LLULLAILLACO NATIONAL PARK
Llullaillaco National Park
A gigantic volcano, families of guanacos and vicuñas sharing the same space, and an impacting sierra setting, are just a trio of descriptive strokes regarding the 268670 hectares of the Llullaillaco National Park, an awesome corner in the Andes, in the II Antofagasta Region.
In spite of the ample variety of wildlife thriving within this protected area, it stands out for the high density of guanacos (Lama guanicoe) and vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna) it houses, being the only place where both South American cameloids coexist on the same ecological floor.
This Park has no installations for tourist purposes; however, it is very well attended by groups of mountaineers seeking to crown the majestic Llullaillaco, which is the second highest volcanic summit in Chile with its 6739 metres of altitude. According to some investigators there might have been a pre-Hispanic precinct on its top, which is backed by the finding of three Inca mummies on it.
Off road excursions, hikes and flora and fauna watching tours, mainly at Las Zorritas Creek - where the National Forest Corporation (CONAF), the institution in charge of the administration of the area, has its quarters -, are organised at Llullaillaco besides mountaineering.
Bear in mind the following considerations if you are planning on visiting this place in the Andes: do not go by yourself, inform of your arrival and departure at the police (carabineros) post and at that of the CONAF, drive and walk along the roads and paths demarcated by the authorities only, and lastly bring with you all you need to camp and eat because there are no restaurants nor lodges in here.
The Park is located 275 kilometres Southeast of the City of Antofagasta. The most accessible route is a 57-kilometre road that stretches along the Domeyko Cordillera, which starts at the crossing of the Baquedano - Peine route.