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Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve

AttractionsSportToursSightseeing ToursNature & Adventure ToursOff the beaten track
Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve is a protected natural area that is located in the middle of the Patagonian Andes, in the Panguipulli commune, region of the Rivers in Chile.
 
The Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve has 100,000 hectares of temperate humid forest west of the Andes mountain range. It is a project that seeks to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the area. Currently, interesting projects are being developed such as the Huemul Conservation Center, the Darwin's Frog Conservation Center, the Guanacos Reproduction Center, and the Pumas Monitoring Program, incorporating local communities, generating jobs, and training them in different disciplines, thus promoting the development of sustainable tourism as a new economic activity in the place, which will allow a projection to present and future generations.
 


Ecosystem
The temperate humid forest is characterized by receiving abundant rainfall throughout the year and its warmest summers. This environment is rich in endemic species, thanks to the isolation that the Pacific Ocean determines to the west and the Andes mountain range to the east, followed by the dry Patagonian steppes of Argentina. Within the forests of Huilo Huilo, four ecosystems are characterized by supporting a great diversity of animal and plant species: the Pilmaiquén pampas, the temperate humid forest, high mountains, and aquatic ecosystems.
 
Weather
The climate is mild-humid, annual rainfall reaches about 2,000 mm, with heavy snowfall in winter. The average temperature only reaches 11 ° C.
 
Flora
Huilo Huilo has the highest biodiversity of ferns in continental Chile with 38 species. It also has the undergrowth, with orchids, alstroemerias, fungi, lichens, mosses, abundant vines, and climbers such as Copihue.
 
The tree species are cinnamon, luma, olivillos, notro, arrayanes, tiaca, highlighting the Nothofagus forest characteristic of the Patagonian Forest: raulí, hazelnut, ulmo, mañío, lenga, ñirre, tepa, and coigüe. Many of these trees are centuries-old and can reach heights of up to 40 meters, forming the so-called Cathedral Forests. Another characteristic of these forests is that many of their species are always green or evergreen, that is, they maintain their foliage throughout the year.
 

Wildlife
In Huilo Huilo, 81 bird species have been described. Among the endemic species, the chucao (Scelorchilus rubecula), which belongs to the group of birds known as Rhinocryptides, only exists here and is fully adapted to live in the forest floor. Another bird is the black woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus), the largest of the three species of woodpeckers present in Chile.
 
In this reserve it is also possible to see the smallest deer in the world: the pudú, with only 10 kg of weight and 40 cm high, or the güiña, one of the smallest wild cats in the world, which inhabits both the ground and, In the treetops, Also here is the smallest marsupial in the world: the mountain monkey, similar in appearance to a mouse.
 
Within the amphibians, one of the threatened species is Darwin's toad (Rhinoderma darwini), a very particular species in its reproductive strategy, since it is the male who takes care of the eggs inside an oral cavity. This species is endemic and is currently in the category of vulnerable according to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). 
 


Tourist attractions
The Biological Reserve has tourist attractions focused on publicizing the Patagonian Forest, taking advantage of harmonious and sustainable use of the territory, and integrating the local community into all the activities that take place there.
 
Activities
In Huilo Huilo you can perform various activities immersed in nature: enjoy wonderful landscapes by hiking, trekking, self-guided hiking trails; visit hot springs, rivers, and lakes; Water sports, sport fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, skiing, and sports adventures rafting and canopy.
 
Access roads
The main access to the Biological Reserve is made from Panguipulli, by the international road Paso Hua Hum, which connects with San Martín de Los Andes, in Argentina. From Temuco, it is accessed through the Villarrica Route, Lican Ray, Coñaripe, and Neltume Lake, with a distance of 170 km. It can also be reached by air, through the airports of Temuco or Valdivia.
 

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Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Panguipulli

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