Tag Archives: nationalparks

Exploring Lake Llanquihue in South of Chile – Hiking in Alerce Andino National Park

After returning from the mystical and beautiful Chiloe island, we continued to explore the area of the second largest lake in Chile – Lake Llanquihue on the mainland. At the shores of this lake, you will find small and beautiful cities of Puerto Varas, Frutillar Bajo, Puerto Octay and Puerto Clocker and above them a snow-topped peak of Osorno volcano.

We only planned 2 days in this area, so our initial plan was to visit Petrohue Waterfalls, hike in PĂ©rez Rosales National Park and explore the cities around the lake.

The next morning after a good rest we put on our hiking boots, packed our backpacks and hit the road. One thing I heard about Patagonia proved to be true – the weather here is unpredictable and 3 seasons can change daily. In one moment you are driving in a fog and rain and in the next moment the sun is shining and the horizon is clear.

2h later and we were in National Park driving towards the Waterfalls. The beauty and colours of this park are surreal, green forests and fields with wildflowers, an Andean mountain range in distance and dark blue Todos Los Santos lake. You could hear the sounds of rushing water silenced by the strong winds. However, as it was the peak of the season the place was overcrowded and finding parking was a challenge.

The Petrohue waterfalls are formed by water rushing from the lake Todos Los Santos over the rocky formations. The site is protected by the government, and you need to pay a symbolic entrance fee. When we finally arrived we found a line of 100 people waiting so we decided to come back tomorrow earlier as we didn’t want to waste a beautiful sunny day. Instead, we decided to drive around the lake Llanquihue and explore the surrounding area. I was again left speechless and breathless admiring the wilderness, the Osorno volcano, and the endless fields full of wildflowers. There are no words to describe how beautiful is the Lake District and I think I never saw a more beautiful nature in my life.

Our next stop was Frutillar Bajo, scenic and beautiful little town overlooking Osorno volcano. Most of the houses here are built in German architecture style and frankly I think I took a photo of every single one of them. We parked in front of the German Colonial Museum which was the first on our list. As soon as we entered museum it felt like we are back in the 19th century when the first German immigrants started populating this area.

After the Museum, we took a stroll down the coastline and visited famous Teatro Del Lago (Musical Theater), and small picturesque dock. Frutillar is famous as a City of Music and offers concerts all year round, and Teatro del Lago is the largest acoustic theatre ever built in South America. After the stroll, we sat in a little shop where we enjoyed German “Strudel” and coffee. This little town is maybe one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen, it looks like a fairy tale town.

Around 8:30 in the evening we went down to the beach to watch the sunset and take some photos. As the tide is low, the beach is stretching for miles, and I wasn’t able to distinguish skies from the ocean. After the sunset, the skies turned purple yellow, and I wanted to stay there forever.

The Purple Skies

Although we planned to get up at 6 am the next day and drive back to Petrohue Waterfalls the rain and wind woke us up in the middle of the night and disturbed our plans. As we slept bad, the next morning we ended up getting up after 10 am. It was already too late to go to Petrohue, so we decided to go hiking in close by Alerce Andino National Park which was half an hour away. As its name implies, the park preserves groves of the oldest South American alerce andino tree, El Gran Abuelo. As soon as we left from our little cabin it started raining again. The closer we were approaching the park, the rain was pouring stronger and stronger, but we didn’t want to turn back. Once we reached the entrance to the park, we saw more cars parked, and a group of older tourists with raincoats and hiking sticks. I was determined to hike, thinking if they can do it for sure we can do it as well, so we went inside the thick forest following the path towards El Gran Abuelo tree.

The Trail to Alerce Andino

As we walked through the forest, I remembered the song Misty Mountain Cold from Hobbit “Far over the misty mountains cold,
to dungeons deep and caverns old” and I felt so happy and grateful for this experience.

The rain was pouring like crazy, but we decided to finish what we started, so we kept going deeper and deeper into the park. We walked through the mud, rocks, wooden stairs and next to the puma’s cave until we reached a small waterfall and finally El Gran Abuelo.

On the way back our clothes were soaked in the water, and we were starving, but nothing could influence our good mood, and we laughed and joked. We were also surprised as we met so many people and nobody seemed bothered by the rain. However, as soon as we reached the car, I removed wet clothes and it was time to look for the food. That evening we spent again at the beach chasing sunsets and enjoying the fresh air and cold beer. The next day I was supposed to fly back to Santiago, and Dubai and the vacations were over.

Hasta luego Chile, nos vemos el proximo ano.


Sutjeska National Park – Bosnia and Hercegovina

Some call me Nature, others call me Mother Nature, I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years. Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you. I don’t really need people, but people need me. Yes, your future depends on me. When I thrive, you thrive. When I falter, you falter or worse (?) But, I’ve been here for eons, I have fed species greater than you, and I have starved species grater than you. My ocean, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests, They all can take you or leave you. How you choose to live each day, whether you regard or disregard me, doesn’t really matter to me. One way or other your actions will determine your fate not mine. I am Nature, I will go on, I am prepared to evolve, Are you?

Julia Robertson as the Voice of the Nature

My homeland Bosnia and Herzegovina has amazingly beautiful wild nature, however it also has citizens who don’t appreciate it and dream about visiting some other far away destinations. Before, I was one of those people as well. Today, each year I am looking forward to those few days I will spend with my family exploring the beautiful mountains, forests and lakes that my little country has to offer.

Volujak mountain

Two years ago I have found my new favorite spot – Sutjeska National Park. This park was established in 1962 and is a perfect place for people who love wilderness and untamed natural beauty. The park is located between beautiful mountains Zelengora, Maglic (the highest peak in BiH), Volujak, Leli and Vucevo which form together Dinaric Alps.

Here you will also find river Tara and Piva, lakes Trnovacko, Orlovacko, and many other mountain lakes with endless views of lush green forests. The park is getting more and more popular each year especially in summer when it is hosting a music and entertainment festival famous by the name OK fest.

Sutjeska Monument

In June 2017 I did rafting with my family on the Tara river in camp Highlander. River Tara is called a European jewel because of its turquoise-blue color, the deepest canyon in the Europe, and adrenaline rafting that it offers. Tara together with river Piva forms river Drina, one of the most important rivers in Bosnia.

Unfortunately, the weather was not welcoming as we have hoped and it was raining most of the time. And when it rains in Bosnia it only means one thing – you will be freezing soon. What was supposed to be the nice sunny weekend it turned out to be cold, muddy and freezing, hence we decided to do what we could so we sat around the campfire and ate enormous amounts of Bosnian dishes prepared in special Bosnian style called “ispod saca“.  Although, it was raining our rafting trip was packed with funny and enjoyable moments as we were surrounded by beautiful nature and we had a very nice guide and a very young group.

In the summer of 2018, we went to the hotel “Mladost” for 2 days and we chose to do hiking to heart-shaped turquoise lake Trnovacko. There are no words to describe the beauty of the views over the lake and the mountains.

We left our hotel around 8 in the morning and by 9 o ‘clock we were at our starting point – Prijevoj. Our initial plan was to go to Trnovacko lake but in the meantime, we have decided first to hike the Maglic summit then to go down to the Trnovacko lake from the other side of mountain.

Sometimes when you find yourself in the middle of the vast mountainous area you realize how small and insignificant you are. I always remember my favorite quote from John Muir: “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.

That day I still remember, all around us endless peaks of mountains, green forests, untouched wild nature, beautiful green heart-shaped lake, the feeling of peace, and a deep connection with Mother Nature. We spent the whole day outside, walking for more then 10 h, our faces and noses were red, our feet sore, but our hearts were full. And that is the reason why I love hiking and exploring so much, I love being in nature, far away from madding crowds, from city noise and pollution.

Trnovacko Lake

It is about time to reclaim the culture of conscious mountaineering, the culture of living in harmony with nature, and the culture of health and fulfillment. Mountaineering is not only walking and sweating in rough terrain. It is a healthy way of life, thinking, going back to our roots, a time for self-reflection, and meditation. There is no hurry in hiking, you notice each cloud, each insect, each sound. You hear the birdsong, the roaring of the wind, and the sounds of water springs.

If you are inspired by nature please check the series “Nature is speaking” on YouTube.

Prijevoj – Starting Point
Sutjeska National Park
Sutjeska Monument