- Araucanía, Lakes & Volcanoes
- Laguna del Laja National Park
The Laguna del Laja National Park is located in the Andean foothills and has three main attractions that are the Antuco volcano, Laja river and Laja lagoon. There are different trails that take you to different viewpoints allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the place.
A beautiful park with an area of 11.600 hectares, which main attraction is the lagoon that gives the park its name. Its waters are emerald green, and its shores are filled with volcanic debris. Antuco volcano crowns the landscape, where mountain cypress and millenial araucaria will delight you.
The park is located in the province of Biobío, in the Corredor Biológico Nevados de Chillán - Lago Laja. Founded in 1958, it is currently in the process of approval for being declared a Biosphere Reserve.
Location: The park is located on the pre-andean area of the province of Biobío, 93 km east of Los Ángeles, in the district of Antuco.
When to go: Year round
Climate: Precipitations are mostly snow between June and September and rain during the rest of the year, with a maximum concentration between May and August (55%, and only (9% between January and March). The annual precipitation index is 2.170 mm, and the average temperature is 10ºC between April and November and slightly above 10º in the remaining monts. The average temperature in July is -0,3ºC.
Services outside the area:
- Gas: Los Ángeles, 93 km away from the park.
- Pay phone: Antuco, a 30 km. away from the park
- First aid: Antuco. In winter there are ski patrols in the park.
- Food: in Abanico, a 10 km. away from the park and in Antuco.
- Police station: Abanico and Antuco
- Accommodatio: Abanico, Antuco, and Los Angeles
Means of transportation: There are buses going from Los Ángeles to Abanico. There is no transport from Abanico to the park. Bus station: Villagrán Nº 507, Los Angeles.
What to see:
The view from the entrance to the park is splendid. There is a short and narrow valley enclosed by a 200 mt. tall volcanic plug, located right by Laja Lagoon. This lake is drained underground in the falls of Las Chilcas and Torbellino, giving birth to Laja River. In the background you will see the flat and arid Antuco Volcano, with 2.985 mts. A beautiful spectacle placed only 30 minutes away on foot. You need at least one day to cover the park. The road mentioned above goes for 4 km, reaching the foot of the volcano and then Antuco Ski Center. To the left there is a road leading to Port Endesa. 2 km ahead of you there is the Universidad de Concepción Ski Center (currently non operational) and Laja lagoon, with emerald green water, rocky shores and mountain cypress, coigüe, and lenga forests. The road then goes over a volcanic area, winding for 22 kms until reaching Los Barros, where there is an extraordinary view of the hanging snowdrifts of Sierra Velluda and Antuco Volcano.
- Los Pangues-Meseta Los Zorros Trail:Duration of the journey: 4 hours. You can watch flora, fauna, Sierra Velluda and Laja River Valley
- Endesa Parking Lot-Salto Las Chilcas Trail: Duration of the journey: 2 hours and 30 minutes. You can observe flora, fauna, volcanic phenomena, and the source of Laja river.
- Endesa Parking Lot-Laja River Trail: Duration of the journey: 3 hours and 30 minutes. Wildlife observation, geological phenomena and Laja river.
- Environmental Information Center - Los Coigues Trail: Duration of the joruney: 2 hours and 30minutes. Wildlife observation, geological phenomena and Antuco volcano.
- Park Ranger's Office - Meseta Los Zorros: Duration of the journey: 4 hours. Wildlife observation, Sierre Velluda and Laja River Valley.
- Chacay Park Ranger's Office - Las Araucarias: Duration of the Journey: 6 hours. Wildlife observation, volcanic and geologic phenomena, Sierra Velluda, Laja River Valley.
- Chacay Park Ranger's Office - Sierra Velluda: Duration of the journey: 8 hours. Wildlife observation, geological phenomena, snowdrift, and Laja River Valley.
Laguna del Laja National Park Natural Heritage
- Mountain Cypress (Austrocedrus chilensis): it is a vulnerable species, the park being one of its biggest reservoirs. It can be seen in the entrance of the park, by the main road (Lagunillas and Chacay).
- Araucaria (Araucaria araucana): it is also a vulnerable species, the park being its northernmost location. It only features a few specimens, with a high genetic value. It can be seen in the excursion road leading to Sierra Velluda (Sector Chacay).
- Maitén del chubut (Maytenus chubutensis) and Radal enano (Orites myrtoidea): Species considered rare, they are easy to find.
Fauna: Birds are the most important manifestation of fauna, with 47 species divided in little birds, anatidae, birds of prey, and owls, among others. Some of the most remarkable are Bandurria (Theristicus caudatus) and the Condor (Vultur gryphus), both of which are vulnerable. They can be seen in Lagunillas and Chacay. Other important birds are Rufous-bellied seedsnipe (atagis gayi), and the Andean gull (Larus serranus), both of which are considered rare. They can be found everywhere in the park. The population of mammals is scarce, with species like Vizcacha (Lagidium viscacia), which can be found in Lagunillas, Lake Laja, and in rocky areas. You can also find the Puma (Felis concolor), Andean fox (canis culpaeus) and South American Gray Fox (Canis griseus), all of which can be seen in Lagunillas and Chacay.
This area has a gastronomic identity marked mainly by Mapuche cuisine and the complement of Spanish cuisine. This land is characterized as a place of cultivation, where there are different outbreaks of fruits, legumes, vegetables and spices that are fundamental in the condiment of the food as the Merquén.
Meat and fish are also important food, which are usually seasoned with the spices of Mapuche cuisine. Within the typical dishes are the Charquicán, empanadas with pebre, roast lamb, tortillas embers among others. You cannot visit this area without eating chestnuts or pine nuts.
A traditional drink of the area is apple chicha or wine. Desserts usually have blueberries or raspberries or nuts and chestnuts as well.
How to go
- Plane: From Santiago to Los Ángeles.
- Bus: From Santiago to Los Ángeles.
- Tour: From Los Ángeles to Laguna del Laja National Park.
For more information about prices press the next link: http://www.conaf.cl/parques/parque-nacional-laguna-del-laja/
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.