Magdalena Island: Isla Magdalena National Park (Chile)

Magdalena Island: Isla Magdalena National Park (Chile)

Wed, 01/19/2022 - 17:18
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Isla Magdalena National Park is a protected area on Magdalena Island, Patagonia, Chile. Its rugged landscape, with its deep ravines and coastal cliffs, makes it an ideal environment for species such as Penguins, Cormorants, Sea Lions and Southern River Otters.

Magdalena Island

Magdalena Island (Isla Magdalena) is located within the Aysén Region of southern Chile and is located between the Chilean mainland and the Guaitecas Archipelago. It is one of the largest islands south of Chiloé. Approximately 80% of the island is a National Park.

In the center of the island, the extinct Montalat volcano with its permanent snow and ice-filled caldera is the island's highest point at 1,660 m (5,446 ft).

Puerto Gaviota is a fishing village and hamlet located in the southwestern part of the island at the meeting point of the Puyuhuapi and Moraleda channels. The village emerged during the codfish boom of the 1980s.

The island's climate is rainy and mild with an annual average temperature of 6 to 8 °C (43 to 46 °F) and annual precipitation of approximately 4,000 mm (157 in) per year.

Isla Magdalena National Park

Isla Magdalena National Park is a protected area on Magdalena Island, Patagonia, Chile. At 249,712 ha (617,052 acres), it protects approximately 80% of Magdalena Island. The park can best be reached by sea from Puerto Cisnes or Puerto Puyuhuapi.

The protected area was created in 1967 as a Forest Reserve and was reclassified as a National Park in 1983. The park was expanded in 2018, as part of an agreement between Tompkins Conservation and the Government of Chile.

Isla Magdalena National Park is part of Chile's scenic 2,800-km (1,700-mi) "Route of Parks of Patagonia" that stretches from Puerto Montt in the north to Cape Horn in the south. Spanning 17 national parks, the Route of Parks encompasses one-third of Chile and protects over 11.8 million hectares (28 million acres).

Route of Parks map

Chile's Route of Parks map - Thompson Conservation

The rugged landscape of the National Park, with its deep ravines and coastal cliffs, makes it an ideal environment for species such as Penguins, Cormorants, Sea Lions and Huillines (Southern River Otters).

Other fauna found here include Coipos, Chungungos (Marine Otters), South American Fur Seals and Toninas (Commerson’s Dolphins), in addition to various species of Petrels and Seagulls.

The ecosystem of Isla Magdalena National Park includes Puyuhuapi evergreen forest and deciduous alpine scrub. Flora include the Coigüe de Chiloé and Coigüe de Magallanes, Ciprés de las Guaitecas (Pilgerodendron), Canelo, Ciruelilo, Luma, Tepu and Fiunques. Ferns and bushes such as the Chilco (Hardy Fuchsia) and Chaura also make up the island's dense rainforest.