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Huilo Huilo Ecosystems

The Valdivian Temperate Rainforest is characterized by ancient trees that can reach a height of 45 meters.

It is home to the Coigüe (Nothofagus dombeyi), Raulí (Nothofagus alpina), Tepa (Laureliopsis philippiana), Ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia), Tineo (Weinmannia trichosperma), Lingue (Persea lingue), Avellano (Gevuina avellana), Mañío (Saxegothaea conspicua) and Tayú (Dasyphyllum diacanthoides).
Among the smaller trees are the Meli (Amomyrtus meli), Luma (Amomyrtus luma), Fuinque (Lomatia ferruginea), Piñol (Lomatia dentata), Notro (Embothrium coccineum), Arrayán (Luma apiculata), Tiaca (Caldcluvia paniculata) and Chinchin (Azara microphylla).

A rich vegetation, adapted to the lack of light, has developed in strata under the taller trees. This flora includes the Repu (Rhaphithamnus spinosus), Chilco (Fucsia magellanica), Chaura (Gaultheria sp., Pernettya sp.), Taique (Desfontainea spinosa), Michay (Berberis sp.) and Zarzaparrilla (Ribes sp.).
The stag beetle, the golden butterfly and Darwin´s frog feed off the orchids, alstroemerias, mushrooms, lichen and moss in the forest. Lianas and vines, such as the Chilean bellflower (Copihue), are abundant and a great variety of ferns make up a large part of the forest floor.
In this ecosystem, the Mocho Choshuenco Volcano, imposes its original siluette with 2.415 metres high, which houses perpetuals snows from a millenarian glacier. Distance in which plants varieties can be appreciated, initiating the ascent between Coigues of great hight and reaching an area called Lenga (Nothofagus Pumilio), which looses its leaves during cold times. In this area snow falls during winter.

Its associated with Ñirre (Nothofagus Antárctica) and Notro (Embothrium Coccineum). Then it reaches an spectacurlar view where a panoramic view of the volcanics surroundings, Pirihueico and Neltume Lakes, and volcanos like Lacar can be appreciated.The vegetation that inhabits this ecosystem has had to develop diverse structural and physiological adaptations that allow them to survive over volcanic ground, low temperatures and snow that covers great part of their foliage.
In order to do so, they have developed thick leaves that protect them from desiccation and allow them to resist the snow weight. The undergrowth has Small Quila (Chusquea Tenuifolia), Canelillo (Drimys Andina), Leña dura (Maytenus Distichia), Michay (Berberis Serratodentata), Calafate (Berberis Buxifolia), Chaura (Gaultheria Sp, Pernettya Sp), Luma Blanca (Myrceugenia Chrysocarpa), Ñipa (Escallonia Andina), Traro-voqui (Ovidia Andina) y Taique (Desfontainea Spinosa).
Pampa of Pilmaiquén is an extensive plain of about 1.200 hectares that its situated in a hollow in the skirts of Mocho Choshuenco Volcano.

In this valley, masses of cold air accumulates and go down through the near mountains that surrounds it, and condition thicket low vegetation from 1 to 4 metres high, where Ñirre (Nothafagus Antárctica) predominates, a deciduous species that reaches even 15 metres high in favourable conditions, but here does not surpasses the 5 metres height, in a volcanic sand ground, of 600 metres altitude.
This typicall formation of the high mountains or very austral zones, add contrast to lanscapes that are clearly visible in autumn, when the yellow leaves that are about to fall dye this enormous valley, completely. Other aspect that adds singularity, its the congruency between this pampa and the guanacos population that inhabit it and hangs out just the way it can be appreciated in Magallanes, their most known habitat.
In these temperate zones, because of the presence of water, and the saturated humidity during all year, its remarkable the large amount of epiphytes, specially ferns from the Hymeniphyllum genre, climbers and bromeliads: Fascicularia Bicolour, Greigia sphacelata. Only in this type of forest, Lingue (Persea Lingue) and Olivillo (Aextoxicon punctatum) can be found.

Fuy river borns in Pirihueico Lake, its a natural river of crystal water that slides throughout a volcanic furrow and in Salto Huilo Huilo crashes from about 30 metres into the backwater of Fuy River. Its maximum capacity is 30 cubic metres per second.
It has an approximate lenght of about 17.6 km from its beggining to the confluence of Neltume River. Fuy River descends with a strong slope from 605 to 190 metres above sea level. In is route, it goes through Saltos del Huilo Huilo, La Leona and El Puma. Then it intersects with Neltume River, and together they form the Llanquihue River.

Lake of glacier origin of calmed and crystal waters, located in the Andes Mountains in the Hua-Hum border frontier. It has a surface of 30,45 square metres, and a maximum depth of 145 metres, it occupies the sixth place in terms of size among the lakes of that region. Its blue-green colour reflects its immense pureness. Great part of its shore is formed by rocks and virgin forests of surprising beauty. In its waters inhabits Hualas, Black Neck Swans, Ducks and Huillines.
Huilo Huilo Foundation has analized water samples from this lake, and has identified some diatomaceous species, which are unicelular microscopics seaweeds that belong to the prostita kingdom.These are photosythetic organisms that live in fresh and marine water, becoming a very important part of phytoplankton. One of the diatomaceous characteristic is the presence of a silica cover (hydrated silicon dioxide), that allows shapes varieties. The fossil evidence suggests that they were originated before or during the Early Jurassic Period, 200 millions of years ago approximately.


  • T he Chilean Patagonian Temperate Rainforest is located between latitude 38°30'S and 55°30'S, to the east of the Andes Mountains. There is abundant annual rainfall and temperatures are relatively high in the summer months.