Category: CHILE
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REGION 1 (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (2nd-5th February, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

Lauca National Park can be reached from Bolivia, Arica or Putre. I got dropped off by the bus from La Paz at the turnoff for the small town of Parinacota (4392m altitude) 4km away. There are a couple of families with beds. I paid 2,500 pesos for a bed in a shared room with kitchen privileges. I was told there were no shops selling food so brought my own but that was not quite true. There is a man with a very small shop on the plaza with some drinks and snacks. His wife (Albertina) will also sell a few vegetables. The lady I stayed with can also provide dinners. Daytimes were pleasant but nights very cold. I recommend a sleeping bag as well as the blankets provided. 

The area around the village had many good birds. Just across from the weather station and football pitch are a couple of small streams through cushion-plant bogs where Diademed Sandpiper-Plover was seen many years ago. I saw Puna Snipe here. I saw Andean Hillstar on rocks behind the Conaf office. There are a few small lakes near the town with Giant Coots and Crested Ducks are common. There is a trail leading from the Conaf office that takes you up to a few lakes called Lagunas Cotacotani (4,500m) where I saw Chilean Flamingo, Andean Avocet and Wilson's Phalarope. Also White-throated Sierra-Finch and Streaked Tit-Spinetail on the way up. There are 2 roads back out to the highway, upper (left) and lower (right). The lower is better. About 1km along there is a house below which was Grey-breasted Seedsnipe and after which on the boulders was White-tailed Shrike Tyrant. I also saw Red-backed and Puna Hawk along this road. The area below the town of Chucuyo had a large lake with many water birds and marshy areas with Puna Plover, American Golden Plover, Andean Lapwing and Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch. A little further down on salty ponds were a few Andean Flamingos. Lago Chungara towards the Bolivian Border was full of waterbirds but is a little more difficult to get to. I saw 52 species including 14 lifers. 

Species seen 

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse