about us

Who We Are

The San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation is a private non-profit institution founded in December 2001 by the Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Endesa Chile, today Enel Generación, for the purpose of defending and promoting the value of the bio-geographic patrimony in the area of Huinay, in the Los Lagos Region, Chile. This, through a project based on three lines of action that are carried out under the concept of sustainable development.

These are:

• Scientific Research

• Conservation of the Biodiversity

• Community Support

In order to carry out active conservation in the Huinay area, the Foundation decided to not only preserve existing species, but also work to recover degraded areas and previously impacted ecosystems in the zone.

To this end, in addition to working on the conservation of biodiversity, developing and promoting scientific research in the area, and supporting the community, the Foundation has defined the following goals:

• Actively conserve the bio-geographical patrimony of the area.

• Preserve the Fundo Huinay property.

• Promote a Protected Marine Area.

• Consolidate a nursery of native species and an ecological restoration project.

• Develop a baseline for scientific research.

• Explore the immediate environment, through exploratory expeditions.

• Describe new species.

• Disseminate the knowledge generated through scientific publications, participation in conferences, publishing books, and mass communication.

To learn more about the San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation, feel free to download the annual reports, where you will find all of the information about the actions performed each year.

Memories (spanish):

2002 2003 2004 2005
2006 2007 2008 2009
2010 2012 2013 2014
2015 2016 2017 2018


President Paolo Pallotti
Vice President Claudio Elórtegui Raffo
Director Antonella Pellegrini
Director Gabriel Yany González
Director Pedro Urzúa Frei
Director Carlo Carvallo Frei

The Marine Environment

The Chilean fjords region is one of the largest in the world along with Norway and New Zealand. Chile is where you can observe nature in its most pristine and primitive state due to the difficult access to man, imposed by its characteristic geography. It's a large field for research that nature itself as placed under the eyes of scientists, granted with a wide diversity of species, many of them still undiscovered. Along this line, the Foundation’s scientific team has identified more than fifty species previously unknown to science, and according to their estimates, 10% of all samples collected in their daily expedition work, correspond to new scientific discoveries.

Get additional information here (PDF files):

Oceanographic Conditions - Ecosystems - Bathymetry - Marine Fauna - Coastal Geomorphology - Tides

Terrestrial Environments

The name "Huinay" derives from the term HUINOI, which in the huilliche-chilota language means "Alerce with inclined branches, due to the vigor and persistence of winds" *, or "Twisted Alerce". The oral testimony of local and Hornopirén residents indicates that in the territory of Huinay, until the early 20th century, Alerces (Fitzroya cupressides) were found at low altitudes in the vicinity of the shoreline of the Comau Fjord and on the plains and foothills of the Lloncochaigua River valley, which were exploited in successive expeditions by navigators from the Island of Chiloé, and, as of the 1930s, by the first families from Rio Puelo who permanently settled there. Testimony of this vast and hard labor are a number of "quilantu", areas covered by a dense thicket of Chusquea quila, a pioneering bamboo-type plant, which covers cleared areas of an old "flowered" forest. Today patches of Alerces and solitary specimens are left, confined to places inaccessible by foot. In the untouched interior of the fundo, Alerces are found starting at an altitude of 250 meters above sea level.

How To Get There

The Scientific Station is located on the coast of the town of Huinay, in the Comau fjord, Palena Province; belonging to Los Lagos Region X , Chile.


From the Puerto Montt airport, you must take the ETM transfer bus (Ch$3,000) to the Puerto Montt Bus terminal.

At the Puerto Montt bus terminal, take the bus to Hornopirén

The busses take 3.5 to 4 hours including a 30-minute ferry ride from La Arena to Puelche. They normally accept all amounts, sizes, and types of luggage but in the summertime and weekends it is recommended to make a reservation. The bus ticket costs Ch$4,000. (The return busses leave from the central plaza across from the supermarket in Hornopirén).

Kemel Busses travel this route. You must consult the schedule for bus departures from Puerto Montt directly from the company since their schedules change at different times of the year. In the summer there are often additional busses, according to the demand.

  • Puerto Montt Office: 65-2-253630
  • Hornopirén Office: 65-2-217272

Private vehicle:

If you are travelling in a private vehicle you should consider 3 hours for the 110 km trip between Puerto Montt and Hornopirén.

The Ferry transport between La Arena and Puelche is available every 45 min. (up to 1.5 hours due to ferry maintenance when only one ferry is operating). The Ferry costs Ch$9,000 for the car and includes the driver’s ticket, other passengers must pay Ch$3,000.

You can find secure parking in Hornopirén in a private property, costing about Ch$5,000 per day.

In Hornopirén you must reach the small cement ramp in the port. Either there or at the small wharf 100 meters to the right.

For both cases:

The trips from Hornopirén to the station are coordinated so there will be a boat from the Foundation waiting for you. The boat trip takes 1 to 2 more hours, according to the weather and the tides, to finally arrive to Huinay.


South of Chile - Puerto Montt City - Gulf of Ancud - Comau Fjord