Astronomy and the natural world will provide a fascinating combination at the upcoming total solar eclipse in Chile’s Araucanía region on December 14. An opportunity to connect with nature against the backdrop of the volcanoes that are the highlight at this park. Natural heritage with a touch of geology.
The Andean part of the Araucanía region is the location of Kütralkura Geopark — the first such park in Chile — a landscape spanning 8,100 km2 that invites you on a journey through more than 200 million years of geological history[HC1].
Located within the geopark, Conguillío National Park is a magical place that stands out for the uniqueness of its volcanoes, like Llaima, which is one of the most active volcanoes in South America. But that’s not all. The Lonquimay, Tolhuaca, Sollipully and Sierra Nevada volcanoes are also located in the park. This park incorporates six protected areas and has great geodiversity and unique landscapes. It also forms part of the world-renowned Araucarias Biosphere Reserve.
Geological formations and structures, landforms, minerals, rocks, fossils, soil and other geological features are among the riches that form part of this park’s DNA. The park attracts thousands of tourists as well as scientists from around the world, who come to study and interpret the origin and evolution of the Earth and the processes it has undergone.
The inhabitants of the geopark make up a multicultural society that includes Mapuches – Pehuenches, whose worldview emphasizes the divine nature of volcanoes, and who are knowledgeable about medicinal plant use. The close relationship that these communities enjoy with the Earth is the hallmark of Kütralkura Geopark, where science combines with local and ancestral knowledge.
The geopark aims to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants; contribute to promoting earth sciences at the local, regional and national level; and, consequently, promote the creation of new geoparks in Chile.
Active volcanoes are a great tourist attraction. They make sustainable development possible through the tourism industry, as it showcases the territory’s geological heritage. Geotourism supports and strengthens the geographical character of a place, its environment, geology, culture, conservation, heritage and the wellbeing of its inhabitants. This mystical place of ancestral and natural wisdom will encounter the power of the sun and the moon as they cross paths next December 14.
Find out more about the creation of the Conguillío National Park, the heart of Kütralkura Geopark: