Magdalena Island: Isla Magdalena National Park (Chile)

Magdalena Island: Isla Magdalena National Park (Chile)

Wed, 01/19/2022 - 17:18

Isla Magdalena National Park is a protected area on Magdalena Island, Patagonia, Chile. Its rugged landscape, deep ravines and coastal cliffs make it an ideal environment for species such as Penguins, Cormorants, Sea Lions, and Southern River Otters.

Magdalena Island

Magdalena Island (Isla Magdalena) is located in southern Chile's Aysén Region and 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 island's center, the extinct Montalat volcano, with its permanent snow and ice-filled caldera, is the 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 town 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) yearly.

Isla Magdalena National Park

Isla Magdalena National Park is a protected area on Magdalena Island, Chile, in the Patagonia region. At 249,712 ha (617,052 acres), it protects approximately 80% of Magdalena Island. The park can 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.

Route of Parks

Isla Magdalena National Park is part of Chile's scenic 2,800 km (1,700 mi) "Route of Parks" that stretches from Puerto Montt in the north to Cape Horn in the south.

Spanning 17 national parks, the Route of Parks of Patagonia 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

Flora and Fauna

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

Other faunas 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 the National Park includes the Puyuhuapi evergreen forest and deciduous alpine scrub. Flora consists of 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 make up the island's dense rainforest.