Sugar Bread National Park
The Sugar Bread National Park is located 30 km northwest of Chañaral. It was created in1985 and encompasses a total surface area of 43 769 hectares.
It comprises a coastal area situated between the two ravines called Peralillo and La Cachina and Sugar Bread island. The park’s flora has characteristically adapted to the shortage of water. The area known as Sugar Bread Bay (Caleta de Pan de Azúcar) has many cactus, in fact it is a semi desert with a unique vegetation, nourished by the coastal mist.
The Vicuña Mackenna Mountain displays an impressive diversity of flora such as: coralillo, hualputilla, jarilla, coronilla de fraile and añañucas. This sector boasts the famous phenomena known as el Desierto Florido (the Flowery Desert) which takes place when rainfall increases and with general weather conditions permitting.
The marine animals characteristic of the coastal area are; the chunchungo (sea otter) and a seal known as el lobo de un pelo because it has just one type of fur. Along the coast there are many types of birds like; seagulls, terns, pelicans, cormorants, swallows, gallina ciega, jote de cabeza colorada, harriers, curlews and the remarkable Humboldt penguin. In the more vegetated areas you can observe guanacos and the chilla and culpeo foxes.
There are lots of good observation sites, for example: the river mouth of the Quebrada Castillo, where you can observe globose cactus and guanacos; another good place is the pathway called Las Lomitas, where you can see the differences between the flora found at sea level and at 700 metres above sea level, and lastly Sugar Bread Island itself, where you can observe the main Humboldt penguin colony.
You will be able to find traces of pre- Columbus cultures within the park, pertaining to the hunter-gather-fisher societies that inhabited the area.