In order to continue this “initiative”, taken during the pandemic,  a contract allowing promotional teams to use free of charge and unrestrictedly nature protected areas (which obviously cannot include the areas outside these areas and parks) in an exclusive way was concluded. You may see similar examples on the site for responsible use of protected land and their

Instagram account @publiclandshateyou, designed to protect nature areas from “influencers” of social media.  

Absurd influencers ruin nature

"So I always ask myself, is it about likes and themselves

or do they really care about the planet and nature?"

Disastrous effect on nature of the irresponsibility of “influencers”

Instagram ruining the great outdoors

How Instagram is destroying natural wonders

We’ve had enough of instagramers destroying our nature

And many more...

degraded ecosystem valley Leones


The sector Leones is, de facto, closed to public access without concessionaires.

It is recognised by various national and international settings (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” and, in particular, “instratourism” and sport tourism constitutes a serious threat to nature and natural ecosystems.

One of the objectives of the project is to protect already 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 the private neighborhood road X-732 in the valley and further trail, is part of a series of private properties (at least 15);  there are no legal easements for public access to the national park (sector Leones or other) through the private properties in favor of tourists or tourism operators (with concessions or not) on the road X-732 or otherwise in the properties of the project; public passage through the project constitutes, therefore, trespassing onto its properties;

  2. There are no concessions, provisions or authorisations for developing any commercial, in particular tourism,  activity in its properties, neither formal arrangements with any tour operator to conduct any business; any professional/commercial photography or filming of any type, including by drone, is banned, and can be subject to explicit prior agreement by the landowners in exceptional cases, like in any private property; the nature reserve reserves the right to take respective measures for non‐observance of the above in order to protect the privacy of nature;

  3. The valley is a good example of the 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.

2021: France bans some internal flights for climate.

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 the community fire 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 it 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 sector 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, or your tour operator, might not be covered by the insurances as you are, strictly 

   speaking, trespassing private land with no public passage;

  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 in 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 all year, no fire prevention or fire management in the valley,

    campfires are prohibited under any circumstances (Law 20.653);

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

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

  3. The images of the cameras are the property of the landowners and can be used at their

   judgement within the limits imposed by the law;

  1. 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 tourism is accentuating this risk;

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

   you might be subject to potential special liability under the legislation on propagation of illnesses;                

  1. Do not forget that this land is not abandoned, you are passing by a strict nature reserve, the home of trees, plants and wild

  animals, through a tree cemetery, where the orchards are reserved to wildlife.

 Disease outbreaks more likely in deforestation areas

Scientific tourism in the form of scientific research expeditions and biodiversity

assessments generally present risks for the ecosystem they study.

You can bypass imposing yourself to the impaired ecosystem by visiting the lake by jet boat with a neighbor professional tour operator, Terra Luna , in a responsible and safe way, with correct information on the glacier, and if you are lucky thus you can see the ice swimming training of the only sportsperson who seems to have free access to the sector of the national park. The nearest neighbor’s camping and heritage tourism is Turismo Melikina, also trekking to the glacier of the same name, located just before the collapsing bridge over the Melinquina river. The nearest safe horse riding and trekking in the in the surroundings is Turismo Valle Leones. You will find adequate scientific information on the local ecosystems, including those of glaciers, in Parque Exploradores (@parqueexploradores) and its sustainable tourism lodge El Puesto (Puerto Rio Tranquilo).

The project is in no way related to the business (“Ruta Leon”, Puerto Guadal) advertised at the turn into the valley from ruta 7, and in no case can be represented, promoted or explained by them or their staff, including using any types of associations or media:  it has been confronted to ethically and legally incompatible misrepresentation and prejudicial misuse of this project that tries to repair the damage done to nature by colonisation (see case below, for example).  An area-based legal watch programme was initiated in order to address the present crisis of responsibility.

Prevention of damage to Nature by the industry of mass tourism and other illicit uses

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 :

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 Leones/Delta 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.

Advertisements and promotion of use of private protected land and nature, which produced and keeps producing 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, with those whose life, income and security depend on the preserved natural features. 

According to experience, coming soon in the valley?

Have you seen this advertisement ?

New social media guidance

An interesting showcase of deleterious effects in nature protected areas of

social media’s self-promotional campaigns and superficial TV shows:

In early 2021 a media promotional risky ice swimming “challenge” was held in the lake. In the then (23.01.2021) closed sector of the national park. With very limited attention being paid to safety rules for such “challenges”. In the midst of the Covid pandemic, with no respect of Covid sanitary rules (quarantine in the commune).  The swimming in a lake, which has no official public access, nor any professional rescue coverage, has been largely and continuously promoted in social networks and in the mass media (TVN 10 July).  Some of the filming was performed in an area specially protected for its high biodiversity and fragile state, without informing the landowners. Why the television crew did not contact the landowners to obtain prior agreement and conditions, as it shall be done for any professional/commercial filming in private lands, and thus destroyed the protective privacy of nature there and put the TV crew in a delicate position subject to legal reclamation? Mystery...

The value of the so far preserved land, the joint efforts to protect the nature of the valley and its image were exported and sold to and by actors of the media market strangers to these efforts,  through “greenwashing”.

As expected, the ecological footprint of the event: increase of mass tourism interest for and traffic to the restricted sector of the national park through private rural land, including the largest in the region private nature protected area.  It means:

For the sector: small landowners in the valley see their property’s and other rights (like the right to be protected from Covid) and interests ignored and abused.

For local tour operators:  pressure from large tourism companies and mass social media tourism impossible to compete with.

For the nature protection project: substantial efforts deployed to give nature and wildlife a chance to regenerate are seriously compromised.

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.etc.

You may wish not to do to nature what you would not like to be done to you: abstain from violating its privacy, not consider it as an “object” or “thing”, not promote it like a “zoo animal” to visit.