Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve

Pampa del Tamarugal, located in the Big North of Chile

Pampa del Tamarugal, located in the Big North of Chile

The Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve is located to a distance of 43 miles to the interior of Iquique, has a surface of 102,264 hectares. The Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve is divided in three sectors or lots. First, it is the Zapiga Sector (Sector Zapiga), the second is the Sector Native Forest of the Tyrant (Sector Bosque Nativo de La Tirana) and third, the Sector Painted (Sector Pintados).

The Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve is characterized because in the Pampa is one of the most valuable and impressive atmospheres of forest in the most barren desert of the world.

The access to lot N °1 and N ° 3 constitutes the North Pan-American Highway (Carretera Panamericana Norte) (Route 5), that crosses approximately through the center of both lots in longitudinal direction. Lot N ° 2 is accessible through the A-665 Route, Highway to the Tyrant (Carretera a La Tirana) that is come off Route 5, and through the way Almonte Well (Pozo Almonte) – Broken Juan de Morales (Quebrada Juan de Morales), A-65 Route, both passable access, open all the year.

The main attractive of the Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve is the fact that in spite of being climatically in an area classified as of absolute desert, can be found wooded formation corresponding to species of the Prosopis Sort. In fact, they constitute the most boreal forest plantations of the country. These characteristics, added to the little atmospheric humidity that generates an atmosphere extremely diaphanous, the presence of Salares and the immensity of the Desert are the main natural beauties of the Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve.

Pampa del Tamarugal, Big North of Chile

Pampa del Tamarugal, Big North of Chile

Salt flats occupies of preference the most southern section of Pampas. They are made up of calcic sulphate salts and sodium chloride, product of the evaporation of the extensive lake that occupied this section of Pampa del Tamarugal.

For the preservation of the Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve have been set a zone of camping and picnic, in which diverse activities can be developed. The central office is to 15 miles of Pozo Almonte.

Geoglyphs of Painted (Geoglifos de Pintados) is something you can’t in your visit, since it is a pre Columbian magna work that extends throughout 2 miles, in 164.042 square feet of slopes, with more than 350 figures grouped in 66 “panels” or thematic groups that represent men, animals, birds and abstract drawings. This supposed votive, visible center of Pampas was recovered between 1981 and 1982 by the University of Tarapacá and can be visited from Mondays through Sundays, from 10:30 AM to 17:30 PM. The entrance has a value of $1,000 and the minors of 14 years do not pay. There is an area of picnic.

The Administration counts on lodging of cabins for 7 people and a good camping with 12 sites delimited by salt scabs. You will see here the cattle tasks, the breeding grounds and the plantation techniques. It is recommended to lodge in the camping, because it is a pretty place and you can hear the peculiar sound at night that emits the saltpeter scab when being divided itself by the changes of temperature.

In order to return to Iquique, you must make it by the same way. If you have time, you should continue by the paved way of 21 miles to Matilla and Pica.