Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces, Copiapo

4.8
#3 of 16 in Things to do in Copiapo
National Park Nature / Park
Nevado Tres Cruces National Park Located in the Atacama Region of Chile at 93.2 miles from Copiapó. It includes Laguna Santa Rosa, Laguna del Negro Francisco, and a part of the Salar de Maricunga. The park is divided into two zones, the northern zone encompassing the southern portion of Salar de Maricunga and Laguna Santa Rosa, and the southern area the Laguna del Negro Francisco. The park is named after Nevado Tres Cruces, which dominates the landscape of the area. The Nevado Tres Cruces National Park is managed by CONAF, which offers two refuges in the area: one at the south of Negro Francisco Lagoon and other at the west of Santa Rosa Lagoon. The administration charges a fee to enter the park which is $2.000 CLP and $500 CLP for children.The park is open from October to April from 8 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon.EnvironmentThe park lies in the northern end of the Southern Andean steppe.Salar de MaricungaThis salt flat spans 8,300 hectares at an altitude of 3,700 meters (12,139 ft). The world's highest volcano, and the highest peak in Chile, Ojos del Salado, (6,893meters/22,615 ft.) is located in its vicinity. The salar is 180 km northeast of the city of Copiapó in the Andes mountains.Laguna Santa RosaLocated just south of the Salar de Maricunga, the lagoon is known for its Andean flamingos, which reside on the lagoon year-round. Laguna Santa Rosa, along with Laguna del Negro Francisco, is a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
62 reviews
Google
4.6
  • First we must say that the National Park Nevado Tres Cruces is a beautiful place to visit, explore, admire and photograph, but those who have altitude sickness should refrain from scheduling a visit. It is step towards the international pass forced San Francisco. You can access to it taking the route CH-31 or by the C-601 which is in very poor condition and not suitable for any vehicle. It contains the beautiful Santa Rosa lagoon within the great salar de Maricunga. The lagoon is the habitat of a rich bird fauna of the place. Beautiful landscapes arise continually within the Park. I would recommend going in two vehicles and hopefully with traction 4 x 4 for safety, while the road is not of this demand. In addition, consider the cost of fuel (take fuel extra especially if you continue in the direction to the border to visit the laguna Verde or step towards the volcano Ojos del Salado) and is not others carry a second spare tire. Depending on the time of year, one can be amazed by rain or snow, where things could get complicated. Highly recommended tour
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  • Incredibly beautiful and spiritual. Nevado Tres Cruses has the 5th or 6th highest peak in the Andes ( depending on source) and the 11th highest peak. All three peaks are over 20,000 feet. Highly recom...  more »
  • I've been in the Nevado Tres Cruces on passed out. It was hard to do the tour, because in winter there's no tourists around and you must do it alone. I found the Chillitrip Agency and your baby guide Carlos took me and provided the best experience I've ever had. Beautiful journey with all the facilities and the safety in vehicle driving in the snow. Loved it and will come back. Recommend to all meet in the winter. You will have a stunning image.
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Google
  • Very secluded place, in the impressive nature of the Atacama. Lakes that are breeding grounds for flamingos. Camping under the clearest night sky. A bit hard to reach; best with rented 4×4 from Copiapo.
  • good
  • Good views, isolated and in general beautiful natural place. At 4000 m in height approx
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  • excellent experience of encounter with nature to 4000 mt height
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  • A heavenly landscape. I recommend rest and eat well the previous day to visit this place by the effects of the puna.
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Where to stay in Copiapo

The most popular places to stay are just north of Copayapu/Route 5, with the rest of the town primarily residential. The town's pretty boutique hotels offer private pools and gardens, while simple, family-run guesthouses provide fewer frills but charge considerably less. If you're planning to use the town as a base for desert explorations, consider staying in a rented apartment.
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