November 2020: The access to sector Leones in the National Park is closed by Conaf

until further notice

It is recognised on national and international level (UNESCO, Biodiversity and other international environmental conventions, IUCN,  SER,  Conaf, SNASPE, etc.) that tourism, growing exponentially, whether ordinary, “nature”, “eco”, “scientific”, “adventure”, “bad weather”, “last chance” or, in particular, “instratourism” constitutes a major threat to Nature and natural ecosystems.

One of the main objectives of the Project is to protect damaged Nature from commercial use, including uncontrolled development of local tourism, and thus help it regenerate itself.

The Project does not support and is not related to any tourism association, group, activity or accommodation.

No tourism operations of whatever kind are allowed in the Project.

The land was bought for protection and conservation because it was severely degraded and deserved a better life.   

Only straight direct access in direction of the lake Leones area (Laguna San Rafael national park) and back (to Ruta 7) through the properties of the Project is tolerated:

  1. I.The Setting:

  2. The lake Leones is located at about 27 km from the Carretera Austral (Ruta 7) by walking trail, road X-732 ends at 16 km, the chunk of ice is on the other side of the lake, about 10 km across;

  3. The road X-732 in the valley is a private neighbourhood road, the trail to the lake Leones area (Laguna San Rafael National park) goes through private properties;

  4. The valley is a good example of regional ecosystem destruction in the 1930s-1940s.

Tourism is a large source of greenhouse gas emissions and input to climate change.pdf

Renowned conservationist on devastation by intense tourism in regional national parks

  1. II.Rules of direct transit from the start of the property till its last gate (from point 3 to point 5 on the map below). Thank you for helping Nature by observing these rules:

  1. Only strict direct access in the direction of lake Leones to the next property and return;

  2. You are passing through private properties and courtyards, using private road (X-732), and further private walking trail;

  3. All private property laws and penalties apply, do not put yourself in an illegal situation;

  4. The properties of the Project are not open to any type of public access;

  5. Observe the signs posted on the way;

  1. Do not leave the road, in no case drive off-road;

  2. Stay on the marked trail, do not leave the trail even if it’s muddy: the area around is very sensitive; do not take shortcuts: not only you are violating private property, but also contribute to erosion; Tourists create important erosion in the region

  3. Camping is strictly prohibited inside the property;

  4. Do not make fire: Campfires are strictly prohibited under any circumstances, the area presents high fire risk and limited escape routes. Do not expose yourself to legal actions: according to national law causing risk of forest fires is penalised with fine, jail or deportation. It is strictly prohibited to smoke inside the property.

  5. Do not leave any type of garbage, including butts (one cigarette butt contaminates up to 50 liters of water), take all litter with you;

  6. Leave gates as you find them;

  7. Do not bring dogs or cattle;

  8. Do not harass the few remaining wild animals, most of them are protected by law; they did not come to see us, we walk through their home; it is important that you keep your distance; do not feed them: you expose them to poachers;

  9. Do not remove animals, plants or fruits. Protect native vegetation, all gardens are private;

  10. Don’t make unnecessary noises;

  11. Do not misplace or take home anything, do not make cairns (erosion), worldwide know as “tourist warts”;

  12. The enforcement of the rules is monitored and contraventions reported. The passage is tracked by several security cameras, number plates of cars and passage of tourists are registered and transmitted to Conaf for monitoring access to the national park and for research on impact of tourism.

  If the rules are respected the area will remain protected and can regenerate for the years to come. Respect is to protect.

Nature- and eco-tourism, including photography, is a major factor

of deaths of wild animals by exhaustion and starvation.

The “no-trace” tourism is a lure, the main trace is travel to the place and our mere presence in nature.

A study:  Tourists are not sensitive to sustainable criteria

Privacy: You shall not share images of the Project (private property) on internet, social networks, video and photo sharing platforms, or any other public site or mass media. Taking photos or videos of a private property can be considered as trespassing. Privacy of nature and absence of publicity are essential for the success of this Nature restoration project. The Right to the Image is being legally protected. Any filming or photography for commercial or professional reprinting or broadcasting purposes is strictly prohibited.

Scientific tourism is not authorised.

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Leaving more than footprints: impact of tourism in Chilean Patagonia

III. Conditions of access (see photos):

  1. The road is a dirt, not maintained path in bad condition. Accessible only for 4x4 cars;

  2. Subject to frequent flooding and occasional landslides;

  3. Car and motobike access ends in 6,5 km from the entrance into the Project;

  4. Follows difficult trail of 9 km, not marked after the last yellow sign;

  5. River crossings are not safe at times;

  6. Use at your own risk, no liability of the owners or managers for any accident,

       injury or damage.

  1. The road in the valley was repaired, and at places built for the reforestation Project

    using only personal quite significant funds, unfortunately it enabled day trips

    to the lake without consent of the landowners;

  1. The sign posting within the Project was entirely done by the managers using

     only personal funds;

  1. Passage through the property is tolerated bona fide so far;

  2. The road is used as a fire control and escape road, in order to keep it

    in a reasonable shape you are requested to minimise the damage.

Tourism is the second, after climate change, cause of glaciers melting (SER Conference, Iceland, September 2018)

By visiting the glacier we contribute to its disappearance. Some countries banned access to glaciers, or closed parks.

2019: 10% decrease of flying in Sweden due to “flying shame” , flyggskam.

IV. Dangers / risks:

  1. The area is remote and isolated;

  2. Climate change accentuates rapidly dangers like floods and landslides in the destroyed


  1. Fatal accidents in lake and river Leones occurred in January and November 2016;

  2. Mobile phone coverage in the valley drops often, no other means of communication;

  3. High wildfire risk in the valley in summer, no fire prevention or management in the valley;

  4. A lot of mosquitoes (aggravated allergies occurred), horseflies are ferocious in summer;

  5. No medical or other help accessible in case of accident;

  6. The hanta virus is present throughout the South of the country:

   lots of rodents, potential carriers, in the area. Rabies is present in bats;

  1. Make sure you have good waterproof hiking shoes, they fall apart frequently. 

  2. Loss of nature poses risks to economy and human health, in particular local,

   uncontrolled regional tourism is accentuating this risk.

Scientific tourism in the form of scientific research expeditions and biodiversity

assessments generally present risks for the ecosystem they study.

You may also check Conaf rules for national parks and protected areas - you are going to a national park. Entrance fees into the national park would normally apply; your tour operator should provide you with information about his/her payments to the park, as well as whether his/her insurance covers presence in private properties.

The local professional tour operator who respects the goals of the ecological restoration project and its protocols: Terra Luna (Puerto Guadal). The nearest camping is just before No. 3 below ↓. No tourism or other operator or association are in any way linked to the project or can provide information about it. The project is in no way related to the business at the turn into the valley from ruta 7 (“Ruta Leon”) or the information posted there ( No. 2↓), and cannot be represented by those.


Prevention of damage to the ecosystem by tourism

  1. 2.Turn from the main road;

  2. 3.Start of Project’s properties;

  3. 4.End of road and start of walking trail of 9,2 km;

  4. 5.End of Project’s properties.

A citation: “Tourism is unsustainable, effects can be mitigated, but not always. CO2 offsets are just hiding the damage”. Chris Thomson, Head of Responsible Tourism, Federation of Tour Operators.

You might imagine this landscape with 2 m of additional soil cover on the hills, ancient native forest

and unknown wildlife - the situation of 80 years ago

Tourism is identified as a threat to bird life in the San Rafael National Park :

If we loved Nature we would not have put it under intense stress

by our occasional, disposable and hedonistic visits for “recreational use”

One-third of global protected land is under intense human pressure | Science.pdf

In 1993 EUROPARC published the ground breaking report “Loving them to death.pdf”, which called for sustainable tourism in Europe’s Protected Areas, the situation is just worsening now

Road in the valley

in autumn

“Tourist warts”

You will see this landscape, representative of the situation in the whole region and reason for the Project, a critically degraded nature and a novel ecosystem :