It is recognised on national and international level (UNESCO, IUCN, SNASPE, SER, Biodiversity Convention, etc.) that tourism, growing exponentially,

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

June 2019

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 Project Pichimahuida.

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

Peace of Nature is essential for the success of any Nature restoration or reforestation project.   

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

  1. I.The Setting:

  2. The Project is in no way related to the information at the turn from Ruta 7 or from other local sources;

  3. 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;

  4. 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;

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

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

Renowed conservationist on devastation by intense tourism in regional national parks

Tourists create  important erosion in the region

  1. II.To reduce human impact: the rules of transit applied in the Project :

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

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

You can help 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 walking 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, stay on 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. Do not harass the few remaining wild animals, most of them are protected by law; they did not come to see us, we walk on their territory;

  4. Do not disturb plants, in particular in stony open, and thus fragile, areas;

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

  6. The enforcement of the rules is constantly monitored and contraventions reported.

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

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

of deaths of wild animals by exhaustion and starvation,

One sportsman can disturb thousands of water birds.pdf

Privacy: You shall not take photos of the Project (private property) and/or share them on internet, social networks, video and photo sharing platforms, or any other public site. Taking photos or videos of a 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.

Have you seen this advertisement ?

III. The conditions of access through the Project (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 you leave the Project (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 Project 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 to 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 (SER Conference, Iceland, September 2018)

Some countries banned access to glaciers

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;

  2. Rescue operations are expensive;

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

  4. High wildfire risk in the valley in summer;

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

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

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

  8. 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, , this local tourist operator has information on the restoration project and can provide other reliable information on the area.

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 the Project’s property;

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

  4. 5.End of the Project’s property.

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 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 international Convention on Biodiversity is very reserved as to tourism.

Road in the valley

in autumn