Chile - Freyja Foundation

Land Conservation

Chile – Cochamó Valley


Known for its granite domes, ancient forests, pristine watersheds, and abundant biodiversity, Cochamó Valley is a remote region of the Andes Mountains in Chilean Patagonia.

Nicknamed the “Yosemite of South America,” the Cochamó Valley encompasses hundreds of thousands of hectares of temperate rainforest that sequester carbon and provide critical habitat for endemic and endangered species. Since 2023, Freyja has been involved in securing the valley’s long-term future – ensuring the region’s wildlife, communities, and ecosystems can thrive for generations to come. 

Some of the oldest trees in the world are found in and around the Cochamó Valley. Ancient alerce trees in the region are estimated to be up to 5,000 years old.


In 2023, Freyja purchased a critical 309-hectare property in the Cochamó Valley. This decisive action, taken in collaboration with local partners Puelo Patagonia and Organización Valle Cochamó, safeguarded an important swath of Valdivian rainforest and a key access point for the tens of thousands of visitors who explore the valley each year.

Recognizing the potential threats posed by land subdivision and irresponsible development, Freyja became the first conservation organization to take this type of direct action in Cochamó through a strategic acquisition. The seller had planned to fragment the land into private parcels, raising concerns among conservationists and local NGOs who have long championed a community-driven approach to managing tourism and protecting this natural and cultural treasure. Freyja is now in the process of securing a derecho real de conservación for the property, a powerful conservation tool that empowers private landowners in Chile to become long-term stewards of their land. 


In 2024, building on the momentum of our land purchase, Freyja joined forces with local and global partners to protect the Cochamó region in its entirety. Teaming up with Puelo Patagonia, The Nature Conservancy, Patagonia, Inc., and Wyss Foundation, we launched Conserva Puchegüín – a campaign aiming to acquire and protect Hacienda Puchegüín, a 132,995-hectare private property in the Cochamó Valley.  

The largest holding in the Cochamó region, Puchegüín encompasses a huge variety of ecosystems – from ancient alerce forests to pristine lakes and vibrant wetlands. This critical wildlife corridor offers a haven for a number of rare and endemic species, including Darwin’s frog, huemul deer, and monito del monte – one of South America’s only marsupials. It also serves as a vital carbon sink, mitigating the impact of climate change. Local communities have called Puchegüín and the greater Cochamó Valley home for generations, with their way of life intricately woven into the land’s fabric. 

Unlike the surrounding 1.6+ million hectares of protected wilderness in Chile and Argentina, Puchegüín remains vulnerable. Industrial development, land fragmentation, and unregulated tourism have posed continuous threats. In 2022, the property’s sale listing ignited fears of a new owner who might not understand its significance. Conserva Puchegüín emerged to combat this possibility and secure permanent protection for this ecosystem and its communities. 

Join us in protecting the “Yosemite of South America”

Learn more and support Conserva Puchegüín’s mission to protect Cochamó Valley and Chilean Patagonia.

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