A new year and a new zero waste challenge for Amity Tours

trash can hand blue grey container

As 2019 is coming to an end, Amity Tours has taken a new challenge towards becoming a zero waste company. These are the first steps we are currently taking.

 The current problem

Our current lifestyle generates each year billions of tons of waste. Most of them end up causing natural damages for our fragile environment. Likewise in Chile, more than 40% of all the generated waste ends up in landfills without a minimum of sanitary requirements. This means that the groundwater and the river streams are affected directly, as well as the Pacific Ocean.

In the travel industry, this issue is affecting us on a daily basis. As an inbound tour operator established in Chile since 2003, Amity Tours organizes active trips in wilderness and protected areas, where responsible practices are fundamental. Since the beginning of our operations, sustainability has always been an important aspect of our travel experiences. As of today, it has become a number one priority for us.

Our first steps

As a company offering responsible tourism in Chile for 16 years, we decided to take a new challenge towards becoming a zero waste company. As a result, we are implementing the following measures:

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Practice

  • Reduce: In order to prevent the production of waste, we have partnered up with local & organic food suppliers. This allows us to buy in bulk. Thus, it avoids the use of disposable plastics but also fuel the local economy.

 

granola bar snack
@sweet_bee_chile
green leaves salad organic
@laguertinadepichares
beer growler bottle
@cervezatropera

 

 

 

 

 

  • Reuse: We donate all of the remaining reusable water bottles after each operations’ season. In 2019, approximately 450 were donated to local sport clubs (Bagualitos Park, & TeamPucón). For 2020, we plan to give away another 500 more. In the future, we will work with our partners on finding a sustainable solution regarding this issue. Moreover, we highly encourage our clients to bring their own water bottles. This will reduce the amount of plastic generated by our tours.

team pucon beach water bottle

  • Recycle: At our main office we did install a recycling point where we separate Plastics, Cans, Glasses, Paper/Carton and of course all the organic waste generated at our office, the cabins and part of the waste generated during the trips. During the trips our guides and drivers set up an dismountable recycling point where clients and staff can dispose the residues to be collected at the hotels visiting during the voyage. In addition, we separate and collect the organic matter to be transform into compost. This compost will be used for our vegetables garden located at Amity Headquarter.
recycling bin yellow green plastic glass
Recycling Point Amity Tours

Coming soon

Even though our efforts towards becoming a zero waste company are already making a change, we still have a long road ahead. For 2020, we plan to measure all the waste and recycled materials generated during our tours from November 2019 to April 2020. Based on the collected information, we´ll make sure to reduce our waste production for the 2020/21 season.

In addition, we will keep integrating and handpicking new local suppliers that also apply sustainable practices in order to eliminate waste directly at the source. Moreover, we are integrating our selection of hotels / restaurants in our efforts, as they will receive part of the generated waste during the tours.

Last but not least, our friendly team will be the main protagonist in our challenge of becoming a zero-waste company. Indeed, they will share and implement on the field the company’s efforts, and hopefully create a huge impact on our guests’ minds.

Soon, we’ll keep you posted on the upcoming zero-waste solutions and share with you our progress.

Join us on this great adventure by sharing this article with your travel buddies. Let’s go for a greener travel industry!

hands endemic tree araucaria

 

 

 

Top reasons to cycle the backroads of Chile’s Lake & Volcano District

Here’s a list of the top reasons to cycle the backroads of Southern’s Chile is a must-do if you are a cycling enthusiast.

Amity Tours, as a company, has been specializing since 2003 in active trips such as hiking, trekking, skiing and cycling. Our main ground operations are based in Pucón, located in the Lake and Volcano District.

Our main motivation to offer adventure experiences in this region is quite obvious. Along with being the best place for outdoor activities, we truly believe it is one the most beautiful regions of Chile. If not the most beautiful.

Below you will find out the top reasons why you should definitely come and cycle in Chile with Amity Tours.

lake volcano road cycling
Scenic 7-Lake Route Ride – Lake & Volcano District, Chile

Discover the top regions in Chile

Lake and Volcano District (Southern Chile). From Temuco to Puerto Varas, we take you to cycle the most scenic routes of the Region. Your cycling adventure will be filled with amazing landscapes composed of lakes, active volcanoes and the Andes mountain range. Moreover, you will observe some incredible endemic fauna and flora.

Cycling Chile’s southern backroads is the best way to explore this fascinating part of the country. In other words, you will pedal alongside the Andes mountains, green rolling meadows and through national parks. In addition, you will visit local ethnic villages and relax in soothing natural hot springs.

The best ? You will be fully assisted by our team of professional and passionate guides/drivers.

During our bike programs, you’ll get to explore the following highlights of the region:

  • Kutralkura, Chile’s first Geopark in the Malalcahuello National Reserve, always with the Lonquimay Volcano watching you
  • The Andes Mountain Range at the Alto Biobio National Reserve
  • Pucón, Capital of adventure tourism and Villarrica Volcano, Chile’s most active volcano
  • The 7-Lake Route, Chile’s most scenic route
  • Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve
  • Puerto Varas with the Llanquihue Lake, Osorno Volcano and the Petrohue Waterfalls

The Atacama Desert (Northern Chile). Also known as the driest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert is an excellent place for some bike adventures. Actually, this is the only place in the world where you will get the impression to ride on Mars Planet.

We will take you off the beaten path, into areas not accessible by vehicle and trodden only by local natives and their llama or goat herds. You will encounter small villages, geysers, altiplanic lagoons, valleys, archaeological ruins, Andean wildlife along with the most spectacular desert and mountain landscapes. And of course, always crowned by high dormant volcanoes.

lagoon desert volcano person camera
Cejar Lagoon, San Pedro de Atacama

Professional service and safety measures

In Amity, we aim at providing the best travel experiences in Chile. This means for us that this comes with an excellent service, comfortable hotels and great local food, beer and wine. Secondly, you will really find true a friend in our experienced and professional guides/drivers. They will show the best of Chile. Along with them, you’ll get to meet local people at every destination. Finally, they’ll make sure you discover the best hidden places that will take your breath away.

As a responsible travel company, we make sure our bikers get the best experience possible. This is why we’ll make sure that safety always comes first. Here are our most important measures taken during our trips:

  • Our professional guides and drivers always have with them radio. Communication is the main element in our staff.
  • We use support vehicle to carry all the food, water, snacks and all the spare equipment needed for such activity. For those who can no longer ride, our vehicle is here to pick them up
  • The helmet while riding is mandatory
  • Van stops every 10 or 20 kilometers depending on group pace. Just to make sure everyone’s ok and enjoying the ride
  • For every 9 riders, 1 professional guide is in charge for support
  • At the beginning of our tours, we make sure a technical speech is given regarding road rules
vehicle bikes
Safety and road assistance during bike rides

Mountain Bike & Road Cycling

Being the longest country in the world, Chile has a lot of biking trails to offer. You’ll absolutely get fascinated by the diversity of landscapes at the wheels of your bike.

In the Atacama Desert, we recently have developed our top mountain bike experience. As a result, this trip will allow you to fully appreciate the vastness of the driest desert in the world. You will ride on are a mix of asphalt and dirt roads, and mainly on a flat terrain. For such a trip, you don’t need to be a bike expert since the routes are very easy to ride on.

On the other hand, the Lake and Volcano District offers even more biking trails. If you are an adrenaline seeker, or an avid challenger, you will definitely be amazed by our tours.

Our 7-Day Mountain Bike Tour was especially designed by our top cyclist guide. He is the former national champion of  XC MTB in 2004 and winner of silver medal of the Pan-American Games of XC MTB. This program will take you to the best bike trails of the Lake and Volcano District, off the beaten path. You will absolutely love riding among endemic tree forests or descending the Villarrica Volcano.

Villarrica National Reserve, Lake & Volcano District
Photo Credit: Jonathan Jünge

If you’re are more into paved road, don’t worry. Our famous road cycling program will make you ride the most beautiful and scenic roads of Chile. Designed for intermediate and advanced road cyclists, this experience will surely challenge you. From the Malalcahuello National Reserve, through Pucón to Puerto Varas, this journey will never cease to surprise you.

Our last ride, in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, gives you the opportunity to push your limits. Indeed, you will get to climb the Osorno Volcano and one of the steepest climb of South America. If not Europe.

Want to mix hiking and biking ? Read more about our special travel experience!

Chilean Culture and Food

lake volcano table lunch picnic
Picnic with a view at Panguipulli Lake – Scenic Road

Not everything is about physical activity, adventure and amazing landscapes. We also make sure our bikers’ belly gets well treated with our delicious Chilean cuisine.

Food in Chile is great and healthy. Likewise, it is one of the highlights of our bike tours. Great wine, fresh and flavorsome produce, seafood and all kinds of meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb and wild boar) will be part of the daily menus. We are prepared to cater vegetarian, pescaterian, gluten free and dairy free food. However, if you are vegan or eat kosher food you may have to be flexible because in this part of Chile we have very limited vegan options and kosher food is not available.

And to make it memorable, you will experience an indigenous encounter with the Mapuche community. You will have the privilege to share a typical dinner, drink some Maté and learn more about their ancient culture.

Sharing maté during a special encounter with the Mapuche indigenous community.

During the bike rides, you will have all the necessary snacks to refill energy. For lunch, you will either get to eat the typical Chilean food in our selected restaurants. Or get to have a buffet picnic, prepared with love by our drivers on the perfect scenic spot.

In Southern Chile, tap water is not only safe, it tastes great too!

Check out our top 8-Day Road Cycling Tour in Chile’s Lake & Volcano District, group departure dates available until April 2020.

 

Climbing the Villarrica, Chile’s most active volcano

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to climb Chile’s most active volcano ? Find out why this experience is truly unique and a must-do excursion if you plan to visit Pucón!

Without a doubt, you’ve definitely heard about the incredible diversity of landscape inside the Chilean territory. If you like going on adventures in nature, Chile should appear on your next travel destinations list. Thirsty for thrilling and unique excursions ? Then climbing Villarrica Volcano, Chile’s most active volcano, is for you!

Description and last eruption

The Villarrica Volcano (2.847 meters), or Ruka Pillañ in Mapundungún, is a Chilean stratovolcano located in the southern section of the Western Andes. It is situated at the limit of the Araucanía Region and Los Ríos Region, between the Villarrica and Calafquén Lakes. The slopes of the volcano are divided between the cities of Villarrica (North-West), Pucón (North-East) and Coñaripe (South). Finally, it is one of the most beautiful volcanoes of Chile because of it is perfectly cone-shaped, in addition to have a snow-coated summit all year long.

Currently, it is administered by the CONAF (Corporación Nacional Forestal or National Forest Corporation). The volcano and surroundings form the Villarrica National Park which is a protected area.

With an open crater of 200-meter of diameter, where at the bottom lies a permanent magma lake with a varying depth of 50 and 100 meters. The level of the lava constantly goes up or down. This lake always presents an intense fumerole, frequently accompanied by a weak eruptive activity.

Since 1558, there have been at least 90 volcanic eruptions registered. The most recent happened on March 3rd of 2015 at about 3:00 am. The most energetic phase lasted approximately 55 minutes, characterized by an eruptive column that reached between six and eight kilometers in height. Vertically from the crater,  the emission of lava reached up to 1,5-kilometer high.

Following the eruption, the Villarrica National Park around the volcano was closed until the end of the year. As of today, the ski center opens for the ski season every year, along with the organized excursions to the top.

The Villarrica Volcano or Ruka Pillañ in the Mapuche’s cosmovision

In the Mapuche’s native language, Mapudungun, the Villarrica Volcano is named Ruka Pillañ, which means “House of the ancients’ spirits”. For them, the volcano is inhabited by the main spirit of nature who owns it. It is a kind of spirit from of the hills and volcanoes. Alongside this tutelary presence, there would inhabit some other minor spirits in relation to nature, but extremely powerful.

In other words, the Villarrica and its inhabitants take a very special place in the Mapuche’s cosmovision. The simbolism is clear: asociated with the good, in opposition with the Llaima volcano that they asociate with the bad. As a result, the propitious Rucapillan inspires beneficial dreams and “good weather”, whereas the Llaima transmits bad omens.

Finally, the Villarrica is symbolically related to a group of other elements associated with the positive. For example the colors violet and green, the Moon, the stars in general, the South and the East.

The Mapuche are the people of the land

Ascent to Villarrica Volcano’s open crater

Open crater with a view

If your next travel destination is Chile, you definitely have to add the visit of Pucón and the excursion to the top of Villarrica Volcano. Not only the amazing 360° panoramic view will blow your mind, but you will feel the unique sensation to step on Chile’s most active volcano.

The hike itself is very weather-dependent since optimal conditions are required in order to begin the hike. A clear sky and a minimum wind are the required conditions for the hike to be safe. During this excursion, 3 professional mountain guides and assistant will accompany the ascent, along with a mountain gear. This includes: gloves, helmets, snow pants, mountain boots, crampons, ice axe, and mountain bag.

The ascent is available almost all year long, but the level of difficulty mostly depends on the season. In summer, the hike is easier for the snow only covers the crater, thus making the climb accessible to every hiker. In winter, the snow fully covers the Villarrica volcano and the hike gets more difficult. It usually requires a good physical health since hiking on snow during 6 hours can be exhausting, but definitely worth the effort.

Excursion

Usually in Amity, we set the departing hour early in the morning. At 6:30, we gather with our mountain guides and leave towards the ski center. Once arrived, we put on our mountain gear, and then the ascent begins.

In summer, we use the ski lift, in order to gain approximately 1 hour of walking. Then begins the hike, which lasts roughly 4 to 6 hours depending on the group’s walking pace. All along the climb, the view is mindblowing as the summit gets closer. Before reaching the open crater, we’ll take a pause to enjoy the view, relax, and get to refill energy with a picnic lunch.

At around 1 pm, we reach the summit which is the ultimate reward of the hike. A stunning over 8 different volcanoes, 6 lakes and the valley surrounding the volcanoawaits you. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to observe some lava flows depending on the magma lake’s level.

After then, we begin the descent. It basically consists in sliding down the volcano. In winter, enjoy skiing down the slopes of the volcano which is truly an incredible to live for every ski lover!

Open crater with fumerole

If you’re interested in climbing the Villarrica volcano, we highly suggest you to take a look at our hiking tours.

Dont hesitate to contact us if you want a tailor-made trip in the Lake and Volcano including the climbing of Chile’s most active volcano!

If you like this post, share it with your friends and start planning your next holiday filled with adventure!

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8 places to visit in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile

The driest desert in the world offers a great variety of places to visit. With beautiful landscape composed of salt flats, natural hot springs and geysers, the Atacama Desert has a lot to explore.

This is why we wrote this interesting articles of the the 8 places to visit in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile

Geysers del Tatio

The Tatio is a geothermal field located in the Andes mountain range at 4280 meters above sea level. At the foothills of Tatio and Linzor volcanoes, 90 kilometers from San Pedro, it is the world’s third largest geyser field.

It was named El Tatio after “Tata iu”, which means in Quechua “The Crying Elder”. It is a reference to the geysers and the mountain shaped like a lying man. The site has approximately 80 active geysers, making it South America largest geyser field. It is also surrounded by hills reaching up to 5900 meters above sea level.

In the early morning hours, the fumaroles activity takes its toll due to the craters’ high temperatures. They can reach up to 85°C. They erupt with pressure from the earth with heights ranging from 7 to 8 meters. The air temperature fluctuates between 15°C / 22.5°F during the day and 2°C / 3°F at night.

During the ride, it is also possible to observe local fauna and flora. You will be able to spot vicuñas, llamas, ñandues and vizcacha. Giant cactus, llaretas and coirón will be part of the flora.

The highlight of the geyser field is the thermal pool in which you can bath. You’ll absolutely be amazed by the snow-covered mountain peaks around while relaxing in the water filled with minerals.

With its spectacular scenery, the Tatio geysers are clearly Chile’s one of the most impressive attractions. Check out our 5-Day Hiking Tour in the Atacama Desert

Laguna Chaxa (Chaxa Lagoon)

The Chaxa Lagoon, central point of the Atacama Desert, is located 7 kilometers from Toconao. And less than 50 kilometers from San Pedro. It belongs to Los Flamencos National Reserve, and is under the CONAF protection system of the wilderness areas. It is probably one of the best places in Chile for flamingos sighting.

The Chaxa Lagoon is an altiplanic lagoon and has no great depths. It allows the proliferation of microscopic life forms and micro invertebrates. They constitute the basic food of the flamingos and other birds living in Chaxa. You can observe up to 3 different types of flamingos: Parina Grande,  Parina Chica and Flamenco Chileno.

Because of the intense heat, difference of temperatures between day and night and the high quantity of salt, there is not much flora and fauna surrounding Chaxa. Only some herbs and grass at the edge of the lagoon.

The reason why the Chaxa Lagoon is highly protected is because of its birdlife existence. The unit protecting the area aims at the conservation of the local biodiversity and the protection the birds’ food chain habitat.

Enjoy a soothing bath at the Tatio Geysers

Lagunas Altiplánicas (Highlands Lagoons)

The Highlands Lagoons, or Lagunas Altiplanicas, are located 115 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama. The ride goes through Toconao and Socaire small towns and runs along the side of the Atacama Salt Flat.

Intense blue waters and and whites shores welcoming great variety of birds, the Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons are a gift from nature. They are located inside the Los Flamencos National Reserve, at over 4000 meters above sea level. Both lagoons constitute a magical contrast with the surroundings snow-capped hills.

Mixture of desert, mountain and ice, it is the perfect place for bird watching and photography activities.  The geological formations of the hills and terrains around demonstrate Ojos del Salar volcano eruption activity of the past years. The last eruption ocurred in 1956.

lagoon desert hill person
Highlands Lagoon, Atacama Desert

Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)

It is one the most visited places around San Pedro de Atacama. It is located 17 kilometers / 25 miles from the village, in the heart of the Salt Mountain Range. The area, mainly composed of rock and sand formations, is mainly famous for its lunar aspect.

From the great dunes, you can observe the astonishing and surprising surroundings. During full moon, the valley also features an indescribable aspect filled with majesty and silence, coldly beautiful and imposing.

It is possible to visit the “Tres Marías” rock formations, and the “Duna Mayor” offers an excellent spot to observe the sunset. You can also hike this natural wonder through the diverse trails available.

Valle de la Muerte (Death Valley)

Also known as Mars Valley, the Death Valley is in the middle of the Salt Mountain Range and located 2 kilometers / 3 miles from San Pedro.

In the past, those who dared to cross the Valley would die trying. Reason is why we call it Death Valley.  Moreover, this is the perfect example showing how dry can be the Atacama Desert. Indeed, there’s any plant or insect living in the area.

The Death Valley is categorized at the most inhospitable place of the world. However, it is the perfect spot if you want to hike or practice sandboard.

Laguna Cejar & Tebinquinche

Cejar Lagoon

The Cejar Lagoon is located 5 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama, in the Atacama Salt Flat. The Lagoon is known for the high amount of salt condensed. You can enjoy swimming and floating very easily. Also, the beautiful turquoise color will amaze your eyes.

The landscape is one the most stunning of the Atacama Desert. Indeed, it is a mix of the blue color of the sky, the white color of the salt, the turquoise color of the water and finally the pink color of the flamingos.

It is highly recommend the visit of Cejar Lagoon during the afternoon. And end up visiting Tebinquinche Lagoon for an incredible sunset filled with stunning colors.

Star-gazing Experience

stars laser sky night
Astronomic Tour, Atacama Desert

San Pedro de Atacama is a privileged place for star-gazing. In fact, the Atacama Desert has very little luminous pollution and humidity in the air.

The experience usually begins with a basic introduction speech of astronomy, followed by an open terrain guided tour. There you’ll be able to observe objects such as the craters of the moon, the rings of Saturn, the galaxies and others wonders of the universe.

During full moons and the Bolivian Winter (January and February), this activity is very compromised because it relies 100% of the weather conditions. The clouded skies and the light of the moon don’t allow observing properly the stars.

Star-gazing is usually available from end of March to November.

Valle del Arcoiris (Rainbow Valley)

hills desert colors people
Colored Hills of the Rainbow Valley, Atacama Desert

The Rainbow Valley, or Valle del Arcoiris, is an area composed of various hills of green, black, purple and blue color. It is located 90 kilometers / 135 miles from San Pedro de Atacama, 3.500 meters above sea level. The area belongs to the Domeyko mountain range.

While there, you can also visit the Yerbas Buenas sector. It is an archeological site with ancient rupestrian art. In additional, you can also observe very important petroglyphs of the region.


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The best hikes in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

Hiking Villarrica National Park
Pichillancahue Glacier Trail – Villarrica National Park

Discover the best hikes in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District.

If you are an avid hiker, nature lover or fellow traveler looking for some amazing landscapes, here’s a list of the best hikes you can find in Chile’s Lake & Volcano District!

Kutralkura Geopark – Christmas Crater Hike

The Christmas Crater is a pyroclastic cone of the Lonquimay Volcano located in the Malalcahuello National Reserve. It was formed during the volcanic eruption on December 25 of 1988, and reaches a height of 190 meters from its base.

The hike to the crater is not technical; but you’ll do require mountain gear to climb it in winter as it is covered in snow. However, in summer (from November to Early April), the trekking doesn’t require any gear.

Regarding difficulty, it is relatively short, and takes approx. 2 to 4 hours back and forth depending on your walking pace. It is ideal for families with young children, or people with not a lot of hiking experience.

From the top, you can enjoy a panoramic view over the foothills of the Lonquimay Volcano. In addition to the lava field, extended araucarias tree forests, along with view over the Tolhuaca and the Callaqui Volcanoes.

Kutralküra Geopark & Lonquimay Volcano – Lake and Volcano District

Coloradito trail hike – Malalcahuello National Reserve

The Coloradito trail, located at the Malalcahuello National Reserve, is a place shaped by tectonic and volcanic processes with an interesting and endemic fauna and flora.

This trail is a good alternative featuring typical landscapes of the Andes mountain range under the watchful eye of the Lonquimay Volcano.

All along the way, you’ll pass through forests of endemic trees such as the araucaria and the lenga tree surrounded by the ground vegetation with a predominance of michay, quila and viola trees.

Called “El Coloradito”, it is unique access to the Lonquimay Volcano that ending near the Coloradito River. The landscape is dominated by the presence of the Lonquimay Volcano and the Sierra del Colorado. During the hike, you can observe the Llaima Volcano and the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Cerro Coloradito Trail – Malalcahuello National Reserve

Sierra Nevada hike – National Park Conguillio

The Conguillio National Park is one of the most outstandings places Chile has to offer. With the stunning Llaima Volcano, Sierra Nevada, lagoons everywhere, araucarias tree forests, endemic fauna and flora, it is a must-see for everyone who wants to visit Southern Chile.

The national park has a wide variety of trails, but without a doubt, the Sierra Nevada hike is the most accessible and offers a wider range of landscape, enough to get a good idea of the natural richness existing in the region.

The Sierra Nevada trail begins from one of the most beautiful beaches of the Conguillio Lake, passes through a spectacular endemic forest with several viewpoints facing the lake along the way. After 3 hours, the trail reaches a clear and an out-of-the woods viewpoint facing the Llaima Volcano and the Conguillío Lake.

The hike is not technical, but does require a minimum of good health as the path can sometimes be steep. In winter, the trail is covered in snow, requiring mountain gear and good hiking experience.

This 10-kilometer long hike is recommended for active people.

Sierra Nevada Trail – Conguillio National Park

Andean Lagoons hike – Villarrica National Park

Close to the Argentinean Border, and located at the foothills of the Lanín Volcano, this trail called “Lagos Andinos” is a must-see of the Villarrica National Park. During this amazing hike, suited for families, you’ll visit 3 lagoons in a large endemic forest with Coihues and Araucarias trees and end up in a volcanic landscape dominated by the majestic Lanín Volcano.

The hike begins at the shores of the Quillelhue Lagoon at 1200 meters above sea level. After 40 minutes of hiking on a flat terrain, you’ll arrive at the Huinfiuca Lagoon, the perfect spot for picnic.

Andean Lagoons Trail – Villarrica National Park

While you visit the park you will witness how the Lanin volcano has permanently shaped the landscape of the area with its eruptions and you’ll have the fantastic opportunity to see and walk on the lava flows that once came from the heart of the earth. You’ll also visit the pristine lakes Quillelhue, Escondido (Hidden) and Huinfiuca with its clear waters that reflect stunning colors.

That is to say, the hike is not technical and only requires a minimum of good health.

Huerquehue National Park

The Huerquehue National Park is located at the foothills of the Andes, 35 km (22 miles) from Pucón. The park covers 12.500 hectares (30.890 acres) with various lagoons, dense vegetation and gigantic trees that are the habitat of several endemic birds.

The hike, called “Sendero Los Lagos” starts easy but after a short distance the trail becomes rougher and sometimes steeper, but is still considered a relatively easy hiking level.

On your way to the lakes, you’ll get to see the Nido de Aguilas (nest of eagles) waterfall before the terrain gets steeper, surrounded by gigantic coigües (Nothofagus dombeyi) and mañíos (Podocarpus nubigena).

The first lookout point is where you’ll get to appreciate the views of Villarrica Volcano (2.847 m / 9.349 feet) and Tinquilco Lake which are absolutely stunning; here you’ll find great photo opportunities as well as chance to reenergize with a snack.

If you’re lucky, you can spot some birds that live in the forests of Nothofagus, such as chucao tapaculo (Selorchilis rubecula), black-throated huet-huet (Pteroptochos tarnii) and the magellan woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus) among others.

Huerquehue national park
Los Lagos Trail, Huerquehue NP

Once you pass the Trufulco falls, the hike gets a little more demanding. Once you’re over 1000 meters above sea level, you’ll see the first araucarias trees. You’ll then walk through a mixed forest before arriving at the first lake called Lago Chico. It is characterized by its clear waters reflecting the image of hundreds of araucarias, and the snow-capped peaks around.

After visiting the different lakes, you can then start to turn around and walk back to the entrance of the park.

El Cañi Reserve

El Cañi Reserve is located approximately 21 kilometers from Pucón. This 500-acre private reserve committed to the preservation of the Araucaria Araucania tree species.

This hike, although not technical, does require an overall good physical condition since you’d be constantly walking on a steep terrain until arrival to the final viewpoint. It starts with approx. 1,5 kilometer of flat terrain, and from there you’ll start the stiff climb for 3 more kilometers.

You’ll then arrive at Aserradero Refuge (1000 meters above sea level). It is the entrance of the reserve, with the first panoramic views over the valley and flora. You’ll pass through the Las Totoras Lagoon, Negra Lagoon surrounded by the thousands-year-old Araucaria, Lengua and Coihue trees.

The final path climbs until you arrive at the final viewpoint, your reward. You’ll have a 360° panoramic view over 4 volcanoes, two lakes and the valleys around the Reserve.

Moreover, you can walk around a small path that starts at Laguna negra and takes you to 6 mores lagoons.

El Cañi Sanctuary

Villarrica Volcano Ascent

Without a doubt, the Villarrica Volcano (2800 meters) ascent is a must-do activities if you plan to visit Pucón. As of today, it is one of the most active volcanoes in South America. The climb to its open crater is definitely a one of a lifetime experience.

The adventure starts at approx. 6 am, when the van takes you to the ski center located at 1.300 meters. After putting on your mountain gear, the hike begins with 2 options: use the chairlift, or start walking immediately.

Depending on your walking pace, it will take you approx. 4-5 hours to reach the open crater. From there, you’ll get to have an incredible 360° panoramic view over volcanoes, lakes, mountains and valleys around.

The descent consists in sliding down until the base of the Volcano (approx. 2 hours) where the van awaits you before taking you back to Pucón for a well-deserved rest.

Villarrica Volcano Climb

Pichillancahue Glacier hike – Villarrica National Park

The hike to Pichillancahue is not very famous but will surely take your breath away for its landscape. This is a hike suitable for everyone who seeks connection with nature, from children to elder adults.

This Glacier is located at the Villarrica National Park, Coñaripe side. Youll get to see several majestic snow-capped volcanoes such as Quetrupillan and Rucapillan. The vegetation changes from raulí and hualle forests to araucarias as you ascend to Chinay. The highest point of the day at 1.250 meters / 4.101 feet altitude.

After approximately 1.5 hour of hiking, you’ll arrive at the Pichillancahue Glacier trail. A good spot to relax and eat a good snack to refill energy if needed. The rest of the trail (3.5 hours round trip) leads to a phenomenal glacier covered by black volcanic ashes. Once again, you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning views of four volcanoes.

This hike is not technical and does not require any mountain gear. The best hiking time is during summer season.

Pichillancahue Glacier – Villarrica National Park

Visiting Chile’s Lake and Volcano District is definitely a must-do for every hiker & nature lovers.

Take a look at our hiking experiences in Southern Chile for some wild adventures!

The National Parks of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

The Lake and Volcano District is located in Southern Chile covering the area from Temuco to Puerto Varas. Considered a true paradise on earth for every hiking lover. you will fall in love with the incredible national parks. If you are a true lover, you will fall in love with the hiking surrounded by endemic loval & flaura.

As a result, we made you a list of the best national parks to add on your travel bucket list.

Nahuelbuta

Founded in 1941, the Nahuelbuta national park is located on the highest zone of the Nahuelbuta Cordillera, in the Araucanía Region. One of the last strongholds where lives the Araucaría Araucana, it has beautiful hiking trails and natural lookout points.

The park covers an area of 6832 hectares, characterized by big forests of araucaria trees, most of them are thousands-year-old. Actually, it was founded in order to protect the Araucaria tree that is native of the Andes mountain range.

You can hike 2 main walking trails in the Nahuelbuta national park. The first one is Piedra El Águila located 1.460 meters above sea level. There, you can find a lookout point with a spectacular view over the Andes mountain range, the valley, the Pacific coast and ocean. Second, the Cerro Anay (1.450 m.s.n.m) offers a 5-kilometer hiking trail with stunning panoramic views over Los Nevados de Chillán, and the Villarrica volcano.

Lookout point in Nahuebuta national park

Conguillío

The Conguillío national park is located 148 kilometers north-east of the city of Temuco. It covers a total area of 60.832 hectares. In Mapundungun, it’s “ko-nquillio” which means “pine nuts in the water”. The name is based upon the abundance of the araucaria trees and the surrounding lakes shaping the landscape of the park.

With an average of 100.000 visitors per year, the Conguillio national park receives an average of 100.000 visitors a year, making it one of the most visited parks of Chile. Recently, it was designated by the BBC as one of the last places on earth protecting the landscape where once lived the dinosaurs.

The famous hiking trail is the Sierra Nevada with amazing views over the Conguillío Lake, Blanco River and the Llaima Volcano. With an area covering approximately 60.883 hectares, the park is also part of the Araucaria Biosphere Reserve.

Villarrica National Reserve

Located in The Andes mountain range, the Villarrica national park is a protected wildlife area. The impressive volcanoes, stunning endemic tree forests, rivers and lake are the top components of the landscape. The Villarrica Volcano (2.847 m.) is the main touristic attraction.

In addition, you can also appreciate the Quetrupillan (2.382 m.) and Lanín (3.776 m.) volcanoes. During winter, it is possible to ski the Villarrica volcano. The ascent to the top is also available all year long, depending on the weather conditions. At the foothills, there are various hiking trails leading to amazing lookout points.

Finally, The park boasts a total of 63.000 hectares of endemic tree forests such as araucaria, raulí, lenga, etc. The forested areas allow the existence of a diverse fauna like puma, chilla fox, pudu deer, and the small native marsupial monito del monte, among others.

View over the Lanín Volcano – The Andean Lagoons Trail in the Villarrica national park

Huerquehue

The huerquehue national park is located in the foothills of the Andes mountain range, in the Araucanía Region of Chile. It has a an area of 12.500 hectares composed of hills and moutains surrounding small lakes and lagoons of cristaline water.

In Mapundungun, the Mapuche’s native language, it means “place of messengers”. This park was created in 1967 with terrains unoccupied by the colons.

There are 2 main hiking trails available in the Huerquehue. First, los Lagos Trail, is an easy 12-kilometer long in which you can visit waterfalls, lagoons along with stunning views over the Caburgua Lake and the Villarrica volcano. The second, is the San Sebastian Trail, of an intermediate level of difficulty. The hiking trail is approximately 13-kilometer long. The final reward of the hike is the panoramic views over the surrounding volcanoes (Lanín, Villarrica, Quetrupillan, Llaima) and the Tinquilco and Caburgua Lakes.

Huerquehue national park
Los Lagos Trail, Huerquehue NP

Best time to visit the national parks in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

If you consider visiting this amazing district during your trip in Chile, we highly suggest you to come in spring/summer. The main reason is the weather. During winter (June to September), it rains and snows in the region, covering all of the hiking trails with snow, making the use of raquets mandatory. In Spring and summer (october to March), it is the ideal time as the weather offers the perfect hiking conditions, and the trails are all cleared.

In fall (April to May), it is a true spectacle of colors. The leaves of the endemic trees lose their green color and slowly switches to yellow and red colors.

If you loved this article and are interested in visiting one of the best parts of Chile, contact us and we will give all the information regarding our hiking tours available

What to do around Pucón

Villarrica Volcano

Elected Capital Destination of adventure tourism, Pucón has so much to offer and lots of outdoor activities to do. Find out why you have to discover this beautiful lake city!

Pucón, the dream town of southern Chile, is located at the shores of the Villarrica Lake and at the foot of the Villarrica volcano. 700 kilometers south from Santiago de Chile, it belongs to the Araucania Region.

Lately, this lake city has been recognized world-wide for its ski center, water sports and hiking trails, among many other outdoor activities. Beaches, forests, valleys and the generous nature of Pucón also invite you to dive into the natural hot springs of the area. Between more than 30 excursions you can do around Pucón, you can also access Argentina through the border crossing Mamuil Malal. Thus, it connects the Araucania Region with the Lanín national Park of the Argentinean Republic.

In this post, you will discover what to do in Pucón, and realize why every nature lover and aventurous travelers should add this destination in their bucket list.

The Villarrica Volcano ascent

The Villarrica Volcano (2.847 meters) is Chile’s most active volcano, and one of the most actives in South America. The idea of climbing it might sound surreal, but is definitely possible to do. It does require a certain level of fitness, but the hike is not technical at all.

You don’t need to bring with you all the mountain gear needed for such activity, since this excursion includes the full equipment. Also, it is very important to know that the weather is very weather-dependent. Indeed, in order to reach the summit, the weather conditions must be optimal: minimal wind and clear sky.

The route of ascent, starting at the foothills of the volcano, allows the most adventurers to reach the open crater. After approximately 4 to 5 hours of hiking, the final reward is the surrounding landscape made of lakes, volcanoes and valleys. If you’re lucky enough, you will get to see some lava flows.

It is worth noting that it is absolutely a hike you cannot miss in Pucón. It is possible to do it all year long, however it is easier to reach the top during spring and summer. In winter, the volcano is totally covered in snow, making the excursion of difficult level.

If you want to climb Chile’s most active volcano, read more about our hiking program around Pucón!

villarrica volcano ascent
Villarrica Volcano Climb

Geométricas Hot Springs

The Geométricas hot springs are a thermal center, composed of 20 stone pools from 35°C to 45°C. Moreover, they are immersed in the amazing landscapes of native forests of Villarrica Volcano National Park located near Coñaripe.

In addition to enjoying the thermal water and contemplating the landscape, the design is truly unique. Indeed, the facilities were designed by the distinguished national architect Germán del Sol, who subtly intervened the environment, through walkways made of red coigüe wood that connect the different swimming pools.

In Amity, we love to have a good physical activity and then dive in the hot springs! Learn more about our hike to the Pichillancahue Glacier that ends up with the visit of the Geometricas hot springs.

waterfall geometricas hot springs
Waterfall at Geometricas hot springs

Rafting

Lower Section

This outing holds no great dangers and is perfect if you are after a less extreme adventure. It could be a family day-out, a beginner’s introduction to rafting, or a warm-up for the upper river rafting trip. Although it is still exciting and fun!

We invite you to glide through calm stretches of water, admiring the beautiful nature around Pucón.

The rafts drop-off point is only a 30-minute drive from Pucón and the road goes through a countryside landscape surrounded by the Andes. Once we arrive at the river, you receive and put on the rafting gear. Your guides will be giving out all necessary safety instructions concerning correct rowing techniques and the “way the river works”. Once on the Trancura River, you will experience the full flowing effects of the raft passing over class 3 rapids, along with the sound of the rushing waters with waves crashing against the raft.

After approximately 1½ hours of excitement we will reach the end of the descent and head back to Pucón.

Upper Section

This exciting trip is suitable for the ages of 14 to adult and for those looking for lots of excitement without great dangers. Be prepared for 2 hours of pure adrenaline, tackling Class 4 rapids with several drops. The rapids’ names speak for themselves: Last Laugh, Devil’s Throat and Rapid of Fear. There are spectacular views of Villarrica Volcano and smaller Quetrupillán Volcano up the valley.

The rafts drop-off point is only a 30-minute drive from Pucón and the road goes through a countryside landscape surrounded by the Andes. Once we arrive at the river, you receive and put on the rafting gear. Your guides will be giving out all necessary safety instructions concerning correct rowing techniques and the “way the river works”.

Once on the Trancura River you will experience straight away the full flowing effects of class IV & V rapids along with the booming sound of the rushing waters with waves crashing against the raft. Here you will need to row hard to pass over the torrents.

After approximately 1½ hours of excitement we will reach the end of the descent and head back to Pucón.

Huerquehue National Park

The Huerquehue national park is located in the foothills of Los Andes mountain range. 35 km (22 miles) from Pucón. The park covers 12.500 hectares (30.890 acres) with various lagoons, dense vegetation and gigantic trees that are the habitat of several endemic birds.

The best way to explore the park is by foot. Indeed, you can choose between various hiking trails crossing the whole territory in which you can observe the local fauna and flora.

The easiest hike is Los Lagos Trail. It is the most popular of the park. The main attraction are the forests of ancient monkey puzzle tree surrounding the lakes on the high area. Observing them might be an overwhelming experience as they make you think about how small and ephemeral the human being can be in front of nature.

In summer, the bravest hikers can swim into the cold water of the lakes. Moreover, you will be able to observe a huge variety of birds like ducks. if you’re lucky, and patient, you might be able to spot the woodpecker and its impressive red head.

Huerquehue national park
Los Lagos Trail, Huerquehue NP

Villarrica National Reserve

Located in The Andes mountain range, the Villarrica national park is a protected wildlife area. The impressive volcanoes, stunning endemic tree forests, rivers and lake are the top components of the landscape.

Dominating the scene, the Villarrica Volcano (2.847 m.) is the main touristic attraction. In addition, you can also appreciate the Quetrupillan (2.382 m.) and Lanín (3.776 m.) volcanoes. During winter, it is possible to ski the Villarrica volcano. The ascent to the top is also available all year long, depending on the weather conditions. In the foothills, there are various hiking trails leading to amazing lookout points.

The park boasts a total of 63.000 hectares of endemic tree forests such as araucaria, raulí, lenga, etc. The forested areas allow the existence of a diverse fauna like puma, chilla fox, pudu deer, and the small native marsupial monito del monte, among others.

If you are looking for some wild adventures when visiting Chile, Pucón is the place for you to be! 

Contact us for more info about Chile’s Lake and Volcano District!

 

The different climates of Chile and the best time to hike

In this article, you will get to know more about the different climates of Chile, along with the best time to hike

In this post, we will explain to you in details the variety of climates prevailing in Chile, and when the best time is to come and hike in Chile.

Chile is a very narrow and very long country. It measures approximately 4.600 kilometers (6.900 miles) from North to South, and only 300-kilometer wide. In other words, this means that the territory is variously affected by different types of climates, making generalizations almost impossible.

In the North of Chile, like the Atacama Desert and the northern coast, the climate is a desert-like type and semi-arid. Then, there is the Mediterranean climate in Central Chile along with the alpine tundra in the East and South-East. Finally, you will find an oceanic climate in Southern Chile, and the subtropical climate of the Eastern Island.

The seasons are opposite to Europe or North-America. Indeed, summer season starts in December and ends in March; Autumn is from March to May, Winter season from June to August and finally Spring from September to November.

Generally, the climate of Chile is strongly influenced by the cold Humboldt oceanic current, but also by the presence of the Andes Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean. In addition, there are 4 different climate z0nes : Northern Chile, Central Chile, Southern Chile and Austral Chile.

In this post, we will explain to you in details the variety of climates prevailing in Chile, and when the best time is to come and hike in Chile.

Northern Chile

lagoon desert volcano
Cejar Lagoon, Atacama Desert

This is the most arid region of the country mainly due to the cold Humboldt oceanic current. All along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, there is always a constant fog, but the rains are scarce. The inside territory is formed by the Atacama Desert, one of the most arid of the planet Earth.

Usually, the average precipitation of the Antofagasta Region is only 1 millimeter of rain per year. In summer (December to February), the minimum temperature is approximately 17°C / 62°F and the maximum is 24°C /75°F. Whereas in winter (June to September), the maximum temperature is 17°C / 62°F and the minimum is 11°C / 52°F.

Central Chile

Colchagua Valley – Central Chile

The climate of Central Chile is a Mediterranean-type, characterized by well distinct seasons. Indeed, winters are cold and cloudy. In spring, the weather is nice and temperatures begin to raise. However, some rain might occur. In summer, the temperature reaches its maximum degree, with complete clear sky. During fall, prevails the nice weather.

In this part of Chile, the rainy season is between May and August. During summer, the Santiago area has an average temperature of 19°C / 66°F. The maximum being 29°C / 82°F, and the minimum 12°C / 54°F. During winter, the average temperature is 7°C / 45°F, the minimum being 3°C / 37°F and the maximum is 14°C / 57°F.

Southern Chile

Lanín Volcano – Lake and Volcano District

This region is characterized by an oceanic climate, humid and windy with low temperatures. In the Valdivia Region, the climate is temperate-oceanic. regarding temperature, in summer it can reach a maximum of 23°C / 73°F and a minimum of 11°C / 52°F. During winter, the maximum is 11°C / 52°F and the minimum is 4°C / 39°F.

From April to September, it is a rainy season. The average annual rainfall is quite high, with approximately 2.700 millimeters. Usually, the rainiest month is June, with an average of 550 millimeters.

Austral Chile

Mountain biking in Patagonia

In the Northern part of Austral Chile, the precipitations are abundant and it rains almost all year long. For example, the town of Puerto Aisén has an average annual rainfall of 3.000 millimeters well distributed in every month of the year.

In sumer, the average maximum temperature is 14°C / 57°C and the minimum is 4°C / 39°F. In the Southern tip of Chile, the typical weather is usually cold and dry, where the average annual rainfall reaches approximately 500 millimeters.

The Eastern Island

Moai statues – Rapa Nui Island

Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is classified as a tropical rainforest climate that borders on a humid subtropical climate. The temperatures are mild and suffer minimal seasonal variations. The lowest temperatures are recorded in July and August (18 °C or 64 °F) and the highest in February (maximum temperature 28 °C or 82 °F), the summer season in the southern hemisphere. Winters are relatively mild.

The rainiest month is May, though the island experiences year-round rainfall. Easter Island’s isolated location exposes it to winds which help to keep the temperature fairly cool. Precipitation averages 1,100 mm or 44 inches per year. Occasionally, heavy rainfall and rainstorms strike the island. These occur mostly in the winter months (June–August).

The driest months are between October and February. The temperature of the sea is for the whole year above 20ºC , its varies between 25ºC in the months of February and March and 20ºC in the months between July and October. Since it is close to the South Pacific High and outside the range of the intertropical convergence zone, cyclones and hurricanes do not occur around Easter island.

Hiking in Chile

Chile is one of the most versatile, safe and unique places to hike in the World. The fact that Chile is located in the southern hemisphere, it allows hikers from the North Hemisphere to enjoy a taste of summer during the off-season. Moreover, it provides great reasons for a trip to check it out.

The vast National Parks and Land trusts of Chile will provide the traveling hiking enthusiast just about anything they could ever desire. From the driest Desert of the world, to the Lake and Volcano District, through mystical Islands, and Patagonia, and of course the adventurous roads to get to the wilderness areas.

Hiking season

Most hiking lovers head to Chile during South America’s spring and summer months, which stretches from October to March.

During October and November, it is springtime. Especially from South Santiago to Puerto Varas, there are plenty of hiking trails to discover. The weather is generally nice, making for a great road trip. Some of the main trails farther south in Patagonia, such as the famous Torres del Paine W trek, offer the best conditions between December and February.

As March progresses, the weather usually turns cool and wet, but with less people on the trails. The season for hiking in the Atacama Desert runs from mid June through mid January, and Eastern Island with its subtropical weather is great for hiking between March and December.

Here is a general description for the main hiking areas in Chile.

Atacama Desert

Cacti Valley, San Pedro de Atacama

The Atacama Desert is commonly known as the driest place in the world. Although the almost total lack of precipitation is the most prominent characteristic of the Atacama Desert, exceptions may occur. The Invierno Boliviano (Altiplano Winter) is a phenomenon which can produce a little rain and abundant electrical storms. It occurs in January and February.

Per year, it rains about 15 mm. (0.59 inch). Moreover, some weather stations in the Atacama have never received rain. It is so arid, that many mountains higher than 6,000 metres (20,000 feet) are completely free of glaciers. Indeed, only the highest peaks have some permanent snow coverage.

In San Pedro de Atacama, the local climate is extremely dry and mild. In summer, the daytime temperatures are between 25ºC to 30ºC  (77ºF–86ºF). In winter, between 18ºC to 25 °C (64 to 77 °F). Night time temperatures routinely drop below 0 °C (32 °F), and can reach as low as −10 °C (14 °F) in the winter.

Click here if you’re interested in the best hiking program in the Atacama Desert. If you are an adrenaline-seeker, you will definitely want to know more about our 6-Day MTB tour.

The Lake and Volcano District, Cochamo Valley and Chiloe Island

Conguillio National Park

Generally, the weather in this area is very similar to Northern California, especially on the coast side. Late October and November (spring time in the South Hemisphere) present milder temperatures 10ºC to 25ºC (50°F to 77°F) with some scattered rain. Likewise during fall (March and April).

During December you can start feeling the beginning of the summer with temperatures around 10ºC to 27ºC (50°F to 81°F). In January and February, temperatures range between 15ºC and 35ºC (60°F / 95°F).

Remember that you are visiting the Lake & Volcano district, so always expect some rain!

Check out our hiking experiences in Southern Chile!

Torres del Paine in Patagonia

The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the saturated winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Also, the influence from the strong marine currents and Southern Patagonian Ice field make the weather hard to predict.

In Torres del Paine, in spring or early summer, fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rains and eventually snow. Even in summer (December to march) you should come prepared to find cold, strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfalls. The summer’s average temperature is 11ºC/52ºF (24ºC max, 2ºC min). Rest assured, however, that just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become pleasantly warm! Night-time temperatures will most likely range from –1°C to -5°C (30s and 40s F) depending on the weather.

Copyright @Cascada.Travel

 

Travel experiences in Chile with Amity Tours

In this article, you will find out why Amity Tours is the leading tour operator in Chile’s Lake & Volcano District. Moreover you will understand why our core values will make travel to Chile an unforgettable experience!

Amity Tours is a Travel Company based in Pucón. Since 2003, we specialize in travel experiences in Chile such as hiking, trekking, skiing and cycling. More than just a simple trip to Chile, we make the best of it when visiting this amazing and fascinating country.

ADVENTURE

As an adventure travel company we understand “adventure” as and experience where culture and nature are the main pillars. Adventure is a key concept when defining and creating our trips in Chile and Argentina..

Active explorations in remote areas surrounded by nature will free our visitors to become part of the place. Adventure trips by Amity Tours will unfold meaningful experiences. We will enable our guests to discover and explore hidden corners, meet local communities and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Imagine yourself cycling Chile’s southern backroads, or discover a beautiful Geopark with pristine lakes and rivers. In addition to share with local indigenous communities while learning about their ancestral knowledge.

Moreover, you will envision yourself discovering Chile’s most impressive sights. Throughout the territory, the variety of landscape is fascinating. Mainly composed by ancient forests, glaciers, fjords, rivers, old shepherd trails, huge dunes, salt flats, lakes, etc. Not to mention the impressively surprising loca fauna & flora.. With species like flamingos, vicuñas, condors, foxes, guanacos, pumas and endemic birds inhabiting the forests.

Finally if you love skiing or snowboarding, visualize yourself slowing down and speeding up at will, controlling your descent on ice, knowing how to cope with fresh snow, handling uncrowded slopes and narrow paths in the most beautiful ski centers of Chile and Argentina.

We believe that experiencing adventures trips will enhance your attachment to nature and enhance your world view. Travel actively with Amity Tours will make you experience a fun cultural exchange.

PEOPLE

Lady Rosario, member of the Mapuche community, sharing the mapuche cosmovision

You’ll find a true friend in our experienced and professional team of guides and drivers. They will show you the best of Chile and Argentina. You’ll get to know our country and meet local people at every destination.

A commitment made to our travelers, it is also a conservation mission for us to help the local and indigenous communities present in the Chilean territory. We believe encounterings with local communities can be life changing as a travel experience.

Our travelers enjoying a game of Palín, the traditional game in the Mapuche culture.

NATURE

lanin volcano
Majestic Lanín Volcano (3,747 m.a.s.l), the tallste in the Lake & Volcano District.

The best part is how grateful we are to be in a country with amazing nature. We’ll make sure you see the best of it exploring the breathtaking hidden corners.

Nature, as a concept, has been socially constructed as an object and a subject providing people with meaningful experiences. Accordingly, leisure activities in nature enhance the interaction between people and natural environment. Thus, increasing their attachment to it.

People will become more conscious about conservating the protected areas and become more sustainable as travelers.

Concept in our experiences

Each of our trips has been planned with the idea of providing tranquility and spiritual well-being. We love to provide invaluable memories by hiking through a native forest, kayaking on pristine lakes and rivers, or biking through rolling hills and skiing in active volcanoes…

We operate our most popular tours occur in Chile’s Lake & Volcano district. Recently labeled as Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. it is home of stunning National Parks such as Conguillio, Villarrica, Huerquehue, …

Thousand-years-old endemic trees in the Villarrica National Reserve

Share this article if you identified yourself in our values! Contact us for an unforgettable trip in beautiful Chile!

7 top reasons to ski in Chile with Amity Tours

Find out why Amity Tours will make your ski experience in Chile a once-in-a-lifetime trip you won’t regret!

Backcountry skiing on Chochuenco Volcano

Chile, has a great variety of outdoor activities to do all along the territory. During winter in the Southern Hemisphere, ski is the best activity to do in Chile. Thanks to the proximity with the Andes mountain range, and the presence of the many volcanoes, this country counts on many ski resorts. They can be all appreciated by skiers of every level.

Find out why Amity Tours, as a Travel Company, will make you have an amazing ski experience in Southern Chile and Argentina!

Expertise

In Amity Tours, all of our team members are passionate skiers. This means we perfectly know what an excellent ski holiday has to be made of. As a tour operator providing ski trips since 2003, we make sure your needs are well taken care of. After these many years of experience, we know what our travellers expect of a ski tour.

All of our ski experiences were designed to take you to the best snow Chile and Argentina have to offer. In addition to the best powder, we provide the best prices and great offers for our clients in our ski packages. As a result, we’ve come to be the leading Tour Operator in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District.

 Professional and all-inclusive service

We are aware that a great adventure can sometimes come with a little bit of risk. Skiing is “the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at a great personal risk”. However, in our company, we’ll always make sure your safety comes first no matter what.

Our English-speaking guides, besides being excellent skiers, are professional and expert in the field. In addition, they are experienced mountain guides & Wilderness First Responders. Finally, they always carry on with them radios, in case of any emergency.

In other words, our professional team will always provide a safe, friendly and professional service. If you want to get to know more about our guides, check out our staff page here!

On the other hand, we’ve designed our ski experiences in a way that you won’t worry about anything to make the most of your holiday. From luxury hotels & SPAs, good food in selective restaurants and great snow, you’ll surely enjoy each day of your ski trip.

Ski on Southern Chile’s active volcanoes

Villarrica Volcano’s open crater

Skiing is the best winter sport in the world, and we absolutely love the feeling when skiing down the slopes. But imagine yourself skiing on an active volcano, with incredible panoramic views over other volcanoes around…

In Amity, we make this dream come true. During our ski experience, you’ll feel the adrenaline of sliding down the most active volcanoes in South America, such as Llaima, Lonquimay or Villarrica Volcanoes.

The best of it ? We take advantage of the unique volcanic activity of the region. How ? We combine the ski activity with the most natural hot springs of the Lake and Volcano District. As a result, we provide the perfect combination of an active day and a deserved relaxing evening.

Uncrowded Ski Resorts

Daily view in Caviahue, Argentina

Worldwide, the most known ski spots in South America are located around Santiago de Chile, such as Farellones, Colorado Valley & La Parva. With Amity, you’ll have a unique ski experience in the usually unknown and uncrowded ski resorts of Southern Chile & Argentina.

Indeed, as our company is based in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District, we have plenty of slopes to ski down on active volcanoes. Moreover, the proximity of the border with Argentina makes it easy for us to cross it and head towards excellent ski resorts.

During our 10-Day Ski Tour in Chile & Argentina, you will get to know the best of the ski resorts located in small mountain towns of Argentina and Chile.

Summer skiing

For many of us ski lovers, the snow season is always and all too short. In Chile, located in the Southern Hemisphere, we give you the opportunity to enjoy snow during summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

In fact, in Chile and Argentina, the snow usually starts falling at the end of June, making the ski slopes ready to ski on at the end of June. It is only until the end of September, with the arrival of Spring season that the ski resorts are closing.

What a great excuse to travel to Chile during winter!

Skiing in Pucón

Ski for any level of experience

Cerro Catedral Ski Resort, Argentina

If you are a beginner, intermediate or an expert skier, it doesn’t matter. Although most of our tours are designed for intermediate skiers, we make sure to design a tailor-made trip according to your level of experience. Indeed, our professional mountain guides will be your ideal teachers with great ski lessons if you want to give it a try as a beginner.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for any information you might need for your next ski trip in South America.

Group or Private Tours

We are perfectly aware that skiing is not the cheapest sport to practice in the world. This is why we offer both private tour and both departure dates for group tours.

If you are a group and want to have a private tour, we’ll get the best deals with excellent service. The most important, you get to decide your travel dates, and we make sure you choose the ideal travel dates to enjoy the best snow available.

You are a solo traveller, or you simply want to join a group to make the best of your trip ? Please ask us about our group departure dates available from July to September.

Ski in Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve

If you liked this article, share it with your travel buddies! If you’re still hesitating, drop us a line and will give you the best information regarding this amazing sport called ski! 

Don’t wait any longer and start planning the best ski experience South America has to offer!

5 cultural celebrations in Chile

Here’s a list of 5 cultural celebrations happening in Chile every year !

This special post will help you learn more about the top cultural celebrations taking place every year throughout Chile.

The main traditional festivals are associated with natural and productive cycles. Whereas others are usually a mix of indigenous feasts with the Christian tradition imposed since the colonial times. Indeed, it is very surprising the amount of festivals celebrated throughout the country. Either religious or popular, they combine typical dances, music, traditional songs and rituals of diverse origins.

In Northern Chile, a great part of the traditional festivals usually occur in the altiplanic towns. Meanwhile, Central Chile is strongly influenced by the heritage of the Spanish conquerors, but also by the old farming traditions.

Finally, in Southern Chile, the traditional celebrations are highly influenced by the Mapuche culture & cosmovision.

Fiestas Patrias (Independence Day or National Holiday)

The most popular celebrations in Chile happen in September. Commonly called “El Dieciocho” (“the 18th”),  it is a direct reference to the First National Governing Broad occured in 1810. Most of the celebrations occur around the days 18 and 19, and can last up to one full week.

The great majority of the Chileans celebrate this day enjoying barbecues, eating traditional food like empanada and drinking Chicha. They also usually go to the “fondas”. Fondas take place in towns and cities all over Chile and often include various aspects of Chilean folkloric culture, such as traditional music, a traditional dance called the Cueca, and a Chilean rodeo, which takes place in an arena called the ¨Media Luna¨.

It is common to see people dressed as Huasos, with a straw hat and poncho. Traditional foods and drinks include Mote con huesillo, anticuchos (a meat skewer), and terremotos (earthquake), a drink made of pipeño wine, grenadine, and pineapple ice cream.

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La Tirana

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La Tirana is Northern Chile’s most popular and religious celebration. It is also the one that most attracts visitors. Every July 16, the Virgen del Carmen (considered as the Patroness of Chile) is comemorated.

In reality, the celebration has an Andean origin and is highly related with the Pachamama cult, which is the Mother Earth for the Aymará and Quechua ethnic groups. In other words, La Tirana celebration is a clear demonstration of the fusion between the Native American and European cultures.

The event happens in the town of the same name, located 90 kilometers from Iquique. The festivity, usually lasts one week, and is composed of a serie of rituals,  songs and dances with Altiplanic costums. The most famous typical dance is the “Diablada”. The dancers wear colorful and demoniac masks and confront the forces of good lead by the Archangel Miguel. In addition, all along the week, the celebration is always accompanied by music made with tambors and bronze instruments without stopping.

As of result, visitors from whole Chile and even from Peru and Bolivia attend the celebration, a clear unification of the Andean countries.

Virgen de Guadalupe

The Virgen de Guadalupe celebration takes place in the Atacama Desert, most specifically in Ayquina town (80 kilometers from Calama). This is the most important celebration in the Antofagasta Region.

As of today, the Ayquina religious and cultural event occurs to worship La Virgen de Guadalupe. It takes place every year and usually lasts one week. The main celebration days are September 7 and 8. During these days, thousands of worshipers get together and perform a lot of typical pagan-religious dances. For example the Diablada, Tinku or Caporal-type dances.

On September 7, they all gather to wait for the 8th. At midnight, the sky illuminates with spectacular fireworks which welcome the comemmoration of the “Patroness of Ayquina”. On September 8, thousands of pilgrims arrive at Ayquina town. they participate in religious dances all day long to thank La Virgen.

Every pilgrim has their particular way to thank La Virgen de Guadalupe for her miracles. Some of them do it dancing, other through Christian services. And finally there are also those who walk the whole 74 kilometers separating Calama and Ayquina during almost 24 hours.

Devil’s Head at Ayquina, Atacama Desert

The Mapuche We Tripantu Celebration

Lady Rosario sharing the Mapuche cosmovision & culture

For those living in the Southern Hemisphere, June 21st is the shorter day of the year. Moreover, it is the longest night and the beginning of winter. The solstice marks the greater distance between the Earth and the Sun.

For the Mapuche, it means the end of the harvest season, and the beginning of the planting season. From their cyclic vision, the sun is the main driving force of life. As of result, they believe that this special day marks the beginning of winter season. Spring season is young, summer is adult and autumn is old. This is when the tree leaves fall and the animals change their skin.

“We Xipantun”, in Mapundungun (their native language), it means New Year or the release of the new sun. It is an important celebration coinciding with the Inca ceremony called Inti Raimy. During the Mapuche New Year, the members perform a Nguillatún, during which they expressed special thanks to the sun. Considered as source of wisdom and renewal, they intend to pay homage to the sun.

On the night of June 23rd, the rituals held by the different families belonging to the Mapuche community begin. Around the bonfire, they share and eat typical food and the elderly tell their tales.

During the early morning of June 24, all the members of the gathering leave the heat of the bonfire. They do so be in contact with the cold water of the closest rivers. Before the new sun coinciding with the new year comes out, they purify their body and spirit in the river streams.

As part of the ceremony, they pray with music and songs of traditional instruments. Some communities include popular games, execute baptism and rituals to assert their beliefs and strenghten bonds.

If you liked this article and are eager to know more about the Chilean culture, check our travel experiences!

We’ll explain to you in details all of our travel experiences that will make you fully discover the traditions of this amazing country!

Why you should travel to Chile in 2019

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Below you will find the 5 main reasons why Chile should be in your travel plans for this year 2019!

In this article, we made you a list of the reasons why you should definitely travel to Chile.

Chile is a wonderful country full of contrasts and outstanding extremes. It is the largest and narrowest of South America. 4329 kilometers in length and 177 kilometers wide. Viewed from the map, it looks like a thin line drawn between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range; the longest and second highest of the planet.

In other words, you will find a huge diversity of climate within Chile as well as breathtaking landscape. Thanks to this, it allows the worldwide travelers to visit it all year long, and explore the amazing natural wonders Chile has to offer.

Santiago de Chile

The Chilean capital city is full of natural charms and easily enjoyed by travelers from all over the world. Thus, you will find a perfect mix of the both Latino-American and the European culture, through the arquitecture, vibes and historical monuments.

In some neighborhoods, such as Lastarría or Bellavista, are important cultural centers, libraries, galleries, coffees and restaurants. All of them with both innovating and interesting concepts. Of course, the city center concentrates some of Chile’s most important historical monuments and museums.

Moreover, Santiago has ample and diverting green spaces. Biking around the various parks of the city is an excellent eco way to get to know the Chilean capital.

Around the city, you can easily connect with nature if you are an avid hiker, or a nature lover. Indeed, located 80 kilometers South-East Santiago, the Cajón Del Maipo is the best place to explore. This canyon offers various types of outdoor activities such as trekking, horseback riding, rafting and even natural thermals.

Central Valley of Chile

Internationally, Chile is considered one of the world’s main producers of wine. Mainly because of the rich grapes produced in the Central Valley and the sunny weather all year long. These elements allow the existence of excellent wineries located in the different valleys: Maipo Valley, Casablanca Valley, Aconcagua Valley, Colchagua Valley and San Antonio Valley.

If you are a wine lover, you will definitely enjoy the tastings in some prestigious and world-class wineries located in the different Valleys. Definitely an unique experience not to be missed. Moreover, where you’ll understand why the Chilean wines have earned such many prices. As well as earning a great worldwide reputation.

Also a bike lover ? Ask us for the bike tours available in the region!

Casablanca Valley

Valparaíso

The colorful coastal city of Valparaíso, is very well appreciated by Chileans and international travelers.

The incredible street art movement has made the city famous. Wandering around the various streets filled with incredible graffiti is definitely a must-do. You can observe the art of many local artists, writers and international musicians who have been adding their work to the hills of Valparaíso.

The hills are precisely one of the reasons why the city is unique and amazing. Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre are the most incredible and famous hills. From there, you’ll be able to enjoy a 360° panoramic view over the bay. In order to make easier walking these steep streets, you can use funiculars around the city. Since 2013, they are part of the Historic Quarters of the Seaport City of Valparaíso in the World Heritage Site.

Along with the street wonders, you’ll find one of the best boutique hotels in Chile. Valparaíso has maintained a small town charm seducing every visitor. The small hotels are located in the heart of the colored hills with stunning views over the bay.

The Lake and Volcano District

Villarrica Volcano – Pucón

This district is also well-known for being the hikers’ paradise. Indeed, it is filled with National Parks and natural wonders. You’ll enjoy hiking among endemic tree forests between volcanoes and lakes composing the main landscape. Along with the local and diverse flora, you’ll also be able to spot an incredible flora.

Pucón, the Lake and Volcano District’s capital of adventure travel, will surely give you a lot to explore. You’ll find a diverse offer of outdoor activities to do such as hiking, biking, skiing, horseback riding, rafting and kayaking. Among much more!

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the exceptional volcanic activity of the region. Around Pucón, there exists one the best hot springs of Chile. The Geometricas Hot Springs are the most natural of Chile, and it is the perfect spot after an active day. They are naturally heated by the Villarrica Volcano’s lava; and the water contains all the minerals the body needs to relax.

Read more about our hiking, mountain bike and road cycling tours in the Lake and Volcano District.

The Atacama Desert

with Amity Tour
Tebinquinche Lagoon – The Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert extends from Northern Coquimbo Region, up to Arica and Parinacota Region. It covers an area of 105.000 km2 and it is one of the best known places in Chile. Accordingly, it is also considered one of the biggest deserts in the world. Not to mention that it is the driest.

In addition, the Atacama Desert is very rich in minerals. You might have heard about the famous Atacama Salt Flats around San Pedro de Atacama. In effect, copper, iron, gold and silver are one of the many minerals composing the Andean salt flats.

In addition, from San de Pedro de Atacama, you can visit some incredible natural attractions that will take your breath away.

For the astronomy lovers, the Atacama Desert is the perfect place for star-gazing. The reason why is the geographic situation. First, there’s almost no humidity in the air and the sky is completely clear. Second, the light pollution is non-existent. All these elements make the Atacama Desert the perfect spot to observe the sky.

On the other hand, you will find stunning landscape in the Atacama Desert. Because of the geographic situation and chemical composition, the formed scenery gives the impression to be from a completely different world. The Moon Valley and the Death Valley will definitely fascinate your eyes and will make you feel like you’re on Mars planet.

Check out our active trips available in the Atacama Desert. Don’t miss your chance to explore San Pedro and surroundings!

If you are still wondering if Chile is going to be your chosen destination for this year 2019, send us a mail and we’ll make sure you get the best advices!

Randonnée au Parc National Conguillío Chili

Randonnée au Parc National Conguillío Chili

Envie de vous balader en plein milieu de forets d’arbres millénaires avec vue spectaculaire sur un des volcans les plus actifs du Chili ? L’équipe d’Amity Tours a fait de cette idée une excursion spectaculaire, avec une randonnée dans le parc national Conguillío.

Au départ de Pucón dans la matinée, nous sommes dirigés avec notre guide local en direction du Parc National Conguillío, a environ 2h15 de route au Nord. Avant d’arriver au fameux parc, nous sommes passés par des villages chiliens, dont l’un d’eux s’appelle Villa García, connu pour son architecture suisse fruit de la colonisation.

En arrivant au Parc Conguillío, je me rends compte vite de l’imposant Volcan Llaima qui domine le paysage avec ses 3125 mètres de haut. Nous arrivons au bureau de la CONAF, administration actuelle des parcs nationaux du Chili afin de nous enregistrer et faire un petit détour par un petit circuit appelé « El Cañadon del truful ». Ce sentier offre de superbes vues sur les formations rocheuses dues aux nombreuses éruptions des 13000 dernières années, une belle expérience géologique qui nous fait toucher le temps en plein cœur du Canyon.

Ensuite, nous avons repris la repris la route pendant environ 20 minutes en direction du secteur Playa linda, d’où débute le circuit principal « Sierra Nevada ». Nous faisons un bref arrêt afin de voir le lac Arcoiris, d’eau de couleurs turquoise et cristalline qui nous permet de voir des troncs d’arbres millénaires jonchés au fond.

Commence enfin la randonnée, et nous nous enfonçons de plus en plus dans la foret constituée de Coihue, Raulí, Araucarias, arbres millénaires endémiques de la région chilienne. La neige, toujours présente en cette période de l’année, recouvre complétement le chemin jusqu’aux genoux, rendant encore plus puissant le silence d’or qu’offre la nature. Au fur et à mesure que nous nous approchons du mirador, la neige commence à tomber, rendant plus intense cette excursion avec un vent léger. Une fois arrivés au mirador, situé plus haut que le point de départ du circuit, nous pouvons admirer le Lac Conguillío, bordé par le Complexe Volcanique Sierra Nevada. La vue est spectaculaire, les nuages et la brume hivernaux la rendent mystique et sur cette dernière sensation nous rebroussons chemin, bloqués par la neige abondante.

L’aventure touche sa fin, et je reste avec l’envie de revenir au parc afin de le connaitre sous toutes les couleurs des saisons…

Thermes naturelles Geometricas au Chili

Thermes naturelles Geometricas au Chili

Les Thermes naturelles Geometricas au Chili

Les thermes naturelles Geométricas au Chili sont un enchantement naturel. Elles se situent aux pieds du Volcan Villarrica à 96 kilomètres de Pucón dans la région des lacs et des volcans.

De ce fait, le trajet dure entre 1h40 et 2h. Une fois sur place, une seule envie : s’immerger dans ce paradis thermal.

Les “Termas Geométricas” se situe au bord de l’estuaire d’Aihua. L’eau est chauffée naturellement, grâce à la lave du Volcan actif Villarrica. Puis, émerge directement dans les gorges d’Aihua à une température de 80°C.

Passage oblige par le restaurant rustique, de bois couleur rouge. Quelques metres plus loin, vous trouverez une passerelle principale. De 450 mètres de long, elle relie les bassins.

La température va de 30°C à 45°C. A chaque bassin, vous disposez de toilettes, vestiaires et casiers pour garder vos affaires.

Pour la baignade, vous avez le choix car le centre possède de 17 à 20 bassins de différentes températures.

Et bien sûr, l’eau contient tous les minéraux indispensables que le corps a besoin pour se détendre, garantissant une expérience relaxante physique et mentale.

Au fur et à mesure du canyon, entouré de végétation naturelle, vous rencontrerez des cascades d’eau froide. Pratique pour varier entre température chaude et froide.

Ce changement est nécessaire pour profiter au maximum des thermes. Le clou du spectacle, est sans aucun doute la cascade d’eau géante, située au fond des thermes au bout de la passerelle.

Seuls les plus téméraires oseront se mettre dessous…

L’eau vous donne faim ? Pas de problème. En effet, le « quincho », restaurant rustique vous servira une nourriture délicieuse faite maison : pizza, sandwich, soupe, tartes, …

Et vous pourrez déguster votre repas autour d’un feu. De l’eau avec citron et concombre est à disposition et gratuite en cas de soif.

Les thermes ont l’avantage de pouvoir nous faire profiter de son enchantement à chaque saison de l’année.

L’été, il n’y fait ni trop chaud, ni trop froid. L’hiver, la neige et la pluie donne à ce lieu une atmosphère mystique.

La visite des thermes Géométricas est une expérience à ne pas manquer. Lors de votre passage a Pucón, elle sera une excellente option pour se détendre. Idéal apres une randonnée dans le parc national Villarrica.

A Amity Tours, vous pourrez profiter de cet enchantement naturel durant nos circuits randonnée dans la région des lacs et des volcans. Si vous êtes amoureux de la randonnée et de la nature, je vous le recommande définitivement!!