FRAY JORGE NATIONAL PARK PROGRAMME
Coquimbo Region, Chile
Fray Jorge National Park is located in the coastal range in north-central Chile about 389 km from Santiago and 80 km south of Coquimbo.
The greatest attraction of this park is the existence of fragments of forest typical of the south of Chile due to the unique geography of the area. The coastal range, that captures the moisture coming from the Pacific makes it possible for trees like Canelos (Drimys winteri), Olivillos (Aetoxicon punctatum), Tepa (Laureliopsis philippiana) and a large variety of ferns and mosses to grow that are not usually seen at this latitude. Due to the existence of relict fragments of temperate rain forest in the middle of a desert region, and the high biodiversity and level of endemism, this area was declared a National Park in 1941 and an UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1977. The 9.960 hectare park has stunning scenery.
Fray Jorge is a destination where you can be sure you will observe unique birds, usually found further south. There is a great abundance of birds of prey such as; Variable Hawk, Harri’s Hawk, American Kestrel, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Magellanic Horned Owl, falcons and others. Additionally, it is highly likely that participants will observe several endemic birds that are our main focus during the excursion. These include: Moustached Turca, White-throated Tapaculo, Chilean Mockingbird and Chilean Tinamou. The endemic rodents Degu (Octodon degus) and Cururo (Spalacopus cyanus), and reptiles such as the Chilean iguana (Callopistes palluma) usually delight participants. Encounters with some remarkably beautiful native species of birds such as the Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Striped Woodpecker, Patagonian Tyrant, White-crested Elaenia, Green-backed Firecrown, and Giant Hummingbird are also highly likely.
This two day programme starts in Coquimbo and includes: private transportation, food, water, drinks, park entrance fee, lodging and an experienced biologist guide. A visit to the Mamalluca observatory is an optional addition. It is highly recommended for people interested in observing birds of prey, endemic birds, reptiles, and for botanical excursions and photography.
This programme is available throughout the year and must be booked at least two months in advance
Difficulty: Very Low