Lauca Biosphere Reserve

Situated about 100 miles northeast of Arica, Chile’s northernmost city, this 358,312-hectare UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is rich in wildlife and comprises three protected areas – Lauca National Park, Las Vicuñas National Reserve, and Salar de Surire National Monument. The landscape is one of beautiful altiplano (high plain) scenery, meadows, lakes, rushing mountain rivers and streams, salt pans, and snow-capped volcanoes, rising from 3,400 to 6,410 metres.

The varied wildlife includes llama, alpaca, vicuña and vizcacha, and 150 species of birds including puna ibis, Andean goose, Andean condor and puna rhea. One of the most spectacular sites is bird-rich Chungara, one of the world’s highest lakes, set against a backdrop of the pristine white-capped cones of Chile’s Parinacota Volcano and Pomerape Volcano, just across the border in Bolivia.