National Parks in Chile

Chile, renowned for its impressive natural diversity and unique landscapes, has a system dedicated to the protection of its environmental heritage called the National System of State Protected Wild Areas (SNASPE). This system is created and administered by the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), an entity focused on the conservation and care of the environment.

SNASPE is responsible for protecting and managing 108 natural areas throughout the country. These areas are divided into three main categories: 46 National Parks of Chile, 45 National Reserves, and 18 Natural Monuments. Each type of area has a specific purpose and together they form a network that protects Chile’s ecosystems, species and natural beauties. National Parks focus on nature conservation and providing spaces for public recreation; National Reserves aim to protect natural resources, and Natural Monuments focus on conserving areas or species of special scientific, historical, or aesthetic interest. Together, these spaces ensure the preservation of Chile’s rich natural heritage for present and future generations.

List of National Parks of Chile

Categories of protected areas in Chile

In Chile, the system of protected areas is divided into three main categories: National Parks, National Reserves, and Natural Monuments, ratified by the government of Chile in 1967, establishing clear definitions for three categories of protected areas: National Parks, National Reserves, and Natural Monuments.

The Convention for the Protection of the Flora, Fauna and Natural Scenic Beauties of the Americas, which established the categories of protection, is also known as the Washington Convention.

National Parks

Chile has 46 National Parks covering a huge area of 13,452,119.31 hectares. These parks are large areas meant to protect nature and allow people to enjoy unique landscapes and ecosystems.

According to this convention, a National Park is a region designated for the protection and conservation of natural scenic beauties, as well as flora and fauna of national importance. These areas are intended for public enjoyment and are under official surveillance to ensure their preservation. The main focus of a National Park is to conserve nature in its purest state, while allowing people to appreciate its beauty and diversity.

National Reserve

There are 45 National Reserves in the country, which together total 5,375,934.63 hectares. National reserves are focused on the conservation of natural resources and also allow for certain controlled uses of these resources.

A National Reserve, on the other hand, is defined as a region established for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. These areas are also under official surveillance, but unlike National Parks, they allow some degree of human use of their resources. The protection offered to the flora and fauna in the National Reserves is compatible with the objectives for which they were created, which implies a balance between conservation and sustainable use.

Natural Monuments

As for Natural Monuments, Chile has 18 of them, covering an area of 34,356.64 hectares. These are spaces smaller than parks or reserves, and are dedicated to protecting specific natural features, such as a species of plant or animal, or a place of special historical or scientific significance.

Natural Monuments are regions, objects, or living species of animals or plants that are of significant aesthetic, historical, or scientific interest. These sites or species receive absolute protection. Natural Monuments are established with the aim of conserving a specific object or a particular species, and are inviolable except for authorized scientific research or government inspections. This ensures the preservation of unique features or endangered species in a protected environment.

Total protected area in the country

In total, Chile’s protected area system, which includes all these categories, covers an area of 18,862,410.58 hectares. This shows Chile’s commitment to the protection and conservation of its rich biodiversity and natural heritage.

National Parks 46 13,452,119.31
National Reserves 45 5,375,934.63
Natural Monuments 18 34,356.64
Total System 107 18,862,410.58