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National park

Reserva Nacional Nalcas-Malalcahuello

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Reserva Nacional Nalcas-Malalcahuello

Situated northeast of Curacautín, this 31,305-ha park lies on the slopes of the Lonquimay Volcano (2865 m), and is much less crowded than the nearby Parque Nacional Conguillio. The volcano began erupting on Christmas day 1988 and the crater produced was named Navidad. Useful information about the park is available from the CONAF office on the main road in Malalcahuello (east of Curacautín) and from La Suizandina , which is also a good base for treks and for the ascent of the volcano. Several marked trails (varying from one hour to two days) leave from the CONAF office. From Malalcahuello it is a one-day hike to the Sierra Nevada , or a two-day hike to Conguillio national park; less experienced climbers should hire a guide.

Access to climb Lonquimay is either from Malalcahuello, 15 km south, or from from the ski resort from where it is a one-hour walk to the municipal refugio at the base of the mountain. Walk towards the ski lift and from there head to the spur on the left. Allow four hours for the ascent, one hour for the descent. Crampons and ice-axe are necessary in winter, but in summer it is a relatively simple climb.

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