Hiking El Bosque Encantado in Queulat National Park

Lagoon in Chile

Hiking El Bosque Encantado in Queulat National Park

The Bosque Encantado (The Enchanted Forest) is part of Queulat National Park, situated on the Carretera Austral in Southern Chile, it is dubbed one of THE most accessible national parks in Chile (if you have a car that is). Hiking El Bosque Encantado can be a filthy (prepare for heaps of mud) yet rewarding endeavour which leads through lush green forest, hundreds of hardy fuchsias, home to heaps of hummingbirds and a river crossing which finishes at a glacier.

The hike is fairly easy in terms of distance, though the mud can make it tough from time to time. The reason why this hike stood out to me was the variety of landscapes we came across within a 2km distance. Forest, wildlife and glaciers all within a stone’s throw away from each other along with the fact that we practically had the trail to ourselves really sold this hike to us.

When you arrive at the Bosque Encantado you will be greeted by a Chilean gentleman who will play a tape preparing you for the walk/hike. It is available in both Spanish and English. You will then have to pay entry into the forest. I found this slightly annoying as we had already paid entry to the national park but technically, this forest is outside the boundaries of the national park. The cost is 3000 Chilean pesos around $5.

The hike itself is not really difficult and is a total of 2.2km, the tape classed it as moderate but they are catering to all abilities. The mud can make it more arduous; especially if you’re like me, Bambi on ice falling everywhere but it is not a physically demanding hike like a steep mountain would be.

The first 850m of the walk is flat and leads through the enchanted forest. It is clear to see why it was given this name. Because of all the rain it gets, the place is thriving with vegetation. You will not find a single patch that is not green. It can be slippy and you need to navigate around some tree roots. There are tree stumps that have been put in place to prevent slipping, but they were drowning in the mud themselves.

From there, the hike turns uphill, you are still in the forest at this point and there are ropes to help you get up steep ledges. This bit might take your breath away slightly especially if you ascend quickly. This part was particularly dangerous on the descent as it was super slippy and muddy so be careful and watch out for tree roots.


Eventually you will reach a huge opening of Hardy Fuchsias, we thought this would be a great place to sit and have lunch as there are a few open rock surfaces. Suddenly I heard a very loud buzz by the side of my ear, being the wimp I am I immediately jumped up thinking some South American bug was trying to eat me but to our delight it was a hummingbird! As we looked around we noticed one more and then another, then another again, there were literally hundreds of them going about their day feeding on the fuchsias. We have never seen so many hummingbirds in one spot. We ended up spending way over an hour there taking in the sights and trying to get the perfect shot, damn those hummingbirds are fast. Jay ran around with his GoPro on a stick hoping to catch one in flight.

After leaving the hummingbirds, I was quite content with my day and didn’t think the hike would get much better but I was in for a rather pleasant surprise. We had made our way out of the forest which brought us out in a deep valley surrounded by waterfalls. This part of the world gets so much rain but I guess that is what makes it so beautiful. We still knew there was one more sight to see but first a river crossing lay ahead.

Queulat National Park

We were warned at the entrance that we may get wet, however, after a day of rain and mud I couldn’t think of anything worse than sticking my foot in a river. Luckily, we managed to jump across the rocks and stay dry.
The final part of this trail is an easy scramble/walk through the valley for about 10-15 minutes until you reach the Turquoise Lagoon. Despite it being a cloudy day, the lagoon still lived up to its name. Glistening blue and fed by a trickling waterfall from a glacier draping above. It was sad that this was the end of the trail but as we turned back to head down we looked around us. We were surrounded by glaciers, cascades pouring out from every nook and cranny making their way down the valley towards the enchanted forest. We realised we had to do it all again to get back down!

Lady and the Tramper


Sally and Jay are the travel bloggers behind Lady and the Tramper and have been on the road since November 2013. Working and traveling around the world, they want to inspire others to do the same and experience the world through adventure, hiking and the great outdoors! You will likely find them pitching a tent out in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest.


Would you consider hiking El Bosque Encantado?

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Hiking El Bosque Encantado


I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for wildlife, the great outdoors and travel and hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Travelling mostly solo I love to explore Ontario Gems in my own backyard as well as exotic cities around the world.

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4 Responses

  1. Bob R says:

    Excellent! One of my favorite hikes on the planet. I was there early in the morning, and didn’t even see the lake until the morning mist lifted. Quite the curtain call! Really glad you enjoyed.

  2. Bianca says:

    Stunning Pics! What a magical spot.

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