Overview

Stunning Lauca National Park is in the northernmost reaches of Chile, close to the border with Peru and Bolivia. Although just 3 hours' drive from the Pacific port of Arica, Lauca feels worlds apart, high up in the Andes at over 4,000m above sea level. Much wetter than the Atacama desert, this high altitude park springs into life with paintbox green wetlands and coarse tufted prairies. The landscape is dotted with 6,000m snow-tipped volcanic cones, often sitting on the shores of ice-cold lakes of gemstone clarity. The wildlife here is copious, with grazing herds of llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and vizcachas (chinchillas) easily spotted, along with the more elusive deer, foxes and armadillos.

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Things to do

Take a trip to the mesmerising high plains of Lauca National Park, with breath-taking views. Book now with Journey Latin America.

Where to go when - our guide to Lauca National Park

Lauca

The weather in Lauca National Park is wide and varied

Rising high into the Andes, at over 4,000m above sea level, are the snow-dipped volcanoes and teeming wetlands of Lauca National Park. Close to the border with Peru, this high-altitude park in northern Chile receives more rain than the Atacama but maintains a fairly dry climate. It's these clear skies that create the perfect conditions for stargazing, though you’d do well to avoid the full moon if you wish to see the stars at their brightest. While the park is open throughout the year, there are seasonal weather fluctuations to consider. September - December are ideal months for visiting as temperatures are pleasantly warm and there is minimal rainfall. While January - March can offer the hottest climate, some years these months are subject to the natural phenomenon of the ‘Bolivian Winter’, where humid air arrives from the north and increases rainfall significantly. During the coldest months of June - August there is snowfall and temperatures dip below freezing at night.

View our Lauca National Park weather guide

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Carrie
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Juliet
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • Mary
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Maggie
    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

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