Chile: a cactus paradise

There are 170 varieties of cacti throughout the country.

Most of them are located in the North of Chile.

More than three quarters are endemic: they cannot be found in any other part of the world because they are native to these Chilean regions. 

Among the wide variety of species you can observe: the sandillon de los ratones (Eriosyse redentiophila), a round cactus that can reach 70 cm in diameter, which is found on the south coast of Chañaral; or the candelabra cactus (Browningia candelaris) which grows like a candelabra between 1700 and 3000 meters above sea level. It can reach a height of 5 meters and a diameter of 50 cm. Craftsmen look for it for its wood, formerly used in carpentry and joinery. 

A more esoteric use consists of transforming a variety of cactus into a hallucinogenic drink for a shamanic ritual: the San Pedro.


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