Some 93km east of Los Angeles lies the 116-sq-km Parque Nacional Laguna del Laja. Within the park is the symmetrical cone of Volcán Antuco (2985m). Lava from this volcano dammed the Río Laja, creating the lake that gives the park its name. The lava fields immediately around the lake form an eerie lunar landscape. Although the volcano may seem quiet, it is not extinct: volcanic activity was last recorded about 25 years ago.
The park protects the mountain cypress (Austrocedrus chilensis) and the monkey-puzzle tree, as well as other uncommon tree species. Mammals are rare, though puma, fox and viscacha have been sighted. Nearly 50 bird species inhabit the area, including the Andean condor.
There's a small Conaf post at Los Pangues, the park entrance, where you sign in. From here, a winding road takes you to the park headquarters at Chacay, 3km on.