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Lauca is a wild and remote park, known for its stunning scenery made up of volcanoes, lava fields, lakes and calderas. Over 130 species of bird make it one of the best birding areas in Chile.

Excursions into the national park are either by jeep or on foot, where you can hope to see includes vicuna, puma, alpaca, guanaco, llama, vizcachas, cuy and armadillo. Notable bird species include puna ibis, Andean goose, giant coot, puna tinamou, silvery grebe, crested duck, puna teal, Andean condor and Chilean flamingo.

The nearby village of Putre is located 130 kilometres from the city of Arica at an altitude of 3,500 metres. It has a wonderful setting, with the Taapaca volcano as backdrop, and offers accommodation in a basic hostel-style hotel. Nearby are several pre-Inca ruins as well as prehistoric caves with 5,000-year old hand paintings.

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Chilean flamingo, guanaco, taruca, vicuna, vizcacha
  • Where: Arica-Parinacota Region‎, Chile

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Land of Extremes

Explore the extremes of Chile – from the great lakes and towering snow-capped mountains of Torres del Paine to the lunar landscapes of the Atacama Desert. Discover overwhelming beauty at every turn, with erupting geysers, spectacular glaciers, as well as fascinating unique wildlife.

  • When to go: Oct-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,145 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea