South of Hornopirén, connected to it by two ferries, lies PARQUE PUMALÍN (www.parquepumalin.cl), the world’s largest privately owned conservation area, covering 3200 square kilometres (790,400 acres) of land. The Pumalín Project, founded by North American millionaire Douglas Tompkins to protect one of the world’s last strongholds of temperate rainforest, originally generated a considerable amount of controversy, yet few would deny that the park represents a magnificent environmental achievement. It’s a place of overwhelming natural beauty, with hauntingly calm lakes reflecting stands of endangered alerce trees, ferocious waterfalls gushing through chasms of dark rock, and high, snowy-peaked mountains. Parque Pumalín falls into two sections, cut in half by a large chunk of land owned by ENDESA, the Spanish-owned energy corporation.

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