Alerce Costero National Monument
The Alerce National Monument is located on the Pacific coast, 137 km from Valdivia and 49 km from La Union, and covers an area of 2,307 hectares. At the top of the Natural Monument you will find 14 alerce trees, and you can enjoy the view out over the native forest which covers the mountain range. Opposite is the Piedra del Indio hut, where there is a park wardens’ station. From there you can walk a 2.5 km long path, which will take you to an ancient alerce, more than 3,000 years old.
In the forest you will see species of birds such as thrush, black throated huet-huet, woodpecker and kestrel etc.
The alerce was declared a Natural Monument at the end of 1976 and no living tree can be cut because the species is in danger of extinction.
Individual trees can live for as long as 4,000 years. The alerce is the second longest-lived species on earth, surpassed only by the Pinus longaeva of California, USA, which can live for up to 4,500 years. Depending on the amount of rainfall, the diameter of the trunk grows by about one millimeter per year, and the tree can reach a height of 60 meters.
Alerce forests are exclusive to the south of Chile, although there are a few specimens in Argentina.
The Monumento Nacional Alerce Costero does not provide camping or other services for the tourist since it is intended only for contemplation.