Turquoise lakes and the rusted hues of the steppe mark the rarely visited Reserva Nacional Lago Jeinimeni, 52km southwest of Chile Chico. Its unusual wonders range from cave paintings to foxes and flamingos. In the transition zone to the Patagonian steppe, it covers 1610 sq km. Hiking options are excellent. Through-hikers can link to Valle Chacabuco via a three-day mountain traverse; for details ask at Parque Nacional Patagonia.
En route to the reserve, about 25km south of Chile Chico, an access road leads to Cueva de las Manos, Tehuelche cave paintings less impressive than their Argentine counterpart of the same name. Reaching the cave requires a steep uphill climb (unmarked) best done with a guide.