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Lauca National Park

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Lauca National Park

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Lauca is a National Park in the Northern Chile region of Chile.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

The park was opened in 1965 and has 1370km² in size.

Landscape[edit]

Manly altoplano and mountains, the latter consisting mainly of enormous volcanoes. There are also serveral lagoons and one of the highlights of the park the lake Chungará.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Vicuñas, Vizcachas, Alpacas, Llamas, Guanacos. There are 140 species of birds like Puna Ibis, Andean Goose, Giant Coot, Puna Tinamou, Silvery Grebe, Crested Duck, Puna Teal, Andean Condor and Chilean Flamingo.

Climate[edit]

The day temperatures are between 5-20°C. The nights can be very cold (down to -15°C).

Get in[edit]

You can book a tour from Arica or Putre. The tours are from one to three days. Before booking a one day tour be aware that the park ist at 4500m. If you want to go on our own, you can take a Bus Arica-La Paz and hop of at the CONAF station at the Chungará lake close before the bolivian border. Because the international Route 11 runs through the park you can also try your luck with hitchhiking.

Most people visiting the park will use Putre as a base. There are hostels and small shops here but only basic neccecities.

Fees/Permits[edit]

The park is for free.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Lago Chungará: Is one of the hightest lakes in the world (4520m). It offers a spectecular view an has plenty of wildlife.
  • Laguana de Cotacotani: A group of very nice lagoons.
  • Vulcanos: There a serveral vulcanos inside the park and most of them are higher than 6000 meters. The highest and most spectecular one ist Vulcán Parinacota (6342m).
  • Visit the small village of Parinacota with it's nice old church.

Do[edit][add listing]

Hiking, climbing, enjoying the landscape and the silentles (a bit of the road of course).

  • There is a short but pleasent hike called Vilancaurani which can be done it aprox 2 hours from Putre. It is available on the maps.me app. Drive to the North West corner of Putra and take the road to -18.1963008, -69.5676690 . From there drive along the dirt road to -18.2011542, -69.5918924 . It is possible but not recommended to do this in a 2 wheel drive vehicle due to the sand and sngle of the road. From here you will be in s field and can go no further. Walk along the track for approx 2km. You will find a refuge hut at coordinates -18.2015937, -69.6095467 . Trainers/sneakers are recomended. The path is obvious but not marked.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

There is a restaurant at the international road in a village called Chucuyo. It serves basic menus, mainly for the truckers. A second option is the restaurant in the village of Parinacota, but it might have closed.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Lodging[edit]

  • The CONAF-station doesn't have any lodging except of camping.
  • There is a hospedaje in Parinacota, but don't count that it is open for sure. Some of the inhabitants of the village offer private accomondation as well.
  • The closest lodging is in Putre.
  • There is s good hostel in Putre called Pachamama hostel. It has a small kitchen and good facilities. Price per night per person in a dorm room is $10k CPL per night (September 2019)

Camping[edit]

There is a small camping site just nearby the CONAF-station.

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

Las Vicuñas National Reserve is its neighbour to the south.

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