GPT01 - Cerro Purgatorio

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View to the central Andes, by Austin Davis

GPT01 - Cerro Purgatorio This is a simplified track file, not suitable for navigation on terrain. To get the detailed file see the following section on the main Greater Patagonian Trail article

__ Main trail
__ Packrafting

Instructions to follow the track in your smartphone
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Summary (editar)
Activity Trekking
Location Chile, Santiago (Valle Maipo)
Scenery Discreta
Atractions Vistas panorámicas
Duration 2 días
Trail Siempre Claro
Signage Inexistente
Infraestructure Inexistente
Topology Cruce
Gain/Loss (meters) +2227, -1901
Distance (k) 39.4
Skills No requiere
Original creator Jan Dudeck
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Season Section Log, Recent Alerts and Suggestions

  • 2023-Feb-19 / SOBO / RR / Luisa & Hannes

Started in Ramon Supercaseaux 8200 directly at the gate. Pretty hot below 2000m, siesta highly recommended. A lot of bees around everywhere except pass-area. No water in the first spot after the pass, you'll find it about 1-2 kms ahead. A local said that water was cut up there. Weekend with many tourists in Estero El Sauce Valley. Good Kiosk at the valley entrance. Took us 2 days.

  • 2022-Dec-04 / SOBO option Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo / Tomáš

I really wanted to try the option through Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo. I took the bus MB-74 to Pirque. The last stop is here: 33.7290444S, 70.5371567W from there one can walk along the airport (there was a sign saying it is prohibited but some people told me I can pass), once you get to the main road, there is a locked gate, the fence can be crawled under. I would recommend to take the standard route for cars, the walk eas schorching. It was sunday, I am not sure the other lines were on service. I have not seen them, MB74 seemed to be going once every twenty minutes or so for 900 pesos.

Once on the standard route, I hitched a car going to the reserve, we put my backpack to the trunk, so the CONAF guards did not notice me at all and did not tell me anything. I had a reservation made online, there is a day limit of visitors. It cost 1150o pesos.

Once in the reserve, I took the trail going west of the stream, nobody noticed me and then I have not met anybody for 4 days. The trail is fairly clear, one goes up along a stream up until around 1900 metres (up to the last recommended camp). From then on until the next side of the mountain, there is no water.

The route is quite attractive. Walking in the lower valley in the heat is really sweat inducing. It took me two days to go up to the border of the reserve, I was weak from not much sleep before and the heat. But also it is quite far and I have not managed to get to the reserve before noon.

  • 2022-Nov-26 / SOBO / RR / Martin & Helena

We started the first section from the metro station at Puento Alto, which is also a good place to buy some missing supplies and water - mall with Lider shop is right next to the main square. The gate 1 at approx. km 12 opened after less than 15mins and some guy in a car let us in after explaining that we just want to pass and showing the map. The other gate not so far away from the entrance was opened. Following the main route, we spent the night in a nice camp place at km 19.5 with water available just few hundred meters before that (bridge, water 18.7). Keep in mind to carry enough water on the way to the pass! We met the next day 2 families at the bridge, water 29.7 that went there for camping, they were really friendly and offered us some homemade cake. We decided to finish the section the next day, which was Staturday, and therefore as we were coming closer to the village we met a lot of hikers at the GPT01-F. Before continuing to the section 2, we stopped to refresh ourselves at Kiosko Los Acacios, on the left side after the bridge on the main road (the other kiosk before the river was closed at the time). They have fried empanadas, amazing natural strawberry juice (jugo frutilla), yogurt with granola, everything with reasonable prices.

Contact: @martin_hanzelka @helenneka

  • 2022-Nov-09 / SOBO / Adrien Kunzli

Start at the reserva natural de clarillo impossible even if i arrived at 8h30 am. No arrangement possible with the guard. I went by waking through the wasteland (many dogs be carefull but a good stone in the hand frightens them without worries) but Start at GPT01-B impossible : Big Electronic portal and no luck with cars. Start at GPT 01-03 by the optional tracks ok. After the school you take the left road and almost immediatly you have to pass under a fence on the left with a little hole. Just after San José de Maipo the RR-MR-V (02) (3,6+0,4) at S33°41.069', W070°20.876' was denied to me by some conductors (private propriety). But te other optional road without passing the bridge works perfectly fine.

  • 2022-Okt-31 / SOBO / RR / Yannic & Mirjam

We traveled by metro to Puento Alto. Because the bus MB73 did not come (probably because of holiday) we took an Uber to Posta la Puntilla (much cheaper than to Puntilla Rural). Gate 1 closed, after waiting 2 minutes a car came. Gate 2 open on the right side. Water available at all marked spots. Nice campground with small swimming pool at the back of the small river at Camp 01 [4/29/1415]. Several campsites on the river around El Melocoton.

  • 2021-Nov-16 / Marc Anthony

Started this section on November 9th. The gate at -33 36.774’ -070 30.027’ is locked. Didn’t find anybody around to ask, but it magically opened up behind me just as I was about to leave, because cars were coming through from the other side. Did see a couple more cars going the same direction as I walked on the minor road. Might be worth waiting around for some time to see if anyone will drive through? Found water in all expected places. Would recommend carrying a good amount with you on your way up onto the mountain pass, since this a very hot and steep section especially in the afternoon and it will be awhile before the next water source.

  • 2021-Nov-09 / Marc Anthony

Regular Route SoBo, 2 days (started afternoon on first day and arrived in melocotón same time next day). Took a taxi from Puento Alto metro station to the Plaza in Pirque, because I was advised against walking alone through Puente Alto by the locals. Quite a lot of mini shops with empenadas and other food when following the paved road from Pirque. When turning from the paved road onto the first minor road I encountered a big locked gate, which luckily opened because cars were driving through from the other side. After a couple of kilometers another locked gate appears but i walked around the right side and found a smaller open gate that I passed through. When the terrain starts getting steeper, I found it very hot to walk here during the afternoon. Definitely wouldn’t want to walk there in the middle of the day during summer. Also the section right before the mountain pass is very steep. Best to walk here during the morning when you’ll have the shadow of the mountain. Rest of the way was generally easy enough, carried plenty of water with me. Found a place called Posada Del Jinete in southern part of El Melocotón with Cabañas for 800.000 and hostal room with to beds for 400.000. Not the cheapest but didn’t find a lot of options nearby. The father and son who are running the place are nice people who can tell a lot about the area. Small tienda/café down the road from hostal with only basic supplies

  • 2021 Nov-19, SOBO, RR, Kris&Stiina

We wanted to avoid the boring through-town and road walking so we took the micro-bus from Puente Alto to Puntilla Rural which only left us 2km of road walking. It’s a micro-bus MB73 and it goes right on the same street when you come out of the subway. It doesn’t have a stop so you just have to wave it down when you see it coming, ticket costs 750 pesos. After those 2km on the asphalt road we turned off to a minor road with an impassable gate which is normally closed, but luckily we only waited less than 10 min. and a car came and we just walked in, they didn’t ask us anything so it seemed alright. 2nd gate was open. Water sources were flowing well. Climb was brutal, super steep and very, very hot. We imagine this section could easily be walked a month earlier to avoid the baking in the furnace. Great views from the “Pass”. We camped at the “Bridge, Water” waypoint after the pass, nice place, but unfortunately we had lots of tiny, very hungry biting flies there. We saw a lot of campers in the valley before El Melocotón, which was a bit of a surprise, more than 20 tents, perhaps people enjoying nature on the weekend? We didn’t go in to El Melocotón but continued straight to GPT02.

For more stories of the trail, pictures, videos and in case you want to ask us anything you can find us on Instagram: @smallfootprint_bigadventures

  • 2019-Dec-13 / 5 Days / GPT01-GPT02 / Ian Hikes

Overview: I decided to combine GPT 01 and 02 using the alternative route through Rio Clarillo National Reserve which is something I do recommend. You do have to pay $5.000 to enter the park. You then follow the river up to the pass where it joins the official route. The two sections are very open and exposed with wide open views across the mountains and high mountain passes.

Difficulties: My biggest difficult in this section was the lack of water. There were many sections that were dry and, on many occasions, found me going 15-20km with water. I would suggest taking extra care planning out water resupply along the route. I usually took 2-4L of water at any given time in these two sections. . Also this section is very remote and did not see anyone for 3 days.

Highlights: High mountain passes and great open views (especially for sunrise and sunset)

  • 2019-Nov-27 / Family Size

Locked gate with barbed wire (S 33° 36.795', W 070° 30.049') on the official route. Found someone at the gate up the road (S 33° 36.702', W 070° 29.640') who unlocked that one for me. He said the road behind is no private property, but it's always locked. After another gate (S 33° 37.141', W 070° 29.927'), with a hole on the right to climb climb through, this road connects back to the official route. There is plenty of water on the B alternet uphill. Almost at the top it tastes a bit like cow shit after filtering. There is a lot of OK water at the bottom of the downhill and quite a few tourists especially on weekends.

  • 2019-Nov-09 / Martina & Ivo

We went to Puente Alto and then Pirque by Uber. The drivers know where the protests take place and avoid those areas or areas which got recently destroyed.

  • 2019-Oct-27 / Jan Dudeck

The Metro line 4 to Puente Alto is currently out of operation due to vandalism during the current protests. Check online for current the status and delete this alert once metro operation to Puente Alto resumes.

  • 2018-Dec-16 / Martin Lizondo / Regular Route Southbound

Carry plenty of water on this section as water sources might dry out in early summer after all snow has molten.

Puente Alto is not particular safe area of Santiago, so residents recommend not walking very early in the morning or at night through this outskirt of Santiago.
Old entrance of regular route is closed by gate (S33° 37.320' W70° 32.182'). Better start from the public minor road and you won't have any problem (S33° 36.768' W70° 30.033'). The GPT Track File 2019 incorporates this change so follow the Regular Route if you use the current update.

Carry as much water as possible just before ascending to the pass (S33° 38.394' W70° 27.191'). There won't be water until 14 km further, and it's not of good quality (S33° 41.000' W70° 23.100').

Instead of deviating to El Melocotón, you can spend the night in Reserva Coyanco (camping, food, services), from where GPT02 starts. Just turn right at S33° 40.813' W70° 20.812'.

  • 2020-Nov-14 / Ricardo Gold / Regular Route SoBo / 1 day (faspacking)

We tried both entrances to the gravel road. Both closed with big gates (RR @KM13). We did an alternative start from Pirque that it did work, but is a significant longer (but nice). I would suggest to review this segment as the two main entrances seems closed for good.

After you get into the road is very straight forward, very easy to navigate. There is water in all expected points and I think they will last long into the summer. Indeed, it is very exposed, it will be hard to do in a sunny day, as it will be hot. Alternatively you can start really early or even do it partially at night as it is easy to navigate and not dangerous at all.

The climb is pretty steep for a maintenance road. it is +20% for ~4km, so I suggest to tackle this section really early in the morning. There is a good water source just before starting and probably also a good camping ground.

Next water source is ~14km after, but with also ~1000m of uphill, so be mindful of the time to get into there. Btw, this water source has a small cascate and pond that is great to jump in and refresh. Just walk ~10m into the upstream.

  • 2020-Jan-03 / Frank / Regular Route (RR) 2 days Southbound

See transport section if you want to skip the first 13KM roadwalk. Midsummer is not the ideal time for GPT01 as it is very hot, there is little shade & not much water. If you do walk there are several small shops on the road up to KM13.

It was difficult to access the start. At KM 16.5 on the road, RR-PR-V@01-6.9+4.3 & 700 metres further after the bridge, route sealed by two 15 foot high gates with spikes on top. No one there to ask to open them. Back on RR @ KM13, 2 locked gates. At OH-MR-V@01-A-#002 a resident let me through the locked gate. There is a new fence a little up the road that will probably close off this variant (I got in through a small unfinished section). It is very dry now so RR gates may be closed due to lack of water & fire risk. The only water on RR until 14KM after the pass is on section RR-MR-V@01-16.3+7.8 marked Bridge, Water on GPX, making a camp @ the site 15 mins. walk above (marked Camp No Water) highly advisable. Look for the gas pipeline, route follows it most of the way. Kiosk with drinks & snacks & campsite on the route 3KM before Melocoton are open all week in midsummer, weekends only in low season. No need to go to Melocoton. Get bus to Santiago @ road junction 500 metres down the road after bridge over Rio Maipo

  • 2019-Nov-11 / Martina & Ivo / Regular route southbound

It took us 3 days as we started late in Santiago and arrived early in Melocoton. As it's still low season everything is shut down in Melocoton so we took the bus (which runs every 30 minutes) to San Alfonso, where we found nice cabañas and three small resupply tiendas.

  • 2019-Nov-17 / Matus & Anna

We walked GPT01 in 2 days, including one nero day. We used uber to get to the trail, hope your driver won't be stupid enough to take shortcuts through slums :). There is a gate on the beginning of trail, after a "discussion" (we don't speak spanish) they let us go through. Climb was really hot, make sure you take enough water from the last source on the way up. There is water on the other side, but first marked water source didn't look the best. There is a river cutting a trail a bit down from that point. We stayed in a campsite on the begining of next section which was nice. They have really sticky ferral dogs there which we had a real problem to chase to not hike with us.

Greater Patagonian Trail, section 1

Summary Table

GPT01: Cerro Purgatorio
GPT01: Cerro Purgatorio Hiking Packrafting
Group A: Precordillera Total 39.8 km 14 h - -
Region Chile: Metropolitano (V) Trails (TL) 3.7 km 9.3% - -
Start Santiago (Metro Puente Alto) Minor Roads (MR) 22.2 km 55.9% - -
Finish El Melocotón Primary Roads (PR) 13.8 km 34.8% - -
Status Published & Verified Cross-Country (CC) - - - -
Traversable Nov - Apr (Maybe: Sep, Oct, May) Bush-Bashing (BB) - - - -
Packraft Only Burden Ferry (FY) - - - -
Connects to GPT02 Investigation (I) - - - -
Options 136 km (2 Options & Variants) Exploration (EXP) - - - -
Hiking Packrafting Total on Water - -
Attraction 1 (of 5) - River (RI) - -
Difficulty 2 (of 5) - Lake (LK) - -
Direction Both ↓↑ - Fjord (FJ) - -
Comment -
Character Semi-Desert, Alpine Terrain, Farmland
Challenges Exposure to Elements, Lack of Drinking Water

Satellite Image Map

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile of Regular Hiking Route (2019)

Section Planning Status

The regular route and most options have been hiked and recorded by various hikers in recent years and feedbacks are incorporated in the track files. (2019)

Recommended Travel Period

Regular Route: The relative northern latitude and the maximum elevation of 2200 m should make remaining snow less of an issue in spring. Also no major river crossings are required on the regular route. Therefore this section should be traversable from early spring till late autumn. In spring parts of the route might be muddy due to snow melt. During winter heavy snow fall may occur in the elevated areas. (2019)

Option 1 Rio Clarillo: This option links GPT01 directly with GPT02 and is expected to open up later than the regular route due to its higher elevation. See the Recommended Travel Period of GPT02 for further information to this option. (2019)

Benefits of Hiking and Packrafting

This section does not incorporate any packrafting. This would make packrafting gear an annoying burden on the very steep ascents and descents of this section. (2019)

Recommended Travel Direction

Regular Route: The regular route can be hiked in either direction. (2019)

Option 1 Río Clarillo: This options traverses the Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo. When hiking southbound CONAF park rangers at the entrance near Pirque might not permit a traverse and insist that all hikers return on the same route. But when hiking northbound the Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo is entered in a sector not monitored by CONAF. Leaving the Reserva Nacional at the entrance near Pirque will not be an issue therefore GPT01 Option 1 is currently recommended in northbound direction only. Combined with GPT02 this option is probably the more attractive finish for northbound hikers. (2019)

Hikers that took this option and have a good command of Spanish might talk to the CONAF park rangers and outline hike. This might facilitate acceptance by CONAF park rangers for southbound traverses of this attractive option. (2019)

Section Length and Travel Duration

Regular Route: The 40 km short regular route can be hiked in two demanding days or three more relaxed days. (2019)

Option 1 Rio Clarillo: This sections links directly with GPT02. See Section Length and Travel Duration of GPT02 for information to this subject. (2019)

Northbound hikers should avoid walking into Santiago in the late evening and either take a bus to the metro station Puente Alto or spend the last night in the mountains before walking into the populated areas of Santiago. (2019)

Suitable Section Combinations

Section Attractiveness

Regular Route: The regular route leads quickly out of the bustling capital Santiago and follows mostly a barely used minor road that was build for the construction and maintenance of an underground gas pipeline. This section is certainly not a highlight of the GPT but a worthwhile start. Especially hikers that advocate connecting footsteps will appreciate that you can walk in two or three hours straight from a busy subway station into the quite Precordillera. (2019)

Option 1 Rio Clarillo: For northbound hikers this option is probably the more attractive choice to finish their endeavour on the GPT. (2019)

Section Difficulty

Regular Route: The regular route requires a long, very steep ascent and descent that are physically demanding. But apart from this no mayor difficulties, technical challenges and dangers are known. (2019)

Option 1 Rio Clarillo: This sections links directly with GPT02. See Section Difficulty of GPT02 for information to this subject. (2019)


Resupply Town: Santiago

What you can't source in Santiago you probably don't get anywhere else in Chile. (2019)

Shopping: Food

If you want to prepare resupply packages with dehydrated food items you may find a reasonable good collection of imported products at the Jumbo Costanera Center that is conveniently located at the metro station Los Leones. But such resupply food packages are not really required as there are plenty of resupply towns along the GPT.

Shopping: Fuel

Gas canisters are widely available in large supermarkets, in "fereterias" and department stores.

Shopping: Equipment

See the Wikiexplora page Tiendas_de_equipo_outdoor_de_Chile.

Services: Restaurants

Services: Laundry

Services: ATM and Money Exchange

Accommodation: Hostals and Hotels

Accommodation: Apartments and Cabañas

Accommodation: Camping

Transport: Buses, Taxis and Fletes

Transport: Ferries

Not applicable.

Transport: Shipping Services

You find many offices of Starken and Chile Express all over Santiago.

Resupply on the Trail

There are no known resupply possibilities along the route between leaving the suburb Puente Alto and El Melocoton. (2019)

Access to Route and Return

Access to Start: Santiago, Metro Puente Alto

Plaza De Puente Alto is an underground metro station and the southern terminal station of Line 4 of the Santiago Metro network. Underground trains run frequently between 6 am in the morning and 11 pm in the evening.

Calculate 1 hour from the city centre to the terminal station Puente Alto.

From Plaza De Puente Alto buses leave to most towns and villages in the Maipo valley and the surrounding area. (2019)

If you don't want to walk the first 13KM of the regular route on the road then get bus MB73 from Puente Alto.

Access to Alternative Start: Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo

From Plaza De Puente Alto the following buses get you close to Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo:

  • Bus 978 towards Rio Clarillo
  • Bus MB-74 towards El Principal De Pirque
  • Bus MB-80 towards El Principal De Pirque

Buses are frequent and calculate 1 hour for the bus ride. (2019)

Return from Finish: El Melocoton

From Plaza De Puente Alto the following bus gets you to El Melocoton in the Maipo valley.

  • Bus MB-72B

Buses are frequent and calculate a bit over 1 hour for the bus ride. (2019)

Escape Options


Permits, Entry Fees, Right-of-Way Issues

Regular Route: No permit or entry fees apply to the regular route. Also no right-of-way issues were reported from hikers in recent years. (2019)

Option 1 Rio Clarillo: Access into Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo is controlled by CONAF at the main entrance near Pirque. The park is intended for daytime visits only and does not provide camp grounds. Cooking inside the park is strictly banned including with camping stoves. A maximum of 800 persons are permitted entry on one day. CONAF park rangers might not permit a southbound traverse and all visitors are probably required to leave the park in the evening at the main gate. The entrance fee is 6000 CLP for foreign nationals and 2000 to 4000 CLP for Chileans.

A northbound traverse is probably free of charge. (2019)

See also:

Regular Route

Regular Hiking Route

Elevation Profile of Regular Hiking Route

Comments to Regular Hiking Route

To be issued.

Regular Packrafting Route

This section does not incorporate any packrafting therefore the Regular Packrafting Route is identical with Regular Hiking Route. (2019)

Optional Routes

GPT01 Option 1 Rio Clarillo

To be issued.

GPT01 Option 2 Rio Maipo

To be issued.

Investigations and Explorations

The regular route and relevant options have been hiked and recorded in recent years. No significant investigation or exploration tasks remain open. (2019)

Links to other Resources

Related Routes on Wikiexplora

Regular Route

Option 1 Rio Clarillo

Blogs and Other Publications

All hikers are welcome to add their personal travel story or to place a link to their personal travel blog in this chapter.

Austin Davis: Blog: GPT Section 1 – Cerro Purgatorio

Gerald Klamer: Blog: Greater Patagonian Trail 1 Santiago-Coya

Alerts and Logs of Past Seasons

Name or Alias Start Date Duration Direction Comments
Season 2016/17
Gerald Klamer 2017 Early January - Southbound GPT01 Option 1 Rio Clarillo connected directly to GPT02 without resupply

Blog: Greater Patagonian Trail 1 Santiago-Coya

Bethany Hughes, Lauren Reed 2017 February - Northbound GPT02 connected directly with GPT01 Option 1 Rio Clarillo without resupply

Blog: Her Odyssey

Season 2018/19
Martin Morlog 2018-10-16 2 days Southbound Regular Route
Austin Davis 2018-12-15 1.5 days Southbound Regular Route

Blog: GPT Section 1 – Cerro Purgatorio

Martin Lizondo 2018-12-16 1 day Southbound Regular Route