If there is a characteristic by which Chile is known is its diverse geography, consisting of arid northern valleys, thick southern woods, and austral extreme ice fields. This diversity is what allows for the existence of different natural reserves throughout the country.
The project “Plataforma para la gestión asociativa del turismo en iniciativas de conservación privada en tres ecorregiones de Chile” (or literally “Platform for the associative management of tourism regarding private conservation initiatives in three Chilean ecoregions”), seeks to promote the less known reserves of the country through a website that enhances their touristic potential. They are protected sectors due to their ecologic patrimony and that aim to the conservation of species that belong to the place. These are managed by their own owners, who are rural families, communities of original peoples, and research and conservation organizations.
Here we invite you to learn more about some of the reserves included in the website www.reservasnaturales.cl
Hacienda el Durazno: Located in Coquimbo region, this 12,000 hectare reserve is managed by the Pinto family, whose main objective is the recovery of “flora and fauna species that the elderly farmers still remember.” This is why Manuel and Patty, together with their sons Andrés and Francisco, have concentrated their efforts in reintroducing species like Chilean Palma and the Guanaco that disappeared in the area many years ago.
One of the attractions of this reserve is the “Sendero del Inca” (Inca Trail), which may have been walked by the Incas themselves and other original peoples of the area. In addition, northeast to the park, there are engravings in stones that date back to the times of these peoples.
The park is open all the year, but it is necessary to make reservations for families by writing to the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Conservacionista Contulmo: Located in Araucanía region, the “Red Conservacionista Contulmo” (Contulmo Conservation Network) is a non-profit organization that was created by the little and middle owners of native forests, with the aim of solving the growing environmental concerns of the area. One of the attractions of this network is the guided walk in Valle de Elicura done by Mapuche community members, who share their traditions and culture during the tour. Besides, the walk of the white strawberry, native Chilean species that grows in southern Chile, stands out.
The entrance is free upon coordination.
Parque Ahuenco: Located in Chiloé, Ahuenco Park offers different trekking trails throughout the archipelago. The walk to Pingüinera (Penguin Colony) stands out, which includes the crossing to the Ahuenco Islet, from which one can see the beach where the Magellan and Humboldt penguins set their nests. Another trail that stands out is the Machas or Toigoy trail, which includes parts of the “old trail” obstructed by fallen trees that fell due to the winter gales, and which is a challenge for the most adventurous.
This post is also available in Spanish