It is recognised on national and international level (UNESCO, IUCN, SNASPE, SER, Biodiversity Convention, etc.) that tourism, whether ordinary, “nature”, “eco”, “scientific”, “educational”, “bad weather” or “last chance”

constitutes a major threat to Nature and natural ecosystems, and their restoration

One of the main objectives of the Project is to protect damaged Nature from commercial use,

including uncontrolled development of local tourism, and other anthropogenic pressures

and thus help it regenerate itself

December 2018

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

No tourist operations of whatever kind are allowed in the PPA Pichimahuida (PPAP).

The land was bought to protect it because it was severely degraded and deserved a better life.

Peace and privacy of Nature are essential for the success of any Nature restoration or aforestation project.   

Straight access in direction of lake Leones area (Laguna San Rafael national park) and back (to Ruta 7) through the properties of the PPAP is tolerated only:

  1. I.The Setting:

  1. The sign post at the turn from the Carretera Austral into the valley is misleading: it indicates the Northern Patagonian Ice field at 30 km, while the ice field is not accessible via valley Leones (see map at the bottom of this page);

  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;

  3. The road X-732 in the valley is a private road with the exception of the first 200 m, the trail to the lake Leones area (Laguna San Rafael National park) goes through private properties.

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

  1. II.To reduce human impact: the Rules applied in the PPAP :

The rules apply equally to individual visitors and tourist guides passing by the properties of the PPAP

from their start till its last gate (see map below)

  1. Only 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 trail;

  3. All private property laws and penalties apply;

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

  1. Do not leave the road and the marked trail, do not leave the trail even if it’s muddy - the area around is very sensitive, in particular in the rocky areas; in no case drive off-road;

  2. Do not trespass into the properties, do not camp, do not make fire, do not leave any type of garbage -

        do not put yourself in an illegal situation;

  1. Leave gates as you find them;

  2. Do not bring dogs or cattle;

  3. Respect the few remaining wild animals, do not harass or feed them, most of them are protected by law;

  4. Do not make cairns, worldwide know as “tourist warts” - they will be destroyed;

  5. The application of the rules is constantly monitored.

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

deaths of wild animals by exhaustion and starvation.

Privacy: You shall not take photos of the Project and/or share them on internet and social networks, you are in private land not in public domain. In response the managers will not share the photos of your passage. 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.

Have you seen this advertisement ?

III. The conditions of access through the PPAP (see photos):

  1. The road is a dirt, not maintained path in bad condition;

  2. Accessible only for 4x4 cars;

  3. Subject to frequent flooding and occasional landslides;

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

  5. Follows difficult trail of 9 km, not marked after you leave the PPAP (last yellow sign),

      the trail does not meet criteria for a sustainable footpath;

  1. River crossings are not safe;

  2. 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 Project only,

     using only personal quite significant funds, it enabled day trips to the lake;

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

     only personal funds;

  1. Passage through the property is provided free of charge;


Entrance fees into the national park would normally

apply for the lake Leones sector in the park

  1. The road is used as a fire control and escape road;

  2. In order to keep it in reasonable shape you are requested to minimise the damage.

Tourism is the second, after climate change, cause of glaciers melting.

IV. The dangers:

  1. The area is very remote and isolated;

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


  1. Fatal accidents in lake and river Leones occurred in January and

   November 2016;

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

  2. High wildfire risk in the valley in summer;

  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. Pay attention to hantavirus alerts - lots of rodents, potential carriers;

  6. Make sure you have good waterproof hiking shoes, they fall apart regularly.  → → →

Scientific tourism in the form of scientific research expeditions and biodiversity

assessments generally present risks for the ecosystem they study.

A local tour operator respectful of the Project:  Terra Luna, , they also have information on the restoration project and can contact the managers for more information.

Verification of tour operators, accommodation and patents by Sernatur: , you may also check Conaf rules for national parks and protected areas - you are going to a national park.

The project is not related in any way to the operations and services at the start of

the valley ( No. 2↓) or the information provided there.

Nearest camping is just before No. 3 below.


Prevention of damage to the ecosystem by tourism

  1. 2.Turn from the main road;

  2. 3.Start of PPAP properties;

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

  4. 5.End of PPAP properties.

You will see this landscape, representative of the situation in the whole region and reason for the project:

critically degraded nature (photos) and a novel ecosystem

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, less than 100 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 visits and “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.