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CHILE NATURE

LLANOS DE CHALLES NATIONAL PARK

ATACAMA REGION

Llanos de Challes National Park

Those thinking that nature is greedy in the deserts and that they lack attractions will be surprised when they discover the flora and fauna at the Llanos de Challes National Park, with its 45708 hectares of thirsty land though full of life, located in the Commune and Province of Huayco in the III Atacama Region.

Created with the aim of protecting wildlife, the Park presents characteristics proper of the coastal desert, being its main zones of interest the Llanos de Challes, the Minillas Ravine and the sector of Los Pozos, in which 278 flora species, amongst them 16 of cacti and some endemic, such as the Copiapoa carrizalensis, have been identified.

Very singular flower species, such as the lion's claw (Leontoichir ovallei), the appleblossoms (Hippeastrum igneum) and the lily of the valley (Alstroemeria sp.) can be appreciated in the amazing phenomenon locally known as Flowering Desert, an awakening of colour taking place during rainy years.

The biodiversity is completed with the richness of its fauna. Here we have 56 bird species registered, along with 9 mammals, 4 reptiles and one amphibious (18% of which are in a threatened situation); with the guanaco (Lama guanicoe), the condor (Vultur gryphus), the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the Atacama toad (Bufo atacamensis) standing out due to their importance and representation.

Those visiting the Park have a series of alternatives to choose from in order to get closer to nature. Excursions in four by four vehicles are organised within this space of life, whose altitude varies between 0 and 1000 metres above sea level, and there are trekking circuits with sectors of lengths varying between 3 and 16 kilometres, both of which allow observing herds of guanacos and ancient mining sites.
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    Although the Park has no tourist infrastructure, travellers can find lodging, restaurants and other services in the Communities of Huayco and Carrizal Bajo. Likewise, you can also ask for information at the offices of the National Forest Corporation (CONAF), located on the crossing of the Carrizal and Pedernales Ravines, in the Llanos de Challes National Park.

    There are two ways of reaching this magic desert, the main one begins at the kilometre 668 of the 5th Northern Route, 17 kilometres North of Vallenar, and ends at Carrizal Bajo, the nearest Community. The other option is following the C - 470 Road from Huasco Bajo to Carrizal Bajo.




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