A favorite pet for some, and an endangered species for others, the wild chinchilla can be found in only one place on earth - Chile. Travel north for 15 km from Illapel (287 km north of Santiago), youâ€™ll see the "Caution Chinchillas" signs adorning the sides of the road. After a while, youâ€™ll find The â€śReserva Nacional Las Chinchillas.â€ť Chinchillas are nocturnal creatures. Night drivers should take note of these signs so they don't accidentally endanger the species even further!
The reserve encompasses 4,229 hectares of desert and is a tranquil place where you camp or rent a cabin. Visit the Nocturama (an exhibit permanently in the dark, so visitors can get up close to chinchillas). Stay overnight and head out at midnight on a chinchilla safari, it's a must. All the information you could want on chinchillas and their history can be gained during the tour at the reserves Nocturama, run by highly qualified CONAF rangers.
The park has two cabins, so making a reservation is recommended. Campers will find a simple yet functional campsite set among the sparse vegetation of the desert surroundings.
While in the area, visit the town of CombarbalĂˇ, located 74kms north of the reserve. Here you will find crafts made from the unique marble like-stone of the area, Combarbalita, which is the national stone of Chile.
Cabins from $6000 pesos per person per night
Camping from $5000 pesos per site per night
Find more information at www.conaf.cl.
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