Patagonia National Park is located in the southernmost region of Chile between Lago Jeinimeni National Reserve and Lago Cochrane National Reserve. The national park encompasses an area of 523.57 square miles (1,356.06 sq km).
The primary feature of the national park is the Chacabuco Valley which represents a significant biological valley that lies between the Patagonia steppe grasslands of Argentine Patagonia and the beech forests of Chilean Patagonia.
Patagonia National Park was established from 5 separate protected reserves and parks that combine to cover an area of 1,000 square miles (2,589.9 sq km). The region features a diverse ecosystem of grassland, riparian forest, and wetland.
The national park is located on the eastern side of the Andes which creates a unique phenomenon with the glacier-fed rivers flowing toward the Pacific Ocean. The Andean range hinders moisture from the Pacific Ocean creating an arid sandy soil region with cold winds.
The landscape drastically changes as the elevation begins to change delivering forests with greater levels of rainfall. There is an abundance of vascular plant genera as well as helping the wildlife flourish.
The wildlife of the park varies depending on the ecosystem. Armadillos, cougar, mara, tuco-tuco, and the gray fox are found within the grasslands. The guanaco is found throughout much of the park.
The guanaco feasts on all but about 25% of the plant life found within the park. It helps prevent other grass species from becoming too dominant as well. Its abundant prevalence makes it a prime target of the cougar.
Species of the Andes mountain forests include huemul deer, cougar, red fox, and some popular bird species like the Andean condor, Magellanic woodpecker, and the black-necked swan.
The whole region is known for its picturesque landscapes. The diversity of nature is certainly a highlight for Patagonia.
Trails in Patagonia National Park
The national park has an extensive series of trails for hikers and trekkers to enjoy the wilderness the park has to offer.
- Diversity of nature
- Parque Patagonia, Patagonia, http://www.patagoniapark.org/, retrieved September 2019.
- Lonely Planet, 3 Reasons to Visit Patagonia National Park, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/how-to-explore-patagonia-national-park-argentina, retrieved September 2019.
- Lonely Planet, Patagonia, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/argentina/patagonia, retrieved September 2019.
- New World Encyclopedia, Patagonia, https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Patagonia, retrieved September 2019.