leones road


It is recognised on national and international level (UNESCO, Biodiversity and other international environmental conventions, IUCN,  SER,  etc.) that tourism, growing exponentially, whether ordinary, “nature”, “eco”, “scientific”, “adventure”, “conservation”, “de- or re-forestation”, “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 continued 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 and its properties.

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

The setting:

  1. The unofficial access to the lake Leones area (Laguna San Rafael National park), by private neighborhood road X-732 in the valley and further trail, is part of a series of private properties; public passage through the project constitutes, therefore, trespassing onto its properties;

  2. There are no legal easements for public access to the national park (sector Leones or other) through private properties in favor of tourists or tourism operators (with concessions or not) in the valley, on the road X-732 or otherwise in the properties of the project, neither there are concessions or provisions for developing any economic, including tourism, activity in its properties;

  3. The valley is a good example of regional ecosystem destruction in the 1930s-1940s, see image below;

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

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

Renowned local conservationist on devastation by intense tourism in regional national parks

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

Leaving more than footprints: impact of tourism in Chilean Patagonia

  1. The road in the valley was repaired, at places built, for the restoration project and as a fire or eruption escape road, using only personal, quite significant funds. It was not built for the tourism business, which is exploiting it now without consideration or compensation, thus diverting resources of the project from the main goal of ecological restoration;

  2. The signposting within the project was entirely done by the managers using only personal funds;

  3. The area is monitored with cameras:

Trip financed by CIEP, National Geographic and Patagonia:

“In the habitat I am exploring the human is not welcome.

How can I prevent people from going here and destroy everything?”

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.

If you, as homo turisticus consumeristicus, decided to brave the closure of the park and the absence of servitudes allowing public passage, you will do it at your own risk:

  1. As to the sector Leones: you may be able to pay the fines directly to Conaf

   as they check the sector regularly, or there is an office in Puerto Tranquilo;

  1. Liability for leaving garbage, including in private properties, can be up to 200.000 CLP;

  2. You might not be covered by your insurances as you are, de facto,

   trespassing strictly private land with no official public access or passage easements;

  1.   No responsibility or liability of the landowners can be invoked at any time;

  2. The area is remote and isolated;

  3. The road is an bad condition, followed by a difficult trail.

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


  1.   Several lethal hypothermia and diving accidents occurred in the waters of the area

   in the last years;

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

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

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

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

  5. The hantavirus is present throughout the South of the country;

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

  1.   Loss of nature poses risks to economy and human health,

   uncontrolled regional tourism is accentuating this risk;

  1. As global tourism is the main modern vector of pathogens, in particular Covid-19,

   you might be subject to potential liability under the legislation on propagation

   of illnesses,  and you will see these signs in the project →

Scientific tourism in the form of scientific research expeditions and biodiversity

assessments generally present risks for the ecosystem they study.

The local professional tour operator who shares the goals and concerns of the nature protection project: Terra Luna (Puerto Guadal). If you are interested in sustainable tourism in the area you shall contact El Puesto (Puerto Rio Tranquilo). Both have information about the project. The nearest camping and heritage tourism is Turismo Melikina, just before the collapsing bridge over the Melinquina river. The nearest horse riding and trekking within the valley is Turismo Valle Leones.

The project is in no way related to the signposting or to the business (“Ruta Leon”) at the turn into the valley from ruta 7, and in no case can be represented, promoted or explained by them:  it has been confronted to ethically and legally incompatible misrepresentation and misuse of this project that tries to repair the damage done to nature by colonisation, which resulted in moral and financial prejudice to it.  A legal watch programme was initiated in order to address the present crisis of responsibility.

Prevention of damage to the ecosystem by tourism

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 before the ecocide, 80 years ago

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

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

As to the landscape of the destroyed valley of the Delta/Leones river, representative of the situation in the region and reason for the project: critically degraded nature and a novel ecosystem

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

of deaths of wild animals by exhaustion and starvation.

Promotions which produced important revenues in no way shared with the community in the valley living through difficult times, with those who tried to keep the place safe for the future generations of all species, with those whose life, work and security (more than 15 properties on the way) depend on the preserved nature features. According to experience, coming soon in this sector?:

Have you seen this advertisement ?  www.iamag.co/huawei-gnu-gnu/

New social media guidance

A showcase of deleterious effect of marketing promotions by social media in nature protected areas:

In early 2021 a media promotional risky ice swimming “challenge” was organised in the lake. In the closed sector of the national park. With very limited attention being paid to safety rules for such “challenges”. In the midst of the epidemic. With no respect of Covid sanitary rules. Passing through more than 15 private properties with no public access.

The location, the organiser and the event were largely and continuously publicised. Result: acute increase of public interest for and traffic to the sector of the national park in order to replicate the event, and subsequent activation of plans to build a large public access through the, so far, quiet and preserved valley.  It means:

For the area: small landowners in the valley see their property and other rights and interests ignored, and therefore abused.

For the local tour operators:  arrival of intensive car traffic and large boats companies impossible to compete with.

For the nature protection project: compromised efforts to give nature and wildlife the chance to regenerate in peace.

Not mentioning the impact on the sensitive ecosystems of the national park.  All this for the promotion of: 

Marketing companies;          Cameras  ;                        Swimming suits ;                     Insurances,             etc.