paine National Park.
Recommended books & guidebooks
- Lonely Planet Chile & Easter Island (Travel Guide), 2018. Paperback & Kindle
- DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Chile and Easter Island, 2018. Paperback
- Fodor’s Essential Chile: with Easter Island & Patagonia (Travel Guide), 2018. Paperback & Kindle
- My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile by Isabel Allende. Paperback & Kindle