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Bosque de Fray Jorge National Park




Location: Limarí Province, Coquimbo Region

Area: 100 km²





Description of Bosque de Fray Jorge National Park

Bosque de Fray Jorge National Park is a protected reserve in Limarí Province, Coquimbo Region of Chile. It covers a total area of 100 km². Bosque de Fray Jorge National Park lies approximately 100 km south of La Serena along the Pacific Ocean. It lies close to the Atacama Desert, in the Cordillera de Talinay, which is part of the Chilean Coastal Range. On the south, the protected reserve is bordered by the Limarí River. Bosque de Fray Jorge National Park covers an area of 100 km², but the forests cover only 4% of its surface. Most of the area is covered by shrubs and grasses. Protected reserve is known for having the northernmost Valdivian temperate rain forests.




Its particular characteristic is that it is the northernmost remnant of the Valdivian rainforest, being isolated from the rest of the temperate forest due to the disappearance of these products from the end of the last glacial period.

This remnant was maintained thanks to a particular climatic phenomenon, which is the condensation of the coastal fog (camanchaca) resulting from the crossing of the Humboldt current with the winds coming from the sea. This creates a particular humid environment that maintains - already in a significant degree of deterioration - the characteristics of the forest. The place has an annual rainfall that exceeds 250 mm. even coming in rainy years to values ​​close to 800 or 1000 mm.

This characteristic of relictual forest determines that in it the northern extreme limits of various species of the flora of Chile are found, such as the olivillo tree (Aextoxicon punctatum), the epiphytic vine medallite (Sarmienta scandens) or the copihue (Lapageria rosea), the national flower of Chile, although the latter seems to have been introduced to the park during the twentieth century.

In 1977 it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco

Access roads
From Santiago, take the Pan American Highway 5 or Elqui Highway until km 387, follow a side road to the west (Route D-540) that in 22 km to the entrance to the Park. At km 27 you pass through some agricultural communities that border the park, this road is dirt and is kept in good condition throughout the year. The path where the journey to the Valdivian forest begins, is 10 km from the entrance of the Park, so you must take a steep and curvy dirt road, which is not in very good condition.

From Coquimbo, take Route 5 or Elqui Highway south to km 387 and from there follow the side road to the west (Route D-540). They are 110 km in one hour and 45 minutes. It is located 116 km south of the city of La Serena.

From the city of Ovalle you must take the D-501 route, 1 kilometer before Cerros de Tamaya, which turns west to join the Route D-535 along Route 5.





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