Bernardo O’Higgins National Park is the largest National Park of the country and covers two regions of Chile, parts of XI and the XII regions, with a total surface of 8.907.904,37 acres, located between the Region of Aysén, commune of Tortel and Magallanes, to the northeast of the Ultima Esperanza Province, neighbor to the national parks Lagoon San Rafael, Towers of the Paine and the Glaciers, in Argentina and, to the national reserves Alacalufes and Katalalixar.
Bernardo O’Higgins National Park has a unique beauty that protects a spectacular landscape, remaining of the glacial era, the South Patagonian ice field, one of the greater fresh water reserves of the planet.
By its great amount of channels and fiords, Bernardo O’Higgins National Park constitutes one of the more important wild areas of the Region of Magallanes. The access to the National Park is by sea from Puerto Natales taking 4 hours of navigation from Puerto Montt (See Navimag Ferry)
The tourist activity of Bernardo O’Higgins National Park is based on the operation of its glaciers Balmaceda, Serrano and Pío XI, of which both first are hanging glaciers located in the slopes of the Balmaceda mount to 6.676,51 feet above sea level. The Balmaceda glacier is located in the pending west of the hill and directly deposits its icebergs in the fjord of Ultima Esperanza.
Without a doubt one of the main attractions of Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, it is the glacier Pío XI. The strong wall that forms the glacier Pío XI is of approximately 246,06 feet of height, and when falling makes waves of more than 32,81 feet. The glacier Pío XI is the greatest glacier of all the South hemisphere, covers a zone, according to the last measurement of 786,03 mi, that advances approximately 7,87 in per night, presenting an opposition to the great majority of the glaciers which are backing down, in fact in the last 50 years has increased more than 6,21 miles, and one of its tongue measures approximately 3,73 miles.
In the vegetation of Bernardo O’ Higgins National Park the forest is present perennifolio, dominated by always green trees, like: coigüe, cinnamon-coloured, lenga and ñirre. The shrub vegetation is presented by chilco, chaura, calafate, zarzaparrilla, murtilla between the main ones; another predominant element is the peat.
As far as the present fauna in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park is diverse: wolves, huemules, beaver, otters, cormoranes, ducks, eagles, condors, gulls, among others.
Bernardo O’Higgins National Park is a very favored place for the observation and photographs of the wild fauna and the landscape and for the practice of the Rafting in the Balmaceda sector
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