Baquedano # 411 Arica - Putre
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The Biosphere Reserve and National Park Lauca is part of the worldwide net of biospheres and offers many possibilities to realize excursions and to appreciate incredible landscapes in all its beauty. The park was declared National Monument in 1983 by the UNESCO. It contains an area of 137.883 hectare which presents a valuable environment. The Reserve includes the National Park Lauca, the National Reserve of the Vicuñas and the National Monument Salt Lake Surire. It is the only Biosphere Reserve in the Great North and one of seven in the whole country.
The richness of the flora is represented by different types of vegetation like the wetlands and the fauna impresses with lamas, alpacas and different kinds of birds (ducks, giant taguas and flamingos), what offers a great variety to the visitor. Enjoy the beauty of this Andean paradise and realize hikes, climbing, trekking, adventure-tourism, eco-tourism, photo tours and a lot more.
Furthermore the region is full of cultural attractions related to the Aymara culture, such as the ancient architecture in the villages, the habits and the traditional celebrations.
The villages captivate with its churches and religious habits that were developed also after the colonization by the Spanish. Also, there are many interesting archaeological sites that remind of the culture and the history.
The National Monument Salt Lake Surire got his name from the typical animal of the place, the so called “Suri” or “Ñandu”, a Chilean type of ostrich that lives in the region.
The Salt Lake Surire with its intense white color has a surface of about 1.750km2 and is located at a height of 4.200m over sea level. Its white color contrasts with the blue of its lagoons, in the middle of a landscape of impressive beauty in the driest desert in the world.
Every year in November three of the six existing types of flamingos come to the salt lake to breed. In addition to the great amount of flamingos there are many other wild animals that live in this wonderful region: birds, vicuñas, suris, flamingos, alpacas, lamas and a lot more.
The thermals baths of Polloquere are located 19km south of the building of the park administration and contain a picknick zone. They offer a relaxing bath in warm waters, which has a high amount of sulfur. Together with the bright sun and the dry climate of the region, the thermal baths convert the salt lake into an ideal place to gain strength if you are stressed, tired or ill, e.g. it helps with asthma and bronchitis.