Glaciar San Francisco / Monumento Natural el Morado (english)
- Trekking: The best season for this trek is between the months of october and may, although the ideal is from november to december
- Randonnée and skiing: Between June and late September. Even then, depending on the year and the last snowfall, is quite possible that it will be necessary to load the skis along the first part.
From Santiago you must take the G-25 to “Cajón del Maipo.” From the intersection at “Vizcachas” (0 km), its 47 kilometers of pavemented road until you reach the police control in “San Gabriel” (phones +56228611008 y +56228612290, in case you want to confirm the conditions of the road farther ahead, although the answers tend to be excessively “conservative”
The detour at “Baños Morales” the mountain village located at the north side of the “Volcán” river is found at the 65.1km mark (the pavement ends at 66.3 kilometers just before the plaster mine of “Lo Valdés.” between june and september this route may not be in the right conditions in there has been recent snow. If this is the case you must take the road to the left, cross the river and ascend a rough but brief uphill road to the village. Once there, you must park (the bus parking lot is a recommended place) and walk to CONAF, located west of the village crossing the creek.
Public transportation and hitch-hiking
TURMAIPO community buses (phone numbers: +56228424208, +56222830082, +56228611518 or mobile +56982896718) conduct tours up to “Baños Morales” (MetroBus MB-72). The bus works Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from October to January 1st, and everyday from January 1st to February 28th. The bus departs at 7:30am and the return is at 6:00pm from Baños Morales. The starting point is at the Bellavista de la Florida bus terminal (second to last metro station on line 5 on platform E). The bus will take a slow detour on "Puente Alto" and you can also catch it on Las Mercedes station around 7:50am. It reaches "San Jose de Maipo" around 8:35am, and up to "Baños Morales" around 10:15am. The cost is $8.000 CLP round trip to and from Baños Morales, with different fees for shorter stretches. Contact Numbers: +56228424208, +56222830082, +56228611518 or cell +56982896718
Since October 2015 there is also a bus service subsidized by the Department of Transportation with Transantiago funds. The following trips cost $1.200 CLP and drop $300 CLP for intermediate stops:El Alfalfal-San José de Maipo; Baños Morales (Lo Valdés) - El Volcán _ San José de Maipo and El Volcán- San José de Maipo
You may also hire a minibus. Two options are TURISMONTAÑA (+5628500555) or “Turismo Arpue” (+56222117165 - +56226818475 cel: +56999320108) and arrange a price depending on the departure point. Both services will take you to “Baños Morales” and leave from Baquedano metro station. For a roundtrip to Baños Morales Turismontaña charges $9.000 per person (for the day) and $10.000 per person (two or more days). They also make trips to “Embalse El Yeso" for $10.000 per person roundtrip for the day. Ask for dates.
From CONAF the route ascends abruptly for about 45 minutes. The road entrees the valley, crossing on many occasions an old road that zig-zags. Close to an hour later, once the trail has already remounted the initial moraine, the valley stretches and “Aguas Panimávida” appears, a patch of half-flooded grass with mineral water ponds. From now on the slope decreases and the trail continues to the north, with the imposing south face of “El Morado” as the background. After about two hours from mineral waters, the “Laguna de Morales” is reached (commonly confused with “Laguna del Morado,” for this lagoon see Glaciar del Morado). It's a nice destination but it is recommendable to continue another hour to the north, approaching the bottom of the glacier “San Francisco” (2.800 meters above sea level.) The trail is a little less clear, the slope increases and it's more likely to find snow on this part if you go during late spring or early summer.
At a normal pace, this trek should take about 5 hours between CONAF and the viewpoint of the glacier. However, what is meant by "lookout" is not a well-defined point, but rather an area where you can appreciate and photograph the impressive ice caves formed by the glacier.
This trekking requires an entree fee to the “Monumento Natural el Morado” (March 14th 2015) Adults: $2.000 per person Children: $1.000 Seniors: free
The people who enter must register when paying the entrance and then must notify their departure in the same place. It is not allowed to spend the night inside the Natural Monument, although it can be done in many places nearby.
From October to April: Entrance from 8:30 to 13:00 hrs exit until 18:00 hrs From May to September Entrance from 8:30 to 12:30 hrs exit until 17:00 hrs
- There are bathrooms in access. Inside the monument rocks can be used to hide, but it is very important to carry a bag to take the toilet paper used, because it is a busy place and seeks to prevent small landfills to form inside.
- Do not try to climb on the glacier as it’s possible that an accident might occur especially if you don't have the right equipment.
Excursions near by
- Cerro San Francisco: This route runs along the north side of the hill, which doesn't belong to the Morado Natural Monument.
- Cerro Morado: This route also runs along the visible face from the Natural Monument El Morado, but the face that is reached following the Morado glacier trek.
Hiring guides is possible for this trek:Montaña Nativa: Tailored tours, 2 day treks, hot springs, Glaciers, ascents and road trips. Experienced guide with a degree from Escuela Nacional de Andinismo Chileno and ornithology. Ethical and ecological vision. TripAdvisor certificate of excellence 2015.
- Contact: email@example.com
- Phone: +569 6477 8461
- Social Media: Facebook Montaña Nativa
- Ecotrekking Santiago de Chile Ecotourism and "High Mountain" activities in Cajón del Maipo and Farellones. Logistics, guides, and passenger transport.
- Ecochile Travel: Regular and private trekking trips in the Andes.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, (56- 02) 25708826
- Flecha Extrema: Private Hiking Tours / "High Mountain" Expeditions around Santiago - Experience the Andes
- Contact: email@example.com, +56 9 65 61 72 77
- Facebook Turismo Flecha Extrema
- Phone: +56965617277 (Whatsapp)
- AndesBrown: Hikes and excursions in Chile's central mountains. Guided tours, certified guides
- Phone +56988382014.
- Cajonoutdoor: Treking, horse back, and excursions in all of Cajón del Maipo. Passenger transport to and from the hotel/airport/chosen destiny. Bilingual local guides.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +56991940429 - +56975275503.
Glaciology observation station
In August 2012, the USGS installed a glaciological station to measure the behavior of the glacier San Francisco. It is located at 3200 meters. Press release.
Aguas Panimávida at the end of the summer. On the background Retumbadero and Cerro Diablo