Villarrica National Park (Chile)

Villarrica National Park (Chile)

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 04:11
Posted in:

Villarrica National Park is located in the Andes, in the La Araucanía and Los Ríos regions of Chile. The park protects Valdivian temperate rainforest habitat and is part of the Bosques Templados Lluviosos de los Andes Australes Biosphere Reserve. Highlights are the three volcanoes Villarrica, Quetrupillán and Lanín.

Villarrica National Park is located in the Andes, in the La Araucanía and Los Ríos regions of Chile, near Pucón. The park is part of the Bosques Templados Lluviosos de los Andes Australes Biosphere Reserve. The park's 60,000 hectares (148,263 acres) are officially divided into three sections: Rucapillán, Quetrupillán and Puesco.

The park's highlights are the three volcanoes: Villarrica, Quetrupillán and Lanín. Other mountains in the park include Quinquilil volcano (2,050 m (6,726 ft)), also known as Colmillo del Diablo, and Cerro Las Peinetas, which lies on the border between Argentina and Chile. It ranges in elevation from 600 m (1,969 ft) to 3,776 m (12,388 ft) at Lanín Volcano.

The park protects Valdivian temperate rainforest habitat. Roble (Nothofagus obliqua) and Raulí (Nothofagus alpina) trees are found at lower elevations. Coihues occur in the wettest areas. At higher elevations, forests are dominated by the Araucarias (Araucaria araucana).

At lower elevations, up to about 1,500 m (4,900 ft), mixed Araucaria and Nothofagus woodlands cover the slopes. The Araucaria reaches its southernmost point at Volcán Quetrupillán. The mañío (podocarpus), an ornamental in the Northern Hemisphere, also makes an appearance. Native bunch grasses have colonized some volcanic areas.

The park's forests provide habitat for wildlife such as pumas, chillas, culpeos, pudúes, coypus, Harris's hawks, lesser grisons, Molina's hog-nosed skunks, and the rare monitos del monte.

Summertime temperatures range from a minimum of about 9°C (48°F) to a maximum of around 23°C (73°F), while wintertime lows average 4°C (39°F). Most precipitation falls between March and August, when Pacific storms can drop up to two meters of snow. Rain can fall at any time. The park receives about 2,500-3,500 mm (100-140 in) of rainfall per year.