Alerce Andino National Park
Alerce Andino National Park (Andean Larch) was created on the 17th of November of 1982. It is located in the province of Llanquihue, in the districts of Puerto Montt and Cocham√≥. It has a surface area of 39.255 ha, most of which are covered with larch forests set in the mountain area of Regi√≥n de Los Lagos. This slow-growth conifer has an excellent quality wood, and it is an endangered species, the park being one of its main refuges.
Alerce Andino National Park is part of Reserva de la Biosfera Bosques Templados Lluviosos de Los Andes Australes (Southern Andes Temperate Rain Forest).
Alerce Andino National Park Basic Information
How to get there
Santiago-Puerto Montt: By air or land. Puerto Montt to the park: by land. Leave Puerto Montt through the road to Pelluco (east) until arriving at Chamiza. Before crossing the bridge, take the left turn that will take you to the village of Correntoso. Turn right and after 2 km (1.25 mi) you will reach the park. The road to Chamiza is paved, the rest is gravel. ¬†
When to go
Mondays to Sundays, from 9:00 to 17:30.
Other Nearby Attractions
Lake Chapo, Llanquihue National Reserve, Sotom√≥ Thermal Bats, Reloncav√≠ Estuary.
Oceanic climate, humid and temperate. In winter, the snowy regions begin at an altitude of 700 to 800 m above sea level. The average annual precipitation index is between 3,300 and 4,500 mm. The average monthly temperature ranges between 7¬įC (44¬įF) in June and 15¬įC (59¬įF) in January, reaching a maximum average of 20¬įC (68¬įF).
Park rangers, environmental information, roads.
Adults: Chileans and Foreigners: CLP 1,000 Chilean Pesos .
Children: Chileans and foreigners: Free of charge (up to 12 years old).
Alerce Andino National Park Infrastructure and Services
Park Ranger's Office
The park has four guard posts located in Correntoso, Sargazo, lake Chapo sector, and in the Chaicas river valley.
There is a campground in the park entrance, coming from the town of Correntoso. There are five sites equipped with fire areas, picnic tables and garbage bins.
Rates (Per day): 1 person CLP 2000; 2 people CLP 3.000; 3 people CLP 4.000; 4 to 6 people CLP 5.000.
There are three shelters available (each 98.4 square feet): they are located in Pangal river, Sargazo lagoon and Fr√≠a lagoon.
Services Outside the Area
First Aid: Correntoso post, 2.5 km (1.5 mi) from the ranger's office; Lake Chapo post, 14 km (9 mi) from the village of Correntoso. Chaicas post, 11 km (7 mi) from the sector's park ranger office.
Food shops: Correntoso, Lenca, and Puerto Montt.
Telephone:In Puerto Montt 32 km (20 mi) from Correntoso, and 47 km (29 mi) from the Chaicas guard post.
What to see
The main attraction in this park is the exuberant wooded landscape and its mountain lagoons hidden in the forest. The most remarkable places are primitive areas, such as Chaicas river valley, Chaiquenes lagoon, Tri√°ngulo lagoon, Fr√≠a lagoon, Sargazo lagoon and Pangal. It is also worth visiting the Chaicas river waterfall.
Surrounding Sargazo Lagoon, in the Correntoso sector, there is a larch forest of approximately 800 years and another of 3 thousand years near Fr√≠a lagoon.
What to do
- Excursions: throughout the park.
- Wildlife observation: throughout the park.
- Boat rides: in Chaiquenes lagoon and in areas bordering the park (Reloncavi Estuary).
- Canoe rides. in Sargazo lagoon.
The park has a network of trails which allow you to discover beautiful, ancient forests and lagoons. The trails are suitable for backpackers and other visitors who are in good physical condition. The main stretches are the following:
- Correntoso-Pangal River: 3.2 km (2 mi) long and takes approximately between 1.5 and 2 hrs. to hike.
- Pangal River-Shelter: 2.1 km (1.3 mi) long and takes 45 to 60 min.
- Lake Sargazo: between the Conaf guard post and the west side of the Sargazo lake, bordering the lake. 4 hours taking a mountain path.
- Lake Sargazo-Fr√≠a Lagoon: 4.5 km (2.8 mi) taking approximately 3 hrs. Beginning on the west side of the Sargazo lake until the Fr√≠a lagoon.
- Chaicas river waterfalls: 1,640 ft long trail, approximately 20 min.
- Chaiquenes Lagoon-Tri√°ngulo Lagoon: 3 km (1.8 mi) and takes approximately 2 hrs.
To help us protect the natural resources, please take into consideration the following suggestions:
It is recommended that you visit the park preferably between the months of November and March when conditions are more suitable.
- Protect the vegetation.
- Protect the fauna species, and be careful with nesting sites and natural refuges.
- Picnic only in authorized areas.
- Camp only in authorized sites.
- If you have doubts or problems, seek help from a park ranger.
- For camping you should use a gas or coal stove.
- It is recommendable to visit the park from November to March due to the better weather conditions.
Alerce Andino National Park Natural Heritage
The park is located on an Andean massif, with a geography determined by tectonic and glacial processes. It boasts deep valleys with steep slopes and numerous lakes and lagoons set in a wide range of altitudes. They range from 1,200 to 1,500 mts msl (3,936 to 4,920 ft), with Calbuco Volcano (2,003 m or 6,569 ft. above sea level) standing out amongst the rest of the peaks. This landmark is located in Llanquihue National Reserve.
The dominant feature is Lake Chapo and its tributaries Sur, Lenca and Chaicas rivers, which drain a large surface of the park. This hydrographic system features more than 50 small and medium-sized lagoons, the most important ones being Sargazo, Chaiquenes, Tri√°ngulo, Fr√≠a, Monta√Īa, and Campa√Īa.
To get to the Sargazo and Fr√≠a lagoons, you must go through the Correntoso sector. To get to Chaiquenes and Tri√°ngulo lagoons you must do so through the Chaicas sector.
The dominating form of vegetation is the forest, made up by species like larch, Magellan's beech, and lenga beech. The larch forests cover almost 20,000 hectares (44,000 acres), growing between 400 (1,312 ft) and 700 mts (2,296 ft) msl. Although the larch is the the dominant species, there are other trees such as Chilo√©'s coihue, tinero, ma√Ī√≠o and winter's bark.
Evergreen forests grow from sea level to 900 mts msl (2,952 ft), varying its composition according to the local sun exposure. You can find species like tepa, coihue and ulmo. There are also many lianas (vines), trepadoras (climbing vines), helechos (ferns), quila (type of bamboo), thickets and herbs growing on the forest floor.
The Magellan Coihue forest is located at 800 mts (2,624 ft) above sea level, covering the summit of the mountains in the west area of the park. Here you can also find species of lenga growing in the form of shrubs.
Some important mammals are: pud√ļ or Chilean venado, puma, kodkod, grey fox, Molina's hog-nosed skunk, vizcacha, and monito de monte. Also, some remarkable birds are the c√≥ndor, magellanic woodpecker, huet-huet, ringed kingfisher, bay-winged hawk, royal duck, upland goose, tufted tit-tyrant and the Chilean pigeon.
The most common fish are the peladilla or farionela, percatrucha, and the brown and rainbow trout.