Lauca National Park


Lauca National Park is located in Chile’s far north, in the Andean range. It covers an area of 1,379 km² (532.4 sq mls) of altiplano and mountains, the latter consisting mainly of enormous volcanos, many of them over 6,000 metres (19,685 ft) high.

The park lies within the Central Andean dry puna ecoregion, lying above 3,500 metres (11,483 ft), between the tree-line and the permanent snow-line. It is an area of high altitude grasslands and small shrubs. It is a harsh environment but over 400 species of plants have adapted to the conditions. Lakes Chungara and Cotacotani, which lie below the twin volcanoes of Pomerape and Parinacota, provide a wetter habitat but at this altitude plant growth remains stunted.

Over 140 bird species live in the park, of which the Andean condor and Chilian flamingo are perhaps the most distinctive.

The park is well known for being home for a variety of mammals, especially members of the camel family such as vicunas, llamas, alpacas and guanacos. North Andean deer and pumas can also be seen.

Atacama Desert Photo By (14)
Atacama Desert Photo By (13)
Atacama Desert Photo By (12)