Throughout Qhapaq Ñan there are various types of endemic and non-endemic species, among which we can highlight candelabra cactus, yareta and

quenoa. Almost all of these plants get water from morning dew. Destruction and extraction of these is forbidden.



Polylepis tarapacana. (3500 to 5200 m.a.s.l) It is an angiosperm, dicotyledonous from the Rosaceae family, just like many of other native trees in Chile. It is distributed in the Andean region of the plateau, so it is a shared species between Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Among its own species, Polylepis tarapacana is the one that develops at the highest altitude on the planet, finding trees at 5200 meters above sea level on the hill side of the Sajama volcano in Bolivia.
In Chile, there are only two species of Polylepis that develop naturally: Polylepis rugulosa and Polylepis tarapacana. The first one grows exclusively on the Andean grounds of the Arica y Parinacota Region in lower altitudes than Polylepis tarapacana, around 3500 meters above sea level. Polylepis tarapacana appears around 4000 to 4800 meters above sea level. This species is in risk of extinction.
In the places where Quenoa grows it is the only tree that can be found, but sometimes it shares ground with yareta and other high-altitude species. Quenoa can grow in a variety of soils, but it prefers sandy and stony grounds in sunny places.

BOFEDAL (4000 m.a.s.l)

They are high altitude wetlands, located 4000 m.a.s.l. Inside these wetlands there are streams of water. For mating season, seasonal species coming from the north visit these places in search of food and water. Camelids eat mainly grass that grows from these wetlands.

YARETA Azorella compacta Phil (4000 to 4800 m.a.s.l)
It is a perennial tussock herb that appears in high plateau, usually in slopes and stony grounds. In Chile it can be found from the region of Arica y Tarapaca to the Antofagasta region. It has a compact and woody structure and it is used to make tea, perfuming smoke and medicine. This species is in risk of extinction.

PAJA BRAVA Festuca orthophylla (3200 to 4860 m.a.s.l)
It is a dense tussock herb; it appears on high places usually in the dry Andean plateaus and it can grow from 18cm to 70cm in height. In Chile, it can be found from the region of Arica y Parinacota to the Coquimbo region. It is used for the roofs of houses and it’s the main feeding source to llamas during winter.
TOLA Parastrephia quadrangularis (3000 to 4000 m.a.s.l)
It is a type of bush that grow from 50cm to 120cm of height. The endemic species of parastrephia in the region of Arica y Parinacota develops in the pre-mountain range and mountain range, where it is consumed as food and used for medicinal purposes.
LUPINU Lupinus oreophilus (3000 to 3600 m.a.s.l)
It is a perennial herb that appears in flat or steep places on the pre-mountain range; it can grow from 20cm to 80cm in height. It is very abundant during the raining periods and it decreases during the course of the year. In Chile, it can be found from the region of Arica y Parinacota to the Antofagasta region. Its flowers are used to decorate shepherd hats, churches and graveyards. It is not a good feeding source, but it is used for llamas and sheeps.

CANDELABRO CACTUS. Browningia candelaris (2000 to 3000 m.a.s.l)

It is a cactus that appears in mountainous places, usually in rocky soil. It can grow from 3 to 5 m in height, and it can grow up to 50 branches and a type of berry. In Chile, it can be found from the region of Arica y Parinacota to the Tarapaca region. Its wood is used for construction and handicraft. This species is in risk of extinction