Pan the Azucar National Park is located 18,6 miles northwest from Chañaral, in the Third Region. It was created in 1985 and has a total surface of 43.769 hectares.
Pan de Azucar National Park has coast plain, prairies and coast mountains and interior. The horizon line is abrupt and the highs varies between 0 and 800 meters, characterized by the coast border. There are five big canyons, drained by smaller ones, it constitutes one of the main ecological resources from the park. Within the Pan de Azucar National Park you can find Pan de Azucar island and Las Lomitas, from where you can see the remarkable beauty derived from the union between the beach and the desert and find the remains from different precolombine cultures, hunting villages, collectors and fishermen who lived in that place.
Weather conditions at Pan de Azucar National Park:
Rains are occasional in winter and temperatures do not vary substancially during the year. Highest temperaturereach the 19,3º C and the lowest is 12,2º C. When there is a lot of rain some canyons drain water to the coast. January and February are the best months to visit although is crowded by visitors.
Pan de Azucar National Park Wildlife
The coast area covered by Pan de Azúcar National Park is located between Peralillo and La Cochina canyons and Pan de Azúcar Island. The vegetation at Pan de Azúcar National Park is adapted to the lack of water and is mainly xerofitic. Among them the most remarkable are cetacean, columnares and globosas. Due to coast mist – also known as camanchaca – it is possible to find in the place located next to Pan de Azucar National Park’s beach a greater and more diverse vegetation that makes this National Park’s landscape something unique and unforgettable.
The animals that live at Pan de Azucar National Park are represented by marine animals, among which the most important are chunchungo or sea otter and South American sea lion. At the coast there are a lot of bird species as – for example – seagulls, terns, pelicans, cormorants, swallows, gallina ciega, junks, jotes de cabeza colorada, harrier, plovers, willets, pilpilines and the remarkable Humbolt Penguin.
At the inside, where there is more vegetation you can see guanacos, chilla and culpeo fox and birds, among which the most atractive are eagles, harriers, condors, cernícalos, dormilonas, chercanes, swallows, cometocinos and turcas.
There are several observation sites at Pan de Azucar National Park as for example: Castillo Canyon’s mouth. From where you can see cactus and guanacos; another one is Las Lomitas pathways from where you can see the differences in the vegetation between the sea level and 700 meters high. And finally Pan de Azucar island which constitute the main colony of Humbolt Penguins.
Pan de Azucar National Park Pathways:
Among the main Pathways at Pan de Azucar National Park you will find:
Las Lomitas pathway: 37,2 miles long in a round trekking. It is a road for vehicles which is marked by signs that can be used just by fitted roads.
Mirador de la Cumbre 9.3 miles. It can be used in any kind of vehicle by a good road that passes an area of cetacean to get to a viewpoint over the island, the cove and the bay.
El Castillo canyon is located 4,34 miles south from the cove, it is signalized. The road let you observe cetacean and the pillows and – occasionally – guanacos. You can only visit it together with a guard.
Pan de Azucar National Park Access and routes:
You can access Pan de Azucar National Park through three different roads which can be used all year round. One of them is C-120 route that goes from Chañaral to Park’s Management which is 17,9 miles long, the other one is Route 5 – Panamerican Highway at km 1014, at Las Bombas, you can reach it through a secondary road. Finally also by Route 5 at km 968.
In front of Los Piqueros beach, 4,96 miles far from Pan de Azucar National Park’s entrance you Hill find the management office, the Environmental Information Center and the Cactarium with species you can find in the park are exhibited. You can visit it from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 to 12:30 and from 14 to 18 hours.
Pan de Azucar National Park has camping and cabins, in summer there is a small market and a restaurant. Cabins must be reserved in advance at CONAF’s Regional Office in Copiapó.
To enter Pan de Azucar National Park, you can do it during the following hours: from september to march from 8 to 20; from April to August from 8 to 18. Entrance fee costs $2.000 and $500 for children.
** Information related to rates and hours might change without any previous notice **