Chile’s 5 Must Explore National Parks

More than 19% of Chile’s total area is preserved. For nature enthusiasts, joining International Expeditions’ native experts for naturalist-guided explorations in one of the country’s 36 national parks, 12 natural reserves or five natural monuments is the ideal way to enjoy an intimate look at Chile’s brilliant diversity. Here’s a look at our five favorite Chilean National Parks!

Torres del Paine National Park

Chile’s iconic Torres del Paine is Patagonian perfection, and should be on every nature lover’s bucket list! The park’s most distinctive features are the three granite peaks of the Paine Massif, which rises 9,350 feet above sea level. The surrounding valleys, rivers, and lakes provide the scenic foreground, but these “Towers of Blue” (for which the park is named) are Patagonia’s most majestic natural wonder.


Rapa Nui National Park

Located 2,182 miles from mainland Chile in southern Polynesia, Easter Island ranks among the world’s most remote islands. Rapa Nui National Park, which covers around 40% of the island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site most famous for its 887 monumental stone statues, called moai. From the vast caldera of Rano Kau to the “bird men” petroglyphs of Orongo village, there are plenty of reasons Easter Island should be on every traveler’s bucket list.


Laguna San Rafael National Park

Named for the San Rafael Lagoon, which was formed by the retreat of a massive glacier, the park is home to the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. In addition to 28 exit glaciers, you’ll find some of the highest Andes mountains in Patagonia. This UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve plays host to marine animals such as Chilean dolphins, sea otters and elephant seals, and birdwatchers can hope to spot black-browed albatrosses, black-necked swans and great grebes.


Chiloé National Park

While locals tell of waters filled with ghost ships and UNESCO has heaped praise on the wooden churches, Chiloé Island is home to an impressive assortment of wildlife, which ranges from leopard seals and seabirds to huge colonies of Humboldt and Magellanic penguins. The national park offers a diverse assortment of stunning landscapes, including dunes, Valdivian temperate rainforests and peat bogs. But one of the main draws is its whale population, which includes finbacks, humpbacks, seis, Southern right whales, and especially pygmy blue whales.


Cabo de Hornos National Park

The world’s southernmost national park, Cabo de Hornos National Park encompass the Wollaston Archipelago and the Hermite Islands. Although famed for the rough waters off-coast, Cape Horn is also a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve that plays host to kelp gull, red-legged cormorant, Southern royal albatross and colonies of Magellanic penguins. And its waters are teeming with marine life, including leopard seals, two species of dolphin and humpback whales.
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Source; International Expeditions