Chile is a paradise for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. From the otherworldly landscape of the Atacama Desert, lush jungles in Central Valley, Patagonia’s ancient glaciers and so much more, it truly is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Whether you are planning to visit the long and narrow nation which spans the West coast of South America, or just due for some wanderlust, here are the seven best national parks in Chile.
Best National Parks in Chile
1. Torres del Paine National Park
Sprawling over 240,000 hectares and home to arguably some of the best scenery in South America’s Patagonia, Torres del Paine is breathtaking. From endless icefields, abundant wildlife to the iconic ‘towers’, there is something for everyone. When it comes to rugged, untouched nature, Torres del Paine is the real deal.
2. Rapa Nui National Park
Located in southern Polynesia more than 2,000 miles off mainland Chile, Easter Island is one of the world’s most remote islands. The island is largely famous for it nearly 900 mega statues called Moai. These mysterious stone figures have long been a hotbed for legends, stories and mysteries. They currently all belong to Rapa Nui National Park which covers approximately 40% of the island.
3. Cabo de Hornos National Park
Cabo de Hornos or ‘Cape Horn’ in English, is the world’s southernmost national park. The national park can be found on the Wollaston Archipelago and Hermite Islands where the wildlife is simply unbelievable. You’ll find countless unique species such as Magellanic penguins, humpback whales, and so much more. Additionally, this is where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans collide.
4. Volcan Isluga National Park
Smack dab in the middle of the Highlands, you’ll find a mecca full of ancient lakes, ritual sites and volcanos. Isluga National Park boasts one of the most biologically diverse areas in the Andes, too. As if all this weren’t enough, there is also a massive geothermic field which is really just a fancy word for gushing geysers and hot springs.
5. Queulat National park
Queulat National Park near Coyhaique is busting at the seams with dramatic beauty like waterfall glaciers, dense virgin forests and unpredictable (sometimes dangerous) alpine trails. This park is simply the definition of an ancient, unspoilt, completely wild landscape. While it does take some time to get to as the closest airport is Balmaceda at around 170 miles away, it is well worth it.
6. Lauca National Park
Situated way up north in the Andes, Lauca National park is a sight to behold with endless snowy volcanoes, lava fields and ancient archaeological sites. Animal lovers will enjoy the abundant amount of llamas, alpacas, cougars and more that all call Lauca home. Most famously, though, are the two stunning lakes, Cotaconi and Chungara.
7. Alberto de Agostini National Park
Alberto de Agostini is isolated far, far away on the southern tip of Chile where enchanting fjords meet the Pacific. This park is home to the final trails of the Andes that have made their way across the entire continent before plunging into the icy blue waters of the south. Because of its extreme isolation, there are several parts of the park which have only been discovered in the past century making for the ultimate adventure.