“If you eat calafate, you will return,” is a popular superstition from the Magallanes region. Here, at the southernmost tip of the world, this fruit is highly esteemed. Not only is it characteristic of many typical dishes, but it also deeply meaningful culturally. In addition, scientific studies consider it to be a superfood capable of providing multiple health benefits, due to its high concentration of antioxidants.

The calafate, known scientifically as Berberis microphylla, is a thorny shrub found exclusively in the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina. Its has evergreen leaves, small thorns and it can grow up to 1.5 meters in height. Its yellow flowers bloom between October and January. During the summer, its fruit – a delicious bluish-black berry – appears.

You will see it on excursions during your visit to Torres del Paine National Park Usually growing in isolation, it prefers the direct sunlight of clearings near ñirre, coigüe and lenga forests. Guanacos and other species that eat calafate fruit are key to spreading its seeds through their excrement, contributing to the process of regeneration.