Accommodations and Food
At Caleta Gonzalo, the walk-in Camping Río Gonzalo (US$2.50 pp) has forested sites with fire pits (firewood is for sale), clean toilets, and cold showers. There’s a separate large shelter for cooking. Those without tents can rent one of three fogones (US$9), roofed shelters with fire pits normally reserved for picnickers during the daytime; fogón number three has wide benches that can sleep three tentless campers comfortably, presuming they have their own sleeping pads.
Fourteen kilometers south of Caleta Gonzalo, Auto-Camping Cascadas Escondidas has four drive-in sites (US$10) with clean toilets, cold showers, and roofed decks for pitching tents and eating without having to sit on soggy ground.
Seventeen kilometers south of Caleta Gonzalo, Camping Lago Negro (US$3 pp, US$9 per roofed site) resembles Cascadas Escondidas, with four roofed sites and an open tent-camping area. Accessible by an 800-meter footpath, Camping Punta del Lago has two lakeside sites. Three kilometers farther south, Camping Lago Blanco (US$10) resembles Camping Lago Negro, with half a dozen roofed sites. Slightly beyond, near the park entrance, Camping El Volcán (US$3 pp) has sites with roofed shelters and a small store at the ranger station.
Tompkins’s nine stylish Cabañas Caleta Gonzalo (tel. 065/250079 in Puerto Montt, tel. 1712/1964150 locally, pumalinreservas [at] telsur [dot] cl, US$100) accommodate up to six people each. All have private bath and hot water, but no kitchen facilities.
Dignified by a stone fireplace with a copper vent, the airy tobacco-free Café Caleta Gonzalo has the only menu in Chile with a culinary exhortation from celebrity foodie Alice Waters, thanks to its quality organic fruit, vegetables, dairy products and meat, and seafood. The breakfast really shines with homemade bread, local honey, butter, and cheese; there’s also a sandwich menu and juices. Four-course lunches or dinners, with fresh bread, cost around US$13. Hours are 7:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m. daily.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition