Salto Chico

Patagonia / Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes, Chile

About Salto Chico

Hiking Distance: 1km round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2007-12-24
Date last visited: 2007-12-24

Waterfall Latitude: -51.11671
Waterfall Longitude: -72.99272

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Salto Chico was a small but powerful waterfall nestled beneath the luxury lodge Explora en Patagonia. What really made this falls so attractive were the gorgeous Chilean Patagonia peaks providing the scenic backdrop that would make anything fronting it photoworthy. Since the falls drained Lago Pehoé, its glacially fed meltwaters also tinged the water the familiar powder blue, which was an obvious indication of the sediment-rich nature of glacier-fed watercourses.

The only thing that took away from the scenic allure was the hideous building next to the base of the waterfall. It was especially annoying since the structure kind of blocked our ability to see all of the falls from closer to its base (see photo at the top of this page). That said, the edifice was apparently a hydroelectric contraption to help supply the neighboring luxury lodge with power. I’d also imagine the source of the freshwater there might also come from some minor water diversion as well. I guess with petrol being far away in a place like Patagonia, these bits of infrastructure were necessary in order to even have a resort here.

We were able to reach the waterfall from the Explora en Patagonia property. It was easy for us to forget about this waterfall considering the commanding panoramas of the Paine Massif and Los Cuernos del Paine over the aqua-bluegreen glacial lake that were everpresent regardless of where we stood on the property. Indeed, we were easily lost in thought here simply staring at the falls, feeling the Patagonian winds, listening to the falls thunderously tumbling towards calmer waters, and gazing at the gorgeous panoramas all around us.


Salto Chico and Explora en Patagonia was about 18km north of Hosteria Tyndall (where we were staying) on the main road or about 8km south of Salto Grande. It’s near the outflow of the scenic Lago Pehoé.

For context, Explora en Patagonia in the general Torres del Paine area was about 289km (about 4 hours drive not counting possible border crossing delays) south and west of El Calafate, Argentina.

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Tagged with: torres del paine, explora, patagonia, chile, lago pehoe, magallanes, waterfall

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