El Saltillo on the Chico River
The adventure circuits in Argentinian Patagonia include remote places like El Saltillo, an oasis in a wild scene.
This tour goes across very humid green spaces and a very dry steppe before it comes to the Chico River, which then occupies the foreground.
The Chico River -whose name stands for "small" in Spanish- is located in the Province of Chubut and represents a destination in any tourist guide. Its geologic formation, its deep volume and its three spectacular waterfalls (being El Saltillo
one of them) invite everyone to travel the lonely southern roads in order to get to see this place.
We left the City of El Bolsón
with the intention of visiting this unique natural site. We headed for Cushamene along solitary roads where the wind was our sole companion. Once at that small typical southern town, we got some information from its denizens that helped us cross private properties and gates in order to access the Chico River.
We walked along its bank and admired the deep ravine and its rock layers featuring thousands of colors made up by a wide array of minerals. Then we got to a deep crack in the soil and caught sight of the river. It runs deep between steep walls and, as a result of the faults in the ground, several waterfalls of different heights give shape to deep pools where the vegetation is lush. Boasting over 20 meters of height, El Saltillo stands out among the rest.
We had to go down over a hundred meters to reach the right place. We had a swim and enjoyed that river whose volume changes with the seasons. The ravine showed us its high walls, where the sound of the wind became really special. We went for a long hike amidst the rocks, which caused a great impression on us.
But there was one more amazing moment to come. We went towards the Chubut River and in a very plain area halfway through its course, we could observe a huge rock reaching over 200 meters of height. It was standing there alone, in the middle of nowhere. Expert mountaineers gather at this spot in order to carry out their ascents within the adventure travel circuits.
We followed our itinerary towards the south along traditional National Route 40, but our mind preserved the image of those natural beauties for good.
How to get here: El Saltillo
lies 140 kilometers away from El Bolsón and 40 kilometers from Cushamene.
In both cases, the distance that stands between this location and urban centers makes it essential to carry water and food.