Hugging the Argentine border north of Kimiri Aike  and west of Monte Aymond, little-visited Pali Aike is a mosaic of volcanic steppe and rugged lava beds that once supported megafauna such as the ground sloth milodon and the native American horse, both of which disappeared soon after humans first inhabited the area some 11,000 years ago.
While Paleo-Indian hunters probably contributed to their extinction, post-glacial environmental factors may also have played a role. In the 1930s, self-taught archaeologist Junius Bird, of New York’s American Museum of Natural History, conducted the first systematic excavations of Paleo-Indian sites such as Cueva Pali Aike, within the park boundaries, and Cueva Fell, a short distance west. These archaeologically rich volcanic shelters (not caves in the strict sense) are the reason Chile has nominated the area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Findings here include human remains that have yielded insights on Paleo-Indian funerary customs, while materials from Cueva Fell have helped reveal the transition from simple hunting to more diverse subsistence. These include sophisticated hunting tools such as the bow and arrow and boleadoras, and a greater reliance on coastal and marine resources. There are also indicators of ceremonial artifacts.
Accessible by road, Cueva Pali Aike is a tapering volcanic tube seven meters wide and five meters high at its mouth; it is 17 meters deep. In the 1930s, Bird discovered both human and megafauna remains, at least 8,600 years old and probably much older, here.
Tours from Punta Arenas  visit Cueva Pali Aike and usually hike the 1.7-kilometer trail through the Escorial del Diablo (the “Devil’s Slag Heap” is hell on hiking boots). The trail ends at the volcanic Crater Morada del Diablo.
From Cueva Pali Aike, a nine-kilometer footpath leads to Laguna Ana, where waterfowl are abundant, and the main road, five kilometers from the park entrance. Mountain bikes should be ideal for such rolling terrain, but it could be even tougher on tires than it is on boots.
A campground is presumably in the works, but there are no tourist services as yet, so bring supplies. At the main entrance, Conaf’s ranger station collects no admission fee. A great destination for solitude seekers, Pali Aike officially gets fewer than 1,200 visitors per annum, only a quarter of them foreigners.
Parque Nacional Pali Aike is 196 kilometers northeast of Punta Arenas  via Ruta 9, Ruta 255, and a graveled secondary road from the hamlet of Cooperativa Villa O’Higgins , 11 kilometers beyond Kimiri Aike . Just south of Chile’s Monte Aymond border post, a hard-to-follow dirt road also leads to the park.
There is no public transportation, but Punta Arenas travel agencies can arrange visits. Hiring a car, though, is probably the best option, especially if shared among several people.