As if they were works of art, every year, with the arrival of autumn, the landscapes of Chile get colored in shades of red, yellow, and orange. These magical transformations of nature marked by the Autumn Equinox give us the perfect subject for photography.
But before we start our journey to some of the most beautiful places for taking pictures at this time of year, let’s learn a little more about the meaning of the Autumn Equinox.
The word equinox derives from the Latin words “equi” and “nox”, meaning “equal night.” It refers to the fact that the sun’s rays fall at a 90-degree angle to the equator, making the day and the night last almost exactly 12 hours each.
Many agree that this is the most photogenic season of the year because of its distinctive traits, and we couldn’t agree more. Not only does the new season bring about changes in the environment, the climate, and the landscapes, but it also makes any place in this country look even more beautiful.
In Chile, this phenomenon will occur Saturday, March 20, as the sun begins to get lower and lower and the nights get longer and longer.
This date marks the beginning of the season, it is responsible for “painting” nature with different colors and also for providing the ideal conditions for wonderful organisms such as mushrooms to grow. It also marks the moment when some migratory birds embark on a long journey to other latitudes. Whether you are a professional photographer or not, this is the perfect scenario to take incredible pictures.
From here on, we will start traveling around Chile and show you the places that stand out during the fall for one reason or another and that we believe are magnificent for taking pictures.
The fungi kingdom as a photographic attraction
Photo:[ @martini.fotografía ]
Mushrooms and fungi are a fascinating element to photograph in nature, even more so if we consider the enormous variety in Chile. Grab your camera and capture them during the autumn equinox.
Chile is an incredibly diverse country. The autumn equinox is the best time to observe, collect and photograph nature’s rich biodiversity, especially regarding the fungal kingdom. Why? Because of the climatic conditions. For most species of fungi to grow, certain conditions such as the right temperature, not too hot and not too cold, high humidity, and a moderate amount of light, are necessary.
So, you are probably wondering where you can go photograph these peculiar organisms in Chile. Well, just 113 km (70 mi) from Santiago towards the coast, you’ll find La Campana National Park. Its location and climate have given way to the development of an important number of native and endemic plant species.
This park is perfect for taking thousands of photos during the autumn equinox! Within its 800 hectares, you can be sure to find a wide variety of mushrooms of different shapes, textures, and colors.
Photo:[ @ macaaltayo]
Santiago oak is a tree that is endemic to the mountains of central Chile. During the fall, it puts on a great show by covering the hillsides with its red leaves and because of an edible type of fungus that grows on its bark.
That’s right! You have to keep in mind that shooting mushrooms is not just about having a good camera or a lens. It is about having patience, a tripod, and most importantly, a good eye for capturing unique shots of this peculiar organism. We dare you to try!
The long journey of migratory birds
Now we’re headed south, specifically to the island of Chiloé. This is where you will find the Pullao wetland; considered by many to be the best place on the island for birdwatching.
Although you can visit Chiloé at any time of the year- and it’s always a fascinating place- the autumn equinox is an exceptional time of the year because thousands of birds arrive to the archipelago for several reasons and from different parts of the world.
Photo:[ @Revista Mercedes-Benz Uruguay]
If you love nature, and especially birds, you must visit the Pullao wetland in autumn. It’s when you can also take beautiful pictures of migratory birds that choose this place to rest before flying thousands of miles north.
One such bird is the Hudsonian Godwit (Zarapito de Pico Recto), the most numerous migratory bird in the Pullao wetland. It starts its journey to North America in autumn, traveling over 9,000 km (5,592 mi) without stopping for feed or rest. Isn’t that unbelievable?
No matter which species of bird you are looking to capture with your camera, we recommend taking good equipment, studying the place well, and arming yourself with patience. Photographing birds in flight is not an easy task, but you will feel so satisfied and will surely love the result when you manage to do it.
Photo:[ @chiloe_isla ]
Nature dresses up for the occasion
And to close with a flourish, let’s head to the extreme south of Chile, which is particularly impressive during autumn because of the colorful landscapes at this time of the year. Take note, our recommendation is that you visit southern Chile in April when autumn is at its best.
We can name hundreds of beautiful places in the south, but Tierra del Fuego is the one place you will fall in love with. The name, meaning Land of Fire in English, perfectly suits the season when the extensive pampas turn yellow, contrasting with the intense red of the lenga trees.
Photo: [ @Claudio F. Vidal].
Imagine being at this destination, surrounded by nature in its maximum splendor, all the trees around you dressed in the most gorgeous oranges, reds, and ochers.
Remember that the Autumn Equinox brings with it a misty and foggy atmosphere that can give your photographs a sense of mystery. Many animals prepare to hibernate. Before they do, they regally come out and show themselves before it’s time to go to sleep.
You will be amazed at how beautiful Mother Nature is during the autumn when she dresses up just for you. So be patient, enjoy the season in Chile and capture as many photos as you can. That way, every time you look at the photographs, you’ll be able to travel back again.
Photo:[ @luca.armandi ]
How much did you like this tour? There is something truly extraordinary about every season, but there is no denying that the Autumn Equinox enchants all our senses and makes us want to have a professional camera to make the most of it. But if you don’t have one, it doesn’t matter! We are sure that even with a cell phone camera, you will be able to take amazing pictures of the landscape and the rich diversity of flora and fauna in Chile.