Fundo Los Leones
Sitting along 6 miles of private shoreline of the spectacular Pitipalena Fjord and 5 miles of the Palena River as it flows in to the Pacific Ocean, this beautiful sea farm is essentially an island, featuring cozy seaside cabins along a protected fjord with exceptional marine life.
Located in the northern tip of the Aysén Region of Chile, Fundo Los Leones sits along 6 miles of private protected shoreline of the spectacular Pitipalena Fjord and 5 miles of the Palena River as it flows in to the Pacific Ocean. Nestled between rivers and ocean near the quaint fishing village of Raul Marín Balmaceda, this beautiful sea farm is essentially an island, featuring cozy seaside cabins along a protected fjord with exceptional marine life. This is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world, and home to three species of whale, twelve species of dolphin, as well as otters, sea lions, birds, sea urchins, mussels and sea anemones, to name a few.
The surrounding area has such ecological significance that the Chilean government recently designated it as the Pitipalena Coastal Marine Protected Area (AMCP). According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Pitipalena AMCP and the adjoining Tic-Toc Marine Park will conserve the biodiversity and unique features of the marine ecosystem of Chile’s channels and fjords. The refuge will protect marine habitats from commercial exploitation while still allowing artisan sustainable fisheries and recreational activities.
The property provides for infinite recreational opportunities including fly-fishing for trout and salmon in the adjoining world-class Palena River and the many other famed rivers and lakes in the area. Kayak and boat alongside whales, dolphins and sea lions and explore the incredibly rich and diverse marine ecosystem out your back door. Hike and horseback along the fjords and ocean front or the nearby national parks and rainforests.
Sustainable gardens and greenhouses produce organic fruits and vegetables on the property, and there is also an organic sheep farm. Fundo Los Leones offers impressive improvements and is adjacent to a landing strip, creating one of the most exclusive retreats in the world. Nearby national parks and two glacier clad volcanoes add to the limitless exploration and seclusion.
The property was previously owned by well-known conservationists Douglas Tompkins, co-founder of The North Face and ESPRIT, and his wife, Kristine Tompkins, former CEO of Patagonia, Inc.
The undulating lush green meadows at Los Leones provide ample foliage for the sheep and horses. Private pathways weave through the property connecting the home to the cabins, greenhouses, pastures and water front. This ranch offers 360-degree views of heavily forested mountains and waterfalls dropping hundreds of feet down ragged cliffs to the rivers, lakes, channels, and fjords below, and also the Corcovado and Melimoyu glacier clad volcanoes in the distance.
At Fundo Los Leones, there is a lovely, Chilean designed home with three bedrooms. Additionally, the property has six charming cottages overlooking the Pitipalena Fjord, each with wood burning stoves and decks providing uninterrupted views of the fjord and surrounding lush mountains. These simple but elegant structures were constructed using vernacular styles and local materials, completing a cohesive unified image for the farm. There is also a beach-side wood-burning hot-tub using sea water right on the beach to sit in and watch the tides come and go. Other buildings include tool/storage/firewood sheds, a sheep barn, a honeybee apiary and two greenhouses.
The property can be accessed by car off the Carretera Austral via a new road from La Junta to the mouth of the Palena River and Puerto Raúl Marín Balmaceda.
Just north of the Pitipalena Fjord is the newly formed Corcovado National Park, and the Douglas Tompkins Conserved Lands is to the east of the property, both donated to the Chilean government by previous Fundo Los Leones owners, Douglas and Kristine Tompkins. The property is a mere 1,500 yards from the quaint village of Raul Marín Balmaceda, a much visited site by sailing ships and local fisherman. The seaside town is now accessible by car via the Carretera Austral and a new road from La Junta. Fundo Los Leones also offers a paved airstrip with private charter flights from Puerto Montt (1.5 hours). It is ideally located for sailing, fishing, or as a jumping off place for a visit to spectacular national parks and hot springs nearby, or for navigating up the Palena River that empties into the ocean just behind the farm.
Los Leones has an oceanic climate with stable and reasonably predictable weather patterns. Average temperatures are mild with high 60s to 70s in the summer and 40s to 50s in the winter season. The humidity level is comfortable and relatively low for a coastal region with about 70% average humidity. Los Leones enjoys ample annual precipitation residing on the Pacific Coast, allowing for lush green meadows, healthy forage, and an ideal growing climate. In many ways the region maintains similar conditions to the Pacific Northwest of the United States, only with more days of sunshine annually.
The magnificent Palena River borders the south side of the property and there are numerous other world class fly-fishing rivers and lakes in the area offering incredible drift and wade fishing for rainbows, browns and occasionally salmon and brook trout. Just a short distance from Los Leones are Rio Yelcho, Rosselot, Figueroa, Futaleufú, Tic Toc and Pico, and also Lago Yelcho, Trebol and Rosselot. In addition, two smaller river branches flow from the Palena River into the Pitipalena Fjord, and there is unlimited fishing available in the adjoining Pacific Ocean.
Los Leones is located in the middle of the largest protected marine areas in Chile and is home to a myriad of species such as: three species of whale including the blue whale; various species of dolphins including the Chilean and Peale’s dolphin; sea lions; otters, as well as an estuary of eagles, cranes, and ducks. Below the surface, there is an incredible diversity of flora and fauna including sea urchins, mussels, sea anemones, and corals.
On the northern side of the property, the Pitipalena Fjord creates an estuary full of sea life and waterfowl. With the tidal flow in and out each day, activities include combing the beaches for sea shells, crabs and clams, as well as riding horses or four-wheelers. The fjord on the inland side is protected from the open seas making navigation and sailing much easier. The area is a mecca for open sea kayaking with many inlets and waterways.
The surrounding area has such ecological significance that the Chilean government recently designated it as the Pitipalena Coastal Marine Protected Area. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Pitipalena AMCP and the adjoining Tic-Toc Marine Park will conserve the biodiversity and unique features of the marine ecosystem of Chile’s channels and fjords. The refuge will protect marine habitats from commercial exploitation while still allowing artisan sustainable fisheries and recreational activities.
The property is well maintained with the goal of preserving this lush area, and was previously owned by Douglas Tompkins, cofounder of The North Face and ESPRIT, and his wife, Kristine Tompkins, former CEO of Patagonia, Inc. These well-known conservationists also donated thousands of acres of land for the nearby Corcovado National Park and other parks, as well as a conservation easement on lands directly adjacent to the farm.
Maintained sustainable gardens and greenhouses produce fresh organic fruits and vegetables on the property. Nestled amongst the operations of the ranch, you can wander freely through the gardens and see the organic sheep farm or watch local fisherman drift by in their brightly colored boats pursuing sustainable fishing and farming sea urchins.