Los Flamencos National Reserve
- Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos, San Pedro de Atacama, Calama
Los Flamencos National Reserve
Los Flamencos National Reserve is Best For
Directions to Los Flamencos National Reserve
AboutLocated in the Antofagasta Region, within the commune of San Pedro de Atacama and stands out for the protection of the typical fauna of the place, such as the culpeo fox, puma, vicuña, guanaco and tuco tuco de la puna. The reserve is divided into 7 sectors, each with particular climates; causing causes that the flora and fauna to vary within the same reserve. Using the available trails you can access the Laguna Miscanti, Laguna Chaxa, Valle de la Luna, the Tulor Village and several salt flats.
This reserve, created in 1990, consists of seven areas located in the town of San Pedro de Atacama. Each one of them has a different geography, flora, fauna and hydrography.
The Tara Salt Flat - Aguas Calientes area is five hours east of San Pedro. Here you will find attractions like: Tara lagoon and salt flat, Zapaleri river, Aguas Calientes 1 Salt Flat, and Negra Lagoon. The animals that dwell in this area are the vicuña and the Andean fox, whereas the most important flora specimens are the water tola (Baccharis tola) and the amaia.
The area of Pujsa Salt Flat is located a bit further south of Tara-Aguas Calientes. Just like the former, its relief features rolling plains with an inter-mountain depression and the hills of Negro by Pujsa and Balle. The fauna present in the area includes vizcachas, tawny tuco-tucos, flamingoes, rheas, condors and eaglets, among others.
The Lagoons Miscanti - Miñiques area is located south of Socaire, and it is remarkable for its beautiful lagoons, which give the reserve its name, as well as a rich and varied fauna with flamingoes, crested ducks, rheas, eaglets, and lesser horned owls . Its mountainous geography is made up by hills and volcanoes, reaching a maximum altitude of 5,910 meters (19,384 ft) above sea level.
There are two different areas in the Atacama Salt Flat: Soncor and Quelana. Being part of the salt flat, the soils in this area is flat and saline, located at 2,300 meters (7,544 ft) above sea level. Several bird species dwell here, but the flamingo is the most characteristic by far. There are three lagoons: Puilar, Chaxas and Barros Negros, which form the hydric system of the reserve. Regarding glore, the most important species are the giant kelp, cachiyuyo, brea and salty distichlis spicata.
Moon Valley is also part of the reserve; the gray and South American red fox dwell here, as well as eaglets, chercans, thrushes and others. The Salt Mountain Chain is responsible for the existence of this valley, and there are no water sources in the area.
Salt Flat Tara-Aguas Calientes:
It is located east of San Pedro de Atacama, in the middle of the Andes. With a maximum height of 4,860 meters m.s.l. (15,940 ft), it features volcanic structures and rolling plains with eroded slopes situated east of Tara Salt flat, and volcanic columns northeast of Aguas Calientes Salt Flat.
There are also several lagoons in this area, the largest one being Tara. The water in this salt flat comes from Zapaleri river and various other streams originated in Poquis Snowcapped Mountains. Aguas Calientes 1 Salt Flat, located southeast of Tara, gets water from intermittent streams that drain the hills of La Pacana and Aguas Calientes. Laguna Negra is located southwest of this area.
Several lagoons nourish the local flora and fauna. Vicunas, foxes, rheas, puna tinamous, and tawny tuco-tucos inhabit the hills and plains. Other species like James's flamingo, Chilean flamingo, andean avocet, andean gull, puna plover, Wilson's pharalope, crested duck, puna miner, and eaglets live in meadows and water mirrors. The water tola and the amaia tola are some of the vegetable species present in this area, not only in flat and rolling soils, but also on the slopes of volcanoes and hills.