This route takes you up the highest southerly peak that can be seen from the main house, weaving along disused logging roads through the verdant pine forests. Emerging from the pines, you traverse the ridge with excellent views to the west, and then dip back down into the forest and across the creek.
Distance: 10.6 km
Time: 4hrs 10 mins.
Ascent: 428 m
Beginning at the main house, walk towards the beehives, through the olive trees. Cross over the fence to the right of the stand of trees that is next to the beehives. Once on the other side of the fence, turn right (West), and follow the small path running along the fence-line downhill. When this path branches in two, take the left turn that levels out and widens, leading you into the pine trees, rather than continuing on the small trail downhill. (NB this trail running along the fence leads down to the creek, where there is a refreshing swimming hole and sandy bank. Good to remember for when you return from your walk!) This path curves around the perimeter of the hill. When you come to a branch in the path on your right, follow this downhill to the creek.
Cross over the creek at the stepping stones and walk up the bank on the other side. When you come back to a clear path, turn left and follow it until the path branches in four. Take the left hand trail, and cross the small stream that feeds into the pond that is on your left. Climb up the bank, and turn right at the broad path. Follow this path through the pine forest, continuing straight on until you emerge onto a dirt road.
Turn right along the road and continue straight. Eventually the road leads you past a disused quarry on your right. The quarry is in three main sections. Follow the road until you reach the end of the third section, and the space along the road narrows again.
Here there is a sharp left turn that takes you off the main road and back into the pine trees. This left turning can be easily missed. As a marker, at the end of the quarry where you will turn left, there is another, more visible, path that branches right. If, having passed the quarry, the dirt road begins to climb steeply, then you have missed the turning and gone too far.
After turning left off the dirt road, follow this forest trail through the trees, as you begin to ascend the westerly hillside. Turn right at the first and second forks in the road, continuing your ascent. After this, when you come to a T-junction, follow the road to the right and uphill. At the second junction, leave the road and continue walking straight uphill, due East through the trees. (If you turn left at this junction, the road curves to the south and then ends at a steep ravine, where you can go no further.) When you come to the edge of the planted pine trees, there is a narrow track that curves around the cleared cliff-face, then leads you back into pine trees on the eastern face. This is the best view North, looking down into the Valle Botacura. Here it is possible to leave the track and cut straight uphill, through the thick bush to the peak, for views south and west towards Huerte Maule.
Then return to this narrow track.
When the track re-enters the pines, continue walking east until you come upon a dirt logging road again, which leads you along the ridge with clear views to the west and back at the hilltop you just climbed. Turn left on this road, following it downhill. Passing the first junction, continue straight on, downhill. After the road makes a hairpin turn, take the first left that leads you off the dirt road onto a grassier track. Follow this path downhill through the pines, until you re-emerge on the dirt road. Turn left onto this dirt road, and follow it around the hill, to where you first emerged onto the road in Stage 1 (before reaching the quarry). Turn right, and walk back along this path through the pines, across the stream with the pond now on your right, across the creek as before, through the trees and up to the property fence. Here you can either walk back up to the beehives and cross the fence, or turn left and follow the fence downhill to the creek. At the creek, if you walk about 100 meters upstream, there is a pleasant pool for a refreshing swim, and sandy bank to dry off in the sun.