Peñuelas Lake National Reserve

Peñuelas Lake National Reserve near Valparaiso in Chile

Peñuelas Lake National Reserve near Valparaiso in Chile

Peñuelas Lake National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Lago Peñuelas) has a surface of about 22,471 acres. The reserve is located 18.6 miles from Valparaíso on trip of 30 minutes. and is 62.1 miles from Santiago on a trip of 105 minutes.

Peñuelas Lake National Reserve was established in 1952, it has a protected surface of 22,881 acres, comprising the basin of the Peñuelas Lake. The relief of Peñuelas Lake National Reserve is determined by low hills, smooth slopes and plains. The maximum altitude corresponds to the Multilemu hill (cerro Multilemu) at 1,968 feet above sea level. The surface of Peñuelas Lake varies according to annual rainfall, being the highest 3,953 acres and 24.7 acres the lowest during drought periods.

The trip by Peñuelas Lake National Reserve is ideal for having a family picnic or to practice silverside fishing within a peaceful environment. Sailing and swimming are not allowed.

Wildlife in the Peñuelas Lake National Reserve:

The most dominant and interesting Flora of the Reserve is basically represented by 3 types of vegetation: The Mixed Forest (Bosque Mixto); composed by species such as quillay (Quillaja saponaria), “peumo” (Cryptocarya alba), “litre” (Lithrea caustica), “boldo” (Peumus boldus), “molle” (Schinus latifolius), “trevo” (Dasyphyllum diacanthoides) and “espino” (Acacia caven). The Riparian Bush (Matorral Ripario): composed by rosemary (romero), blackberry (zarzamora) and rose hip (rosa mosqueta); and The Deciduous Forest and Thornybush (El bosque y matorral espinoso caducifolio) composed by “espino”. Besides, at the Reserve there are plantations of diverse introduced species (mainly insigne pine and eucalyptus), and native as well; the latter are located in the inland areas of the Reserve. Generally, these types of vegetation can be observed all over.
Among the mammals in the Reserve it’s possible to find the Patagonian fox (zorro chilla), Andean fox (zorro culpeo), coypu (coipo), South American coruro (cururo), trumpet-tailed rat (degú), Bennett’s chinchilla rat (ratón chinchilla), mouse-opossum (yaca), Chilean forest cat (güina), skunk (chingue), and introduced species such as rabbits and hares.

One of the main characteristics of the Reserve is the large amount of species of birds that can be found, standing out the riparian and aquatic species such as grebe (blanquillo), great grebe (huala), diedapper (picurio), heron (garza), black-crowned night-heron (huairavo), speckled teal (pato jergón chico), brown pintail (pato jergón grande), lake duck (pato rana), red shoveler (pato cuchara) and southern wigeon (pato real). The birds are the group with the greatest diversity and quantity in the Reserve. There are 110 species, equivalent to the 25% of the representative species of the national birding (12 have conservation problems).
In regards to the icthiology fauna, in the areas that are implemented, you may fish Argentine silverside (pejerrey argentine). Also, we can find the mosquito fish (gambusia), the tench (tenca) and the “pocha” (Cheirodon pisciculus), a native specie of the fauna in the lake.

Activities within the park:

Several activities give special attractive to the reserve: Fishing, Excursions, Flora Observation, Fauna Observation, Environmental information and education trips which can take place in areas determined by the administration.

-The Fishing Area (Área de Pesca) of Peñuelas Lake National Reserve comprises approximately 3.1 miles, and is much visited by fishermen looking for silverside. It has an independent entry at 1.5 miles from the Administration’s Office (mile 55.7).

-The Picnic Area (Área de Picnic) of Peñuelas Lake National Reserve has 14 areas for picnic, each with an average of 2 places for eating, equipped with a table, bench, a barbeque and a trash can. These are located in the fishing area.

-The Sendero para Ciegos of Peñuelas Lake National Reserve is an interpretative route of 5,249 feet implemented with information in Braille system and plaques with relief that can be read with the tact; plus the textures, smell and sounds of the animals can be experienced.


The entry to Peñuelas Lake National Reserve is located at mile 54.2 of route 68 that connects Santiago with Valparaíso, approximately 18.6 miles away from this port. It’s a paved road and passable all year round.

The fee of the reserve are $1,500 adults and $700 children and seniors. The schedule is from 9 am to 5:30 pm. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the access is via the Administration´s Office. On Saturday, Sunday and holidays the access is by the Fishing Area. Monday and Friday is closed.

The Administration’s Office of Peñuelas Lake National Reserve is located at the main entry of the Reserve at 656 feet of the control and information booth next to Route 68 at mile 54.2.

** Information related to Hours, Rates and Dates might change without any previous notice **