GPT09 - Volcán Antuco
|Traversable||Dec - Mar (Conditionally: Nov, Apr)|
|Packraft||Useful (11.6 km | 11.6 % on Water)|
|Attraction||4 / 5||4 / 5|
|Difficulty||3 / 5||4 / 5|
|Distance||61.5 km | 20 h||68.3 km | 21 h|
|Direction||Both ↓↑||Both ↓↑|
|Status||Published and Verified|
|Zone||B: Zona Arrieros|
|Region||Chile: Bío Bío (VIII)|
|Start||Abanico , (Centro de Esquí Antuco), (Piedra del Indio)|
|Finish||Trapa Trapa, Posta|
|Previous Section||Next Section||Alternative Section|
Section Planning Status
Recommended Travel Period
Benefits of Hiking and Packrafting
Recommended Travel Direction
Section Length and Travel Duration
Resupply Towns at Start, Finish and off Route
Resupply en Route
Access to Route
Permits, Entry Fees, Right-of-Way Issues
This is the only place where it is strongly recommended to sneak around a police station. This recommendation applies in particular to all non-Chileans going southbound.
The reason: The forward border control Pichachen is located about 20 km before the actual border. And only here the regional superiors of the PDI (Policia de Investigation) came up with the silly rule that everyone that passes the border control post towards Argentina gets stamped out of the country regardless if he leaves Chile or not. They simply ignore the fact that a few kilometers down the main road at Piedra del Indio long before reaching Argentina a horse trail diverts towards the next village in Chile called Trapa Trapa. Should you get an exit stamp into your passport but continue to hike in Chile you will be an illegal alien without a valid tourist visa. This may not instantly cause you a problem but the next time you want to leave Chile orderly i.e. from an airport the immigration system will show that you illegally in Chile and the police will assume that you trespassed into Chile. And that’s taken pretty serious. Forget about your flight and your further travel plans.
Every hikers that passed this border control got into some kind of trouble and caused these officers a headache. Some hikers could convince them after long discussions to pass without an exit stamp. Some hikers got and exit stamp and run into problems later. Some hikers pretended to walk back and took a partly overgrown route to walk around the border control. When we hiked this section in January 2014 I got unasked an exit stamp while they “just checked my documents” but luckily after a long talk I could convince them to give me a new entry stamp.
You can’t blame these poor officials at the border control for this situation; they understand these occasional hikers but their regional superiors gave them strict orders. In short: this place is a potential disaster for hikers and hikers are a disturbance for these officials.
Therefore, to avoid this issue I simply rerouted the regular hiking route to bypass the border control post Pichachen. It’s easier for everyone: for the hikers and for the poor police officer that have to comply with this silly order. The re-routed track leads cross country through the normally dry lake bed of the Laguna de Las Lajas and just crosses the main road at the diversion to Trapa Trapa. Walking around the border control may be suspicious but is not illegal and saves everyone nerves and endless discussions. It actually prevents you from getting into an illegal migration status while staying in Chile.
The Regular Packrafting Route anyway bypasses the border control.
Luckily this is the only border control post I’m aware off where such a stupid rule is applied. In many other forward border controls you need to proactively approach the police and request your exit stamp if you plan to leave Chile. Should you just visit the area between the border control and the actual border you can normally just pass or explain your intentions.