Reserva Nacional Lago Peñuelas
About 25 kilometers southeast of Valparaíso, fronting directly on the highway to Santiago, misleadingly named Lago Peñuelas is really a late-19th-century reservoir that supplies Valparaíso and Viña del Mar with drinking water. The reserve covers 9,260 hectares and supports substantial populations of waterfowl, other birds, and terrestrial fauna native to the region.
Surrounded by both native sclerophyllous (glossy-leaved) woodland and plantations of eucalyptus and other exotic species, Lago Peñuelas (Ruta 68, Km 95, tel. 0322/291282) is open 8:45 a.m.–5 p.m. daily except Monday; admission costs US$3.
Buses between Santiago and the coastal cities can drop visitors directly at the entrance, on the north side of Ruta 68.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition