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Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces - Hiking Copiapó - Chile

Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces hosts some incredible sights. It includes two separate sectors of the high Andes which total approximately 60,000 hectares about 4,500 meters above sea level. Both protect wetlands and surrounding areas, home to a variety of wildlife. Flamingos that summer here scoop their beaks into the waters to feed, while other aquatic birds find places to nest in the shallow lagoons. Great herds of vicuñas and guanacos, along with the occasional puma, patrol the lands, while the lakes harbor Andean geese, gulls and horned coots. And at times it is often possible to see a condor or two gliding high in the sky.


The larger northern sector of Laguna Santa Rosa consists of 49,000 hectares. As is obvious from its name, the area holds the blue-tinted Laguna Santa Rosa. Almost half of the bright white Salar de Maricunga, the nation’s southernmost salt flat, is found here, as well. Near the lagoon, a track moving north of the road leads to a Conaf-controlled refugio on the western edge of the lake with room to camp and cook with great views of the snow-tipped Volcán Tres Cruces.


A three-hour ride south from here leads to the second sector. Here at 4,200 meters above sea level is the sprawling, dark-blue Laguna del Negro Francisco. The lake is home to a variety of birds, including flamingos. Awe-inspiring Volcán Copiapó watches over the lake at a height of 6,080 meters. Conaf is headquartered at a refugio located 4km from the lake.

Around Copiapó, Copiapó, Chile


Getting There
The park is located east of Copiapó along the international highway to Argentina through Paso de San Francisco.

Price Description: Admission to Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces is approximately $6.

Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

Here are other activities in and around Around Copiapó that may be of interest: Ojos del Salado,

By Chris Hughes
Traveling South America to give Viva readers the most up-to-date information...
04 May 2009

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