In November 2015, the UNESCO General Conference re-created the award as "UNESCO Global Geoparks". It is awarded by UNESCO's International Geoscience and Geoparks Program (IGGP). Geoparks are thus another category of UNESCO sites - next to World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves.
Kütralcura is the first UNESCO Geopark in Chile, and means in Mapudungun "fire stone". It covers a surface of aprx. 8000 Km2, which represents the fourth of the surface of the Araucanía-Region. It includes Lonquimay, Curacautín, Vilcún and Melipeuco with a total of almost 55,000 inhabitants, which means a population density in the Geopark of 7 persons per Km2. Therefore most of it is landscape: mountains, forests, pampas, glaciers, hot springs, lakes, rivers. The park-territory contains several protected areas, three active volcanoes (Llaima, Lonquimay, Tolhuaca) and 3 dormant volcanoes (Nevados de Sollipulli, Batea Mahuida, Sierra Nevada), a great geodiversity with a geological history of hundreds of millions of years. It is part of the Araucarias Biosphere Reserve with its great biological diversity, recognized worldwide for its Araucaria-Araucana forests. Some Mapuche-Pehuenche communities, settling there for aprx. 2000 years are part of its inhabitants. The 21st century is marked by an increasing population, concentrated mainly in large cities, and a growing demand for natural and energy resources, which consequently have caused a climate change that directly impacts the entire world. This knowledge can be seen in geologically active areas, such as the Kütralcura Geopark. In the convergence zone of the Nazca and South American plates there is are many active volcanoes and an intense seismic activity, where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occasionally occur, natural phenomena, which directly affect the inhabitants and landscape of the park.
Adela and Helmut offer several motorized excursions to different parts of that vast territory.
You can visit a large part of Kütralcura in one day: the Icalma and Galletué lagoons, the passes La Fusta and Las Raices with wonderful views of a large number of active and extinct volcanoes.
A tour to the Cochor towers with the glacier and Sollipulli volcano with hiking and thermal baths is another alternative.
The center of the Geopark forms the Conguillio National Park, which also deserves a day trip.
We are happy to provide you share more information in our facilities about the possibilities to explore our Geopark.