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“4 hour hike into paradise” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Refugio Cochamo (La Junta)

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Refugio Cochamo (La Junta)
New York, NY
Level Contributor
31 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“4 hour hike into paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2014

The Refugio Cochamo is really fabulous and we loved our experience staying in the dorms there. Since you can rent a bed and sleeping bags, you just need to bring clothing and a toothbrush! It’s definitely worth booking in advance since there is limited space, and also worth carrying in a good amount of snacks (and maybe a box of wine). The owners' philosophy is to create a comfortable place for people to hang out with a lot of options as well as a good place for camping, but give everyone the space to do what they want and explore however they want to explore, sans tours or guides.

The 4 1/2 hour hike in to the Refugio is super pretty and quite easy, especially if (like us) you just bring daypacks. You go through various sections of beautiful forests, pampas (grasslands), horse trails, and cross little streams and bogs and wooden logs and bridges. At certain places, you can see or even climb down to the crystalline water of the Cochamo River, or see the giant rock domes that look out over the area, impressively overseeing the landscape. The instructions on the Refugio's website are surprisingly clear, and worth printing out or saving to your phone to peek at midway through.

Apparently this area is being touted as “South America’s undiscovered Yosemite” and “the next Torres del Paine” (to note, I think you can hike through to Argentina here now if you bring camping gear). I don’t know how it compares, but it is epically beautiful and in a largely untrodden area. On the hike in, we saw maybe 6 people hiking out, plus 2 locals with some bulls, horses, and sheep. Other than that, it was just us and the tabanos (these huge flies that appear for a few weeks each year).

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OurEpicAdventur... A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
109 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2014

La Junta is a privately owned valley that is almost a mirror image of Yosemite with huge granite cliffs towering above it and hence a huge draw for rock climbers. It is accessed only by horsepack(3.5h) or hiking in(5h) and there are 2 hostels and a campground so no lodging over a 2 star rating and don't expect orient express conditions, this is a step above camping. I researched both options, and the refugio seemed the better one, cheaper and a nicer facility and we were happy with our choice. Daniel the American owner and his Argentinean wife Silvina run the place with her mom and friends doing all the cooking and cleaning. Its a hostel with a shared bunk room for sleeping bags and 2 double rooms and minimal privacy. Wood fired hot water for 2h every night and a nice oven where the make pizzas and bread. We got in through our tour operator Fabian and Southern Trips. After a 3-4h ride thru a sea of heinous mud the lodge was a great oasis with a nice deck with views all around and cozy dining room and clean linens. There are plenty of day hikes from the lodge and the valley is spectacular, the food good and everyone super friendly. A great place to spend a family vacation.

Room Tip: Book early if you want a private room.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Aegir101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2014

Beautiful place to stay 4 hours into a beautiful valley. However keep in mind it is a Refugio. Granted it has window screens (seriously, first place I've seen them in South America, but definitely required up there for the horse flies), comfortable beds, and serves Pizza and delicious vegetarian meals. But they do get their electricity from a water-turbine, so if it's dry (as it was when we were up there) it is lit by candle light, and don't depend on being able to charge camera battery.

Food is expensive (but it is a long way from anywhere) but delicious. You can cook on your own but I don't believe there's a refrigerator (so think dry food you'd bring hiking).

Cochamo valley is a beatiful place. If you want to see it, and are willing to pay for a nice place to stay. Stay here. Otherwise bring up a tent and camping gear and visit here when you're craving a pizza.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2014 via mobile

This was truly the highlight of our month trip in Chile! We stayed at the Refugio for 5 nights and that was the perfect amount of time. It is very clean, the women who work there are super welcoming and friendly, the view is amazing and the food yummy. We cooked some nights and ordered their homemade pizza two nights. We enjoyed reading and hanging out on their awesome porch, meeting other travelers and exploring the area's hikes. This place is an absolute gem! A note: there is no food or drink available to buy except lunch and dinner from their kitchen. We didn't quite bring enough food so we were rationing ourselves! Although you can always buy a sandwich or dinner from the Refugio.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wildplummosaics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2014

No gain without pain! Oh I hate that sort of stuff it's reminds me of unfinished homework! The 13km trek in was a challenge for old legs through mud, marsh, gullies and driving rain but once there the refugio team swings into action. Silvina pulled us across the river in the flying fox and 5 minutes later Daniel met us on the verandah encouraging us to shed cold wet clothes for dryer ones and to come inside by the potbelly for a large cup of steaming tea or coffee. The refugio itself is a lovely building of local timber and so well designed with sleeping upstairs and living down, separate kitchen for self caterers, one bathroom upstairs and two downstairs. New Years Eve was a special night for about 30+ of us. Some of the campers joined us. All home made delights! Large plates of dips, huge lamb main and three slices of cake. Those who took or bought wine shared it around. The drumming and dancing stopped sometime after 1am. The day trekking options are numerous and the scenery stunning. Daniel knows the landscape inside out and can advise on treks and climbing. The surrounding mountains are a Mecca for climbers who pack out the camping area. Daniel, Silvina and their team were amazing and the treks stunning adding up to pure magic. You need at least 3 days and New Years Eve. Some people stay weeks. We would have liked to.

Room Tip: There are are only two double rooms. Part of the dorm is being converted to another double soon. If...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Steve0132013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2013

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights in the dormatory and had a wonderful time here. The dormatory is a 18 person dorm and arranged in two rows of bunkbeds, all next to each other, but is quite nice as they have a divider every 2 beds so we felt like we were in a double bed. It is warm enough when we were there to only need a sheet to sleep in (we didnt really need the sleeping bags we hired!). The 2 double rooms come off the dorm so arent hugely private. The showers are hot at 7pm only. The spot really is very nice, we spent most afternoons on the deck taking in the view.
The food looked nice but we used the kitchen the whole time. 3 course dinner was 7000 each. Breakfast 2500 (though this was included if you stayed) - homemade bread and real coffee. Pizzas 7000+1000 per topping and would feed a hungry man or two women. Sandwiches 4000. CAMPERS – don’t rely on eating there in February (high season), they serve their guests first and can only cater for campers on quiet days. If you want a few drinks you need to bring them up!
The same couple own the camping and the refugio.
The walk up is not difficult, we had no map and didnt get lost. There are directions on the very good website. It took us 4hrs up (with no stops) and 3.5 down. We are of average fitness and 30 years old!
Last bus from cochamo-puerto montt was 5pm

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rhian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2013 via mobile

My husband and I recently spent two weeks at the Cochamo Refugio and we feel in love with the place, the people and the location. As soon as we arrived we were welcomed by the whole crew with hugs and warm smiles and we immediately felt like we were at home. In every aspect they went out of their way to make sure we were happy and well taken care of. The rooms and dorm are very clean and the beds are comfy. The Refugio is kept super clean and they provide a nice kitchen to prepare your own meals. I won't recommend preparing your own meals though, their food is outstanding. They offer fresh baked breads for breakfast, real coffee, deliciously generous sized sandwhiches for lunch and large plates of mouthwatering vegetarian food for dinner. Or you can enjoy their pizzas any time a day. Best food we have had in a long time!
If you are into the outdoors there are stunning hikes, natural water slides and emerald green rivers. If you are into climbing, you must come here!
This place is truly one of a kind. Just go! You will not be disappointed.
We are already planning for our next trip there next year:)

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lovelylogan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Refugio Cochamo (La Junta)

Property: Refugio Cochamo (La Junta)
Address: La Junta River, Cochamo, Chile
Region: Chile > Los Lagos Region > Cochamo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Cochamo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 27

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