Across the national territory it is possible to find 49 national reserves, located from the Arica and Parinacota Region, to the Magallanes Region. They stand out for their flora and fauna , since they are created with the purpose of sheltering and promoting the protection of different species. We present you a list of 8 reserves that can be found in the national territory.
The total surface of this reserve surpases the 200.000 hectares and its part of the Lauca Biosphere Reserve, along with the Lauca National Park and the Surire Salt Flat Natural Monument. This reserve has as a purpose to integrate different settlement that inhabit the area into nature. Among its main attractions we have the Acotango and Guallatire volcanoes, its fauna formed by different species such as vicuñas, llamas, culpeo and rheas, along with remains of Pre-Columbian cultures, such as the altars of the Aymara culture.
Located in San Pedro de Atacama, this natural reserve is divided into 7 areas, each of them with their unique landscape, fauna and flora:
First area: The Tara and Aguas Calientes salt flats, along with several lagoons are located within this sector.
Second area: Here, it is possible to find the Pujsa salt flat, place where you can watch flamingoes and other birds.
Third area: It is known for the Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons and hills.
Fourth and fifth area: Known for the Atacama salt flat, the biggest salt deposit of Chile.
Six area: One of the most visited areas, containing the Aldea de Tulor and the magnificent Valle de la Luna
Seven area: It has one of the biggest tamarugo forest, with more than 300 hectares.
It is formed by three islands at the border of both regions; Chañaral Island, Choros Island and Damas Island. Just as its name says, this reserve is known for the presence of a colony of Humboldt penguin, that can be easily observed by booking a tour. Beside the penguins, it’s possible to watch sea lions, dolphins and several birds. It has been reported that during the summer it is possible to watch sperm and blue whales.
Located just a few kilometers away from Santiago, Río Clarillo is one of the only forest of the region. Within the park, different protected birds can be seen, such as the patagonian sierra finch, the white-crested elaenia and the thorn-tailed rayadito. It also has three trails that allow visitors to discover the area; Jorquera Ravine, Aliwén Mahuida and Arboretum, all of them crossing its sclerophyll forest and watch different animals, like foxes and colocolo cats.
This national reserve stands out for the protection of the tree that carries the same name; the queule; a unique species that cannot be found anywhere in the world. This tree was declared a national monument; so it is illegal to chop them down. Along with this specimen, some other trees that can be found are the peumo, persea lingue and chilean myrtle; which has allowed a great population of small birds.
This reserve occupies more than 40% of the Mocha island’s territory, and is formed by two mountain ranges that travel from north to south. It has 4 different walks trails through which it is possible to see different trees and plants that have adapted themselves to the strong winds of the area. It is also possible to see the masatierra petrel, seabird that can only be found on this island and the Juan Fernández Archipelago; causing a great interest for scientists and tourists.
The biggest attractions of this natural reserve are its flora and fauna that can be found throughout its 12.000 hectares. Its thick forests is composed by the mountain cypress, the Magellan’s and the lenga beech. Along with mammals such as cougar, kodkod and molina’s hog-nosed skunk, it is possible to find a considerable population of South Andean deer (huemul), an endemic species of Chile and Argentina that has been considered an endangered species for many years. One of the main reasons for the creation of this reserve was to protect and preserve this national emblem.
This low temperature reserve is highly visited due to its many attractions; from beautiful landscapes, traditional flora, such as beech, llareta, lenga beech and the mystic box-leaved barberry, to its fauna formed by guanaco, huemul, condores and grey foxes. But one of its main attractions are its archeological and geological aspects, due to the fact that within this reserve it is possible to access the “Cueva de las manos” and the “Piedra clavada” area, formed by several tall rock formations.