The IX Araucania Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions and comprises two provinces: Malleco in the north and Cautín in the south. Its capital is Temuco, other important cities include Angol and Villarrica. Virgin forests, featuring coigüe, rauli, and tepa, as well as bay and cypress trees, criss-cross the region in all directions.
The majestic araucaria, or monkey puzzle tree, also known locally as pehuen, towers above the other trees; its fruit the pinon, a type of pine nut is still a staple food for the indigenous Pehuenches.A large part of this natural wealth is protected in various National Parks (Nahuelbuta, Tolhuaca. Conguillío, Villarrica, and Huerquehue), or National Reserves (Malalcahuello, Las Nalcas, and Alto Biobio).