- Araucanía, Lakes & Volcanoes
- Araucanía y Los Ríos
- Tolhuaca National Park
Meet the Tolhuaca National Park, in the Araucanía region. It is recognized by its mountainous reliefs and its forest richness.
In the surroundings you will find Malleco and Green lagoons, which house lots of Chilean birds. Also, Tolhuaca termal springs are located near the protected area and have really good facilities.
When to go: Year round.
Business Hours: Mondays to Sundays, from 8:30 to 18:00 hrs.
Climate: Warm, rainy, with a few dry periods of one or two months. The average annual temperature is 14°C (57ºF) and rain is abundant, regular and ranges from 2,500 to 3,000 mm (98 to 118 in.) per year. Due to the heights the temperature is low. The average annual temperature is 8,6º with 15,1ºC in January (the hottest month) and 1,9ºc in July (the coldest month).
Services: Trails, transportation, rangers, accommodations, picnic areas.
- Chilpa Trail: 1.5 Km, 3 hrs round trip.
- La culebra - Lago Verde Trail: 2.1 Kms, 2.6 hrs round trip.
- Laguna verde Trail: 4.0 Kms, 4 Hrs round trip.
- Lagunillas Trail: 8.6 kms, 7 hrs. round trp.
- Mesacura Trail: 15 Kms, 6 hrs round trip.
- Tolhuaca - Niblinto Trail: 12.0 km, 8 hrs round trip.
- Salto Malleco Trail: 1.7 Kms, 2 hrs round trip.
Tolhuaca National Park NATURAL HERITAGE
In general, the basins in this park are endorheic, both of lentic and lotic systems.
The most important water stream is Malleco river, born in the park and draining Lake Malleco (76 ha). It is a tributary of Niblinto river. Other important water sources are Pichimalleco river, La Culebra waterfall, Laguna Verde, and some minor courses.
According to the classification proposed by Gajardo (1996), Tolhuaca National Park is located in the region of Andean-Patagonian Forests, and within it, in a sub-region called Araucanía Mountain range. The park also belongs to the region of deciduous forests, and within it, to the sub-region of the Andean deciduous forests. The first sub-region features the High-Andean deciduous forests with araucaria, while the second has the mixed Andean deciduous forest. In the high areas of the park the dominant species are coihue, lenga beech, and araucaria. The different seasons become clear in the forests: in summer you can see the green of the forests and their lushness, while in winter you may only see the trees and their branches. According to Conaf, the protected and endangered species are:
- Araucaria (Araucaria araucana)
- Austrocedrus (Austrocedrus chilensis)
- Eucryphia (Eucryphia glutinosa)
- Radal enano (Orites myrtoidea)
Malleco lagoon houses a great variety of water birds. The park administration registers the amount of birds living in the area, making it possible to determine exactly what species need protection. Some important species are the Andean gull and a variety of ducks. There are also mammals like the coypu. The woods in the park shelter small animals like monito del monte and bigger ones like South American Gray Fox or puma. You will also find birds like the woodpecker, common kingfisher, chucao tapaculo, and the Chilean pigeon. According to Conaf, the protected and endangered species are:
- Kodkod (Felis guigna)
- Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)
- Puma (Felis concolor)
- Pudús (Pudu pudu)
- Becacina (Gallinago paraguaiae)
- Chilean pigeon (Columba araucana)
- Magellanic woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus)
- Green lizard (Liolaemus chilensis)
- Short tailed snake (Tachymenis chilensis)
- Common brown frog (Batrachyla taeniata)
- Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii)
- Long clawed mouse (Geoxus valdivianus)
- Striped-back bittern (Ixobrychus involucris)
- Andean gull (Larus serranus)
- Condor (Vultur gryphus)
- Peuquito (Accipiter bicolor)
- Aguilucho de cola rojiza (Buteo ventralis)
- Aguilucho chico (Buteo albigula)
- Matuasto lizard (Pristydactylus torquatus)
Several pottery and clay remains have been found, which indicate that there was once a certain degree of ocupation in the area. One of the most important elements for the history of the area is the Araucaria, for its distribution coincides with the distribution of the Pehuenche people. They have historically used the piñón (araucaria seed) as a source of food. This park was created in 1935 by the Ministry of Lands and Colonisation, with an area of 3.704 ha. In 1985 it was extended to reach an area of 6.374 ha.
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 Temuco.
- Bus: From Santiago to Temuco/Temuco to Victoria.
- Tour: From victoria to Tolcahue National Park.
For more information about prices press the next link http://http://www.conaf.cl/parques/parque-nacional-tolhuaca/
The weather on this place is oceanic and rainy, with a bit of Mediterranean influence, there’s abundant and constant rainfall, even in summer. The annual average temperature is 11° C.
We advise you to wear clothes that are suitable for rain, because the weather is constantly changes at any time of the year.
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.