Nature’s best in the Arica & Parinacota Region

Francisca Pizarro | Live the World

November 23, 2022

As I always tell you, my beautiful country Chile is a place of natural wonders to keep forever in your heart. If you visit the Region of Arica and Parinacota in the north of Chile, I recommend exploring its two natural treasures. It will take you a morning for the discovery, and after that, you can resume your adventures in Arica. Keep reading so you can learn more about the Natural Monument Salar de Surire and the National Reserve Las Vicuñas. This story is about nature's best in the Region of Arica and Parinacota.

Natural Monument Salar de Surire

The name of the Natural Monument Salar de Surire comes from an animal - suri or ñandú (a bird), which you can actually see while there. Salar de Surire is a very special place with unique characteristics. Firstly, it is a salt flat, and* **secondly, it is located at nearly 4200 m above sea level. Besides that, the monument has a beautiful assortment of deep-blue lagoons* in the world's driest non-polar desert, which is absolutely unforgettable. Wonders do not stop, as the Surire salt flat is home to a wide selection of flora and fauna. A great activity to organize while visiting this place is birds-watching.

A must-do is obviously visiting the lagoons. When there is no wind, they turn into gigantic mirrors where you can see the infinity of the sky, a beautiful show to behold. Also, you can see many animals, among which three different types of flamingos, which is very impressive since there are only 6 types of flamingos recognized worldwide. 

© istock/jarcosa

National Reserve Las Vicuñas

It would be a sin to suggest a visit to Salar de Surire without a recommendation to discover Las Vicuñas National Reserve since they are very close. Just so you know, a vicuña is an animal similar to a llama, and as you can see, it gives the national reserve its name. 

The place has only one path from where you can see the main attraction - the vicuñas. They are very peaceful and a pleasure to watch. There are also other animals you should keep an eye on. I challenge you to picture a suri or ñandu. The landscape is exquisite. You can feel the earth! In this place, you are surrounded by volcanoes and mountains. Also, I recommend you visit the cultural patrimony of the place. Ancient constructions and chapels are just a few steps away from you.

© istock/atosan

A visit to the Region of Arica and Parinacota is the perfect moment to explore nature’s best spots in this part of Chile. Natural Monument Salar de Surire and National Reserve Las Vicuñas are so close that you must visit them together. I recommend bringing water, sunscreen and a fully charged phone or camera. At first sight, it might seem as if these places do not have much to offer, but that is not true... The truth is - you have to experience them both, feel the highness, breathe the different air and marvel at the gorgeous sight in front of you. As usual, the only danger of visiting Chile is that it could steal your heart. Come and live it!

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