Welcome to Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello-Nalcas
Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello-Nalcas is a combined reserve of 303 sq km just north of the pretty hamlet of Malalcahuello, en route to Lonquimay, and extends almost to the border of Parque Nacional Tolhuaca. Though off the main park circuit, Malalcahuello-Nalcas offers one of the most dramatic landscapes in all of Sur Chico, a charcoal desertscape of ash and sand that looks like the Sahara with a nicotine addiction. Its main event, Cráter Navidad – formed by the last eruption of Volcán Lonquimay (on Christmas Day 1988, hence the name!) – helps shape this otherworldly atmosphere. It's not unlike Mars with its desolate red hues reflecting off the spoils of magma and ash. The whole thing sits against a magnificent backdrop of Lonquimay, Volcán Tolhuaca and Volcán Callaqui off in the distance. Be sure to charge up your camera batteries before coming here.