Sustainable Stays: Huilo Huilo, Chile

Huilo Huilo with its quirky tree house design is an ode to the wonderful things one can create with magic and the elemental of earth, namely wood and flora in this case.

Set within the lush Huilo Huilo biological reserve in Chile’s Lake District, Huilo Huilo offers a special, one-in-a-lifetime vacation where peaceful lakes, snow-topped volcanoes and the Andes Mountain range provide the backdrop to this mystical forest setting.

Huilo Huilo is made up of a number of lodges and hotels, which offer immediate access to stunning nature. The Nothofaghus, Montaña Mágica and Reino Funghi Lodges stand tall with their majestic tree house stance. At the higher price range of accommodation at Huilo Huilo, these tree houses, which are good options for families, have their own distinctive whimsical character which transport guests into their own fairy tale.

Each of the tree houses are reflections of the diversity found within the Patagonian Rainforest. Reino Funghi, with its mushroom-like design, is inspired by the plant life of the native forests of northern Patagonia, where the humid soil of the native forest gives birth to the Mushroom Kingdom. Montaña Mágic emulates a volcano from whose peak, a stunning waterfall makes its way down. The Magic Mountain with its live walls, makes use of flora native to the Chilean Patagonian Rainforest to mimic a volcano. While Nothofagus, with its multi-storeys, is a tree house that “reaches for the sky”.

In keeping with the natural, wooden design of the buildings, the rooms are simply decorated with big windows to make the most of the views of the surrounding forest. In addition to the tree houses, Huilo Huilo offers other types of accommodation including shelters, which are small wooden huts, and camping.

Much has changed in the Huilo Huilo area in the last 15 years. Huilo Huilo was firstly an area known for logging activity and has more recently turned into a place known for sustainable tourism. Local people, traditionally a forestry community, are committed to the conservation of nature and local culture, and through the Huilo Huilo Foundation support the development of fauna and flora conservation projects – including work to preserve the habitats of the endangered Huemul deer, Darwin frog and the Puma.

The Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve covers an enormous area of over 245 000 acres. Huilo Huilo, located in the midst of the reserve, is an ideal spot to explore the complex itself and local trails, as well as the wider reserve. For those who want to rewind and relax, Huilo Huilo’s Lawenko Spa offers treatments in a beautiful natural forest setting. And for nature lovers, there are numerous ways in which to enjoy the spectacular expanse of the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve including horse riding, trekking, mountain biking, canopy zip lines and cultural activities. There’s even a brewery selling artisan beer from the region and a cable car to make the most of the beautiful views.

All images: © Huilo Huilo

Huilo Huilo

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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