Araucaria trees and Llaima volcano in Conguillio National Park, Chile
The umbrella-like trees we see here peppering the landscape are formally named Araucaria araucana, but are more commonly—and whimsically—known as monkey puzzle trees. It’s Chile’s national tree, and a major reason this 150,000-acre national reserve was established in 1950. Along with these now-endangered evergreen trees, Conguillio National Park hosts a variety of wildlife, including some animals you’re likely familiar with (pumas), and others you may have never heard of, including kodkods, pudús, chillas, and culpeos. Overlooking everything at Conguillio is Llaima, a massive stratovolcano that’s quite active: It erupted as recently as 2009.
One of the national parks that every year attracts the most amount of public, with an average of 100,000 people. It stands out for its lagoons, the Llaima Volcano and its vegetation, which is formed mainly by araucarias, a tree considered a National Monument. The Conguillío National Park has also attracted the attention of international organizations and the press, by being considered one of the only places in the world that preserves the same landscape on which dinosaurs inhabited. Although the unit has several trails, the most popular is the Sierra Nevada, from where you can get a panoramic view of the Conguillío Lake, the Llaima Volcano and hundreds of araucarias.
Photos were compliments of Chile Bureau of Travel.