Lush Vegetation of Petrohué

Near Mt. Osorno lies Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park and Petrohué Falls, featuring temperate rain forest.  The area contains 30 species of mammals, including the kodkod cat or güiña, and 80 species of birds.

Lush forest vegetation

Within the forest, one may come across Coigues, a type of beech and the most common type of tree encountered in the park, as well as Arrayan trees.  To his credit, Darwin appreciated the role of tree diversity, even though he also lamented how lands had not been made more productive on Chiloé.  In light of disastrous recent forest fires in Chile, the importance of maintaining tree diversity cannot be over-stated, since forest plantations are more prone to blazes (for more, see my article here).

Arrayan tree
View of Mt. Osorno from Petrohué

At one point, a gray fox (not to be confused with Darwin’s fox) or zorro chilla darted on to the path, disappearing before I could snap a photo.  However, wildlife was not to be seen, perhaps scared off by over-tourism.

I had hoped to catch a glimpse of the güiña, an elusive cat. No such luck, though I did come across the honorary güiña bridge.

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