Informally known as Reserva Nacional Tamango, Reserva Nacional Lago Cochrane is most notable as home to the endangered huemul, the south Andean deer that appears on Chile’s coat of arms. On the north shore of its namesake lake, the 6,925-hectare reserve is six kilometers northwest of Cochrane . Admission at the Guardería Húngaro entrance costs US$2.75 per person.
Huemul-watching excursions to the east end of the lake, by launch, cost US$56–74 for up to seven. While there is no regular public transportation to the reserve, it’s close enough that hitching is possible and even hiring a taxi is not that expensive.
On the Río Cochrane’s north bank, Conaf’s Camping Las Correntadas (US$17) has four sites with picnic tables, wash basins, and fire pits. A four-person cabaña (US$46) has a bathroom and hot shower. For reservations, contact the Red de Turismo Rural (tel. 067/522646, gp_tamango [at] hotmail [dot] com).
Accessible only by a 45-minute boat ride (US$28) or an eight-kilometer hike, Conaf’s lakeside Camping Playa Paleta has four campsites and three cabañas with bath but without shower. Prices are identical to Las Correntadas.