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Huara - Isluga Volcano National Park - Colchane

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Isluga Volcano National Park: Adventure and Hot Springs on the Altiplano

The town of Huara is found just 73 km north of Iquique. Before becoming virtually abandoned, it was an important service and administration center during the salt peter boom in this area. Today, Huara is the starting point for many altiplano excursions. Its train station has been declared a National Monument and its old-fashioned "botica" is now a museum.

The day trip to Isluga Volcano National Park is by far the most exciting route in the area. Some tour agencies make stops at the old salt peter offices close to Iquique during the tour.

Highlights include the Chumisa Hot Springs, with their steam baths, mud baths and thermal pools that run up to 42ºC, and the Pachuldiza Geysers, which freeze during winter due to the high altitude, forming icy columns or icebergs on land.

At the end of this 4,000 m ascent, close to the Bolivian border and a town called Colchane, you will find Isluga Volcano National Park. The landscape is filled with altiplano bushes, cacti and wetlands and inhabited by vicuñas, guanacos, alpacas and birds such as taguas, ducks and flamencos. If you enjoy trekking, take the 40-minute hike from Isluga to Enquelga. Be sure to stop by the church and town of Isluga, both of which are National Monuments.

 

Features Destinations of Iquique

aPica
bPisagua

 

Tours you can do

Iquique - Pozo Almonte - La Tirana

Huara - Isluga Volcano National Park - Colchane
Iquique - Mamiña

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter offices

 

Getting There

en avion
By Plane
Flights leave daily from Santiago to Diego Aracena Airport in Iquique (2 h 30 min). You can fly from Arica to Iquique as well (45 min).
bus
By Bus
Bus service is available from Santiago to Iquique (26 h). Buses leave from:
• Los Héroes Terminal: Located at the corner of Tucapel Jiménez and Alameda close to the Los Héroes Metro Station. Several companies provide service to northern Chile. Telephone: (56-2) 420 0099
• San Borja Terminal (formerly Terminal Norte): Located at the intersection of San Borja and Alameda, close to Estación Central. Companies offer service to northern destinations as well as throughout the Metropolitan Region. Telephone: (56-2) 776 0645
There are also buses from Arica that take about 4 hrs to make the 307 km trip to Iquique. Buses depart the Iquique terminal twice a day for Colchane.
en auto
By Car
From Santiago, take Route 5 north through the Atacama Desert (1,790 km) to Iquique. Huara is 73 km north of Iquique and Colchane is 161 km east of Huara. The entrance to Isluga Volcano National Park is 16 km from this town.
 

 

Tips

01

Climate
Spring is the best season to visit Isluga Volcano National Park. Beware of the "altiplano winter," from December to March, when the weather can be dangerous due to intense rainfall. Although rain is scarce during the Chilean winter, temperatures range between -20°C and 10°C, while during the summer temperatures can range from 0ºC to 20ºC.

 

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