CHILE: Beautiful Araucanían Flora and Fauna – The Nahuelbuta National Park

Nahuelbuta is a word from Mapudungun that means Great Puma. Mapudungun is the language of the Mapuches, the inhabitants who lived in this region before the arrival of the Spanish in mid-16th century. The park that is only 37 km from Angol, was created in 1939, and comprises a section of the Nahuelbuta Range, which in turn is part of Chile’s Coastal Mountain Range.

Approaching Nahuelbuta National Park, first you can see forests of rauli beech, lenga beeche and ñire, as shown in the first photos. As one goes up and reaches the highest heights of the mountain range, the araucaria araucana (pewén in Mapudungun or Chilean pine) begins to appear; the araucaria is an evergreen conifer which is considered a living fossil. In English it is also known as “monkey puzzle tree”, a name that was given around 1850 when it was cultivated in England and was still a rare species in gardens around the world.

This is the only place outside the Andes Mountains where this tree can be found. Here there grow specimens of araucarias that are almost 2,000 years old.

As you begin to climb, the rauli, lenga and ñire forests begin to disappear and are replaced by the imposing araucarias, as can be seen in the sequence of photos.

One of the most important attractions of Nahuelbuta National Park is the “Piedra del Águila”, one of the highest points of the Nahuelbuta Mountain Range. It consists of a rock that is accessed by wooden stairs. On a clear day, from there you can see the Andes Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

The flora and fauna of Nahuelbuta are very special since there are several endemic species. Although there are no photos of the fauna here, it should be noted that you can see the pudú (the smallest of the deer in the Americas), Darwin’s fox, pumas, black woodpecker and the Torcuato lizard, among other species of the animal kingdom. Stands out in the flora, apart from the trees already named, light green lichens that hang from most branches and tree trunks, insectivorous plants and various types of orchids.

Another attraction of this wonderful park is to access it at different times of the year: in winter you can see the snow-capped araucaria tree tops, while in spring the orchids bloom and it is also when the araucaria pine nuts or seeds germinate, which are edible and have a high nutritional value.

Being in the middle of all those araucarias is a fascinating experience that shows nature with all its strength in a pristine environment and without the intervention of humanity in all its evolution, until today.

Salvador J. Seda  –  Angol  –  April 2022


El Aguilucho:  1.8 km  –  2hours round trip

Piedra del aguila: 4.5 km  –  4 hours round trip

Casa de Piedra:  1.5 km  –  2 hours round trp

Cerro Anay:  0.8 kms  –  1 hour round trip

Estero Los Gringos:  5 km  –  5 hours round trip

Camino del arbol:  0.2 km  –  half an hour round trip

Camping, Contact & Opening Hours

The Nahuelbuta National Park also has a camping area, trails and an information center. The email of the unit is and the phone numbers are +56228406845 or +56996436927. Besides the camping the park area is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Ministerio de Agricultura:

  Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Phone:  +56228406845   –   +56996436927

Photographer: Salvador Seda

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