Hardest Hike of My Life – Arco Iris

Cochamó Los Lagos Region Day 8 – February 10th 2016

Today Simone and I embarked on the hardest hike of my life. The trails name is Arco Iris. It’s starts at La Junta main camp site about 20 mins from our camp area. For about 2 hours it’s nothing but straight up, about half required grabbing tree roots with our hands and getting our feet up to shoulder height. After the 2 hours came the difficult and quite frankly terrifying part…. climbing slabs of rock using ropes. The first rock slab had water trickling down it which made it super slippery and at the top you had to swing your body to get on the side of the rock that had the trail.

I’m terrified of falling, particularly when heights are involved, so this was just as much a mental excessive as physical. The second big rock slab we got to was really steep, that’s when I called it a day. Simone climbed up about half an hour more but didn’t get to the first peak. While waiting for her, I was with another girl who is just as afraid of heights. We sat and watched people climb the slab, one in particular who cried and wanted to stop but her boy friend was too persistent. If only there were a zip lined at the top of the trek. If so I think I would have made it to the top.

Before going down, I had this sneaking suspicion that I would be on my butt, A LOT! Not wanting to tare my pants I decided to cover my butt with duct tape! Yes; not the most attractive look and turns out it didn’t work too well but it seemed like a smart idea at the time. Going down was way scarier. In fact, going down the rock slab that had water, I lost my footing and slid down the rock. I was completely covered in water, peddles and mud, luckily only getting a small scratch. Simone was awesome in talking me through getting down. I can’t tell you how glad I am to be with such an awesome person.




If any of you are interested in seeing what the rest of the hike entailed, check out this blog. 

We finished the hike in 5 hours, had we gone to the top, it would have taken 7-8. Once down we were recommended to go to the natural water slides, “tobogán’s”. Pretty much there is a big waterfall area that has polished rock slab with water trickling down so you can slide down the rock into a pool at the bottom. It was amazing and so refreshing. We spent the afternoon in the water and lying on hot rocks soaking up the sun. We defiantly were not the only people there, but we were the only international tourists. Everyone else looked Chilean and of the people we talked to, were from Santiago. It was a great spot, a place I would defiantly revisit.



We got back to our campsite around 7 pm. Just enough time to make dinner, sip on deliciously hot tea and laugh about the day we had and how amazing it was. Throughout the day, Simone noted some particular phases that she referred to as “Laura-isums”, things no one else would say quite the way I would at just the right time. For the sake of documenting the isms for future reference, here are some of the day. Don’t worry, no-one besides Simone and myself will understand them.

  • Candle wick
  • That’s a lot of men
  • They must have a lot of sex


3 thoughts on “Hardest Hike of My Life – Arco Iris

  1. From your description, it looks/sounds like people could get seriously hurt. Were there any support facilities/personnel around?

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