On this trekking tour, we will explore the La Campana National Park, founded in 1967 and located just 100km northwest of Santiago in the Valparaíso region in the middle of the coastal mountain range. Along with the Lago Peñuelas National Park, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESO in 1984 for its importance to the environment, science, education, culture and leisure activities. After collecting our lunch for later in the town of Ocoa, we will arrive at La Campana National Park. The park got its name – meaning “the bell” – from the La Campana mountain, scaled by Charles Darwin in 1834, so-called because of the shape of its peak. We will take the opportunity to warm up before the hike that awaits us, while our tour guide gives us information on the terrain of the 80km² park. Of the many paths there, we will take La Cascada, where we will be able to see wildflowers and butterflies.
Pickup is at 8:00 before we head off for La Campana National Park. Located two hours out of Santiago, it is in the middle of the coastal mountains where we will find this incredible microsystem unique in the region and very important for the development of many species native to Chile’s central zone. We will arrive at the park entrance and attend an introductory talk on the day’s activities and on how to go about our hike without interfering with the natural surroundings. We will have a short warm-up and then begin the hike. Our mission will be to reach the waterfall so that we can rest a while and look out over the Chilean palm forest. During the trek, there will be many things for us to observe, such as the Chilean palma (Juaeba chilensis) – one of the planet’s oldest palm trees. Endangered, it is a fundamental element of the park as this is a protected zone for the conservation and preservation of endangered species. If we’re lucky, we’ll also see countless types of birds such as turcas, house wrens, hen harriers, tit-tyrants, and long-tailed meadowlarks, as well the famous fox and different types of insects such as the Chilean rose tarantula and Acanthinodera beetles. As we walk, we will see how the ground becomes more and more clay-like and littered with fragments of quartz. When we arrive at the waterfall, we will stop to enjoy our food, rest a while and contemplate the beauty of this biosphere reserve. We will arrive back at the park entrance around 5:00pm, and if the group is agreeable, we will stop to sample some of the region’s locally produced beers. We will arrive back at the hotel at 7:30pm.