BOSQUE FRAY JORGE

Parque Nacional Fray Jorge es un parque nacional chileno, ubicado en la Provincia de Limarí de la Región de Coquimbo, cerca de la ciudad de Ovalle. Fue creado en 1941, durante el gobierno de Juan Antonio Ríos con el fin de preservar uno de los ecosistemas más exclusivos de Chile. El Parque se ubica en el sector costero, frente al Océano Pacífico, muy cerca del Desierto de Atacama, uno de los lugares más áridos del mundo.

Su característica particular es que es el único remanente del bosque húmedo pluvial valdiviano, quedando aislado del resto del bosque por la desaparición de estos producto del fin del último período glaciar. Se mantuvo gracias a un fenómeno particular que es la condensación de la niebla costera producto del cruce de la corriente de Humboldt con los vientos provenientes del mar. Esto crea un ambiente húmedo particular que mantiene -ya en un grado de deterioro importante- las características del bosque. Esta característica de bosque relictual determina que en él se encuentren los límites extremos septentrionales de diversas especies de la flora de Chile, tales como el árbol olivillo (Aextoxicon punctatum), la enredadera epífita medallita (Sarmienta scandens) o el copihue (Lapageria rosea), considerada la flor nacional de Chile, aunque esta última parece haber sido introducida al parque durante el siglo XX.

En 1977 fue declarado Reserva de la Biosfera por la Unesco. La entrada al parque tiene un valor de $1.600 pesos (US $3) para adultos y $600 (US $1,2) para jóvenes y niños.

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