- Araucanía, Lakes & Volcanoes
- Isla Mocha National Reserve
Isla Mocha National Reserve is characterized by the different paths it has and its varied vegetation.
Isla Mocha National Reserve has a surface area of2.367,95 ha, covering around 45% of the island's surface. Its high part is formed by mountain ranges distributed along the coast from north to South. The reserve has two trails properly signalled, from where you can observe its abundant vegetation. You can also see animal species like the Fardela Castellana, slender-billed parakeet, austral parakeet, and the beautiful chucao tapaculo.
Isla Mocha National Reserve Basic Information
Location: 35 kms away from the city of Tirua. It belongs to the Lebu commune, in the province of Arauco, VIII Región del Biobío.
How to get there: You can get to the island by air or by sea. There are two aerodromes, from where you can take off in private light aircrafts in a 45 minute flight from Cañete. There are are also small vessels sailing to the island, but this is a bit more complicated for the island has no piers. The vessels usually depart for Tirúa (4 hours), Lebu (8 hours) or Talcahuano.
When to go: Year round
Climate: La isla registra un clima templado húmedo de carácter oceánico. Las precipitaciones se caen durante todo el año, con medias anuales de 1.225 mm, observándose un periodo de aridez en los meses de enero y febrero, especialmente en el lado este de la isla debido al efecto barrera que proporciona el cordón montañoso. La temperatura media anual alcanza a 12,5° C.
Entrance Fees: Free of charge
Isla Mocha National Reserve Infrastructure and Services
Administration office: There are two ranger stations located on the North and South end of the reserve respectively. They offer information about the reserve's protected natural resources.
Camp grounds: You can camp anywhere in the Mocha Island but there are no camping services.
Accommodation: The reserve has no hotels but accommodation is not a problem, since several local families offer rooms to host tourists.
Attractions in Isla Mocha National Reserve
What to do:
- Fly fishing
- Horseback riding
- Scuba diving
- Camino Nuevo Trail (3kms): This trail crosses the reserve from East to West, from the most populated site to the old lighthouse. This trail was anciently used by the Mocha people to travel between the two parts of the island. It can be covered on foot year round.
- Laguna Hermosa Norte Trail (2,1 kms): Difficulty: High. Time: 1 hr 30 mins. Access: 796 mts from the reserve's North access. This trail is a trek divided in two segments. The first half is a hard ascent, with steep slopes of over 40 degrees. The higher part has a lesser incline, with much softer inclines.
- Laguna Hermosa Sur Trail (2,6 kms): Difficulty: High. Time: 2 hrs 30 mins. Access: Next to the Laguna Hermosa Norte Trail, on the way to the old lighthouse, returning by Camino Nuevo. Theme: "The inhabitants of Mocha Island": birds, vertebrae and the history of the human occupation of the Island.
- Los Años Dorados Trail (1 km): Access: 1,5 kms from the reserve's North entrance by Camino Nuevo. This trail has slopes of not more than 15° especially thought for soft treks and elder travelers.
- Laguna de Los Hairavos Trail (370 mts). Difficulty: Extreme. Time: 40 minutes. Access: 987 mts from the North entrance. This trail has steep inclines, with plateaus on the higher areas. Theme: Water cycle and the huairavo habitat.
Isla Mocha National Reserve Natural Heritage
Fauna: One of the reserve's mos representative species is the Pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus), an endemic sea bird that is severely endangered. There are also other birds like the chucao tapaculo, theristicus, Chilean pigeons, and the chestnut-throated Huet-huet.
Flora: The low and flat areas in the island are covered with plants that have adapted to the wind and saline conditions that predominate all year. At higher areas there are forests similar to those found in Valdivia. These high areas are crossed by two mountain chains going from north to south along the coast, with an average height of 340 mts msl. Several water streams originate here and supply the island's population with fresh water. The reserve's trails cross areas with lush vegetation, letting you discover beautiful landscapes with enormous Chilean myrtles and Olivillos.
For more information about prices press the next link: http://www.conaf.cl/parques/reserva-nacional-isla-mocha/
The climate is Mediterranean, hot in summer and cold in winter. The average annual temperature is around 13° C. The central zone of Chile is considered the warmest of the country. In summer temperatures surpass 30 ° C.
Stores in rural areas are open all day, but they close between 13.00 and 15.00. We advise you to carry local currency (Chilean pesos), since it isn’t possible to pay with debit or credit cards in kiosks and rural stores.
Do not litter on parks or streets. Taking care of our environment is everyone's responsibility. Avoid fines by following the rules.