VILLARRICA NATIONAL PARK PROGRAMME
Araucanía Region, Chile
Villarrica National Park is just 8 km southwest of Pucón, located on a lateral branch of the Andes Mountain Range. The 2,847 m Villarrica Volcano dominates the landscape and its prior eruptions created the surrounding topography. The area's astonishing scenery includes mountains, forests, caves, rivers and sapphire blue lakes.
The park's 63,000 ha are managed by CONAF. A beautiful temperate rain forest, native to southern Chile, occupies most of the park. The rest is covered in lava flows of various ages that have escaped the volcano’s crater and flowed down the slopes. In the upper elevation forestthere are extensive areas dominated by Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana) and Lenga (Nothofagus pumilio). At lower elevations the forest is dominated by birch including Raulí (Nothofagis alpina), Mañío (Podocarpus salignus), and Coigüe (Nothofagus dombeyi) . This Nothofagus forest, as it is called, has a high biodiversity of mammal and bird species.
During the excursion participants will enjoy the magic of the forest as well as sightings of many beautiful native birds such as the Thorn-tailed Rayadito, the magnificent Magellanic Woodpecker, White-throated Treerunner, Patagonian Sierra-finch, Variable Hawk, Andean Condor, and Caracaras among many others. With a focused search participants can see the spectacular endemic birds of the area: the Chucao Tapaculo and Black-throated Huet-huet. Patient observation of the beech canopy will often result in a sighting of the charismatic Slender-billed Parakeet. This stunning park is also the territory for various species of mammals. Participants may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a Southern Grey Fox or Southern Red Fox, a diminutive Pudu Deer, Molina’s Hog-nosed Skunk or even the impressive puma.
This full-day programme includes: private transportation from Villarrica or Pucón, snack, lunch, water and drinks, park entrances fee, and an experienced ornithologist guide.
A visit to “Los Pozones” hot springs is an optional addition, entrance fee included.This programme is highly recommended for birdwatching, botanical excursions, photography and as an excellent opportunity to enjoy a family outing. The programme includes 5 hours of trekking.
Daily departures from Villarrica or Pucón are available during spring and summer.