In southern Chile, a natural reserve of 10 000 hectares are poised to consolidate the next trend in travel, tourism and conservation mix. Therefore, supporting scientists who study and care of their biodiversity. And one, of course, may be part of that process.
Photography by Seo2 | Por Puro Amor Al Rap
Exit from Quellón brings more than eight hours. We must reach Añihue, a little known nature reserve located right in the mouth of the River Palena, with 10 thousand hectares practically full of fjords, bays, forests, mountains, birds, seals, dolphins, whales. But first you have to reach Raul Marin Balmaceda, a tiny town that is rarely seen in the map and that (says the story) is named after a Chilean senator who died of a heart attack during a session in Congress, the fifties.
This nature reserve in a new tourist destination in Chile. Not just any: in Añihue the focus is on conservation and ecological living.
The fantasy of Añihue can be summarized as follows: in a place where everything is surrounded by wilderness, the reserve provides logistical support to scientists interested in researching and creating conservation projects. And while all this happens, also receive small groups of tourists who want to be seen how this work is done in land and agrarian life experience. But with all the comforts: comfortable cabins, bed breakfast, lunch and gourmet dinners in a common dining room where even be shared with scientists. And by the way, with custom super attention.
Today, for example, you can go for blue and humpback whales (whose presence is being monitored for two years in the reserve) and southern dolphins (Añihue seas are full, literally, southern dolphins, you can even see them jumping from the windows of the cabins). The area is habitat of humpback and blue whales.
It’s amazing biodiversity of the seabed, especially because this area, although from Melinka south, has been extremely affected by boat traffic and overfishing. Here was crabs, whip corals, sponges, sea urchins, and very good visibility. The species were well preserved.
On the return route, tourists can see a group of dolphins that appear around southern. After several days in reserve, to see them frolic alongside the boat becomes a habit.
Photography by Don Fulano
Powered by Melimoyu Foundation, a private project seeks to turn the whole area (where Añihue Reserve) into a new Marine Park and Marine Protected Area in Chile (to date, the only one there is the Parque Francisco Coloane, the Magellan Region). The aim is to conserve the rich biodiversity of the area and prevent the advance of the salmon industry. The proposed limits ranging from industry to the river Yeli Punta Santo Domingo, opposite the Gulf of Corcovado. The project was presented to CONAMA and is still under study.
Añihue Reserve is near Puerto Raúl Marín Balmaceda, Aysen, and is accessible only by sea. Marín Raúl can be reached by land from La Junta, by plane from Puerto Montt or Naviera Austral boats that depart from Quellón and delay from 8 hours.
Photography by Rodrigo Basaure
Cabins for two people, can be treated with full board. There are also programs for two people for 5 nights, with meals and three trips, including round trip transfer by boat to the reserve from Raúl Marín, up to 10 passengers. The season runs from December to March. For more details visit www.anihuereserve.com