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Ralco and Alto Bío Bío

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Ralco and Alto Biobío – Mountain Climbing Destinations

These two national reserves are perfect for travelers looking to discover native flora and fauna and view active volcanoes and attractions developed by local Pehuenche communities.

Ralco National Reserve offers a number of trails and trekking circuits for nature lovers including a six-hour walk from Quillacahue to the Loncotahue Waterfall through leafy forests along the Ralco River. The "ojos de agua" ("eyes of water"), plentiful mountain springs that lead into the Ralco River, are particularly beautiful and prime spots for fly fishing.

You can also head uphill from Quillacahue to the Callaqui Volcano on an eight-hour hike that will take you through forests of thousand-year-old lenga and araucaria. This area is home to numerous Pehuenche families.

Alto Biobío National Reserve covers 40,000 hectares of land in the heart of Araucanía that are inhabited by pudúes, foxes, pumas, guanacos, condors, falcons, eagles, snakes and hour-eyed toads.


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Ralco and Alto Bío Bío
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Getting There

By Bus
Bus service to Lonquimay is available from Los Ángeles and Temuco, and to Santa Bárbara-Ralco from Los Ángeles.
en auto
By Car
To Ralco: From Santiago, take Route 5 south to Los Ángeles (514 km) and then the road to Santa Bárbara (39 km). From there, it's another 48 km to the reserve.

To Alto Biobío: From Santiago, take Route 5 south to Temuco (676 km) and then head northeast to Lonquimay (151 km). From there, it's another 42 km to the reserve.





Where to Stay  Trekking in Alto Biobío Climate
There's a rustic camping area at Laguna La Mula in Ralco, or you can camp in the Vegas de Ralco area if you secure the authorization of the Pehuenche families and adhere to their conditions. Guests are asked to be careful with their campfires and refrain from using detergent in the water. The most interesting trails are Piedra Santa (7.5 km / five hours), Tres Arroyos (2.5 km / 90 minutes), El Raleo (3.5 km / two hours), Las Araucarias (1.5 km / 90 minutes) and El Coloradito (30 km / eight hours). The climate in Alto Biobío is quite cold, and there is precipitation most of the year and snow in the winter. Ralco is more seasonal, with dry, hot summers and very snowy winters. Make sure you bring good walking shoes no matter when you visit.



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