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Fray Jorge National Park

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Fray Jorge National Park: A Miracle in the Desert

Fray Jorge National Park is located about 108 km south of La Serena, and is a great daytrip destination. It is home to nearly 10,000 hectares of trees and plant life, the likes of which can only be seen here and in southern Chile (near Temuco and Valdivia, 1,500 and 1,600 km away). The reason for this is the camanchaca, a dense fog that rises from the sea and becomes trapped in this high mountain area. The accumulation allows for the survival of the last of the forest that dominated the area thousands of years ago.

Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the park is run by the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf), which maintains the roads and lookouts for visitors while protecting the animals who live there. If you're patient, you may come across foxes, partridges and falcons. As you approach the sea, you'll encounter penguins and chungungos (sea otters). According to Conaf's estimates, the park is home to more than 700 species of plants. Of these, 266 are native to Chile, 10 are classified as "endangered," and 84 fall into the "at risk" category. There are also some endangered animal species.

It's a visit you'll never forget, thanks to the rarity of a forest of this kind in a desert area.

 

Featured Destinations

aCoquimbo

bLa Serena
cFray Jorge National Park

dPichidangui
eTongoy

fElqui Valley
GLimarí Valley



 

Getting There

avionBy Plane

Flights from Santiago to the La Florida Aerodrome in La Serena (one hour) are available each day.

busBy Bus

Buses from Santiago to La Serena depart from:
- Terminal Los Héroes: Located at Tucapel Jiménez and Alameda, near the Los Héroes Metro Station. A number of bus lines offer trips to the northern part of the country. Telephone: (562) 420-0099
- Terminal San Borja (formerly Terminal Norte): Located at the intersection of San Borja and Alameda, near the Estación Central train station. Companies provide service to northern Chile and within the Metropolitan Region. Telephone: (562) 776-0645

autoBy Car

From Santiago, take Route 5 north to Coquimbo (458 km) and La Serena (470 km).

From La Serena to Fray Jorge National Park, take Route 5 southbound and get off at the dirt road exit.

 

Tips

01

No Camping Watch for Foxes Best Dates to Visit
While you can't camp out in the park, you can have picnics in special areas that provide basic facilities. The water is not potable, so bring your own, and be careful not to leave behind any litter. The park's foxes not particularly afraid of visitors and tend to come fairly close to human observers. Remember that the foxes are wild and it doesn't help them if you give them food. The best time to visit is spring and summer, when the park is at its most verdant. The best time to see the camanchaca is early in the morning. Bring warm clothing, as the mornings tend to be very cold.

02

Admission Climate Punta Limarí
You will need to pay an entrance fee which goes towards the conservation of the park. The average daytime temperature during the warmer months is 23ºC (7ºC in winter). Located towards the south of the park, this is the spot where the Limarí River reaches the sea.

03

Cerrillos de Tamaya (Hills of Tamaya) Tongoy Guanaqueros
As you cross Route 5 heading east, it's just a few kilometers to this vineyard area, which is near the city of Ovalle. This resort town is located 63 km north of the park. Its beaches offer excellent sport fishing. These beaches are just 71 km north of the park, past Tongoy.

04

Puerto Velero
Located right between Tongoy and Guanaqueros, this exclusive resort town has apartments for rent.

 

 

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