When we saw the center of Alto Palena and its surroundings, we enjoyed discovering its essence, its people and each one of its wonderful nooks which may be visited whether on foot or by car.
Our first feeling when we set foot in the center of Alto Palena and spoke with its people was the need to slow down and become adapted to the coziness of the people, the quietness of the streets and the beholding of nature, which invited us to relax and enjoy our visit to this town.
The Plaza de Armas represents the center of all formal activities, as the Carabiniers, the town hall with its Visitors Assistance Center and the Banco del Estado building are settled there.
That block of ancient tree groves has a water fountain in the middle and benches that give the idea that citizens gather up there just to “get together”. Neat and illuminated, it represents what we would see in town.
The famous Palena River
Streets of Palena
Its vantage points
Its Medialuna (croissant)
A family village
Church of Alto Palena
Arturo Casanova and José Urra were our hosts during this first encounter with Alto Palena. Their politeness let us ask about the activities we could enjoy there and they led us around on their truck and on foot to enjoy a tour around the square and the nearby area.
During a short visit to the Visitors Center, we could observe an excellent scale model displaying the orography of the entire Palena Basin with its settlements, the height of its mountains, its rivers and lakes. This was an excellent way to see the land that we would visit afterwards.
Lying on the outskirts but at the same time very close to town, we made contact with its Medialuna (croissant), the place where every year in January the Official Rodeo event takes place. Alto Palena and the entire commune present their best men in that specialty: horse taming and rein handling.
Towards the Outskirts
It was the turn of the surroundings of Palena, with its vantage points onto the four cardinal points where we became completely aware of the green shades around us. We climbed with our truck and as we reached our destination, we could get a close-up view of town.
We were impressed by the neat aspect of the paved streets in the center of town and the famous Palena River, flowing nearby. The entire town is framed by a mountain range that seems to protect the valley.
From Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross), we could spot Cerro de la Virgen (Hill of the Virgin) and Cerro Bandera (Hill of the Flag) with Álvaro’s help and his clear explanations while we were hiking. We stopped for a moment to shoot some pictures and continue chatting very leisurely.
Maybe we did not see everything, but we saw all the essential spots, those we must not miss if we visit this beautiful settlement located in the Palena-Queulat Basin.
Mónica Pons Eduardo Epifanio
See more points of interest in Alto Palena