Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve

Travel information

Management Category: Andean Fauna National Reserve equivalent to National Wildlife Reserve.

Extent: It has an area of 714,745 ha (7147 km ²).

Location: Located in the southern, most part of the Department of Potosi, in Sud Lipez Province, bordering the South by the Republic of Argentina and the West with the Republic of Chile. 

Biogeographic subregions, altitudinal and weather: Subregion of Puna, where the climate is cold and dry, with annual rainfall less than 100 mm. The altitudinal range between 4,200 and 6,000 meters.

Vegetation and flora: A total of 102 species of flora and it is estimated that there are approximately 200 species of higher plants. Ecologically characterized by extensive ice deserts and prairie Altoandina semidesert. They are salt lakes of glacial origin, wetlands and peatlands. In patches of vegetation stand yaretales of compact Azorella queñua groves (Polylepis tarapacana), currently threatened species. The conditions of soil salinity in many areas determine the presence of a resistant plant cover these conditions, with very low grass species.

Fauna: For the REA have been recorded 96 species of wildlife. Notable species that are highly threatened, as the vicuna, the Andean cat or titi, suri (Pterocnemia pennata), the chocka (Fulica gigantea) and the three species of flamingos (Phoenicopterus andinus jamesi Phoenicopterus chilensis and Phoenicopterus) that nest in huge colonies.

Local Population: The REA occupies almost 40% of the municipality of San Pablo de Lipez, the southern region of the municipality, where the Reserve is, practically has no people. Inside the REA it is estimated to be a total population of less than 50 families (about 250 people) of Aymara origin, concentrated in a few settlements as Quetena Grande, Chasquilla, Juntucha, Carcanis, Khastor and Lachitas. Eduardo Abaroa Reserve is located about 300 km south of the town of Uyuni (11,372 inhabitants), which is linked by two major routes: one by the Uyuni Salt Flat and the community of San Juan, and the other by Uyuni - Culpina - Zoniquera - Quetena and Laguna Colorada.

Tourism: There are salt lakes of glacial origin, wetlands and peatlands. Among the highlights gaps Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde. Huge colonies of nesting flamingos are another attraction of the Reserve Eduardo Abaroa. They also highlight strange landscapes and rock formations, the giant volcanoes, hot springs and fumaroles.

The richness of the fauna in the highland region is low in number of species but has the presence of endemic species like flamingoes, there are three species: the Andean flamingo, Chilean and Puna flamingo which can be found especially in the Laguna Colorada and Laguna Hedionda.

The area is dominated by a product of volcanic landscape with acidic lava solidified, fumarolic activity area with demonstrations of sulfur gases and water vapor from volcanoes, suggests that the magmatic activity still exists, as in the "Sol de la mañana", where you can see fumaroles and boiling mud volcanos plus a pseudo geyser at sunrise sunlight and clouds of steam arising in the region that build a landscape that takes back to the time of formation of the earth. The deserts of the Dali Valley and Siloli Desert are the most important in the region.

How to get to Eduardo Abaroa Reserve: You can enter the area from Uyuni, crossing the Salar de Uyuni. To reach this city you can take the train from Oruro heading to Villazon or the buses that depart daily from this city. It is also possible to take buses daily from Potosi. Another option is to enter your own vehicle from Tupiza or use the daily shuttle to Laguna Verde from the Chilean city of San Pedro de Atacama.

Services and Facilities: In Uyuni you can find basic accommodation and meals, local tour operators, guide service, car rental, shuttle service, telephone service and fuel sales. In the town of San Juan minimum room and board, staffed by local people, in Quetena there is a hostel of the protected area in the Laguna Colorada you will find basic accommodation and food by local people and the Laguna Verde there is a private shelter.

Recommendations: Visit the area especially in November due to the presence of many different species of birds (including flamingos) and by milder weather conditions. Do not linger in "Morning Sun" because the gases from geysers, fumaroles and vulcanitos can cause dizziness and nausea, used quite warm clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, binoculars.

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