Around the World: Fundo Yerba Loca

Santiago, Chile

 Activities

This park offers a variety of activities. Ice climbing on the waterfalls is a popular activity in the winter. Experts claim this is the best spot in South America for this activity. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can trek 9 hours to La Paloma Glacier. If the full hike is not feasible, there are many valleys along the way where you can camp for the night and head back. Or you can go horseback riding! Horse rentals are available for the day or multi-day walks and are relatively inexpensive.

Ice climbing. Photo Credit: By Bernhard - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36837
Ice climbing. Photo Credit: By Bernhard – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36837

 Flora and Fauna

Over 500 species of plants live here, as well as foxes, rabbits, hares, and birds. Rodents are the main inhabitants of the park, however, including the coruro and degu. In the highest reaches of the park, it is possible to observe eagles, condors, and other predatory birds.

A degu, one of the many rodents who make their home in the park. Photo Credit: Degu - By Markus - NagerUploaded by snowmanradio, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17632214
A degu, one of the many rodents who make their home in the park. Photo Credit: Degu – By Markus – NagerUploaded by snowmanradio, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17632214

 Fundo Yerba Loca Archaeology

There are over 100 archaeological sites scattered throughout the park. These sites include ancient workshops, stone walls, and tacit stones.  Artifacts found indicate a human presence as far back as 6,000 years ago. However, due to the climate conditions, the people here likely did not establish permanent roots, but instead used this area as a temporary dwelling place.

One culture that lived here were the Chiquillanes. They inhabited the area after 1500 AD. This culture was nomadic hunter gatherers who survived on fruits, tubers, and animals.

The culture with the most impact on the area were undoubtedly the Incas. For them, this land was sacred. Human sacrifice victims have been found fully persevered, due to the cold climate. One of the most famous examples, and one that happened to be found in the park, was the Plomo Mummy. This mummy was that of a boy who was left in the cold as a sacrifice to the sun god, Inti. The practice of human sacrifice was called qhapaq hucha in the Incan language. This was done to stop natural disasters or during major festivals at ceremonial sites.

Plomo Mummy (replica on display at the National Museum of Natural History– By Jason Quinn - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6859937
Plomo Mummy (replica on display at the National Museum of Natural History– By Jason Quinn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6859937

 HOW TO GET THERE

By car, the park is accessed by Route G-21, the road to Farellones, and then exit 15 where you’ll find the entrance to the reserve. It’s about two hours east of Santiago. For flights to Chile, trust Sky Bird Travel & Tours. We’re partnered with over 90 airlines, so no matter their city of departure, we can get your clients there. As a top airfare consolidator, Sky Bird Travel has the lowest net fares to Chile. Call or email us today to get started!

 

Are your clients looking for something off the beaten path? Are they not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

British Airways to Launch Longest Flight

London – Santiago

British Airways has unveiled its longest flight ever. The new route will launch in January 2017 and run between London and Santiago, the capital of Chile. At 14 hours and 40 minutes, this new route will become the longest direct flight British Airways offers. The London – Santiago route will be one hour longer than the current longest flight, which runs from London to Buenos Aires and is 13 hours and 50 minutes.

The flight will run four times a week and use British Airway’s newest aircraft, the 787-9 Dreamliner. The 787-9 is 20 ft. longer than the previous model allowing for a new First cabin making those long haul flights more enjoyable. The First cabin hosts a private eight-suite space with additional storage areas, a locker for small belongings, and a special storage area for devices that includes charging capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’ manages the seat recline, headrest, and lumbar inflate. A ‘global’ lighting control can be used to set both ambient and reading lighting. The new 787-9 Dreamliner is the most technologically advanced aircraft in the British Airways fleet.

The addition of this new route is part of an ongoing expansion to Latin America by British Airways. They recently added Lima, Peru and San Jose, Costa Rica to their list of destinations. Additionally, they offer service to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil. Of the increase in Latin American routes, Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways stated: “In recent years we have been increasing our services to South and Central America reflecting the area’s continued growth in both business and tourism. This year we’ve already launched flights to Costa Rica and Peru, and the addition of Santiago will secure another important link between the UK and the region. Equally, Chile is of enormous appeal to leisure travelers, especially those looking for adventure, exploration and experiences, thanks to its outstanding and diverse natural beauty and attractions and its great food and wine.”

Santiago, Chile offers many interesting attractions including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Chilean Museum of Fine Arts. Santiago also serves as a gateway to many natural wonders in the surrounding countryside.