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Isluga National Park Volcano

Located in the middle of the Highlands, the Volcano Isluga National Park is characterized by being surrounded by volcanoes, lakes, and sacred mounts of the Aymara people. It is one of the areas with the greatest biodiversity of the Andean altiplano.
 
With an area of ​​174,744 hectares, Isluga National Park has a remarkable relief of heights and fabulous flora and fauna, that covers the pre-Andean area and the Andean high plateau. It is located in the Tarapacá Region, 232 km. northeast of Iquique and its average height is 4,000 meters. Tradition and modernity merge in this park, creating a unique environment. The park is open all year for tours and visits.
 

Located in Colchane, it features the hills Latarama, Tatajachura, and Qinsacata (5207, 5252, and 5400 mts. Respectively), and Isluga Volcano, which gives the name to the park.
 
Declared a National Park in 1967, it has bushes, cacti, qeuñoa, and high-altitude flora, located in the Pre-Andean area. It is also possible to find flora in the high plateau, with paja brava (Panicum prionitis) and moors over 4,000 in humid areas.
 


Apart from the impressive Isluga volcano and the incredible natural manifestations in the park, the most important attraction is the Puchuldiza geothermic field, made up of geysers and thermal springs, with waters reaching up to 85ºC. From its ten fumaroles, you can witness the beautiful sunrise in summer. The water freezes in winter, creating splendid blocks of ice. You will find other, more rustic springs going around the roads that surround the area.

What to do:
In the area, you can also visit several pre-Hispanic towns, where you can buy traditional products like alpaca knitting, pottery, and carved stone craftworks.
 

Trails:
Walking along the trails you will get the chance to observe and appreciate various vegetal and ecologic environments, such as the one in Arabilla Lagoon. Here, you can observe species like the Chilean flamingo and a huge variety of birds.
 
Laguna Arabilla Trail: This 600 mt. the trail is covered in about 30 minutes. It has five stations or viewpoints, one of which can be reached by car. It allows for the observation of several living environments and vegetable associations, such as Arabilla lagoon, Andean steppes, and humid steppes. 

Pukará de Isluga Trail: This 3 km. the trail is demarcated by stones that come from the highway joining Enquelga and Colchane. It reaches the peak of a hill, from where you can witness the majesty of the landscape. It is not recommended for people who suffer or have suffered from mountain sickness.
 


The mountains in this park exceed 2,100 meters, with temperatures that range between 5 and 10º C. One of the most remarkable peaks is Isluga Volcano, with 5,530 meters.
 
Flora: In this park there are vegetal communities called desert bushes, which include species like cacti, columnar cacti, tolar, llareta, gueñoal, and moors.
 
Fauna: The fauna in this area features species like guanaco, vicuna, llama, alpaca, south-american gray fox, vizcacha, darwin's leaf eared mouse, yellow-billed pintail, white-faced ibis, hen harrier, condors, and many others.
 

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Parque Nacional Volcán Isluga, Andean Altiplano

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