- Central Valley, Vineyards & Santiago
- Radal Siete Tazas National Park
Trekking is one of the favorite activities for those who visit the Radal siete Tazas National Park. It has water pools suitable for bathing and forests of oaks, coigües and Ñirre of different colors.
This is a gorgeous park with a surface area of 5,147.51 hectares (11,324.5 acres), whose major attraction is its 7 waterfalls and their respective ‘cups’ (tazas) that Claro de Molina river has carved over millions of years out of the basalt rock. This zone is an ecological transition between the draught-tolerant vegetation of the north and the more humid forests of the south. You will find various singing birds, such as thrush and tench, and predators like puma and leopardus colocolo.
Amongst the cypress and oak woods, you will also find traces of ancient nomad peoples and hunter-gatherers, like "piedra tacita" (stones used for the grinding of foodstuffs).
The park is an attractive destination for kayakers, who can navigate the rapids of the Claro river.
Radal Siete Tazas National Park Basic Information
Location: The park is located in the province of Curicó, district of Molina.
How to get there: The park is located 55 km away from Molina, and its main access is the road coming from the area called Parque Inglés. The first 7 km of this road are paved and the rest is gravel. Nevertheless, the last 9 km are difficult in winter due to the snow fallen in June and July. There is another access road coming from Talca and San Clemente. It is steep in some areas, so using a pickup truck or a jeep is recommended; the first 40 km are paved. To take this road you have to take the Pehuence International Road, then the crossroad to Corralones, and finally the Las Lomas turnoff for 28 km.
When to go: Year round
- Summer: from 8:30 to 20:00 hrs
- Winter: from 8:30 to 17.30 hrs
Climate: Warm, temperate with long dry season. To the west there is mountain weather due to the higher altitudes. It is common to find snow in winter and spring, specially on the south and east slopes. The average year temperature is 14,7 ºC, and the precipitation index is 980 mm per year
Services: CONAF, accommodation, transportation
Infrastructure and services in Radal Siete Tazas National Park
Area Administration: It is located in the Parque Inglés area.
Park Ranger's office: Located las Siete Tazas area.
Environmental Information Center: Located in the Parque Inglés area.
Camping areas: Los Robles camping is located in Parque Inglés. It has 50 sites equipped with water, electricity, restrooms, bonfires, and vigilance. Camping for 6 people (site per day): CLP 8.000
Accommodation: In Parque Inglés there is a guesthouse called "La Flor de la Canela", which is open all year.
First aid: Radal infirmary, 500 mts away from the police post in Rada.
Services outside the area
- Food: Molina, 55 km away from the administration area. Also in Flor de la Canela guesthouse
- Phone: in Radal infirmary and the guesthouse.
Attractions in Radal Siete Tazas National Park
What to see:
The landscape in this beautiful reserve is dominated by the traditional forest of Chile's central area, with oaks, hualos, coigues, and ñirres. In winter, the green of these trees contrasts with the white peaks. In may, the color of the non-evergreen forest gets more intense.
This park hast beautiful landscapes, among which you can find Las Siete Tazas, which is a sequence of seven waterfalls and their respective pools which tumble into the black basalt rock of the Claro river. There are also two large waterfalls: El Velo de la Novia (Bride's Veil) and La Leona.
Claro river, south limit of the park has eroded the basalt rock for years, forming spectacular shapes, like Las Siete Tazas, El Velo de la Novia, La Leona, and other 22 pools along its bank.
What to do
- Baths in ponds in Claro river(Parque Inglés and Radal).
- Horseback riding (horses can be rented in Valle las Catas).
- Mountain Biking (bikes can be rented in Valle las Catas)
- Trekking in the different areas of the park.
- Guided excursions
- Kayak (only experienced kayakers)
- Wildlife observation: everywhere in the park: Parque Inglés, Salto de La Leona, Siete Tazas, Velo de la Novia, Mondaca lagoons, and el Radal.
Several trails coming from Parque Inglés will allow you to get in touch with the area. There are also two interpretive trails.
Tours and viewpoints:
- Siete Tazas: Spectacular view of the south bank of Siete Tazas
- Salto de La Leona Viewpoint: A unique panoramic view of the valley of Claro river, from the top of Salto de la Leona.
- Los Coigües Gully: a beautiful landscape with its own microclimate and exuberant flora made up by woods of coigües.
- Mountain Cypress forest: this is the best preserved mountain cypress forest in the north of the country.
- Los Chorros waterfall: impressive waterfalls of over 100 mts located in the slopes of Frutillar Hill.
- Infrastructure for people with special needs: Trail to Siete Tazas, with an extension of 300 mts and covered in 30 min.
- Extension: 15 kms
- Estimated time on foot: all day
- Extension: 7 Km.
- Estimated time on foot: 5 hours
- Extension: 1 Km.
- Estimated time on foot: 2 hours
Salto la Leona Interpretive trail:
- Extension: 1.200 metros
- Estimated time on foot: 2 hours
- Extension: 1 km.
- Estimated time on foot: 1 hour
Geomorphology: The topography of the area is rugged, with high peaks and crags, especially on the banks of the Claro river, but also some smoother slopes in Parque Inglés. Of the main summits, the peaks of El Alto (6,645 ft above sea level), El Frutillar (5,510 ft), El Fraile (4,674 ft), and El Cordon de Guamparo (7,038 ft) stand out.
Hydrography: The basis of the river system is the Claro river, which corresponds to the southern limit of the area. The main streams are the Campo, Toro and Radal, which empty their waters close to the eastern limit of the park. The source of these streams is permanent and the waters are remarkably clean. All these streams are important sources of water for the irrigation of the central valley.
Flora: The pre-Andean area where Radal Siete Tazas is located, is a place for sclerophyllus vegetation, typical of the Mediterranean-like zones of central Chile and the humid forests of the south. Large terebinth shrubs, Andean beeches, oaks and laurels grow together with soapbark trees, litres and peumos. In the driest part of the hills, you can see cacti and chaguales, typical of the more northern zones. The vegetation of the area is hugely diverse, especially in the southern part. In particular, there are species of Southern Beech found here, and species classified as ‘vulnerable’ in the ‘Simposio de Flora Arborea y Arbustiva de Chile con Problemas de Conservacion’ (Symposium of Chilean Arboreal and Shrub-like Flora with Preservation Trouble). They are for example, Santiago oak, coigue, nirre, hazel tree, laurel and long-leaf 'manio'.
Fauna: The most notorious fauna in the area are mammals and birds. You can find pudu, pumas, red and grey foxes, guinas and chingues. Two of the three species of marsupial in the country can also be found here: the yaca and the mountain monkey. Among the birds, it is worth mentioning the burrowing parrot, an "endangered species", chilean pigeons, austral parakeets, peregrin falcons, condors, eagles, white-tailed kite, red backed hawk, black woodpeckers, torrent ducks and many others.
Between May 1987 and December 1992 eleven pieces of archaeological research were carried out in this park. Their purpose was to determine the park's archaeological heritage, and get to know the customs of the pre-Columbian hunter-gatherers that inhabited the area. The research revealed the existence of 33 archaeological sites, 28 of which proved indegenous occupations, and other five with historical remains.
The studies carried out in Siete Tazas and its surroundings proved that the indigenous sites had traces of occupation left by Andean hunter-gatherers. These groups camped and stopped in open fields, woods, and the banks of Claro river and other streams. They used the andesita basailtic quarries and the deposits of obsidian to manufacture their stone utensils.
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.