While the efforts to fight the fires that are currently affecting the South Central regions of the country, other areas continue to draw national and international visitors. That is why the National Service of Tourism (SERNATUR) has made available on their website a detailed list with the tourist attractions that continue to operate normally. Moreover, the organisation encouraged people to continue travelling around Chile this summer. Here we show you 5 of the attractions included in SERNATUR’s list.
Lauca Biosphere Reserve (Arica y Parinacota Region): Within this reserve you can find Lauca National Park, Las Vicuñas National Reserve and the Salar de Surire National Monument. This Biosphere Reserve offers examples of endemic flora and fauna, making it an ideal destination for activities such as trekking, climbing, and photography excursions. Within its native flora, one of the highlights is the “llareta”, a plant that is over 3,000 years old, and bofedales, wetlands that are typical of high lands. In addition to this, just as its name indicates, in Las VIcuñas National Reserve you can find a vast population of vicuñas, an endangered species.
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Tarapaca Region): Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, the offices of these nitrate towns are a true trip back in time to Chile’s early nineteenth century, when the country lived the peak of the saltpeter industry. For that reason, a town was built around the extraction points and today visitors can wander through them and have an idea of how the workers and their families lived when they had to settle there.
San Pedro de Atacama (Antofagasta Region): just two streets make up for the town of San Pedro de Atacama, located in the middle of the Atacama Desert, the driest in the world and highlighted by The New York Times as one of the 52 places to visit this 2017. Within the desert you can find the Valle de la Luna and Valle de la Muerte (Moon Valley and Death Valley, respectively), to where you can get by bike, which you may rent at the town’s main street. Plus, in both valleys you can practice sandboard. Other classic excursions include the El Tatio geyser field and Cejar lagoon, which can be coordinated with one of the many tour operators in town.
Valdivian temperate rain forests (Los Ríos Region): Depending on its location, the Valdivian temperate rainforest may be divided on an Andean section and a Coastal section. Both present abundant vegetation, with trees that stay green the whole year, because of the rainy weather of the area; among these, the Ulmo, the Canelo and the Larch trees stand out. On the other hand, the Coastal section is part of the route that goes to the main fortifications built in the time of the Spanish conquest. Among these, the Niebla fort was transformed in 1991 in a Site Museum, which can be visited, along with the ruins of the chapel that was originally located next to the fort, and the chaplain house.
Magdalena Island (Magallanes Region): located in the Strait of Magellan, the Magdalena Island is known for being one the main penguin reserves in the country. Nonetheless, the island’s fauna is much more varied and includes seagulls and cormorants. To get to the island you have to cross the Strait of Magellan by boat, taking the same route that Ferdinand Magellan (explorer that gives name to the strait) took in 1520.