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Lauca National Park

Why visit Lauca National Park?

Learn about Aymara Indian history and culture and shop for lovely textiles and traditional handicrafts – or taste llama or alpaca meat. Lauca National Park, its landscape dominated by the snow-capped peaks of the twin Payachatas volcanos, is a stunning place. Studded with beautiful lagoons and rivers, wonderful for hiking, camping, fishing and kayaking.
Reasons to visit Lauca National Park include:

  • See traditional dwellings and 16th century Spanish colonial architecture and shop for handicrafts in the Aymara village of Putre, set 3500m up on a hillside. 
  • Walk along Putre’s O’Higgins Street, a 19th Century avenue named after the Chilean independence leader. 
  • Visit the ancient, baroque church in tiny, semi-abandoned Parinacota village and wander past the stone and mud houses.  
  • Explore the magnificent Lauca National Park World Biosphere Reserve, with its diverse Highland flora and fauna. Look out for alpacas, llamas and condors. 
  • Photograph the volcanos reflected in the calm waters of Chungara Lake. 
  • Bath in the soothing waters of the Jurasi hot springs.

When to go to Lauca National Park

This is an incredibly dry region - its annual rainfall measured in fractions of milimetres. The warmest time of year to visit is February and the coolest August but it is essentially a year-round destination.

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facts and information

Time: GMT -4 hours

Flight time:

There are direct flights from London Heathrow to Santiago, which operate 4 times a week and take 14 hours 40 minutes. The Chilean airline, LATAM, flies via Madrid.

Language: The official language is Spanish. but other local languages are also spoken. English is spoken quite widely.

Visas:

Visas are not currently required for British passport holders staying for up to 90 days, who are issued with a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo-Tourist Card’ on arrival. You must retain this and present it to immigration on departure.

Health:

Generally none is compulsory but we recommend the following: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, diphtheria, meningitis, tetanus, rabies and polio. There is no malaria in Chile. A yellow fever certificate is required if you are coming from an infected area.

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