National Parks in South America.

South America’s National Parks

Reserves or national parks on the South American continent combine everything from canyons, rivers, mountains, deserts, savannas, ice fields and mountains.

There are more than 300 national parks of various sizes on the territory of the continent. The most famous are the Galapagos Islands and the Atacama Desert.

National parks are unique in their own way and unique, for example, a park in Chile – Torres del Paine is so diverse that you can visit there the mountains, be in a cypress forest, rafting in a fjord.

The park of Argentina – Los Glaciarios concentrated on its territory 47 glaciers, the highest part of the Andes Mountains.

In Brazil, in the marshy Pantanal, many animals are on the verge of extinction. The giant anteater, tapir and armadillo can be found here.

Rare species of flora and fauna are protected in each park.

On the mainland, the development of conservation has been slow. In 1960, there were only 53 protected areas on the continent and most of them, 2/3, were located within Argentina and Chile.

Brazil, Peru, and Argentina have natural monuments with “World Heritage” status.

One of the first national parks in Argentina was the Iguazu Park, created in 1934 to protect the waterfall with the same name. The park’s natural habitat includes the capybara, tapir, ocelot, jaguar, and two-toed sloth.

The importance of conservation and its necessity began to be understood in 1960.

In Brazil, protected areas occupy 3.8% of the country’s land area, and in Chile the protected area is 18.3%. In Ecuador, including the Galapagos Reserve, the figure is 24%.

In the Caribbean, the number of protected areas is growing steadily (especially aquatic areas).

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In Cuba, inland reserves have been established to protect terrestrial species.

Pantanal – Brazil’s Nature Reserve

Brazil’s nature is represented by the Pantanal Reserve, much of which is a swamp with dense vegetation.

The climate here is tropical humid, the rains begin in October and last until April. During the rainy season, the whole area is one solid swamp and acquires a rich green color.

Due to this climate, a diverse species composition of fauna has formed in the reserve.

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Researchers found 650 species of birds, 250 species of water dwellers, over 100 species of mammals and 50 species of reptiles.

Among the inhabitants of reservoirs, of which there are 263 species, there are endemics – freshwater stingrays, lungfishes, etc. Pindatu, sashara, piranha and surimbata inhabit the waters of the reserve.

There are many snakes, turtles and reptiles. The reserve is home to ancient animals, which is its peculiarity. Some of the ancient animals are not quite usual, among them tapir, which looks like both antelope and pig at the same time. It is a herbivorous animal, able to swim quickly.

The second ancient animal is an anteater with an unusual head shape and a long tongue.

Figure 1: Anteaters. Author24 is an online student paper exchange

The largest predator of the reserve is the panther, and the armadillo inhabiting it differs from all animals living on Earth. The armadillo’s ancestors lived back in the dinosaur age. Externally, an armadillo resembles a ball, which has a head and a tail. Anything smaller than its size is eaten by it. This animal becomes active during the dark hours of the day.

The wolf-guitar, sloth, wild pig, owl, deer and monkeys also live here.

The largest parrots in the world live in this reserve are the macaws, whose lifespan is several dozen years. An interesting representative of the Pantanal is the toucan. The smallest representative among birds is a hummingbird, its weight is 2-3 grams. A hummingbird has one amazing feature – it can “freeze” on the fly and feeds on flower nectar.

No less amazing and diverse world of plants in the Pantanal. Specialists have counted 3,500 species of plants, but only a few hundred are suitable for economic purposes. There are trees with edible fruits – milkfruit tree with juice, reminiscent of milk, there is a melon and chocolate trees. There are fig trees, palms up to 10 m high, and huge ferns.

The reserve has its own bird symbol, a type of stork, jaberu, which is widespread here and has a huge wingspan.

Animals of the Pantanal live in their natural environment, but their numbers vary in different areas of the reserve. The Paraguay River flows through the reserve, which is a source of food for marshes, lakes and flood meadows.

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The reserve itself occupies the southwestern part of the country, this protected area has been under UNESCO protection as a World Heritage Site since 2000.

Chile’s protected areas

Reserves or national parks of Chile – Villarrica, Torres del Paine, Lauca – are among the richest protected areas in the world.

Quite popular Chilean park is Puyehu Park. It is located in the “Lake District” on an area of 107 thousand hectares. This area stretches a huge evergreen array of mountain forests under the canopy which hides a cougar, a rare pygmy deer (“pudu”), a bird colony with a rare Chilean river duck.

There is a volcanic landscape, forest lakes, waterfalls, thermal springs, and rare plants – among them the umbrella-leaved nyka and the multi-stem elm.

Not far from the Bolivian border is the Lauca National Park, where in the mouth of an extinct volcano sits Lake Chungara, one of the highest mountain lakes in the world. The lake is located at an altitude of 4,517 meters at the foot of the volcano Parinacota. Under the protection of the national park are Andean condor, uichacha, Aymara aipaca, llama.

Relict mountain forest and lifeless lava landscapes are intricately intertwined in Villarrica National Park. The park was created in 1912 by decree of the Ministry of Industry and Public Works and covers an area of 6,005 hectares.

The park is divided into three sectors:

  1. Queue sector;
  2. Quilembre sector;
  3. the sector of Nevados de Solipuli.

In the Nevados de Solipuli sector there is a glacier with an area of 12 square kilometers, which is the main attraction of the sector.

The vegetation is dominated by the araucaria, which is home to the Magellanic royal woodpecker, the long-billed emerald parrot – the birds feed on the araucaria nuts.

In addition to the araucaria forest, the beech forest, represented by numerous species, grows here.

The region is also characterized by a rich fauna – Chiloess opossum, Chilean cat coddle, pudu, nutria, South American snipe, Darwin’s rhinoderma, etc.

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Torres del Paine National Park was founded in May 1959.

Figure 2: Torres del Paine National Park. Author24 – Online Student Paper Exchange

On the territory of the modern park, millions of years ago, a high mountain range grew among the Patagonian steppes – this molten magma erupted from the bowels of the earth.

Climatic conditions over many thousands of years have shaped the bizarre relief of today.

In the late XIX-early XX century explorers from around the world visited the park, and in 1959 the “National Tourism Park of Lake Gray” was created – it was a decision of the government of Chile. Initially it was 43.3 square kilometers, but then, in 1961 the area was increased to 245.3 square kilometers, which was followed by renaming the park Torres del Paine National Park for Tourism.

The next increase in area by 110 square kilometers occurred in 1970 by decision of the Ministry of Agriculture of Chile.

The protected area has been managed by the National Forest Corporation of Chile since 1975 and in 1978 the park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to preserve the unique natural landscapes of Patagonia. The goal of Chilean national parks is to preserve the nature of the earth.

10 unusual national parks in South America

10 unusual national parks in South America

10 unusual national parks in South America

Video: The Lost World of South America | Tepui | Wanderer KN 2022, September

South America is a continent with landscapes and biomes as rich and varied as its many cultures; from tropical rainforests, prairies and waterfalls to deserts, mountain ranges and rivers. We list 10 of the most unusual national parks in which to see its natural wonders.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park is located in the legendary Patagonia region of southern Chile. Its landscapes are absolutely breathtaking. Here you will find huge mountains, glaciers, icebergs and lowlands made up of golden grasses. The famous, tower-like rock formations present in the park are the name. The park attracts visitors from all over the world, and it is one of the largest national parks in Chile.

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Torres del Paine National Park ©

Lencois Maranhenes National Park, Brazil

Located in northeastern Brazil, the landscapes laid down in Lencois Maranhenes National Park are truly nowhere else in the world. The park’s elevated vistas reveal vast expanses of white sand dunes and swirling pools of blue-green water. The park is remote and less well-known than many others in South America, which makes it even more fascinating.

Barreirinhas – MA, 65590-000, Brazil


Lencos Maranhenes © Daniel Pereira

Lauca National Park, Chile

Lauca National Park is located in the northern part of Chile against a backdrop of the Andes Mountains. Rectangular peaks covered in snow make up much of the skyline, as well as numerous volcanoes in the area. The park consists of swampy foothills inhabited by a large number of native fauna. Many animals can be found in the vicinity of the large lakes Chungara and Katakotani.

Putre, Región de Arica and Parinacota, Chile


Parinacota Volcano © Dan Lundberg

Chapada Diamantina National Park, Brazil

The landscapes within Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina National Park are among the most majestic on the planet. Its various geographical features include many graceful monoliths, waterfalls, limestone caves and bright blue underground rivers, especially in Poço Encantado. The park itself is huge. It has a larger surface area than Belgium or the Netherlands as a whole, and the name “Chapada Diamantina” translates to Diamond Highlands.

Bahia State, Brazil


Chapada Diamantina National Park © Daniel Pereira

Iguazu National Park, Argentina


Iguazu National Park, Argentina

First established in 1934, Iguazu National Park is one of the most famous national parks in South America. One of the park’s most notable features is the beautiful Iguazu Falls, which is wrapped in rainforest and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

Iguazu National Park, Ruta 101, km 136, N3370XAJ Puerto Iguazu, Mision, Argentina


Iguazu National Park © Deni Williams | © Deni Williams / Flickr

Ruta 101 Km 142,, Misiónes Puerto Iguazú, 3370, Argentina


Outdoor, Picturesque, Photo opportunity

Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Tayrona National Park is located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and is home to some wonderful beaches. In particular, Castilets Beach is a great place to swim. The park also encapsulates part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria mountain range. If you are looking for a place that satisfies the local ecology through its tourism efforts, Taverona National Park is one of the best places to do so in Colombia.

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Colombia: exploring Tayrona National Park © Eli Duke

Serra do Itajaia National Park, Brazil

The Serra do Itajai National Park was founded in 2004 and includes about 57,000 hectares of protected land in Brazil. It is one of the largest tracts of forest in the country. Most of the park is located in the municipality of Santa Catarina, where, surprisingly, locals celebrate annual festivals of German and Italian heritage.


Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

Tierra del Fuego National Park is located in the southern archipelago of the continent. The park’s scenery is nothing short of breathtaking and consists of several different geographical features, from mountains and forests to waterfalls, scenic lakes and glaciers. There is also no shortage of natural fauna to populate the park. Andean foxes, beavers, parrots, guanacos, and many others call this place home.

Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina


Tierra del Fuego © Douglas Scortegagna

Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina

Nahuel Huapi National Park is located in southern Argentina in the foothills of the Patagonian Andes. It is one of the largest national parks in the Patagonian region, covering over two million acres of land. The park has interesting landscapes, including high altitudes that are permanently covered with snow, glaciers, field-covered meadows, waning volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, steppes, and rare Valdivian forests.

Rio Negro, Argentina


View from Cerro Campanario (Bell Tower Hill) © Cathy Arkle

Ambori National Park, Bolivia

When it comes to biodiversity, Ambori National Park in Bolivia wins by a long shot. Specifically, there are more than 900 species of birds and about 177 species of mammals, including the mysterious dressed bear. The park is located on what is called the “Elbow of the Andes,” and there are semi-arid lowlands different from this area of the continent.

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