II.  If you, as homo turisticus consumeristicus, whether individuals or as businesses, have decided anyway to see the meagre remains of the chunk of ice that used to be a glacier in the not habilitated sector of the State protected area, and witness the tragedy of the destroyed land on the way, you may be made responsible for :

  1. Promoting this land for public use in public domain and thus putting a successful

   nature restoration project at risk;

  1. Trespassing private agricultural land and breach of rights of landowners;

  2.   Entering non-habilitated State-controlled sectors of protected areas.


  1. The liability for leaving garbage, including bicycles and in private property,

   can be up to $ 200,000 (Law 20.879);

  1. High wildfire risk, no fire management in the valley. It is a crime to light a fire in any circumstance (Law No. 20,653);

  2. You are not covered by travel and other insurances as you are trespassing private land with no formal authorisation;

  3. There are no tourism lawyers in the region, unlike in other popular tourism destinations;

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

  5. You may be risking your life;

  6. It is mandatory to notify the CONAF office of your entry and return from the NP. Rules for remote areas in Aysén.

  7. Beware tourism bookings by WhatsApp or social media, often they are not declared to the authorities and difficult to prove in     case of dispute;

  8. Reporting contacts: denunciaseguro.cl, *4242 (safe reporting); forest fires: 130; police: 134; drugs: 135; consumers‘ rights SERNAC.  Important, as insecurity is increasing in the region;                               Drug trafficking in national parks

  9. Do not forget that this land is not abandoned and is under effective protection, 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.


It is recognised at various levels that tourism, growing exponentially and becoming overtourism (global issue), whether ordinary, “nature-based”, “eco”, “scientific”, “adventure”, “conservation”, “revenge”, “de- or re-forestation”, “bad weather”, “last chance”, sport or “instratourism”, constitutes a threat to Nature in all its forms. One of the main objectives of this legal project is to protect the already critically damaged land from continued pressures, including exploitation through the uncontrolled development of mass tourism in the area, acting in a synergetic cumulative effect with other stresses,

as well as leading to the disneyfication of nature and local culture.

Developing in the absence of proactive management and long-term planning.

Aggravated by the fact that Tourism law, especially on adventure and nature-based tourism, is not taught and is enforced

ad minima in the area. Hence a goal of the project: restore the Rule of Law and effective protection in

a part of the buffer zone of a biosphere reserve.

The place was not acquired to facilitate access to a State-regulated area: a non-habilitated sector

of the core area of a biosphere reserve = the Laguna San Rafael national park (LSRNP),

an action for which any person, physical or legal, would be legally liable;

but for nature and land protection and restoration as it was severely degraded and deserved a better life,

focusing on sustainable degrowth and on the protection of the right of Nature to survival and heal itself.

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

No tourism operations of whatever kind are allowed within the project.   

I. The setting:

  1. 1.The sector Leones (glacier Leones and lake Leones) of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field, like all other glaciers and their lakes of this Ice Field, accessible from the Leones valley, is located well into the Laguna San Rafael national park (LSRNP, see map), an area under official legal protection of the State, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. There are no official entry points for public into this national park, and therefore into the ice field, in this sector. Access to nature State-protected areas is regulated by Conaf. Entries into habilitated sectors of national parks are booked through the official pasesparques.cl platform.  Situation in national parks.   Procedures for expeditions in Aysen: non-compliance leads to legal charges.

Relevant legal issues:

- Confirmed regular checks by the park rangers in the sector Leones of the Northern Ice Field. You may be able to pay the fines directly to the management of the park (Conaf), or there is an office in Puerto Tranquilo.

  1. -The passage in the valley is under surveillance, drones and cameras. All information on tourism, whether individual or with operators or guides, is transmitted to the management of the park, including number plates of cars, bikes and bicycles.

- The signs on road 7 (Carretera Austral) at the turn into the intra-farm accesses (there is no public road) within the Leones valley, in addition to infringing the property rights of the local population (a human right, Art. 17 of the Universal Declaration of human rights), arbitrarily affect an area in State property and under legal protection of the State (the national park), what would normally constitute a legally questionable act.

2.  There are NO tour operators or freelance guides with valid permits for running business in the sector Leones of the LSRNP, a fact confirmed by the administration of the park. Please contact the management of the LSRNP for confirmation. 

Legal issues:

- Legal base: Decree No. 50 on tourism concessions, Law 20.423 on tourism and its Decree No. 19, Circular A-41/003 of the maritime authority.

  1. -The local actors of the tourism industry have created a problem: overlooking deliberately the critical need to meet all legal requirements necessary for the conduct of their business activities, thus implying collective responsibility of the tourism industry for cumulative damage of this diffuse industry.

  2. -Adventure tourism services must comply with the security standards in national legislation, large fines apply.                                            

       Adventure tourism check         Travel agencies check

  1. -It’s important to make sure that the agency or guide you hire has secured the necessary permits for the sector where he/she operates, in particular for navigation and walking on ice, as well as that other legal conditions met, to avoid paying for an illegal service.

3. Terrestrial route to the sector Leones of the LSRNP:

As from the turn from Ruta CH-7 (Carretera Austral) into intra-farms accesses in Leones valley, the transit through the valley is crossing exclusively private rural properties, from 15 to 20 private agricultural plots of land adjacent to the LSRNP (source: maps of Sii.cl). The private status of this access was confirmed by the Road Service (Vialidad MOP) of the region and at least three local lawyers. The opportunistic trespassing of private land by external business or by any other passage in no way transforms private access into a public road or creates legal servitudes for public or tourism passage, the creation of these being a specific process defined by law and to be arranged by the habilitated authority. The absence of servitudes and of public access is also confirmed in the management plan of the LSRNP.

Legal issues:

- Breach of property rights of the rural local landowners in the valley, non-recognition of some property rights;

- The green “public road” sign to the “Campo de hielo” and other similar signs installed wittingly, are, therefore, misleading and bear legal consequences, such as vehiculating disinformation and “false advertising”;

  1. -The commercialisation by the local tourism industry for its own benefit of the use of the private property of others (res aliena), of their efforts and investments, with no mandate for it, may be qualified as illegal. It is subject to legal claims litigating this activity, as well as compensation claims for the resulting illicit enrichment, for compensation of damage and losses of the landowners affected, for restitution to the only use by the landowners of the wrongfully used properties, for compensation for the wrongful use of the land;

- Most (if not all) of the land in the valley is registered for agricultural use. The above-mentioned tourism pressure is illicitly, de facto, imposing a change of land use for “industrial” use, the tourism industry being one of the world’s largest industries ;

- Any external activity using the shared between the rural landowners resources would require their agreement, properly legally registered, to use their respective land plots;

  1. -As mass tourism is an important vector of pathogens, of Covid-19 among others, special liability can be invoked under the national law on propagation of illnesses (Art. 318.bis of the Criminal Code), the right of the home owners to check the sanitary hazards entering into their properties was violated;

  2. -Advertising private and protected properties to public access exposes them to the national security crisis;

  3. -General Law on Urbanisation and Building: it is not allowed to create streets in rural areas (art. 55-56).

4. Consecutive civil liability issues:  The person, physical or legal, who caused the damage, is obliged to compensate it.

A. Liability can be invoked for damages and interests claimed, through Individual and collective civil law claims, including through the right of recourse, leading to compensation and injunction, in case of:

1. Personal injury, e.g. accident, epidemic, assault;

2. Property damage, including breach of rights relevant to property owned and regulated by the State;

3. Pure economic loss;

4. Environmental harm: civil liability for ecological damage, damage to protected natural resource, for loss/damage to ecosystem services (natural resource services), with emphasis on cost of restoration, not on determining economic value natural resource

5. Tourism product liability, damage caused by non-conformity of product, including information and operational arrangements.

B. In particular:

1. In case of non-residential passage, with tour guide or not, for:

i) damage to property, other material loss, moral damage, resulting from legitimately assuming that you are in a space accessible to public, while you are either in a private property, or State property subject to specific regulations.  This delusion can been attributed to the misinformative advertising of private lands for public use and non-authorised transit into State regulated areas;

ii) fines and other penalties resulting from the access to the national park (Northern Ice Field);

iii) non-acceptance into various rural properties and nature protected areas;

iv) absence of coverage by insurances, either personal or of the tour operators or guides;

v) purchasing a corrupted tourism product.

2. In case the property rights of rural landowners (including the State for the national park), are affected, for:

i) Reduction of the level of protection and conservation of nature protected areas, the national park and private;

ii) Cost of restoration;

iii) The appropriation of the use of the property of others by the tourism business, resulting degradation of private investments and resources, de facto selling the use of the land and of the image, with dividends. In this case the compensation of damage would be added by the claim to restitute of the use of the illicitly appropriated estate (land) to the only use by its owner;

iv) resulting depreciation of value of land;

  1. v)any type of damage resulting from treating private land as accessible to public, e.g. from tourism invasion (including tourism-generated fires);

  2. vi) increase of insecurity in the Leones valley and expenses related to personal protection;

vii) unjustified enrichment from using the land of others without permission, including the proceeds of the operations and savings resulting from them;

viii) damage from non-solicited constructions in private land and nature protected areas;

ix) harm to reputation and violation of the right to the image along with defamation;

x) damage from forgery and fraud in documents.

C. Depending on the case and type of damage, the claims would be addressed by the affected party to:

1. The tour operator, guide or, in particular,  Sernatur Aysen, as the source of misleading information on a State protected area; to CIEP: promoting, via scientific programmes and for own benefit, public use of private land, without any verification of the legal status of the land. Trace Gale Detrich

2. The origin of the misleading information:  the Commune , if misled by the promotional sign at the turn from the Carretera Austral; to the Rewilding foundation if you saw it in the passport of the Parks Route, promoting “unofficial” entries in a State Protected Wilderness Area without verifying their legal status.

The civil law claims could be also addressed to the respective business behind a publication with false information such as the article in Ladera Sur ; or to the carretera-austral.cl  (a digital marketing agency from Santiago) for promoted businesses; or to the clothing company Atakama Outdoors, if you saw it there. Or to the bicycling blog you consulted. Or Swoop Patagonia and National Geographic promoting “last chance tourism”. To the photographer Benjamin Valenzuela Wallis, in his channel.

If it’s the result of social media activity, contact the “influencers”:            kalem patagonia, rutaleon.info

Legal aspects of local 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

If you are passing by boat by the destroyed valley of the Leones/Delta river, representative of the situation in the region and reason for the project: critically degraded nature, ecosystem transformed by shock, a novel ecosystem.

You may consider 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”. We are protecting nature from ourselves - the best method would be to stay away.


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

2022: pollution from tourism and research increasing glaciers snowmelt.

The “no-trace” tourism is a lure,

the main trace is travel to the place and our mere presence in nature.

Tourists seldom respect the places they visit

Leaving more than footprints: impact of tourism in Chilean Patagonia

Cruise tourism – amusement at the expense of the environment

“Sustainable tourism” on fast melting glaciers in an area accessible only by planes or cruise ships,

in total absence of waste management,  is an oxymoron.

III. In the Project:                                                                                                                                      Measures against overtourism

  1. Private property with private access routes.

  2. All tourism and scientific investigations are banned, via the Real Right of Conservation agreement included in the land titles (Law 20.930). Details: Property Register, Chile Chico.

  3. The landowners are not liable for facilitating the illegality of third parties’ actions in the LSRNP and in the private properties.

  4. The access is open to residents of the valley only; after the floods of 2023 the change of the course of the Mapuche river and the works to remove the road and trail ceased to exist and will not be restored.

  5. Strict nature reserve. Registered status of land: agricultural land, in rehabilitation.

  6. No tourism business has rights in the project. All data on tourists, cars and other similar events, individual or with tourism business (operators or guides), are transmitted to the management of the park on regular basis.

  7. The property is monitored with surveillance cameras and drones. The images are the property of the landowners and can be used at their judgement within the limits of the law. The landowners reserve the right to transmit the data of your passage to the legal authorities in case of damage.

  8. Any professional/commercial use of any device capable of photographing or filming, including drones, without explicit agreement by the landowners or land stewards (lawyers under the Real right of conservation) is prohibited, like in any private property or national park. The project reserves the right to take necessary legal measures for non‐observance of this rule and to invoke respective liability.

  9. The property does not have borders with fiscal land, the land is adjacent to the national park and other private properties.

  10. The signposting was entirely done using only personal funds, for purposes of training of students in law.

  11. Any removal of wild fruits, plants or animals will be prosecuted by law.

  12. Due to proliferation of bicycle touring guides with false information, the Highlux company being a good example,  the access to bicycles has been banned.

Nature is not a playground, it works hard to survive.


- The project is not and cannot be assigned to the regional ZOIT Chelenko, unlike shown on its map. It was included arbitrarily in this zone of tourism industry, developed in different types of environments, including in private properties without prior consultation and agreement: only communal and inter-communal territories or certain areas within them, that require conservation measures and integrated planning, may be declared ZOITs (Art. 13 Law on Tourism).

- The project is in no way related to the tourism business “Ruta Leon”, nor Turismo Kalem Patagonia, nor to their camping Ventisquero Leon, at the start of the valley. In no way can it share the liability for any initiative of these businesses. Under no circumstances they have been granted any rights to develop any type of activities within the project, tourism or other. Any relevant authorisation or signature issued by its staff is to be considered as identity fraud, a complaint was filed.

- The tourism business which has been the most active in selling the use of land and investments of the landowners of the valley, to access the State protected area (Kalem Patagonia), according to the monitoring of tourists’ passage through the project, is in no way associated with this project or benefits from any authorisation by it. Ana Anita Luisa Romero Aguirre, @rutaleon, Franco Trinidad Rojas, Pascual Diaz, Roger Pascual Díaz Georgia, cabalgasur, @kalem_patagonia, @cabalgasur, @montagna_patagonia, balloon aysen, Ana Maria Seguel Beroiza, Moises Ignacio Diaz Seguel , el puesto rio tranquilo

- The project is in no way related to any Airbnb or camping in the area.   All accommodation services must be obligatorily registered in Sernatur (Law 20.423).                                                           Airbnb and influencers are chasing locals

A private site-based legal monitoring programme was initiated in order to address this accountability and liability impasse, affecting nature and law enforcement, and diluting responsibilities.

Green growth’ doesn’t exist – less of everything is the only way to avert catastrophe

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)

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.