Serving up one of the most dramatic landscapes in all of Sur Chico and easily the jewel of northern Araucanía’s protected reserves, the 303 sq km Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello-Nalcas is a combined reserve just north of the small hamlet of Malalcahuello. An ashy desertscape of sand and cinders not unlike how we all imagine Mars, the reserve protects an otherworldly atmosphere of singed landscape surrounding Cráter Navidad, formed on Christmas Day 1988 when Volcán Lonquimay blew its top.
From here, you have a postcard-perfect view of Lonquimay, Volcán Tolhuaca and Volcán Callaqui. The park fee is never charged at Corralco and/or Cráter Navidad, but is charged for the Piedra Santa trail from Malalcahuello. You must stop at Conaf's Guardaparques and register to enter the reserve.