"Putre, Chile Unique Andean Village" Putre by TooTallFinn24

Putre Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 18 photos


On the road to Luaca National Park and Lake Chungara lies the charming town of Putre. It is one of the few villages located in the High Andean region of Chile. The town is home to about 1,400 residents and its history dates back several hundred years. The village sits at an altitude of about 3,500 meters.

What is interesting about the town of Putre is that it appears to have been largely untouched for several years. The town consists of less than 25 square blocks and contains several craft dealers and a bank. Putre is considered the provincial capital of Parincota province. The smaller town of Parinacota lies just up the road on the way to Lake Chungara.

What is also interesting about the town of Putre is the number of carved stone portals that adorn many of the houses in the town. Gorgeous craftmanship considering the conditions they must have been built under.

A previous VT writer has shown the town ably as it appears below from the International Highway that leads from Arica to La Paz.

At the time I was there, there was one bed and breakfast and one small hotel.

Inside of the Church in Putre

The church in the above picture, is the main focal point of town, and this particular version of the church was constructed in 1670. An earlier version of the church was destroyed then. The church is the main focal point of tourists that come to Putre either on their way to Bolivia or to the coast of Chile. The construction consists of mud, stone, and rock. An inside picture of the church is below.

Unique Animals and the Sky Above Putre

Guanaco or these may be vicunas are often time mistaken for alpacas or llamas. Both these animals are a "camelid native." to South America. They are most numerous in Bolivia and Southern Chile. They stand about three to four feet in height and weigh up to 200 pounds. They generally live in two types of herds. Females and children with one domiant male. The other herd consists of males. I have absolutely no idea as to what herd I was observing in the picture. The herds become more visible as you descend the road from Putre to Lake Chungara. I was able to approach one of the guanaco to a distance of about 15 feet before it became board and left me.

When night falls in Putre, a magnificent world unfolds. Just look to the stars and watch as incredible detail in the sky begins to unravel. The planets and the stars are clearer than anywhere I have ever been. This of course is due to the fact that there is nearly no water vapor in the air and that there is few lights in the surrounding area. Litterally one can stay up all night and watch the performance in the sky.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:High Altitude Chilean Village, Charming
  • Cons:Isolated, Limited Facilities
  • In a nutshell:Intersting Village in the High Andean Mountains
  • Last visit to Putre: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (3)

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Beautiful pictures Steven! I know what you mean about the stars in places like this, we just never get a chance to see anything similar in north america. Did you get to see the condor up there?

    • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo
      Mar 20, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      Val- Thanks much for stopping by my Putre, Chile pages. Not a lot there but the area is so unique from anything I have ever seen and the stars at night oh my!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Lovely scenery, but I couldn't go there as I have trouble breathing now, let alone there!

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    wow! that national park looks amazingly beautiful, a must do trip. i love Chile in any case and may be there some day.


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