Chile Lauca National Park
Rising high into the Andes, at over 4,000m above sea level, are the snow-dipped volcanoes and teeming wetlands of Lauca National Park.
Stunning Lauca National Park is in the northernmost reaches of Chile, close to the border with Peru and Bolivia. Although just 3 hours' drive from the Pacific port of Arica, Lauca feels worlds apart, high up in the Andes at over 4,000m above sea level. Much wetter than the Atacama desert, this high altitude park springs into life with paintbox green wetlands and coarse tufted prairies. The landscape is dotted with 6,000m snow-tipped volcanic cones, often sitting on the shores of ice-cold lakes of gemstone clarity. The wildlife here is copious, with grazing herds of llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and vizcachas (chinchillas) easily spotted, along with the more elusive deer, foxes and armadillos.
Where to go when - our guide to Lauca National Park
The weather in Lauca National Park is wide and varied
Rising high into the Andes, at over 4,000m above sea level, are the snow-dipped volcanoes and teeming wetlands of Lauca National Park. Close to the border with Peru, this high-altitude park in northern Chile receives more rain than the Atacama but maintains a fairly dry climate. It's these clear skies that create the perfect conditions for stargazing, though you’d do well to avoid the full moon if you wish to see the stars at their brightest. While the park is open throughout the year, there are seasonal weather fluctuations to consider. September - December are ideal months for visiting as temperatures are pleasantly warm and there is minimal rainfall. While January - March can offer the hottest climate, some years these months are subject to the natural phenomenon of the ‘Bolivian Winter’, where humid air arrives from the north and increases rainfall significantly. During the coldest months of June - August there is snowfall and temperatures dip below freezing at night.View our Lauca National Park weather guide
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Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
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Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.