Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve

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Falls at Huilo-Huilo Reserve

Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈwilo ˈwilo] About this soundaudio , Pronounced: /ˈwl ˈwl/ WEEL-oh-WEEL-oh) is a private for profit natural reserve and ecotourism area in southern Chile. It is by the community of Neltume along the international road to Hua Hum Pass near the border to Argentina. The reserve has unique hotels, including Montana Mágica, the Nothofagus hotel, cabins, and a lodge for backpackers. The grounds also include a brewery, various animal habitats, a funicular, and many miles of trails. The reserve includes many waterfalls and the eastern slopes of Mocho-Choshuenco, a glacial compound stratovolcano.


Magic Mountain Hotel

The reserve was created in 1999 and includes 600 km2 (232 sq mi) of native forest in Chile dedicated to wildlife conservation and tourism. The reserve is owned by the businessman Víctor Petermann who bought it in the 1990s during land sale program of the late Pinochet dictatorship. It had been part of the state-owned forestry operations of Complejo Forestal y Maderero Panguipulli.[1]


The reserve is in an area of temperate rainforest[2] northeast of the Mocho-Choshuenco volcano in Los Ríos Region. The main entrance is on the international gravel road that connects Panguipulli with San Martín de los Andes, Argentina.

Falls at Huilo-Huilo

In order to reach San Martín de los Andes from the west, one must travel through the Hua Hum Pass. After leaving Chile route 203 in Puerto Fuy, one must board the Barcaza Hua Hum a ferry that crosses Pirihueico Lake in approximately 90 minutes. After crossing Pirihueico Lake, the ferry arrives at Pirihueico, the last Chilean outpost before the Hua Hum Pass and eventually Ruta 4 in Argentina

The nearest town to Huilo-Huilo is Neltume, the site of a 1981 violent episode between members of MIR, and members of the military dictatorship in Chile. Traditional celebrations are held in the reserve area and folklore is part of the local school curriculum.[3]


Male Darwin frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) in brooding colors

Huemuls were reintroduced to the reserve in 2005 from southern Aysen and Guanacos have also been re-introduced. The populations of Darwin frogs (Rhinoderma darwinii) and puma are b3ing monitored at the reserve.[2] Lizards are also present. The reserve includes a Forest of Deer park. Mushrooms grow in the reserve. Plant species include Chile's national flower, Lapageria(Common name copihue).

Huilo-Huilo Falls[edit]

De la Leona Waterfall

Huilo-Huilo Falls is a stretch of waterfalls and rapids along the Fui River in the reserve. The waters of the Huilo-Huilo Falls originate in Lácar Lake in Argentina. During the summer it frequently dries, as consequence of low precipitation and subterranean runoff. As consequence of this infiltration a large aquifer[4] is situated under Mocho-Choshuenco volcano. Contact between the water of the aquifer and magma may have caused the explosive phreatic eruptions that created the Tumba del Buey (bull's tomb) crater on the western flank of the volcano.

Víctor Petermann[edit]

Peterman is a businessman and private forest reserve owner in Chile.[5] In the 1970s, Petermann acquired 120,000-hectares (297,000 acres) of state owned forestry lands in the Los Rios region. He established the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve nature preserve and eco-tourism destination on the lands in the mid-1980s. The project transformed the area from a lumber-dependent economy to tourism.[2] Petermann's ex-wife Ivonne Reifschneider was involved in the reserve project. [2]

Peterman owns holding company Tehmcorp that controls various businesses including mining operations and tourism businesses.[6]



  1. ^ Barrena Ruiz, José; Hernando Arrese, Maite; Rojas Marchini, Fernanda (2016). "Antecedentes históricos sobre el Complejo Forestal y Maderero Panguipulli, provincia de Valdivia, Centro-sur de Chile" [Historical background of the Panguipulli Forestry and Timber Complex, Valdivia province, South-central Chile]. Bosque (in Spanish). 37 (3). Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^
  4. ^ Cuenca del río Valdivia Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°51′12″S 71°57′16″W / 39.85333°S 71.95444°W / -39.85333; -71.95444