Aventuras en familia

aventuras familia sur chile

Descubre los mejores destinos de Chile durante nuestras Aventuras en Familia.

 

aventuras familias sur chile
Parque Nacional Villarrica, Región de La Araucanía

 

Viajar en familia es una experiencia en la que confluyen diversos sentimientos de quienes la desarrollan. Por un lado, existe una gran ansiedad por conocer y experimentar sensaciones nuevas en conjunto. Y por otro, puede que el nerviosismo y la incertidumbre se apoderen de nosotros al momento de realizar este tipo de viajes.

Sin embargo, lo que siempre acompaña a los viajes familiares, y en especial aquellos de aventura en contacto con la naturaleza y fuera de nuestros lugares cotidianos es la capacidad de asombro que podemos, como adultos, volver a vivenciar y la cual se agudiza aún más cuando la compartimos con nuestros niñas y niños.

 

aventuras familias chile
Humedal Río Angachilla, Valdivia, Región de Los Ríos

 

Los viajes de Aventura en Familia en contacto con la naturaleza nos permiten conocernos en otro contexto. Dejamos atrás la rutina escolar, laboral y del hogar. Así, nos sumergimos en un mundo de experiencias y sensaciones nuevas. Además, permiten crear memorias y fortalecen los lazos familiares. De esta manera, nos disponemos a conocer lugares que nos conmueven y nos enseñan.

 

aventuras familia conguillio
Parque Nacional Conguillío, Región de La Araucanía

 

Chile es un país que nos entrega una gran cantidad de opciones para realizar viajes de aventura. El contacto con la naturaleza en familia, nos ofrece un sinfín de lugares a visitar, conocer y experimentar. Desde el Norte Grande a la Patagonia, la diversidad de ecosistemas y por ende sus paisajes son el escenario perfecto para estas actividades.

Imagina una caminata que desciende por las altas dunas del Valle del Marte en el desierto más alto y más árido del mundo como lo es el Desierto de Atacama. Un recorrido por los salares de altura, y un atardecer excepcional donde el silencio y la amplitud son protagonistas, mientras el cielo de Atacama te ofrece experiencias astronómicas inigualables.

 

aventuras familias atacama chile
Quebrada de Guatin, Desierto de Atacama, Región de Antofagasta.

 

O bien, imagina un bosque antiguo de araucarias, rodeado de volcanes y formaciones geológicas que te invitan a conocer la evolución de la Tierra, a la vez de descender por ríos que fluyen desde la cordillera de Los Andes a la costa del océano Pacífico.

aventuras familias sur chile
Sendero Glaciar Pichillancahue, Parque Nacional Villarrica, Región de La Araucanía.

 

Más aún, recorrer los bosques más australes del mundo y navegar por fiordos y lagos que han sido protagonistas de la evolución de las especies sobre la Tierra.

 

aventuras familia patagonia
Lago Grey, Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine, Patagonia.

 

Sin embargo, no solo prístinos y vastos paisajes se pueden recorrer y experimentar en familia, sino que también encuentros genuinos con quienes habitan en sus territorios. Serán sus habitantes quienes aportarán a nuestro viaje un valor agregado y proporcionarán experiencias a nuestra familia de carácter trascendental. Podrás conocer algunas de las culturas ancestrales de Chile como son los Likan Antai (o Atacameños) y la cultura del pueblo Mapuche, quienes a través de sus actividades cotidianas nos enseñan su cosmovisión, amor y respeto por la Madre Tierra.

 

aventuras familias atacama
Encuentro cultural con la comunidad indígena Likan Antai, Desierto de Atacama, Región de Antofagasta

 

Junto a tu familia, podrás experimentar una caravana ancestral con llamas en el Desierto de Atacama, aprender a jugar Palín y hacer tortillas de rescoldo en el destino Lagos y Volcanes mientras escuchas las historias de cada uno de los territorios.

 

experiencia familia pucon
Partido de Palín, juego ancestral del Pueblo Mapuche. (Fotografía: Jonatha Jünge)

 

A través de actividades de senderismo, kayak, paseos en bicicleta, navegación y cabalgatas en familia, así también como los encuentros con otras personas y culturas fomentan el interés por descubrir, aprender y experimentar cosas nuevas en nuestros hijos.

 

 aventuras pucon
Sendero Cráteres Parásitos, Parque Nacional Villarrica, Región de La Araucanía

 

En Amity Tours, creemos firmemente que las experiencias en la naturaleza fortalecen las dinámicas familiares. Todas nuestras aventuras para familias las hemos creado junto a nuestros niños y niñas, y hemos descubierto el potencial que estas actividades tienen para su desarrollo.

“Cuando un niño puede relacionar lo que aprende con sus propias experiencias, su interés vital se despierta, su memoria se activa y lo aprendido se vuelve suyo.” (Rudolf Steiner, 1923)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eclipse solar total 2020 en Pucón Chile

¿Dónde tendrá lugar el fenómeno del Eclipse solar total?

 

eclipse 2020 chile

 

Chile es el lugar perfecto para observar las estrellas. Sin ir más lejos, es en nuestro país dónde los países líderes en temas de astronomía han establecido sus inversiones estratégicas para no perder la carrera por descubrir qué nos depara el Universo.

La carrera se inició, y no parece terminar en las décadas que vienen.

Sin embargo, el 14 de diciembre de 2020, el foco no estará en las estrellas, sino en el eclipse solar total. Fenómeno que, en Julio 2019, asombró a todos quienes tuvimos la suerte de observarlo. También, tuvo lugar en territorio chileno, pero mucho más al norte.

En este día especial, Pucón será el centro de atención. El evento solar durará 2 horas y 50 minutos. El eclipse comenzará a las 11:41 a.m. A las 1:04 p.m, la oscuridad será total. Durante 3 horas, las emociones aflorarán en nosotros, y recordaremos este momento por siempre.

 

eclipse solar total chile

 

Además, este fenómeno es muy especial. Pues ocurre 884 años después de un evento astronómico similar en el área. En palabras más simples, nosotros, nuestros hijos, nietos, y quienes los seguirán, no disfrutarán un evento similar en el destino Lagos & Volcanes.

Ahora bien, no todo será observar el cielo. Debido a que estaremos en un territorio de gran riqueza cultural, con predominio de la gran cultura mapuche. Es más, este pueblo originario sabio nos tiene mucho que enseñar y decir. En especial respecto a este y otros fenómenos astronómicos, y que gran parte de nosotros desconocemos.

La cosmovisión mapuche, contada por ellos mismos, quienes son los protagonistas principales, generará una experiencia única.

 

cosmovision mapuche chile
Señora Rosario de la comunidad Mapuche

 

Significado de un eclipse solar en la cosmovisión mapuche

 

pueblo mapuche pucon

 

Muchos siglos antes de la astronomía moderna y sus sofisticados telescopios, los mapuche ya estaban relacionados con el cosmos. Siempre ha sido una herramienta importante para predecir el clima y las influencias en la tierra.

En Mapudungun, el idioma nativo de los mapuche, un eclipse solar total se llama “lai antü” o “lan antü”, que significa “muerte del sol”. También, este fenómeno se conoce como “malonji ta antü” (vinieron para cubrir el sol o atacar al sol) o “zumiñii antü” (el sol se oscureció). Este evento se espera con respeto, pues el sol representa la forma de entender el tiempo. El “lai antü” tiene un fuerte contenido. Por lo tanto, designar la muerte del sol implica la suspensión del tiempo, un cambio de ciclo para la estrella, un cambio en el proceso.

Un eclipse parcial generalmente significa un buen año para la comunidad. Sin embargo, un eclipse total es un mal augurio para la humanidad. De hecho, incluye hasta la posible muerte de un querido y respetado jefe.

Todo este relato, que sin duda contienen una serie de significados totalmente distintos a quienes no pertenecemos a este pueblo mapuche, es contado por sus protagonistas, dejando siempre la oportunidad de debatir de manera cordial con quienes nos reciben en su tierra.

A pesar de la interpretación negativa del evento por parte de los mapuches, en la cultura occidental este fenómeno natural es una experiencia única en la vida. Además de ser la capital del turismo de aventura en Chile, Pucón será el afortunado anfitrión del eclipse solar total 2020.

Recomendaciones de seguridad durante el eclipse

 

  • No mire directamente al sol sin los anteojos de eclipse adecuados (certificado ISO 12312-2)
  • No apunte al sol con su cámara, teléfono o binoculares, esto puede dañar la vista de manera permanente.
  • Los niños deben ser supervisados ​​por un adulto durante todo el evento.

Pre y post opciones de viaje alrededor de Pucón

sendero pichillancahue chile
Sendero Pichillancahue, Parque Nacional Villarrica.

 

No pierdas la oportunidad de conocer las mejores opciones de viaje en Pucón. Descubra nuestras mejores experiencias de viaje. Son especialmente diseñadas para amantes activos de la naturaleza, ideales para familias que buscan un escape tranquilo a la vida a toda velocidad que llevamos en la ciudad.

 

¡Contáctenos para cualquier solicitud grupal o programa a medida!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las mejores caminatas del destino Lagos y Volcanes en Chile

Pichillancahue Trail Hike

Descubre las mejores caminatas del destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile

Si eres un ávido excursionista, amante de la naturaleza o alguien que busca paisajes increíbles, aquí hay una lista de las mejores caminatas que puedes encontrar en el destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile!

Geoparque Kutralkura – Caminata al Cráter Navidad

El Cráter Navidad es un cono piroclástico del volcán Lonquimay ubicado en la Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello. Se formó durante la erupción volcánica del 25 de diciembre de 1988. Alcanza una altura de 190 metros desde su base. Su visita permite, de manera fácil, introducirse al maravilloso mundo de la vulcanología en el extremo sur del planeta.

La caminata al cráter no es técnica. Sin embargo, necesita equipo de montaña para escalarlo en invierno ya que está cubierto de nieve. Siempre se recomienda hacerlo con el apoyo de guías con conocimiento de la zona y experiencia en caminatas sobre nieve y hielo. Por su parte en verano (de noviembre a principios de abril), no se requiere ningún equipo de montaña o de otro tipo.

 

reserva nacional malalcahuello

 

En cuanto a la dificultad, el tiempo de caminata es relativamente corto. Toma entre 2 y 4 horas (ida y vuelta), dependiendo de su ritmo de caminata. Por lo tanto, es ideal para familias con niños pequeños. O personas con poca experiencia en senderismo que quieran maravillarse con los atractivos de esta zona.

Desde la cima del Cráter Navidad, puede disfrutar de una vista panorámica sobre las estribaciones del volcán Lonquimay. Además del campo de lava, se extienden los bosques de Araucarias, junto con la vista sobre los volcanes Tolhuaca y Callaqui.

Caminata al Cerro Coloradito – Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello

 

Sendero cerro coloradito malalcahuello

 

El sendero Coloradito es ubicado en la Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello. Es un lugar conformado por procesos tectónicos y volcánicos con una fauna y flora interesante y endémica.

De hecho, Este sendero es una buena alternativa con paisajes típicos de la cordillera de los Andes bajo la siempre atenta mirada del volcán Lonquimay.

A lo largo del camino, pasarás por bosques de árboles endémicos como la Araucaria y Lenga rodeados por la vegetación del suelo con predominio de árboles de michay, quila y viola.

Llamado “El Coloradito”, es un acceso único al Volcán Lonquimay que termina cerca del río Coloradito. El paisaje está dominado por la presencia del Volcán Lonquimay y la Sierra del Colorado. Durante la caminata, puede observar el Volcán Llaima y la Cordillera de la Sierra Nevada.

Caminata por la Sierra Nevada – Parque Nacional Conguillio

El Parque Nacional Conguillio es uno de los lugares más destacados que Chile tiene para ofrecer. Con el impresionante Volcán Llaima, la Sierra Nevada, lagunas en todos sus rincones, bosques de Araucarias, fauna y flora endémicas, es una visita obligada para todos los que quieran visitar el destino Lagos y Volcanes.

El parque nacional tiene una gran variedad de senderos, pero sin lugar a dudas, la caminata por la Sierra Nevada es la más accesible y ofrece una gama amplia de paisajes, suficiente para tener una buena idea de la riqueza natural existente en la región.

 

volcan lanín parque conguillio

 

El sendero de la Sierra Nevada comienza desde una de las playas más bellas del lago Conguillio, pasa a través de un espectacular bosque endémico con varios miradores frente al lago en el camino. Después de 3 horas, el sendero alcanza un mirador despejado y fuera del bosque, frente al Volcán Llaima y el Lago Conguillío.

La caminata no es técnica, pero requiere un mínimo de buen estado físico ya que el camino a veces puede ser empinado. En invierno, el sendero está cubierto de nieve, lo que requiere equipo de montaña y una buena experiencia en senderismo.

Esta caminata de 10 kilómetros de largo se recomienda para personas activas.

Caminata a las lagunas andinas – Parque Nacional Villarrica

 

volcan lanín sector puesco

 

Cerca de la frontera con Argentina, y ubicado en las faldas del volcán Lanín, este sendero llamado “Lagos Andinos” es una visita obligada en el Parque Nacional Villarrica.

Durante esta increíble caminata, ideal para familias, visitarás 3 lagunas en un gran bosque endémico con árboles de Coihues y Araucarias, y terminarás en un paisaje volcánico dominado por el majestuoso volcán Lanín.

La caminata comienza a orillas de la laguna de Quillelhue a 1200 metros sobre el nivel del mar. Después de 40 minutos de caminata en un terreno plano, llegarás a la laguna de Huinfiuca, el lugar perfecto para hacer un picnic.

 

sendero lagunas andinas

 

Mientras visita el parque, será testigo de cómo el volcán Lanin ha moldeado permanentemente el paisaje de la zona con sus erupciones y tendrá la fantástica oportunidad de ver y caminar sobre los flujos de lava que una vez vinieron del corazón de la Tierra. También visitarás los prístinos lagos Quillelhue, Escondido y Huinfiuca con sus aguas cristalinas que reflejan colores deslumbrantes.

La caminata no es técnica y solo requiere un mínimo de buen estado físico para poder disfrutar al máximo lo que nos brinda este maravilloso parque nacional.

Parque Nacional Huerquehue

El Parque Nacional Huerquehue está ubicado en las faldas de los Andes, a 35 km (22 millas) de Pucón. El parque cubre 12.500 hectáreas (30.890 acres) con varias lagunas, vegetación densa y árboles gigantes que son el hábitat de varias aves endémicas.

La caminata, llamada “Sendero Los Lagos” comienza fácil. Después de una corta distancia, el sendero se vuelve más duro y a veces más empinado. Sin embargo se considera un nivel de caminata relativamente fácil. Eso hace que sea popular entre los habitantes de la zona y familias que visitán Pucón y sus alrededores.

De camino a los lagos, verás la cascada Nido de Aguilas antes de que el terreno se vuelva más empinado, rodeado de gigantes Coigües y Mañíos.

 

mirador parque huerquehue

 

Desde el primer mirador podrás apreciar las vistas del Volcán Villarrica (2.847 m / 9.349 pies) y el Lago Tinquilco, que son absolutamente impresionantes. Aquí, encontrarás excelentes oportunidades para tomar fotos y la oportunidad de revitalizarte con la comida que llevas. Recuerda que debes traer toda la basura que tengas y nunca debes alimentar a los curiosos animales!

Si tiene suerte, puede observar algunas aves que viven en los bosques de Nothofagus, como el chucao tapaculo (Selorchilis rubecula), el huet-huet de garganta negra (Pteroptochos tarnii) y el pájaro carpintero magallánico (Campephilus magellanicus), entre otros.

Una vez que pasas las cataratas de Trufulco, la caminata se vuelve un poco más exigente. Una vez que estés a más de 1000 metros sobre el nivel del mar, verás los primeros árboles de Araucarias. Luego, caminarás por un bosque mixto antes de llegar al primer lago llamado Lago Chico. Se caracteriza por sus aguas cristalinas que reflejan la imagen de cientos de Araucarias y los picos nevados de los alrededores.

 

lagunas parque huerquehue

 

Después de visitar los diferentes lagos, puede comenzar la vuelta y caminar de regreso a la entrada del parque.

Reserva El Cañi

 

santuario el cañi pucon

 

La Reserva El Cañi se encuentra aproximadamente a 21 kilómetros de Pucón. Esta reserva privada de 200 hectáreas se comprometió con la preservación de la especie arbórea Araucaria Araucania.

Esta caminata, aunque no es técnica, requiere una buena condición física general, ya que estarás caminando constantemente en un terreno empinado hasta la llegada el último mirador. Comienza con approx. 1,5 kilómetros de terreno plano, y desde allí comenzará la fuerte subida por 3 kilómetros más.

Luego llegará al Refugio Aserradero (1000 metros sobre el nivel del mar). Es la entrada de la reserva, con las primeras vistas panorámicas sobre el valle y la flora. Pasarás por la laguna de Las Totoras, la laguna Negra rodeada por los milenarios árboles de Araucaria, Lengua y Coihue.

El camino final sube hasta llegar al del sendero, su recompensa. Tendrás una vista panorámica de 360 ​​° sobre 4 volcanes, dos lagos y los valles alrededor de la Reserva.

Además, puedes caminar por un pequeño sendero que comienza en la Laguna negra y te lleva a 6 lagunas más.

Ascenso al Volcán Villarrica

 

ascenso volcan villarrica

 

Sin duda, el ascenso al Volcán Villarrica (2800 metros) es una actividad obligada si planea visitar Pucón. Es uno de los volcanes más activos de América del Sur. La subida a su cráter abierto es definitivamente una experiencia única en la vida.

La aventura temprano, a las 06:00 am approximadatamente. Primero, se llega en vehículo al centro de esquí ubicado a 1.300 metros. Luego, se pone el equipo de montaña cual uso es obligatorio. La caminata comienza con 2 opciones: usar el telesilla, o comenzar a caminar de inmediato.

Dependiendo de su ritmo de caminata, le tomará aproximadamente 4 a 5 horas para llegar al cráter abierto. A partir de ahí, tendrás una increíble vista panorámica de 360 ​​° sobre volcanes, lagos, montañas y valles alrededor.

 

ascenso volcan villarrica

 

El descenso consiste en deslizarse hacia abajo hasta la base del Volcán. Dura aproximadamente 2 hora hasta la base. Al llegar, los esperarán para regresar a Pucón para un merecido descanso.

Esta caminata está regulada por el Municipio de Pucón. Por ende, sólo pueden acceder contratando los servicios de empresas registradas para realizarla.

Caminata al glaciar Pichillancahue – Parque Nacional Villarrica

 

sendero glaciar pichillancahue

 

La caminata a Pichillancahue no es muy famosa, pero seguramente te dejará sin aliento por su paisaje. Esta es una caminata adecuada para todos los que buscan conexión con la naturaleza, desde niños hasta adultos mayores.

Este glaciar está ubicado en el Parque Nacional Villarrica, por el lado del poblado de Coñaripe. Podrás ver varios majestuosos volcanes nevados como Quetrupillán y Rucapillán. La vegetación cambia de bosques de Raulí y Hualle a Araucarias a medida que asciende a Chinay. El punto más alto del día está a 1.250 metros de altitud.

Después de aproximadamente 1,5 horas de caminata, llegarás al sendero del glaciar Pichillancahue. Un buen lugar para relajarse y comer un buen refrigerio para recargar energía si es necesario. El resto del sendero (3.5 horas de ida y vuelta) conduce a un glaciar fenomenal cubierto por cenizas volcánicas negras. Una vez más, podrás disfrutar de las impresionantes vistas de cuatro volcanes.

 

sendero glaciar pichillancahue

Esta caminata no es técnica y no requiere ningún equipo de montaña. El mejor tiempo de caminata es durante la temporada de verano.

Visitar el destino de Lagos y Volcanes de Chile es definitivamente una visita obligada para todos los excursionistas y amantes de la naturaleza.

¡Eche un vistazo a nuestras experiencias de senderismo en el sur de Chile para algunas aventuras salvajes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn about the Chilean culture

Musician Accordeon

Amity Tours offers not just a simple trip to Chile. We make sure you learn more about the Chilean culture during all our tours. We would like to share some traditions from our friendly local team.

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 do enable our guests to discover and explore hidden corners, meet local communities and immerse themselves in the Chilean culture. This does reflect not only in our visits to the local indigenous communities but also in our team. You will find a true friend in our experienced and professional guides and drivers. In today’s post, we would like to introduce you to our top drivers, Orlando and Bernardo Gonzalez.

People behind Amity Tours

Our trips would not be possible without the fundamental collaboration of Orlando and Bernardo. These two brothers are not only our most experienced drivers, but also the hosts of our headquarters. Trouble shooters for any kind of unexpected issue before, during and after the trips, our personal mechanics and trailer builders and most important always ready for a nice chat and laugh.

Man Hiking OutdoorMan Chile Van

Thus, both of them started working with Amity Tours in 2007 and helped our company growing during the last 13 years!

They grew up about 45 kilometers outside of Pucón, up in the mountains and far away from civilization. Surrounded by beautiful native forests and Araucarias (monkey puzzle tree). The school was located 12 kilometers away from their house. By foot or horseback, was the only way to get there. So, they spent the whole week down in the school and only got home on the weekends.

Bernardo is not only a very experienced and safe driver. But he also loves riding bicycles. During our spectacular road cycling trips, he helps out whenever there is a mechanical problem. He also jumps on a bike to accompany our clients whenever possible.

Van Sprinter Volcano Flowers

The most fun part for him on the trips is the cultural night. We try to involve a nice evening with great local artists, where we show our traditional music and dance to our guests. This is where Bernardo presents his talent for music.

La Cueca – the chilean traditional dance

In 1979, la cueca was adopted as the national dance of Chile. Its presence can be recognized throughout the national territory, varying the choreographic and musical form according to the geographical area in which it is interpreted. But always preserving a common pattern that makes it a unique and differentiated dance;

The huaso (Chilean cowboy) advances towards the girl he likes the most and offers her his arm. She gets up, accompanying him in a short walk along the hall. The initial steps are very measured, calm, hesitant. The tissue move smoothly and, suggesting the insinuating twist of the Cueca, the huaso chases the fleeing woman, and using the tissue as if it were a soft loop, surrounds her without touching and brings his tissue to her side.

At the end, the huaso begins the shoe-tapping and usually looks like a skills competition with itself until the last lap and the hug and knee land.

In the countryside of southern Chile, the traditional dresses to dance the cueca are the peasant or country dress. The lady uses floral dresses with a petticoat underneath to expand the dresses and see them in broad form, shoes with heels. The man wears trousers sleeved up to the knee, straw hat, shirt and a blanket of red, blue, white colors.

People Party Guitar

Bernardo mentioned that exactly these very unique dress codes are making the dance a real spectacle! “Otra cosa es con guitarra”. (chilean slang which in this context would mean: there is no comparison between a dance in a normal dress or dance in the traditional cueca dress)

Let’s focus on another particularity of the Chilean culture.

The Chilean Slang

You can definitely fill a whole book about Chilean slangs and their meanings. Because of that, most foreigners coming to Chile struggle trying to understand the locals, especially at the beginning! It is part of the chilean traditions, using lots of particular slangs and words while talking. Every region has its particularity, in southern Chile for example people use to talk very fast and kind of sing their words.

Would you like to learn some slangs to survive in the Chilean jungle?

Bernardos favorite one is: Güatita llena – Corazón contento. = Belly full – heart happy. Which means enjoying a nice meal makes you happy.

A word Orlando think is very typical in Chile is: Pucha! = Oops!

Furthermore, some other slangs and words that may interest you traveling to Chile:

  • Andar a lo gringo: Not to wear underwear. (We ask ourselves: Do a lot of Americans go around not wearing underwear, or is this just a cultural stereotype?)
  • buena onda! = All right!, great
  • ¿Cachai? = Do you understand?
  • Pololo / Polola = Boyfriend / Girlfriend
  • Guagua = Baby in the mapuche language

Now, you should be prepared for your next trip to our country. That is why our two top drivers would like to invite you to another Chilean custom – join a typical barbecue with a nice cup of local wine.

The chilean wine

Wine Bottle Nature

In Chile we are very proud about our wine production. Thus there is no household in our country without a good bottle of the delicious drink. Bernardo recommends trying the emblematic grape called Carménère.

Amity Tours has developed an amazing Wine Tour that comprehends 5 wine valleys on central area: Maipo Valley, Casablanca Valley, Aconcagua Valley, Colchagua Valley and San Antonio Valley; a unique experience not to be missed. Where you’ll understand and verify why Chilean wines have earned such many prices and great reputation worldwide.

Fully licensed and responsible tour operator

Last but not least, Bernardo and Orlando want to highlight some other reasons why they really like working at Amity Tours. We are a sustainable tour operator, fully licensed and certified and care about our local team not mattering which role they play inside the company’ structure.

We are looking forward to showing you the Chilean culture and the beautiful landscapes in the Lake and Volcano District!

 

 

The History of Amity Tours

Cristian Alejandro Amity Tours

The History of Amity Tours

By Cristian Levy, CEO & Founder

During all these years, many clients, guests, friends and colleagues have asked me the same question: “How did Amity begin?

The answer is a long story and I will share it with you in this blog.

The story goes way back to 1948. My grandfather, Hector Levy, was an adventurer and his greatest passion was exploring the mountains of Chile’s central valleys. Together, with a group of friends and the Grez Family, they organized trips to the mountains near Santiago.

Only people with a deep love for the mountain could go on these journeys, as they were not easy nor comfortable. They used adapted livestock trucks to get to the foothills of the Andes. From there, they continued by mule-back and finally hiked or skinned up the last snow-capped section until they arrived at the mountain refuge. One of these refuges was the famous Refugio Gaston Saavedra.

 

the andes mountain
Hector Levy (first on the left) and his family visiting the mountains circa 1948.

 

My grandfather was a travelling salesman. He traveled across the country in his Citroën 2CV, selling shoes made by his family’s shoe factory. In his free time, he would venture to the mountains or go on bike rides with his relatives.

 

Hector Levy and Brothers
Hector Levy (first on the left) and his brothers-in-law circa 1950.

1954

At a young age, my father Alejandro started to come on these trips to the mountains. For a little kid, the trip was even harder, but getting dizzy with the winding road was not a reason to miss out on the adventure. He became close friends with the Grez family, skiing all over the mountain in La Parva, El Colorado and Farellones.

 

Alejandro Levy Amity Tours
Alejandro Levy posing with his ski gear circa 1956.

 

1960

My father joined the Boy Scouts at the Jewish Center in Santiago. His exceptional athletic skills made him stand out among the other kids. Thus, he was offered to go to Israel and join a sports program, but his family objected to his going.

1968

At the age of 18, my father was a very talented football (soccer) player, playing during his childhood at school and on the streets with neighborhood kids. In his last year of high school, he was awarded goal scorer of the inter-school football tournament.

 

Alejandro Levy Amity
Alejandro Levy (on the right) at school circa 1968.

1970-75

My father studied engineering at the Universidad Tecnica de Santiago, where he met Paty, my mom. Here he once again stood out for his athleticism. While he was playing football on the university team, he was recruited to play on Chile’s National Football team (amateur division). For 5 years, he traveled in Chile and Argentina playing for the Chilean Football team and played at the qualifiers for the Olympic Games.

 

Chilean Football Team
Alejandro (first on the front left) at the Stadium circa 1974.

 

Football Player Alejandro Levy
Alejandro in football jersey at the Stadium circa 1974.

 

1978

This is the year I was born. My father’s love for the mountain continued as he volunteered as a skiing instructor at El Colorado Ski Resort. As soon as I could walk, he took me skiing in the mountains and taught me to love and respect Nature.

 

Cristian Levy Amity
Cristian in ski gear, Farellones circa 1983.

 

1982

My father Alejandro continued with his sports activities, joining the bicycle club of CDUC. Then in 1983, he biked from Santiago to Mendoza with the club, riding and climbing the Andes mountains from Chile to Argentina.

 

Cyclist Alejandro Levy
Alejandro in bicycle jersey crossing the Andes (Portillo Hotel, circa 1983)

 

1986

I followed in my father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and grew into a highly active boy, joining the swimming team at CDUC. This club became my second home during my childhood.

 

Cristian Levy Amity
Cristian in CDUC uniform boarding a plane for a swimming tournament (Iquique, circa 1988)

 

1990

My father continued teaching skiing at El Colorado Ski Resort, mostly to friends and colleagues. On the weekends, I joined him as much as I could.

This year, my grandfather Hector planted the seed of entrepreneurship within me by lending me twenty dollars for a little business. He didn’t tell me what to do, only that I had to return the money. Then, with that money I went to buy candy and started selling it at school. Within a week, I sold all the candy and returned the loan to my grandfather. I remember feeling so proud of paying back my grandfather, and so I continued with the side business until my commercial activity was banned at school.

This same year, I joined the Boy Scouts movement, where I remained actively involved for a decade. In this group. I learnt the values of friendship and teamwork, and my love for the nature deepened.

 

Cristian Levy Amity
Cristian in ski gear (El Colorado, circa 1990)

 

1995

I graduated from high school and almost immediately searched for a seasonal job at a local retail store (wrapping Christmas presents), so I could generate my own income and be more financially independent. My parents encouraged me to do that just as much as my grandfather did. With the money I made, I went on my first self-supported trip to Pucon. I took my brother, Jano, with me.

Later, my Boy Scouts friends joined us as they became aware of my travel plans. At the time, I never imagined that Pucon would become my home and the headquarters of my adventure travel company.

1997

I enrolled at the SEK University in Santiago to study Tourism Planning. I didn’t totally understand the exact reasons for my decision to study tourism, but felt that this had been part of my whole life. Actually, since I was a young boy, I had always wanted to be a doctor, but it was clear that life had chosen a different path for me.

 

Cristian Levy Amity
Cristian and friends exploring the Andes mountains (Cerro Provincia, circa 1998)

 

1998

My father Alejandro moved by himself to southern Chile for a job as an engineer at a mattress plant. There, my father discovered and fell in love with the landscapes of the Lake and Volcano District.

Meanwhile, the rest of the family stayed in Santiago. My mom’s love and support was key during this year. Reinforcing her teachings about how to be kind, self-sufficient and responsible.

 

The Levy Father and Sons
Alejandro with his children discovering their new home in La Araucania. Kutralkura Geopark, Quinquen.

 

In the summer of 1998, my grandfather once again encouraged me to continue gaining experience in the business world and lent me 300 dollars. With this money, I opened a beachfront kiosk called La Ruka (the house) in Guanaqueros, in Northern Chile. That summer, our kiosk was awarded the sales point with the highest ice-cream sales in the region. At the end of the summer season, I paid back the loan to my grandfather and with the profits and my mom’s help, traveled to Rapa Nui, Easter Island.

 

La Ruka Salespoint
Cristian and his brother Jano in the La Ruka kiosk. (Summer of 1998)

 

1999

My father finally felt settled in Temuco, and my mom and brothers went to live with him in southern Chile. I stayed in Santiago to finish college. This was a very hard decision for my family, but it turned out to be a great change of lifestyle.

The summer of 1999 I applied for an internship at the regional Tourism Board, SERNATUR Araucania, and just like my father did, fell in love with the nature and people of the region. I fondly remember my first visit to Conguillio National Park, where I was completely amazed by the Araucaria forest.

 

Alejandro and Cristian Levy
Alejandro and Cristian during his internship. (Summer of 1999)

 

2001

I graduated from University with honors and my Tourism Planning degree. Shortly thereafter, my classmate, German Pino, and I started to work as junior tourism consultants at EuroChile Foundation (German later joined Amity as partner in 2011).

This foundation specializes in promoting and consolidating economic, commercial and technological links between public and private institutions from Chile and the European Union. Tourism is one of their main pillars. Our mission there was to create and develop Chile’s first inbound ecotourism operator.

 

Cristian Levy Eurochile
Cristián working for Ecoaustral (Chile’s first ecotourism operator, circa 2003)

 

2002

The Asian economic crisis hit Chile hard and my father lost his job at the mattress plant. Despite many attempts to find a job in his field, he couldn’t find one. My mother became the family’s primary breadwinner, working as a financial advisor at a local bank in Temuco.

I couldn’t stop worrying about my father’s situation, so I mentioned this to my boss and friend Gerd Walther. He suggested we start a tour company with my father in southern Chile, but I didn’t take him seriously. However, I told my father about my boss’s idea and he only smiled quietly.

 

History Amity Tours
My boss and dear friend Gerd Walther (RIP)

 

2003

While working at EuroChile developing the inbound ecotourism operator, we received a particular request by email: a family of four from Brazil wanted a 12-day trip to Chile with skiing lessons included. They didn’t want to visit the classic ski resorts in central Chile. Instead, they wanted to explore the small and less known ski centers located around the southern volcanoes. I immediately told my boss about this request and he didn’t hesitate to put me in charge of the request and organize the whole trip. He told me to ask my father to work as a ski instructor during the tour and run it on behalf of the company.

The month of July arrived, and my father and I went to greet the Esteves Abreu Family from Rio de Janeiro. We delivered a 2-week guided skiing trip visiting the southern volcanoes: Llaima, Lonquimay and Villarrica. The tour ended up being a total success, with Eder, Mônica, Beatriz and Eduardo learning how to ski and promising that they will return the next year for more skiing lessons. This family became Alejandro’s first client, repeating their skiing trip to Chile for the next 10 consecutive years. To this date, the Levy and Abreu families remain great friends and continue seeing each other.

 

History Amity Tours
The Esteves Abreu family with their private guide and instructor Alejandro.

 

It was after this first trip that Alejandro realized that he could do what he loved most and earn a living at the same time. Here, my father made an important decision, selling the family’s house in Santiago and partnering with me to create our family-owned tour company in August of 2003.

By then, I was working in Santiago on a project with a travel book writer from the USA named Pete Nelson, with the goal of writing a new edition of a Chile travel guide. Pete was a senior marketing expert who had worked for important world-wide hotel chains such as Hilton and Intercontinental. It was here that I saw an opportunity to validate a list of potential names for our tour company.

But Pete didn’t pay attention to that list and instead gave me a great piece of advice: “if you want people to find you first pick a name that starts with the letter A, and make sure anyone can easily pronounce that name no matter which country they are from”. So, I took out my pocket Spanish/English dictionary and found the word “amity”, which means friendship, friendly, concord, good vibrations. And with this meaning as a central value, we began our tour company.

 

History Amity Tours
My father Alejandro, my brother Jano, and me with our first van and logo (September 2003)

 

Finally, as an established tour company, in September 2003 we received the first group of foreign travelers. The group consisted of seven guests from the UK coming with Phil Smith, an international all-mountain skiing instructor and director of the skiing company Snoworks.

Snoworks is one of the UK’s leading providers of all-mountain ski courses to destinations around the world. This group of British skiers represented Amity’s first business account, and remains one of the Levy family’s favorite and dear clients.

 

Ski Chile Amity Snoworks
Our first B2B group with Snoworks (Pucon, September 2003)

 

Ski Chile Amity Snoworks
My father Alejandro with Phil Smith

 

If you liked this story, please share it! Maybe someday my father will tell it to you in person as you go on a chairlift with him or while hiking on the trails of our beloved country, Chile.

Lonquimay Volcano Chile
Alejandro and Cristian summiting Lonquimay Volcano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confirmed Bike Tour 2020 Chile

bike chile

We are pleased to announce that our top Bike Tour in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District is confirmed. It will start on December 20, 2020, thus making it an ideal trip after the total solar eclipse.

 

Nothing compares to the outstanding sense of journey you experience on a Bike Tour. It’s the excitement of discovering under your own capacity, riding from one amazing place to the next. It’s the freest way of travel you’ll come across, giving you the chance to choose how your day unfolds. You can pedal at your own speed, discovering and experiencing amazing natural areas in Southern Chile.

Have you thought about where your next adventure on your bike will be ? If biking is your passion, then this travel experience is the best for you!

Experience cycling the back roads located in Southern Chile

This upcoming spring and summer (from November 2020 to April 2021), cycling the scenic routes of the Lake and Volcano District will be the best eco-friendly way to discover the region. Moreover, it is the best time of the year to ride around lakes, ancient forests and little quaint villages.

During eight days, you will…

  • Visit Kütralkura UNESCO Global Geopark, Lonquimay Volcano and Malalcahuello National Reserve

kutralkura geopark chile

  • Climb The Andes Mountains at the Alto Biobio National Reserve

border chile argentina

  • Discover Pucon and best attractions: the Villarrica Volcano, Caburgua Lake and natural hot springs

Caburgua Lake ride

  • Ride Chile’s famous Seven Lakes Route & discover the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve

7-lake route chile

  • Explore Puerto Varas and surroundings: Llanquihue Lake, Petrohue Waterfalls and Osorno Volcano.

osorno volcano bike tour

Riding Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

Our bike tour starts at Temuco Airport, where our friendly team will be expecting you. First we’ll leave the city, driving towards the Malalcahuello National Reserve, where your hotel is located. You’ll meet the first of the many natural companions of the tour, with a striking view of Lonquimay Volcano from hotel. Following up the check-in, we’ll do a warm up ride through Curacautín.

corralco hotel

Then, on the second ride, we will travel alongside the Lonquimay River and visit the Kütralkura Geopark. We’ll pass through the territory of the local Pewenche indigenous communities.

bike tour chile

The third day will be dedicated to enjoying great views of three different volcanoes : Lonquimay, Llaima, Sierra Nevada and Villarrica). Indeed, we’ll go for an amazing hike starting from hotel. We’ll pass through an ancient forest of araucaria trees, some of them dating over 2.000 years old. Afterwards, we’ll leave the Malalcahuello National Reserve, and travel to the second destination of this bike tour: Pucón. This quaint city, located between pristine lakes and the active Villarrica volcano, is Chile’s capital of adventure tourism.

hike malalcahuello reserve

When cycling Pucón and surroundings, we will enjoy great views and volcanic landscapes. Throughout the ride, our guide will help us identify several species of birds and trees as we cycle next to beautiful farms and enjoy views of the Villarrica volcano. With a little good luck, we will see smoke coming out of this active volcano.

caburgua bike tour

Our bike tour continues as we will bike through Chile´s 7-Lake Scenic Route. We’ll pedal alongside the shores of two beautiful lakes, Calafquén and Panguipulli, and cover three-quarters of the way around the majestic, snow-capped active Villarrica Volcano. This road is smooth and quiet as almost no vehicles drive here. At one point, we will be striked by the stunning views of five volcanoes.

cycling 7-lake route chile

The last stage of this unforgettable trip will be the Llanquihue Lake. This area is great for bike tours and it is considered Chile’s first Bike Friendly destination. We will pass through small towns such as Frutillar, Llanquihue and Ensenada. Finally we’ll arrive at Puerto Varas, dominated by the Osorno Volcano. If you want to challenge yourself, you can do some extra pedaling and ride up the Osorno, the steepest climb in South America.

puerto varas bike tour

Lastly, we will visit the local Market, which is the perfect place for wonderful souvenirs, handcrafts and woolen clothing. Afterwards we will drive you the airport where this adventure ends.

Cycling Southern Chile is a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience in which you get to discover the beautiful landscapes of the Lake and Volcano District!

The active volcanoes of Southern Chile

villarrica volcano

Geographically, the Chilean territory is located in one of the greatest areas of volcanic & seismic activities in the whole world. The Pacific Ring of Fire, close to the Andes mountain range, carved by water, ice and volcanoes. With more than 2.000 volcanoes and 90 potentially active, Chile has one of the largest volcanic chains in the world. Indeed, great historical eruptions, such as the eruption of the Calbuco Volcano in 2015, have had regional and global consequences.

In this article, you will learn more about the most active volcanoes located in the beautiful Lake & Volcano District.

Southern Chile

 

araucaria trees chile
The endemic tree forests are the typical landscape of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

 

From Santiago de Chile to Puerto Montt (the entrance to Patagonia), we find a wide variety of landscapes with lands covered with forests of araucarias and dotted with lagoons, rivers or lakes. Moreover, here and there, we can admire the active volcanoes of the Chilean Lake & Volcano District. They are the perfect spot for nature lovers to enjoy mountain activities, such as hiking, mountain biking & skiing.

Kütralkura Geopark – Lonquimay Volcano

 

lonquimay
Lonquimay Volcano

 

The Lonquimay volcano is located 130 kilometers north-east of Temuco city, in the Araucanía Region. It is part of Chile’s first Geopark. The UNESCO highlighted Kütralkura Global Geopark as one of the most active volcanisms in the world. Indeed, it is geologically located in the heart of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Surrounded by the magical landscape of Southern Chile, the Lonquimay volcano becomes more attractive as it enters the Andes Mountain Range. In the horizon, we can admire the other volcanoes around like the Llaima, Villarrica, Quetrupillán, Lanín & Sierra Nevada.

 

ski Lonquimay
Summerskiing on the Lonquimay volcano

 

During autumn season, the snows slowly covers the volcano, which makes the area remarkably beautiful. In winter, it is fully covered by snow, in addition to the endemic araucaria tree forests that also get covered by white. This makes it possible to enjoy winter sports at the Corralco Ski Resort, on the slopes of the volcano. During spring and summer, the thaw radically changes the appearance and color of the volcano. Due to the solidified lava constitution, it takes a reddish color, leaving only the eternal ice on top.

Moreover, the attractive summit of the Lonquimay does not only allow us to the natural beauties around, such as the lagoons, rivers, volcanoes, etc. It also gives us the chance to see a tremendous crater, of more than 800-meters long (one of the largest of Chile’s southern volcanoes), completely covered by a glacier.

 

lonquimay winter
Skiing near the summit of the Lonquimay Volcano

 

Regarding its volcanic activity, the Lonquimay became particularly well known for the events that happened during Christmas in 1988. During an eruption that lasted approximately one year, it sculpted a small crater near the north slope. As a result, the “Christmas Crater” was born. Located in the lower part of the Lonquimay, it is possible to visit it with a specialist as it is active.

Conguillío National Park – Llaima Volcano

 

Conguillío National Park Llaima
Conguillío National Park – Llaima Volcano

 

From Temuco city, the Llaima volcano already makes itself noticeable with its three visible peaks. Located 80 kilometers from this city, it is part of the eastern landscape. Also, the Llaima occupies a large part of the Conguillío National Park where it stands out as the highest summit.

The presence of a ski resort located on its western flank makes it the perfect place to visit during winter. Thank to this, it helps in being the most visited volcano in southern Chile. Surrounded by araucarias forests and by beautiful mountain lakes, the Llaima and surroundings give us the opportunity to enjoy wonderful landscapes.

Historically, it is one of the most active volcanoes in South America, and one of the largest in the southern Andes. The western, south-western and eastern flanks possess more than 29 km2 of glaciers. Shape-wise, it is an almost-perfect cone, although it consists of two peaks and about 40 cones of adventitious slag. The northern summit exhibits an open crater of 350-meters wide, and more than 300 meters in depth. Since 1994, the crater presents an active fumarole with gas emission and water vapor. Lastly, the southern summit has remains of a small cone made of slag nested in a blocked crater of about 200 meters.

Regarding the volcanic activity of the Llaima, the historical record includes 48 eruption between 1640 and 2009. During these events, lava flows, lahar formation, pyroclastic projection and occasionally the generation of pyroclastic flows occurred. Finally, the last eruptive cycle began in May 2007, with a weak ash emission.  A moderate strombolian eruption followed with lahar generation in January 2008, culminating in April 2009 with a vigorous strombolian eruption.

 

Villarrica National Park – Villarrica Volcano

 

villarrica volcano
Pichillancahue Glacier located at the foothills of the Villarrica Volcano

 

The Villarrica volcano is an active volcano with the largest historical record of eruptions in Chile, and even South America. Geographically, it is located at the south of the Villarrica Lake, and at the north of the Calafquén Lake. It is a stratovolcano located on a volcanic chain aligning it with the Quetrupillán and Lanín volcanoes.

At the top, we find an open crater of 200 meters of diameter. Generally with continuous fumarole and a quasi-permanent lava lake, whose surface has variable height depending on the moon. Moreover, an important glacier covers the Villarrica, and extends for 30.3 kilometers square.

The volcanic activity of the Villarrica began about 650.000 years ago. Throughout the years, it has developed explosive and effusive eruptions, with the emission of magmatic material essentially. As product of the explosive post-glacial activity, voluminous pyroclastic flows and formation of boilers were generated mainly 13.900 and 3.900 years ago. Lastly, since 1558, there have been about 49 eruptions, mainly of an effusive nature.

The impressive last eruption happened in 2015

The last explosive eruption was recorded on March 3, 2015. It generated a lava source almost 2 km high above the crater. In addition, an almost 12-kilometers tall column of tefra remained held for almost 19 minutes.

 

Besides being the most active volcano, the Villarrica is undoubtedly the main natural attraction in Southern Chile. Indeed, the ski center located at the base of the volcano (1.400 meters) is the perfect spot for summer skiing and snowboarding. As a matter of fact, the resort is one of the most moderns in South America. The infrastructure is great, with 9 ski lifts and 20 ski slopes of different levels of difficulty.

In spring and summer, the base of the Villarrica volcano is perfect for hiking activities. Through the endemic araucaria and nothofagus tree forests, the hiking trails in the area are infinite. However, the most impressive hike to do is certainly the one that takes us to the open-crater. From there, the view is breath-taking and allows us to see the different volcanoes, lakes, lagoons around, and the unmissable Andes as landscape.

 

Villarrica volcano climb
Climbing the Villarrica volcano is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience

Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park – Osorno Volcano

 

osorno volcano
The Osorno volcano is our best companion when cycling around Puerto Varas

 

The Osorno volcano is located approximately 50 kilometers from the quaint city of Puerto Varas, between the Llanquihue & Todos Los Santos Lakes. It belongs to the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. It is in this area where volcanism has been, along with tectonic processes and glaciers, the main factors that shaped the Andes mountain range. In fact, the Osorno is a stratovolcano that belongs to the Southern Volcanic Zone of the Andes. It forms a transverse volcanic chain along with the La Picada, Puntiagudo & Cordón Cenizos volcanoes. Like the Villarrica volcano, the summit of the Osorno is covered by a glacier.

The volcanic activity of the Osorno began some 200.000 years ago, building itself as a stratovolcan immersed in the ice field dominating the landscape during the so-called Santa María glacial period. The post-glacial eruptive activity is characterized both by the occurrence of eruptions from the central crater, and by the activity of parasitic centers located on the flanks. Historically, the eruptive activity of the Osorno volcano has been characterized essentially by episodes of low explosivity. As of now, the faint fumarole since the beginning of the 20th century under the ice of the summit seems to have attenuated.

Last, but not least, the Osorno volcano is the highlight of our top bike tour in Chile’s Lake & Volcano District. Indeed, besides getting to cycle your way towards the Petrohue falls, you have the chance to challenge yourself and climb the Osorno volcano as it is South America’s steepest climb.

In Amity, we are blessed to operate our top travel experiences in the beautiful Lake and Volcano District. Together with our friendly team of expert guides, you can explore the best volcanic attractions of southern Chile. Either by hiking, skiing or cycling, the visit of the most active volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire is a must-do when traveling to Chile.

 

Chile – A journey from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean

Cordillera las Raíces

Chile is about 4300-kilometers long. We all talk about the extreme diversity from north to south. But did you know that in the average width of only 177 kilometers you can find an impressive natural and cultural diversity too? We take you on a journey from the Andes to the Pacific through the Lake and Volcano District.

 

Pichillancahue Glacier Hike
Hiking to the Pichillancahue Glaciar

First of all, some facts about the geography of Chile

In Chile, there are four large strips of relief, which give the physical environment a markedly longitudinal character.

These are:

  • The Andes Mountain Range, high and wide in the north, which descends to the south.
  • The intermediate depression, with high plateaus in the north.
  • The Cordillera de la Costa, lower than the Andean heights, but with difficult access to the sea.
  • The extensive Chilean shoreline with its equal coasts from Arica to Chiloé and dismembered towards the south of the country.

The Andes mountain range constitutes an imposing wall. Whose altitude gradually descends from north to south. Starting at the heights of the Nevado Ojos del Salado (6,893 m) in the province of Atacama, reaching  the modest peaks of Darwin (2,135 m), in the province of Magallanes.

Its colossal heights on the western slope are of climatic and economic importance. It acts as a climate screen, intercepting the western humid air masses and forcing them to rise and precipitate on its slope. Thus, it is how it is transformed into the reservoir of water and snow that it generates in rivers. These cross our country transversely and serve to irrigate the fields of the intermediate depression, supply water to urban agglomerations and allow energy to be obtained through hydroelectric plants.

Chile’s numerous rivers are relatively short; they are generally born in the Andes and flow west towards the Pacific. Thus, in the northern and central regions they feed mainly by the eternal snows that cover the Andes. While most of the great Chilean lakes, including the Llanquihue, concentrate in the wonderful southern lake region.

The natural and cultural diversity in only 150 kilometers

Let us get an idea about the divers landscapes in only 150-kilometers width. We take you on a imaginative trip from east to west to our beautiful Lake and Volcano District!

 

Cordillera las Raíces
Cordillera las Raíces

The Andes Mountain Range

Starting at the Andes Mountain Range we dive into the mystical Araucaría (monkey puzzle tree) forests and connect to the millenary species around us. Therefore we hike through deep forests, cross by crystal-clear lagoons and breath the fresh air of these altitudes. Meanwhile we imagine the daily life of the inhabitants in this area.

The local mapuche communities (Pewenches) are named after the Pewen – Araucaria, being its fruit the central element of their diet. History relates that the Mapuche were mainly engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding. However, the Pewenches have been noted for being gatherers and ranchers. It is argued that the Pewenche “owned herds of llamas, which made them herdsmen-farmers who used wool. As for agriculture, the vegetation provided them with herbs and wild fruits. They cultivated corn, potatoes, beans, goose and quinoa, among which the pehuén”(Acosta, 2004: 4). Today, this ancient practice of collecting the gülliw – piñion – is maintained, starting the most characteristic process today: the “Veranadas” at the beginning of March.

 

Piñion, Araucaría fruit
Piñon, Araucaría fruit

 

Before continuing our journey towards the west, we climb up one of the magical volcanoes in the area. Let us try to reach the top of the very active Villarrica Volcano. We might even spot some lava on the top! Therefore we cross a glacier and prepare ourselves for some strong winds.

As soon as we reach the top we get impressed by the volcanic activity of the Villarrica (or Rukapillan, in the Mapuche language). Moreover the scenic view overlooking the beautiful lakes, rivers and volcanoes around will take your breath away.

The countryside and its prairies

Now, as we got to know the Andes Mountain Range, it is time to visit the flatter areas. Around the lakes, like Panguipulli, Villarrica and the second biggest Lake of Chile, Llanquihue, we enjoy the harmony of the green prairies, the wide rivers and the wheat fields. Lay back and feel the calm lifestyle on the countryside.

 

Chilean Lake and Volcano District Prairie
Prairie of the Chilean Lake and Volcano District

 

In this flatter area the Nagche and Wenteche Mapuche communities settled their homes. They mostly live from the agriculture and cattle breeding. In addition to the Mapuche families, many German immigrants found their new home in the Lake and Volcano District. Around the big lakes we find many German styled houses and can feel the German influence also on the menus. It is easy to understand, why these area is famous for its great cheese and beer…

 

Getting to the Pacific Ocean

Before we reach the coast, we have to take a deeper look at the very unique Valdivian rainforest. Were we count with an unusual diversity of tree species, many of which are unique in the world. Especially the Valdivian jungle stands out for its beauty. Some species of conifers in the Chilean forest are among the longest-lived in the world, for example the larch. Therefore we can enjoy some nice walks through thousand-years old forests with a dense undergrowth. Classified as a very special temperate forest, it counts with several specimens of native animals such as the Monkey of the bush, Pudú, Choroy parrot and the Black-necked Swan.

 

Reserva Alerce Costera
Larch trees at the Alerce Costero Reserve

 

Not only the landscape changes, while we get closer to the coast. Also, the habits and name of the local mapuche communities changes: Lafkenches (people belonging to the sea) use the coast as a settlement. They have an economy and way of life closely related to the sea and marine resources (fish, shellfish, marine mammals, etc.).

 

Shellfish Mapuche Lafkenche
Shellfish Mapuche Lafkenche

 

Finally on the Pacific Ocean, we get impressed by the lonely beaches, the ruff shores and the cold sea. While during the migration season (sep-may) we might even observe some delfines and whales close to the coast. Without any doubt getting to the Pacific Ocean after climbing up an active volcano, crossing by the harmonious prairies and getting lost in the dense Valdivian jungle is a the jewel in the crown.

 

Mapu Lahual Pacific Ocean
Mapu Lahual Pacific Ocean

 

Do you want to explore the Epic Pacific Coast trails?

 

Source: www.cultura.gob.cl/estudios/observatorio-cultural

Helpful tips for an easy bike care

Mountainbike tires MAXXIS

The bike season in southern Chile just finished. We are now taking care of a good after season – maintenance to get our bikes ready for the next trips. We are happy to share some tips about a self-made bike care.

 

Mountainbikes on trailer

Bike care made easy

Those who maintain their bikes will have more fun with them! With the right care, you can reduce wear extremely. This way, you can avoid costly consequential damage and you are even safer on the road.  We show you how to do it – in six easy steps.

Prepare all you need before you start:

  • Brush, sponge, rag
  • Bike cleaner
  • Chain oil
  • small tool box (with Torx bits)
  • Air pump with nanometer
  • small torque wrench (up to approx. 12 Nm)
  • for bikes with suspension: damper pump and suspension lubrication

 

Bike mechanics bike tires men woman
Changing tires at Amity’s Headquarter

That is how it works

Basic cleaning

To start, first wash your bike with a sponge and a bike cleaner detergent. This is how you get rid of coarse dirt such as sand and dust. Then, dry thoroughly with a rag.

Caution: You should not use a high-pressure cleaner – it can damage the bearings and seals!

 

Suspensions

Clean the fork and damper with a clean cloth. You can spray a suspension lubrication on the stanchions to lubricate the scraper rings. Then, use a damper pump to check the air pressure in the fork and damper. A negative suspension travel of approx. 25 percent is recommended for a mountain bike.

Bicycle drive

Clean the sprocket, chain ring, chain and gear thoroughly with a small brush and a cleaner. Apply chain oil sparingly. Then shift through all the gears a few times and wipe off the excess oil with a rag. If your circuit is hooked, you can adjust it using the adjusting screw.

 

Bike gear yellow black mountain bike

Tires

Check the profile. Are the tires worn? If yes, new ones are indispensable as worn tires are a safety risk! Are they still okay? Then check the air pressure. Proper tire pressure lets your bike roll quickly, ride smoothly, and avoid flats. Narrow tires need more air pressure than wide ones: Road tires typically require 80 to 130 psi (pounds per square inch); mountain tires, 25 to 35 psi; and hybrid tires, 40 to 70 psi.

 

Mountainbike tires MAXXIS

 

Brakes

Check the brake pads, blocks and discs. The covering on the brake pads should be at least one millimeter thick (check the manufacturer’s instructions!). If the rubbers are worn, new ones have to be found. If your brake no longer grabs properly, it may need to be bled. Then, contact an experienced bike mechanic.

Screws

Check all screws (e.g. saddle clamp etc.) and tighten them with a torque wrench. The Nm specification is often written on the components. If not, you can find them in the official instructions.

Ready is your bike for some new adventures!

 

Cannondale road bike

 

*Please note, this list does not claim completeness and we recommend contacting a professional bicycle mechanic in case of uncertainty.

Check out our confirmed bike departure date for December 2020

 

biker volcano lake nature

 

Where to buy good bike tools and maintenance.

*Source

 

How the Mapuches knew what Mother Earth would be facing in 2020

Ruka mapuche traditional house

Lately, the world has been going through tough times. Either socially, financially or naturally. What could seem unpredictable for the majority of us, might not be for some other cultures with a strong connection with the planet Earth. As a result, the Mapuche culture and vision of the cosmos predicted the current global situation. In this article, you’ll find out how this indigenous community knew what we would be going through in 2020.

mapuche member pouring mate yerba
Mapuche lady pouring a traditional mate yerba

Brief history & presentation of the Mapuches

As of today, the Mapuches is one of the most notorious native group of Southern Chile & Argentina. In Chile, it is the largest and the majority of the groups inhabits the southern regions & Santiago capital city. Throughout the beginning of their existence, they have mastered the ability to adapt in different types of climate. From the Andean mountains down to the coast, from warmer temperate climatic zones to cold rainy ones. They adapted to them, developing their culture in unique ways.

Historically, they are the most tenacious people. Indeed, neither the Incas or the Spanish settlers could defeat nor dominate them, despite their war efforts. Thus, in 1691, the Spanish King recognized the independence of the Mapuches.

mapuche family
Photo Source: The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Santiago de Chile.

In Mapudungun, their native language, the word “Mapuche” means “people of the land”. Their culture is based on the oral tradition. Indeed, the Admapu (set of ancient traditions, rights, laws and norms transmitted from generation to generation) governs the social and religious conduct.

Religion & cosmovision

The Mapuche Flag
The Mapuche Flag with the Meli witran mapu, representation of the Earth and the 4 cardinal points.

Religiously, the Mapuche beliefs are based on the existence of a world populated by Gods and Spirits. However, this polytheism is summed up under the existence of an Almighty Being. The “Pillán” (Volcano), or “Neguechén” (Supreme Being), who lived in the heavenly heights and had the power to grant life and death.

In addition, they associate manifestations of nature, such as thunder, fire, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes with their duality view of the world. In a few words, the religious beliefs are based on the union between the spiritual world and the concrete world. Moreover, they see the universe as a serie of superimposed platforms in space, all grouped in 3 zones:

  • Meli ñom wenu (the 4 places above), also weno mapu (the land above). It is the platform of good where live the Gods. From the highest platform, they are distributed hierarchically: the Spirits (Gods’ minor employees), then the ancestors; both authentic (the protectors and brokers of the lineage) and mythical (the common ethical counselors).
  • Anka wenu (half up), also miche mapu (the earth below) where inhabit evil beings that don’t have any relation with each other.
  • Mapu (Earth), the natural world summarizing the permanent conflict between the two prior zones.

According to the Mapuche, the harmonic relationship between all the elements of the Earth without the humane intervention is the base of their cosmovision. Thus, the respectful use of the natural resources is fundamental for the overall well-being of the community.

The Mapuche cosmic vision is dualistic and dialectical. The wenu mapu represents the good, whereas the anka wenu minche mapu represent only the evil. On Earth, both the good and evil coexist in a synthesis that does not imply fusion, but rather a dynamic juxtaposition. So, true polarity leads to union, and the conjunction of two opposing forces is a necessary condition to achieve a dualistic cosmic balance.

What happened in 2019 revealed the current global situation

As people of the land, the Mapuche are well-connected with planet Earth. Their deep knowledge of the native fauna & flora, along with the strong connection with the cosmos, enable them to read and interpret natural events.

In a recent post, we explained why a total solar eclipse means bad omen for the future. This extraordinary event happened recently in Chile on July 2 2019. A few months after, since October 14, social protests have been taking over the streets of big Chilean cities. As a result of this strong social and political crisis, the Chilean government had to cancel some important internacional events. Indeed, both the 2019 APEC and the UN Climate Change Conference were either cancelled or organized in another country.

This singular and natural event might seem a simple coincidence for us. But not for this wise indigenous community. As a matter of fact, another natural event took place but went unnoticed through the eyes of the common.

In the Mapuche culture, the Earth always delivers messages and warnings. There exists a belief about the Quila, which is a perennial bamboo growing in the humid temperate forests of Chile and Argentina. History has demonstrated that when the Quila comes into bloom (only every 70-90 years), and the Colihue gets dry after then, it is bad omen. According to the mapuche, the Earth tries to warn us about “great battles coming”, and with it famine and drought. But after that come new buds and “young land”.

quila chilean bamboo
The quila, Chilean bamboo

Here’s a few historic examples demonstrating how the quila has been warning us without knowing:

  • When the Spanish conquerors arrived from the north of Mataquito, the quila came into bloom throughout the south of the Bío Bío Region.
  • When Cornelio Saavedra invaded Malleco, the quila blossomed from Villarrica to Boroa on the shores of the Toltén River.
  • Before the financial crisis of 1929, it blossomed in all its splendor.

In early November of 2019, it occurred once again. What has been happening globally was announced, but we failed to see it as the modern cultures turn a blind eye regarding the damages we are causing to Mother Earth and to ourselves.

With their millennial experience, the Mapuches have been able to accumulate rich knowledge in the different areas of life. Starting with its ancestral historical heritage, such as art, socio-political organization, health, the spirituality, religion, economy, culture, politics, philosophy, education, organization social, among other components.

 

Total solar eclipse in Pucón on December 14, 2020

solar eclipse 2020

Where will the phenomenon take place?

Chile is the perfect place for star gazing. On December 14th 2020, the focus will not be on stars but on the total solar eclipse.

Pucón is going to be the center of attention during this special day. The solar event is going to last 2h 50min. The eclipse will start at 11:41am with a total darkness at 1:04pm.

This very special phenomenon occurs 884 years after a similar astronomic event in the area. The Araucanía región is the territory where mainly resides the indigenous Mapuche community.

Map Chile Solar Eclipse
Foto credit: http://eclipseschile.gob.cl/index.html

Signification of a solar eclipse in the Mapuche cosmovision

 

Mapuche Ruka Woman
Señora Rosario, member of the Mapuche community
Foto credit: Jonatha Jünge

Many centuries before modern astronomy and its sophisticated telescopes, Mapuche people were already related to the cosmos. It was an important tool to predict the weather and influences on the land.

In Mapudungun, the Mapuche’s native language, a total solar eclipse is called “lai antü” or “lan antü”, which means “death of the sun”. This phenomenon is also known as “malonji ta antü” (they came to cover the sun or attack the sun) or “zumiñii antü” (the sun darkened).

This event is expected with respect, since the sun represents the way of understanding time. The „lai antü“has a strong content, so designating the death of the sun implies the suspension of time, a change of cycle for the star, a change in the process. Faced with this phenomenon of time suspension that affects nature.

A partial eclipse usually means a good year for the community. But a total eclipse is a bad omen for humanity, including the possible death of a dear and respected chieftain.

Despite the negative interpretation of the event by the Mapuches, in the occidental culture this natural phenomenon is a true once in a lifetime experience. In addition of being the capital of adventure tourism in Chile, Pucón will be the lucky host of the total solar eclipse 2020.

Safety recommendations during the eclipse

  • Do not look straight at the sun without proper eclipse glasses (certified ISO 12312-2)
  • Do not stair at the sun using your camera, telephone or binocular
  • Kids have to be supervised by an adult during the whole event

Pre and post travel options around Pucón

Do not miss your chance of getting to know the best travel options around Pucón. Take a look at our top travel experiences especially designed for active nature lovers.

Contact us for any group request or tailor made program.

Quetrupillan and Lanin Volcano
Quetrupillan and Lanin Volcano

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

 

 

 

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.

cueca chile
Copyright @thisischile.cl

La Tirana

la tirana chile
Copyright @chileestuyo.cl

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 commemoration 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.

ayquina chile atacama
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 strengthen 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 programs that will make you fully discover the traditions of this amazing country!

 

 

 

 

Best Photo of Spring Summer Season 2016 2017

biking chile

Best Photo of Spring Summer Season 2016 2017

At Amity Tours, every year we encourage our local team to take the best photos of each tour, so our guests can have great memories of their trip in South America.

Bike tours, hiking tours, skiing tours and conservation tours where the occasion in which both guides and drivers were on the hunt for great action photos.

And the Winner for this Spring & Summer 2016 2017 Season is….

Orlando Gonzalez, one of our best drivers and tour leaders.

We thank all our Facebook friends who voted for the best photo.

Congratulations to Orlando for capturing this fantastic photo. You are the best example of what PEOPLE means to Amity Tours, and we are happy for you. Here is your prize!!

 

 

 

Conservation Travel in Chile

People. You'll find a true friend in our guides

People. You'll find a true friend in our guides

Conservation Travel in Chile

Last week, we experienced a fantastic and interesting Conservation trip. Indeed in Curarrehue. Twenty-three students from Atlanta (Georgia, USA) met with the communities and learned about their ancestral traditions and activities. When we arrived at Curarrehue. it was raining. So, the community members were waiting for us inside their Ruka (Traditional House) with a big warm fire. Our host, Ms. Regina, was there to talk about the Mapuche cosmovision and ancestral knowledge. She sang a traditional song and one of the students shared with all of us one of her own songs. After this beautiful exchange, the students enjoyed playing Palín, a traditional game. Afterwards, we shared dinner with the community around the fire.

The next day, we had breakfast at Ms. Juanita’s place. We tried different dishes prepared with ingredients from her orchard and fruit trees. Sopaipillas, calzones rotos, wheat coffee, mate (a strong green tea traditionally drunk in Chile and Argentina), marmalades and jams, bread, cheese, free range eggs and fruits were some of what she served. Then, we visited her organic orchard, and continued our adventure to the Ralicura trail.

Along with our local guide, we hiked through a native forest. We learned more about the Mapuche’s belief in nature is a sacred place. After about 40 minutes, we arrived at a view point where we enjoyed incredible views of the Villarrica volcano and the Trapial Lake.

Finally, we prepared tortillas al rescoldo. In addition, we learned and how to weave in a traditional loom, as well as with vegetal fibers beside the river surrounded by trees.

At Amity Tours, we believe that contact with people and local communities can be life changing. These types of activities make our trips unforgettable experiences that will remain in the minds and hearts of our guests forever.

 

 

 

Nature Travel in Chile With Amity Tours

Nature Travel in Chile

Nature Travel Chile

NATURE TRAVEL IN CHILE

OUR KEY ELEMENTS: ADVENTURE. PEOPLE. NATURE.

You’ll find these key elements in all of the travel experiences we create.

NATURE: We feel blessed to live in a country with amazing nature. We’ll make sure you see the best of it and discover the hidden corners that will make you hold your breath in awe.

Nature, as a concept, has been socially constructed as an object and a subject that provides people with meaningful experiences. Accordingly, leisure activities in nature will enhance the interaction between people and the natural environment, and will increase their attachment to it. People will become more conscious about conservation of protected areas and will be more sustainable in the way they travel.

Since the birth of Amity Tours, we’ve dedicated ourselves to develop nature-based experiences. Most of them in Chile, and some parts of Argentina. We’ve planned each of our travel experiences with the idea of providing tranquility and spiritual well-being to our travelers. By walking and hiking through a native forest, kayaking in pristine lakes and rivers, biking through rolling hills and skiing in active volcanoes, we provide significant and invaluable memories to our guests.

Indeed, Some of our most popular trips occur in the Chile’s Lake & Volcano District. The UNESCO labeled this area as Biosphere Reserve. National Parks such as Conguillio, Villarrica, Huerquehue, Alerce Costero, and Vicente Perez Rosales had been stages for our trips providing hiking and biking trails to develop the aforementioned experiences. Our goal is that our guests learn more about our endemic species through these meaningful experiences. Thus enhancing their connection with nature in wilderness areas.

Imagine yourself hiking through an ancient forest where you can observe a 2,000-years-old Araucaria trees, or climbing up to the summit of Chile’s most active volcano. What’s more, you can also bike around lakes on remote roads meeting local people and enjoying amazing landscapes.

Nature is one of Amity Tour’s defining concepts when designing trips. We believe in sustainable tourism. Accordingly, we also believe that this type of tourism helps people to be more conscious about the environment. We invite you to experience nature with us!

 

 

Adventure Travel in Chile With Amity Tours

adventure travel in chile

 

adventure travel chile

ADVENTURE TRAVEL IN CHILE

OUR KEY ELEMENTS: ADVENTURE. PEOPLE. NATURE.

You’ll find these key elements in all of the travel experiences we create.

ADVENTURE: We are an adventure travel company and we understand “adventure” as and experience where culture and nature are the main pillars. We specialized in sport activities such as biking, hiking, and skiing, but we also understand that that comes with excellent service, comfortable hotels and great local food, wine and beer.

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 that will make our guests return home with enormous vitality. By bike, ski or foot we will enable our guests to discover and explore hidden corners, meet local communities and immerse themselves in the life of the Atacama Desert, Lake & Volcano District and Patagonia. As a result, we have created unforgettable biking, hiking, skiing and conservation adventures.

For instance, imagine yourself cycling Chile’s southern backroads. You will be able to discover a beautiful geopark, riding between pristine lakes and rivers. You’ll share with local indigenous communities while learning about their ancestral knowledge. Moreover, envision yourself and your family or friends hiking through Chile’s most impressive sights such as ancient forests in Patagonia and the Lake & Volcano district, ancient glaciers, fjords and rivers. Or exploring old shepherd trails in the Atacama Desert encompassing huge dunes, salt flats, and endemic fauna including flamingos, vicuñas, condors, foxes, guanacos and pumas.

What’s more, 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, and handling uncrowded slopes and narrow paths in the most beautiful ski centers in Chile and Argentina. You can ski on and off piste surrounded by Nothofagus forests and active volcanoes in the South of Chile.

We believe that experiencing adventures trips will enhance your attachment to nature and enhance your world view. Travel actively with Amity Tours and feel your body in motion while experiencing a fun cultural exchange.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Atacama Desert with Amity Tours

Visit Atacama Desert with Amity Tours

Visit the Atacama Desert with Amity Tours

Visit Atacama Desert with Amity Tours

Travel experiences in the driest desert in the world with Amity Tours

We are very proud and happy to announce to our clients that we have started our own operations in the Atacama Desert. We have two hiking trips starting in December 2016 and January 2017.

Whether you like hiking, indigenous cultures or are looking for a Family Adventure, you will discover amazing landscapes and enjoy incredible sunrises and sunsets. Travelling with Amity Tours through the Atacama Desert is an unforgettable experience that will provide a unique opportunity to explore one of the best remote destinations in Chile.

Hiking Northern Chile

Imagine hiking through the Moon Valley located in the Salt Mountain Range. This range forms a natural barrier between the Pacific Ocean and the Atacama Salt Flat. Its statuesque geological formations are interesting to admire. Salt emerges to the surface, covering it with a dry, whitish layer that gives the place a lunar characteristic.  We will hike a gorge, passing through caves and rocky formations that have been sculpted by the water and wind.

What’s more, we will be hiking through an enchanted canyon located at 3.200 meters over the sea level. Originally formed by volcanic eruptions from the Sairecabur Volcano, its surface is now a great heaven for cacti to grow. We will be able to enjoy waterfalls and bird watching while we walk through ancient shepherds trail.  The Atacama Desert is great for star-gazing. Indeed, it has one of the clearest skies in the world due to its low humidity and precipitations. So, after a great hiking day, you can enjoy an amazing astronomic experience. Thus, it is the opportunity to learn about the Southern Hemisphere’s constellations.

On the other hand, the Atacama Desert provides the chance to discover stunning landscapes. Such as Andean Lakes, salt flats, hot springs and geysers located at 4,000 meters over the sea level. At this altitude, we can also appreciate endemic fauna such as Flamingos, Andean Goose, Vicuñas and Vizcachas as well as endemic  flora species.

Finally, we will give you the opportunity to learn about the Likan Antay ancient culture. The indigenous community will teach us about their traditions and daily activities. We will enjoy a typical “atacameño” lunch. Also, we’ll walk through the desert alongside an ancestral caravan with llamas.

Ancestral atacama Desert

Check out one of our best Atacama Desert Hiking Tours, and sign up for your next adventure in the driest desert in the World.

 

 

 

Chiloe, a magical island tour in Southern Chile

Chiloe a magical island tour in Southern Chile

Chiloe, a magical island tour in Southern Chile

chiloe island

Discover Chiloe Island and follow Charles’ Darwin footprints

When you arrive to Chiloe Island, the early morning fog and the Palafitos (houses mounted on stilts along the water’s edge) will welcome you. This island is the continent’s fifth-largest island and is home to many fishermen communities. Its famous architecture and cuisine has made this island world-known. The iconic wooden churches were built in past centuries. Sixteen of them have been declared World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Also, its rich spiritual culture is based mainly on a distinctive mythology of forest gnomes and witchcraft ghost ships.

As a result, Amity Tours has created interesting journeys to discover the unique ecosystem composing the wet and windswept landscapes, remote national parks and dense forests.  This experience is for those who love nature and want to be true actors in its conservation. During the trip, you will explore the hidden corners of Chiloe by foot and by water. You will visit the private conservation areas of Ahuenco Park and Coluco Lake, where the pudú deer is abundant. In fishing boats, you will discover the island’s coast. Thus, you can spot several species of mammals, shorebirds and seabirds such as the Humboldt and the Magellan Penguins.

We invite you to discover the wonders that Darwin saw on his journey to the south of Chile. Explore this fascinating territory of the Chilean Rain forest to see the same species of flora and fauna described by one of the Fathers of Modern Science. Check out our Darwin’s Route in Chiloe Island Tour.

You will have an unforgettable experience that will enhance your relationship with nature and will make you feel connected with the natural environment.

 

 

New Family Adventures in Chile

Adventure Family Trip in Patagonia Amity Tours

Family Adventures in Patagonia with Amity Tours

Amity tours has designed the best Family Adventures in Patagonia, Chile’s top destination.

 

family adventures patagonia

 

Patagonia is one of the most pristine places in the Southern hemisphere. Glaciers, Forests, Fjords, Mountains and Lakes compose this area. Thus, they make it the perfect place for an adventure family trip. The Chilean Patagonia is home to some of the most impressive sights on Earth. Also to some of the world’s most classic trekking routes encompassing unusual landscapes and fauna.

 

family adventures patagonia

 

During 2016, we have been working on designing family adventures in Chile. This adventure tour in Torres del Paine has different daily hiking options. As well as horseback riding and navigation excursions. The easy hiking options are not strenuous and can be enjoyed by anyone in reasonable physical shape. The best part? You can choose each night which option appeals to you most for the following day, depending on how that day’s trek has left you feeling!

 

tyndall horseback ride patagonia

 

At Amity Tours, we believe that travelling as a family provides for a great experience while discovering and enjoying nature and its landscapes. We also believe that family trips expose children to different cultures and experiences. Thus enhancing their relationship with the environment and raising consciousness about conservation issues.

Finally we are happy to announce that we already had our first guest family trying out this new product in Patagonia. They had an amazing time discovering one of the most remote areas in Chile amid the incredible Torres del Paine National Park. Don’t miss the chance to travel with your family. Also, we will be happy to help you design an extraordinary experience in nature. We can create a tailor-made family adventure just for you and your family, or you can join a group with other families. Contact us at [email protected] or visit our website.

 

family adventures patagonia

 

 

 

 

 

Bike Tour Chile

Confirmed Departure January 2017 Bike Tour Chile Lake Volcano District

 Bike Tour Chile, Lake & Volcano District

Confirmed Departure January 2017

Bike Tour Chile

We are pleased to announce that our Bike Tour Chile 8 Days has been confirmed. It will be starting on January 21st, 2017. During eight days, you will have the chance to experience riding the amazing southern back roads of the Lake & Volcano District. Summer is the best time to ride around lakes, ancient forests and little villages.

 

bike malalcahuello chile

 

Our trip starts in Temuco, where you will meet our friendly local team. The adventures starts with a warm up ride towards our hotel located in the Malalcahuello National Reserve. On the second ride, we will travel alongside the Lonquimay River: Also we’ll visit the Kütralkura Geopark where you can meet the local Pewenche indigenous communities.  The third day will be dedicated to enjoy great views of three different volcanoes (Llaima, Tolhuaca and Lonquimay) on our bikes.

 

bike malalcahuello national reserve

 

Afterwards, on the next day we will cycle around Pucon, the Lake & Volcano District’s main tourist destination. We will enjoy great views and landscapes such as the Caburgua Lake and the Huife Hot Springs. On day five we will bike through Chile´s 7 Lakes Route. We’ll pedal alongside the shores of two beautiful lakes, Calafquén and Panguipulli, and cover three-quarters of the way around the majestic, snow-capped active Villarrica Volcano. This road is smooth and quiet as almost no vehicles drive here. At one point we might even be able to see five volcanoes.

 

bike chile
Chile’s famous 7-Lakes Route

 

The last stage of this unforgettable trip will be at the Llanquihue Lake. This area is great for bike trips and it is considered Chile’s first bike-friendly destination.

 

frutillar bike chile
Llanquihue Lake and Osorno Volcano

 

We will pass through small towns such as Puerto Varas and Ensenada. We will eat some amazing food and if you want to challenge yourself, you can do some extra pedaling and ride up the Osorno Volcano.

 

Vicente Perez Rosales National Park
Vicente Perez Rosales National Park – Osorno Volcano

 

Finally, we will visit the local Market, which is the perfect place for wonderful souvenirs, handcrafts and woolen clothing. Afterwards we will drive you the airport where this adventure ends.

For more information about this trip or any of our other trending tours check out our website!

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking the Atacama Desert in Chile

Machuca Rio Grande hike in the Atacama Desert

Hiking the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

Machuca Village to Río Grande Hike Trail

 

hike atacama desert

 

Hiking around San Pedro de Atacama with Amity Tours will make you feel like you’re in the old times. Most of the trails have been used by shepherds and ancestral caravans that crossed the Andes during the Tiwanaku period. This hike starts in the village of Machuca, located 4.000 meters over the sea level. This town is a privileged site surrounded by nature. It only has one street where we can appreciate the roofs made of cactus (Echinopsis Atacamensis). The church is very interesting due to its cultural significance and birds such as flamingos, sierra fiches, horned coot and Andean geese as well as llamas can be seen in the area.

We will hike 15 kilometers through the ravine that connects both villages. This hike starts with a descent through a desert moor. We will walk alongside the river passing through land used by shepherds.

 

settlement atacama desert
Ancient Settlement

We will be able to see abandoned refuges and terraces for cultivation. After 3,5 hours, we will stop at the Peñaliri homestead. During 1980, the families abandoned the site and never came back. You can still appreciate the houses and some of the tools people used for farming. This is the perfect place to recover energy. We will enjoy a tasty picnic lunch and rest for a while before continuing. The hike keeps going along the river until we reach the village of Rio Grande. The vegetation will change and its geological formations too. This town is located where the Domeyko Mountain Range and the Salt mountain Range meet so the rock and mineral formations are very unique.

Once in Rio Grande we will be able to appreciate how this community still uses old traditions for growing potatoes, garlic, onions, peas and broad beans. They collect water through canals in order to irrigate their fields. Shepherds are still practicing their activities like the old times. You can still watch women carrying their babies in Aguayos (colorful textiles) while farming. It is a magical village that is bringing back their ancient traditions in order to share them with visitors.

You can check out the best hikes in the Atacama Desert on our website

 

 

 

 

 

 

New travel experiences in the Atacama Desert

This coming season, Amity Tours is launching new travel experiences in the Atacama Desert

During the past weeks, we went scouting to San Pedro de Atacama in order to re-design incredible experiences in the Atacama Desert. We hiked through amazing ravines in the Salt Mountain Range and in an ancient cacti valley. Moreover, we were able to witness amazing sunsets in the Atacama Salt Flat and enjoy the clearest sky while stargazing.

 

sunset atacama desert
Sunset at the Chaxa Lagoon, Atacama Salt Flat

 

Furthermore, we were able to visit Andean villages such as Socaire, Toconao, Caspana, Machuca, Rio Grande and Ayquina. We also shared with the local Lickan Antay communities and become impressed with the amazing landscape that surround the quaint village of San Pedro de Atacama.

 

likan antai atacama desert
Encounter with Likan Antai Indigenous community

 

We are designing a great 7-day hiking tour in the Atacama Desert. Our hikes will cover all of the ecological features around San Pedro de Atacama:

  • The Salt mountain range and its magnificent geological formations
  • The Atacama Salt flat and its different lagoons (located 2.400 meters over the sea level)
  • The ravines (located between 2800 – 3400 meters above sea level) where we will discover great flora species
  • The Altiplano, where we will discover particular ecosystems composed by birds species, plants, mammals and bacteria. Here, over 4000 meters over the sea level we will hike through the Tatio Mallku geothermal field and trough high salt flats immersed in the Andes Mountain Range.

 

copa coya atacama desert

 

This trip will be a great experience that will connect you with the silence and spaciousness that only exist in the desert.

Moreover, we are designing a cultural bike trip. This experience will be perfect for those travelers that love to bike, and learn about an ancient culture. During this tour, you will discover how the indigenous communities are try to bring their traditions back.

 

cultural atacama desert likan antai
Encounter with the Likan Antai community

The goal of this trip is not to use vans. All of our activities will start and finish in your hotel using only bikes. We will discover great archeological sites with our specialized guides. Also, we will learn from the Lickan Antai people as they share their traditions, cosmovision and typical food. We will be able to bike towards the salt flat discovering an amazing landscape and biodiversity. We will learn the most hidden secrets that exist in the tiny oasis located in highest and driest desert of the world.

To learn more about our travel experiences please check out our website

Laguna cejar Atacama Desert

 

 

 

Unforgettable family tours in Valdivian Coastal Rainforest Chile

Unforgettable family tours in Valdivian Coastal Rainforest Chile

Unforgettable family tours in Valdivian Coastal Rainforest Chile
Valdivian Coastal Reserve – Lobería Huiro

Unforgettable family tours in Valdivian Coastal Rainforest Chile

We have chosen great activities around the Chaihuin River in our family trips in the Valdivian Jungle at the Lake and Volcano District in Chile. This is a little fishermen village that is learning how to deal with the tourism industry that is growing every year.  This village is located in the heart of the Valdivian Coastal Rainforest between two wilderness protected areas; Alerce Costero National Park and the Conservation Land Trust of Valdivian Coastal Reserve (by The Nature Conservancy).

Amity Tours has decided to spend a couple of days around Chaihuin River in order to contribute to the development of Sustainable Tourism in this area.  Hiking Tours, Bike Tours, Kayak Tours, Scenic drives and boat navigation are some of the activities we will develop with our guest families.

Valdivian Coastal Reserve by The Nature Conservancy

From Valdivia City we will drive about 17 km until we get to Niebla, where we will take a ferry to Corral. From here it is a 25km drive south to the Valdivian Coastal Reserve. This protected area is part of an old temperate rainforest rising from Chile’s southern coastline. This huge coastal forest is what remains of the past millennia.

For instance, two of the of Earth’s longest-living tree species: Alerce and Olivillo Costero are located here. If we pay attention we will be able to hear the world’s larger woodpecker or the monito del monte (the smallest marsupial in the world).

Later we will continue to the South American Sea Lion Colony at Huiro beach. Here we will meet some Mapuche Huilliche members and we will be able to see majestic Pacific Ocean views. We will walk through a small trail that leads to a rocky coast covered with coastal Olivillo tree and other species of the Valdivian Temperate Rainforest. Here we will be able to see the Sea Lion Colony and if we are lucky, during summer we can see Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, and Orcas as well as shorebirds such as the Southern Lapwing and the Austral Blackbird.

Alerce Costero National Park

Other activities we would like to experience with our visitors include hikes at the Alerece Costero National Park. Here we will be able to visit the oldest Alerce tree that exists in the Coastal Mountain Range. We will hike the “Mirador de Chaihuin” and the “The Alerce Milenario” trails. Here we will learn about endemic plants species, birds and animals that inhabit this ecosystem while we enjoy the oldest larch forest on Earth.

We also will explore forest trails to discover the magic and charm of unique species of amphibians. What’s more we will boat and paddle through the Chaihuin River learning about its unique flora and fauna as well as the local culture. These activities will be hosted by our friends from Gayana Ecolodge, where we will spend our days while we visit the Valdivian Coastal Rain Forest.

You can find similar tours in our Conservation Tours section. One of the most popular tours is called Valdivian Jungle Ecotourism, a 4 day tour that visits this fantastic area in the Pacific Coast.

For further information and details, check out our website www.amity-tours.com.

River Kayaking unique experience for families Pacific Coast

River Kayaking unique experience for families Pacific Coast

River Kayaking unique experience for families Pacific Coast
River Kayaking in Angachilla River – Family Adventures in Chile

River Kayaking  a unique experience for families in the Pacific Coast.

During the past few days, the Amity Tours Staff and our families went to experience an adventure family trip in Valdivia and its surroundings. The idea was to try a wide variety of activities in order to design the best itinerary for our future guests.  One of the activities we tried was Kayaking in the Angachilla River. We got prepared with all the gear in the lodge beside the river. Our Guide gave us safety instructions before the excursion started. Our children were very excited about this adventure so they were paying close attention to all the directions and recommendations.

Once we got in our kayaks, we started rowing down the river. It was very relaxing and our children were paying attention to everything that was happening around them. They wanted to feel the water and to experience everything surrounding them. We were able to see and listen to different bird species. For instance, we saw Cormorants, which are medium-to-large birds that eat fish by catching the prey by diving into the water. They are excellent divers, and under water they propel themselves with their feet with help from their wings; some cormorant species have been found to dive as deep as 45 meters. Moreover, we were able to see the “Martin Pescador” or Kingfisher, which is a small to medium-sized, brightly colored bird. They are most famous for hunting and eating fish. Kingfishers are generally shy birds, but we were lucky enough to see them. The most astonishing bird we saw was the many-coloured rush tyrant or “siete colores”, a small passerine bird. It belongs to the Tyrant Flycathcher family. It inhabits marshland and reedbeds around lakes and rivers. They build their nests among plant stems. We all felt so grateful to experience this river and its amazing biodiversity.

Once we came back to the lodge, the kids stayed with our staff and the daddies had the opportunity to continue kayaking trough the river. This was a very good chance for them to relax and enjoy nature by themselves, experiencing silence and all the wonders of the Angachilla River. This activity is part of our Adventure Family Trips that will be launched on our website in September 2016.

You can find similar tours in our Conservation Tours section. One of the most popular tours is called Valdivian Jungle Ecotourism, a 4 day tour that visit this fantastic area in the Pacific Coast.

For further information and details check out our website www.amity-tours.com.

Family trip in The Lake and Volcano District Chile

Family trip in The Lake and Volcano District Chile

Family trip in The Lake and Volcano District Chile
Tolten River Floating – Lake and Volcano District, Chile

Enjoy a family trip in The Lake & Volcano District in Chile.           

At Amity Tours we are working hard to develop the best experience for you and your family in The Lake & Volcano District. We will be launching our Family Trips adventures in September 2016.  We are orchestrating exciting activities for families including, hiking, horseback riding, floating, kayaking and rafting. The focus of these trips is for family members to enjoy each other in nature and take home unforgettable memories of these experiences.  One of the activities we will be offering in this trip is a family floating day in the Tolten River, the outflow of Lake Villarrica, which is alongside the town of Villarrica.

This experience on the water is peaceful and relaxing. You and your family will be able to enjoy the beauty of Chile while floating down the river as it twists out of the Andes towards the Ocean. Some of the sights include two volcanoes located in the area, Chilean farms, and wildlife. After a few hours on the river the whole trip stops on a private, secluded section of the river. We will enjoy a couple hours of eating an authentic Chilean barbecue, which has already been set up and prepared for us by our local crew. While slowly eating our abundant lunch, families are welcome to fish with their kids in the river, take photos, explore the country side, or just sit by the fire and enjoy a cold beer or exquisite Chilean wine. Once everyone’s stomachs are completely satisfied, the trip down river starts back up again until we reach our transportation that will take us back to the hotel.

At Amity Tours we whole heartedly believe in the profound reward of travelling as a family. Because of this, we have plenty of flexibility to support a wide range of abilities and interests. We invite you and your family to enjoy the amazing landscape and culture in the Lake & Volcano district. Check out our website for further information. www.amity-tours.com

Family Adventure Trips Atacama Desert

Family Adventure Trips Atacama Desert Chile

Family Adventure Trips Atacama Desert Chile
Atacama Desert – Chile

Family Adventure Trips Atacama Desert

Enjoy an Ancestral Caravan in San Pedro de Atacama with your family and Amity Tours!

In Amity Tours we are working hard to design meaningful experiences for families that want to spend their vacation in Chile. One of the destinations we have chosen is San Pedro de Atacama, a green oasis located in the driest desert of the world. Here we will be able to experience an amazing landscape and geological formations, visit archaeological sites, caves, salt flats, lagoons, ravines and little Andean villages. We also will get in touch with the Likan Antay indigenous community in order to learn more about this ancient culture.

One of the activities we will be offering as part of our family trips is the Ancestral Caravan with llamas (a domestic camelid that inhabits the South American Andean region). This experience has been designed with the idea of recovering an old ancestral tradition that was a common way of travelling long distances trough the Andes mountain range to visit relatives and exchange goods. By experiencing this ancestral caravan the travelers will be able to learn a little bit more about the culture and history of this area. We will be walking with the llamas around Coyo, one of the fifteen Ayllus (communities) that exist in the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama. We will hear stories about the local community and lifestyle and learn about the Andean cosmovision that has ruled the Likan Antay people for thousands of years.

Don’t miss the chance to experience this activity in our Family Trip to San Pedro de Atacama. You and your family will activate your senses and broaden your horizons. Coming soon at www.amity-tours.com

Big Snow has Arrived to The Lake & Volcano District in South America

Big Snow arrived Lake Volcano District South America

Big Snow arrived Lake Volcano District South America

Ski Chile Araucania

Big Snow has Arrived to the Lake & Volcano District in South America

Amity Tours is very happy to announce that finally a lot of snow has arrived to the Andes Mountain Range in Chile and Argentina. During the past three days the mountains have been clobbered with a large snow storm. Some resorts already received a lot of snow and some are expecting a big snowfall forecast this week. The ski centers are getting prepared to receive visitors from all around the world that want to enjoy skiing on and off piste. For instance, Corralco Ski Resort is expecting 74 cm of snow this week. Likewise, Caviahue Ski Resort in Argentina is expecting 25 cm of new snow today and the upcoming days. Pucon Ski Resort is also expecting 43 cm, a good fall of snow during the coming days.

If you want to experience the best skiing in the Lake & Volcano District this winter 2016, get your suitcase ready and book one of our Ski Tours 2016. Imagine having the confidence to go exactly where you want to go at the speed you choose to go at. To be able to slow down or speed up at will, control your descent on ice, control your speed on steeper terrain, know how to cope with a fresh fall of snow, handle crowded slopes and narrow paths. You will also be able to visit the Ski center located in the Villarrica National Park. It is located at a short distance from the urban center of Pucon. This resort has 20 runs to practice skiing and snowboarding, with friendly service and good snow quality. Amity Tours has designed different options to enjoy the snow this coming winter. We look forward to meeting you and your friends this 2016 season. For more information regarding our ski programs check out our Ski tours and rates at www.amity-tours.com

Chile Ski Tours

Tour Operator of the Year 2016 Luxury Travel Guide

Tour Operator of the Year 2016 Luxury Travel Guide

Tour Operator of the Year 2016 Luxury Travel Guide

We are very proud to announce that Amity Tours has been awarded Tour Operator of the Year for Pucón, Chile in the 2016 Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards.

The Luxury Travel Awards recognize and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the affluent travel and tourism industry in Europe, The Americas, Asia & Australasia, and Africa & Middle East .

Their team of experts have scoured the globe and traveled extensively in order to identify everything from the very best hotels, airlines and tour operators through to highlighting the most reputable tourism service companies.

According to Mr. Benjamin Pugh, LTG Awards Coordinator, the Awards Program selects winners based on their achievements and strengths in the travel industry.

All winners of the 2016 Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards were subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by the Luxury Travel Guide Award experienced in-house professionals as well as a number of celebrity guest judges.

This ensures that only the most deserving teams, businesses and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades. The Luxury Travel Guide Award represent the pinnacle of achievement, championing the best in their respective fields, therefore to come out as a clear winner is an achievement to be proud of.

Thank you for the vote Luxury Travel Guide  ‪#‎luxurytravel‬ ‪#‎experiencechile‬ ‪#‎pucon‬

Read more about the Luxury Travel Guide Awards 2016

LTG2016Awards

Ski Season opens June 2016

Ski Season South America opens June 2016

Ski season in South America opens June 2016

Amity Tours is anticipating the new Ski Season in the Southern Hemisphere this year 2016 (July, August and September). We have been notified that the ski centers in The Lake & Volcano district of Chile and Argentina will be open very soon. We are expecting to have the best powder snow and weather conditions at Corralco, Villarrica and Cavihahue Ski Centers. We have designed our ski tours for beginners to expert skiers and snowboarders.

Imagine having the confidence to go exactly where you want to go at the speed you choose to go at. To be able to slow down or speed up at will, control your descent on ice, control your speed on steeper terrain, know how to cope with a fresh fall of snow, handle crowded slopes and narrow paths. Imagine how liberating it would be to move around the mountain knowing you can cope with anything that comes your way. This season you will be able to experience this and more!

Amity Tours has designed different options to enjoy the snow this coming winter. Check our Ski for Beginners  program starting on July 2016 where you will be able to improve your technique at uncrowded ski resorts (Villarrica & Corralco). Professional ski instructors will help you to experience the Southern Volcanoes that combine Araucaria, snow and mountains. If you want to experience off piste skiing during August 2016 check out the Ski Tour Chile & Argentina program. You will be able to ski at the Caviahue ski resort in Argentina, enjoy skiing and climb the Villarrica volcano and discover the Huilo Huilo biological reserve. What’s more, we also have designed a program for those who loved to be on the top of the world! Our amazing Ski Tour Chile 7 volcanoes  starting on September 2016 permits you to climb the highest summits at the Lake & Volcano district and ski on and off piste through amazing ancient Araucaria forests. We look forward to seeing you this winter 2016!

Check our Ski tours and rates at www.amity-tours.com

Adventure Family Trips Chile 2016

Adventure Family Trips Chile 2016

Adventure Family Trips Chile 2016 Amity Tours – Adventure Family Trips

Everyone at Amity Tours is a parent. We all believe that travelling as a family could be a great experience in order to discover and enjoy nature and its landscapes. We also consider that family trips expose children to different cultures and experiences enhancing their relationships with the environment.

Imagine you are able to hike through ancient forests, climb a Volcano, ride bicycles, practice rafting and horseback ride through different landscapes with your family. This could be an inspiring experience for you and your children. Everyone gets to have fun, recharge and relax

We are happy to announce that we are working hard to develop Adventure Family Trips in different areas in Chile. What’s more we are testing them with our own families.  We will have trips at the Lake & Volcano District, the Atacama Desert, Easter Island, Patagonia and Chiloe Island. Our trips will be designed for families with children between 4 to 7 years old, 8 to 12 years old and teenagers. We look forward to launch them in July 2016!!!!

Skiing Family Trips, July, August, September 2016

Spring & Summer Family Trips December 2016, January & February 2017

Find your next Family trip to Chile here https://www.amity-tours.com/tours/

Ladies Trekking Club goes Hiking in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District 2016

trekking club hiking chile lake volcano 2016 tours

Hiking Chile Huilo Huilo

We are happy to announce our first group of hikers coming from Estonia and the first group from the Ladies Trekking Club.

Heli, Neeme and Tom jumped on an airplane from Estonia with the plan to get to Chile to hike through ancient forests and volcanoes. They have been preparing for this trip for a while and their expectations were high. They didn’t know that they would be able to explore one of the most fascinating parts of Chile, dominated by clear water lakes and live volcanoes. They arrived to Temuco on the 29th of March, 2016. At the airport they met Patrick (professional guide) and Orlando (professional driver) and started their fabulous adventure towards Malalcahuello, a little village part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve “Araucarias”.

In the following days they hiked the trails of the Andes mountain range with friendly locals. They have reached Cerro Coloradito, visited the Truful Truful canyon and the pristine Arcoiris Lagoon with its clear water that reflects stunning colors at Congullio National Park. Furthermore, they were able to spot endemic birds such as the chucao tapaculo and the noisy slender-billed parakeet. In Pucon, the main adventure tourism destination in the Lake & Volcano District, our new Estonian friends had another great experience. They hiked towards ancient Araucaria and Nothofagus forests at the Villarrica National Park. Moreover, they reached the Pichillancahue Glacier and the Andean lakes also located at the afore named protected area. Then Heli, Neeme and Tom relaxed in soothing natural hot springs. Towards the coast, our visitors went to temperate rain forests at the Valdivian Jungle at Pilonkura and Curiñanco Indigenous Reserves and the Valdivian Coastal Reserve,  a conservation project developed by the American NGO -the Nature Conservancy. Finally, our guests were able to enjoy the Huilo Huilo biological reserve and all its amazing surroundings.

We feel that this first encounter with Heli, Neeme and Tom from Estonia is the first of many other gatherings to come. They enjoyed hiking around the Lake and Volcano District, and we were able to feel how happy they were within the landscape, lakes, trails and volcanoes. We look forward to meet our new friends again, hiking in Easter Island,  Atacama Desert or southern Patagonia. We wish them a safe trip back home!!!!

Check out our Hiking Tours in Chile. Season October 2016 – April 2017

Hiking Tours in Chile – Season 2016 2017

Villarrica Volcano ski resort will re-open in July 2016

Villarrica Volcano Ski Resort July 2016

Villarrica Volcano Ski Resort July 2016
Villarrica Volcano Ski Resort in Pucon

Starting this July 2016,  the Villarrica Volcano will be open again to perform ski and winter activities.

The Villarrica volcano (2.847mt / 9343 ft) or RukaPillan (house of spirits)  in Mapudungun (the ancestral language of the mapuche people) is one of the most active volcanoes in Chile.  This volcano has had 82 historical eruptions so far. The last large eruption occurred in March of 2015. It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain along the Gastre Fault. RukaPillan, along with Quetrupillan and the Chilean portion of Laninare protected within the Villarrica National Park.

Since the last eruption in March of 2015,the ski center has been closed. The national park was re-opened in October, 2015 and the activities related to the volcano, such as climbing and hiking started to occur. Local authorities have been working on the ski center and they have announced its re-opening in July of 2016.  The center has nine ski lifts (5 draglifts and 3 chairlifts) and 20 runs to choose from. The views from the slopes overlooking the surrounding volcanoes and the Lake Villarricaare incredible. There is a cafeteria at the base of the ski center with a great terrace to enjoy the view and relax.

Imagine being able to reach the active Villarrica crater after six hours of hiking and then ski off-piste all the way down. You will be able to experience amazing views, handling slopes and narrow paths, controlling your speed and descending in fresh fallen snow and perfect weather conditions. Imagine how liberating it would be to move around the mountain knowing you can cope with anything that comes your way. For this and more ski experiences on the Villarrica volcano, the 2016 ski season will be open from July, 2016 untill October,  2016. Check out our website in order to get more information about our ski tours. We have specialized tours for beginners and experts skiers and snowboarders.

Check out all our ski tours in Chile and Argentina here:

Ski Tours Chile and Argentina 2016

Best South American Skiing Season EVER – 2015

The 2015 Ski Season in South America will be remembered for all snow lovers, from beginners to experts skiers and snowboarders. During the month of August 2015 we not only had the best snow conditions but the perfect weather during the day, with sunny days and low winds. As result, the powder was everywhere we went: Corralco Ski Resort and Lonquimay Volcano, Caviahue Ski Resort and Copahue Volcano, Chapelco Ski Resort and Huilo Huilo Mountain Resort and its Mocho and Choshuenco Volcanoes.

We did amazing things, such us dog-sledding and snowmobiling in Caviahue, skinned up (randonee skiing) to the crater of Lonquimay volcano in Corralco, went tree skiing in Chapelco and Cat Skiing in Huilo Huilo reaching the summit of Mocho and Choshuenco volcanoes. The best backcountry skiing that I can remember since 2003 …

Photo by Lee Townend
Photo by Lee Townend, Lonquimay Volcano

For as long as “El Niño” stays close to our Pacific coast, we can be sure that there will be plenty of good snow.

We invite you to join us next year starting from August and September 2016.

Skiing Tours in Chile and Argentina 2016 – Amity Tours

We thanks our great European partners Snoworks Ski Courses and all our ski and mountain guides.

Photo by Lee Townend - Skinning in Lonquimay Volcano
Photo by Lee Townend – Skinning in Lonquimay Volcano

Photo by Lee Townend - Cat Skiing in Huilo Huilo
Photo by Lee Townend – Cat Skiing in Huilo Huilo

Caviahue 005
Photo by Cristian Levy – Dog Sledding in Caviahue

IMG_2924
Photo by Guido Schilling – Randonee in Caviahue

IMG_2957
Photo by Guido Schilling – Backcountry Skiing in Caviahue

IMG_2973
Photo by Guido Schilling – Off Piste Skiing assisted by snowmobiles in Caviahue

IMG_3001
Photo by Cristian Levy – Cat Skiing in Huilo Huilo

IMG_3083
Amity Tours mountain guide, Guido Schilling, at the summit of Choshuenco volcano

Schon bestätigt: Rennradtouren in Chiles Vulkan- und Seengebiet, Winter 2015/16

bike tours chile october november 2016

Dem Winter in Deutschland entfliehen und einen einzigartigen Urlaub verbringen geht ganz einfach: und zwar mit unseren Rennradreisen in einer der schönsten Regionen Chiles, dem Vulkan- und Seengebiet.

Entdecken Sie das Vulkan- und Seengebiet Chiles auf die bestmögliche Art und Weise – auf einem Cannondale Rennrad. Unsere einzigartigen Touren führen Sie zu den schönsten Orten im grünen Süden Chiles. Auf Strecken von durchschnittlich 50-80 km am Tag fahren Sie entlang glitzernder Seen und Flüsse und haben dabei einen atemberaubenden Blick auf die gewaltigen Anden. Und werden außerdem schnell merken, dass an jeder Ecke ein aktiver Vulkan darauf wartet von Ihnen bestaunt zu werden! Diese einmaligen Touren werden Ihnen noch lange in Erinnerung bleiben.

Folgende Termine sind bereits bestätigt:

 

Diese Highlights warten auf Sie:

  • Unterbringung in 3-, 4- und 5-Sterne-Hotels
  • Professioneller Guide, der die gesamte Zeit an Ihrer Seite ist
  • Begleitfahrzeug bei allen Fahrten
  • Die Fahrten können individuell erweitert werden
  • Typische Mahlzeiten in familiengeführten Restaurants, immer begleitet von exzellenten chilenischen Weinen
  • Fahrt entlang der 7-Seen-Route und

 

Und zusätzlich auf der 12-tägigen Tour:

  • Besuch des Huilo Huilo Naturreservats
  • Silvester-Special: Menü und Feuerwerk in Pucón

 

Buchen Sie jetzt und erleben Sie einen einzigartigen Urlaub mit uns!

 

Der Vulkan Villarrica bricht aus – und Pucón ist hellwach – 3. März 2015

Seit dem 6. Februar 2015 ist der Vulkan Villarrica wegen erhöhter Aktivität für Besteigungen gesperrt, am 2. März wurde er auf Alarmstufe orange gesetzt. Und in der Nacht zum 3. März ist er dann tatsächlich ausgebrochen! Das wichtigste zu Beginn: es geht allen gut, Pucón und seine Bewohner haben keinen Schaden genommen und so langsam findet alles zur Normalität zurück. Dennoch möchte ich euch kurz erzählen, wie alles abgelaufen ist:

Irgendwie hatte ich in dieser Nacht einen sehr leichten Schlaf. Völlig untypisch für mich, die sonst schläft wie ein Stein. Vorsichtshalber hatte ich außerdem das Fenster aufgelassen. Mein weiß ja nie; wenn der Vulkan tatsächlich ausbricht, wollte ich auf keinen Fall die Sirene verschlafen! Um 3 Uhr hörte ich dann den Hund heulen. Also habe ich aufmerksam gelauscht… Nichts, keine Sirene. Na gut, der Hund heult öfters mal, also kein Grund zur Panik.
10 Minuten später hörte ich mein Handy brummen – Anruf einer Freundin. Leider war ich im Dunkeln zu langsam mein Handy zu finden. Als ich es dann endlich hatte, war der Anruf bereits vorbei. Und als ich sah wer angerufen hatte, dachte ich mir „Achso, na, meine Freundin ist bestimmt feiern heute, schließlich ist es ihr letzter Abend in Pucón, vielleicht ruft sie nur deswegen an“. Also habe ich mir auch dann noch keine Sorgen gemacht. Als dann aber 5 Minuten später unsere Gastmutter nach oben kam und sagte „Chicas, levantanse, el volcán“, ja ,da wusste ich, dass nun tatsächlich das eingetreten war, was ich befürchtet hatte: der Ausbruch des Vulkan Villarrica.
Auch meine Mitbewohnerin hatte in dieser Nacht einen leichten Schlaf. Also waren wir ruck zuck hellwach, sind zum Fenster gesprungen und haben uns den Vulkan angeschaut. Das rote Leuchten und die in die Höhe schießenden Feuermassen haben dann das übrige dazu beigetragen, dass wir in Lichtgeschwindigkeit in unsere Kleidung gesprungen, Schal und Jacke geschnappt, Wasser abgefüllt und Kekse in den Rucksack geschmissen haben. In dem Moment standen dann auch schon Verwandte mit dem Auto vor der Tür um uns abzuholen und zur Peninsula, dem Evakuierungsgebiet von Pucón, zu fahren.
Im Zentrum angekommen hat sich mir ein ganz anderes Bild geboten als erwartet: kein Hauch von Panik oder Hysterie, alle sind zwar zügig, aber ruhig, zur Peninsula gestrebt, bewaffnet mit dicken Jacken, Decken, Rucksäcken oder teilweise sogar kleinen Koffern. Und natürlich dem wichtigsten Utensil: dem Handy. Jeder wollte sich versichern, dass es Familie und Freunden gutgeht und auch ich habe natürlich meine Freunde vor Ort angerufen, um zu horchen, ob alle in Sicherheit sind.
Hier vom Zentrum aus hatten wir einen guten Blick auf den nur 16 km entfernten Vulkan Villarrica und haben das ganze Geschehen beobachtet. Vor der Eruption wurde mir immer gesagt „Die Lava fließt so langsam, da kann man nebenher spazieren“. Was wir dort oben nun allerdings sehen konnten, sah ziemlich schnell aus! Ein bisschen mulmig wurde mir da schon zumute. Nach einiger Zeit wurden die Lavaausstöße weniger, der Vulkan schien sich zu beruhigen. Und uns allen war mittlerweile auch schon ziemlich kalt. Unsere Gastmutter hat dann schließlich gesagt, wir fahren zurück zum Haus. Mir blieb nichts anderes übrig als ihr zu vertrauen, schließlich hat sie schon 5 Eruptionen erlebt und weiß daher, wovon sie spricht. Zurück im Haus gab es zunächst einmal heißen Tee und Kaffee sowie Kekse und Brot für alle. Ein bisschen beunruhigt war ich noch, denn offiziell wurde die Warnung noch nicht aufgehoben. Mit dem Tagesanbruch legte sich die Aufregung dann aber schließlich. Meine Freunde waren mittlerweile auch wieder alle in ihre Unterkünfte zurückgekehrt, sodass ich mich innerlich entspannen konnte.
Für 7:30 Uhr wurden Aufklärungsflüge mit Helikoptern angekündigt, um bei Tageslicht das ganze Ausmaß betrachten zu können. Um 9 Uhr gab es die offiziellen Nachrichten, dass zwar noch Alarmstufe rot besteht, man aber in die Häuser zurückkehren könnte.

Nun, im Nachhinein, bin ich unendlich froh, dass der Sommer hier so heiß und die Schneedecke auf dem Villarrica so dünn war. Sonst hätten die schmelzenden Schnee- und Gletschermassen viel verheerende Folgen haben können. Auch froh bin ich darüber, dass die Eruption nicht schon vor 2-3 Wochen stattgefunden hat, als Hochsaison in Pucón und geschätzt 10 Mal so viele Menschen hier waren. Wer weiß was dann für eine Panik unter den Touristen ausgebrochen wäre. Die Einwohner Pucóns nämlich, die kennen das ganze Prozedere, und konnten dadurch die nötige Ruhe verbreiten.

Quetrupillan – die schlechte Alternative zum Vulkan Villarrica? Auf keinen Fall! – Februar 2015

Aufgrund von erhöhter Aktivität ist der Vulkan Villarrica seit dem 6. Februar 2015 gesperrt. So werden viele Touristen, die grade wegen der Besteigung dieses Vulkans nach Pucón kommen, enttäuscht. Doch an dieser Stelle möchte ich daran erinnern, dass wir uns in der Vulkan- und Seenregion Chiles befinden in der es – allein dem Namen nach zu urteilen – mehr Vulkane als nur den Villarrica gibt. Und diese stehen bisher zwar im Schatten des berühmten Bruders Villarrica, in Schönheit stehen sie ihm allerdings in nichts nach.

Als eine Alternative durfte ich den Stratovulkan Quetrupillan besteigen. Dieser liegt etwa eine Stunde Fahrtzeit von Pucon entfernt. Dass der Quetrupillan als „schlafend“ bezeichnet wird hat mich zuerst schon etwas enttäuscht. Doch die Enttäuschung war schnell vorüber, nachdem ich diesen erblickt habe.

Ich meldete mich am Tag vorher zu dem Aufstieg auf den Vulkan an. Dort wurde zunächst meine Ausrüstung angepasst (Schuhe, Helm, softshell Jacke und Hose und Garmaschen) und ich wurde darüber aufgeklärt, wie der folgende Tag ablaufen würde, was ich noch mitzubringen hätte und wie ich mich und meinen Körper am besten auf den Aufstieg vorbereiten sollte.

Am nächsten Morgen kam ich nach einem üppigen Frühstück, mit ausreichend Sonnencreme, Wasser und Verpflegung ausgestattet um 6.30 Uhr in der Agentur an. Dort packten wir die letzten Sachen ein, besprachen noch einmal die Tour und dann ging es im firmeneigenen Van auch schon los Richtung Quetrupillan.

Nach etwa einer Stunde Autofahrt über die mehr oder minder guten Straßen Chiles, kamen wir gut durchgeschüttelt und dadurch auch nicht mehr müde am Fuße des Vulkanes an. Dort gab es nochmal die Möglichkeit eine richtige Toilette aufzusuchen. Was für mich ungemein wichtig war, da ich eine ca. achtstündige Wanderrung als einzige Frau unter Männer vor mir hatte.

Gut vorbereitet machten wir uns also auf den Weg. Das erste Stück der Wanderung führte über eine Wiese mit Arraucaria Bäumen, die sehr selten und besonders für die Seen- und Vulkanregion sind. Auf der anderen Seite konnten einen Blick auf einen Berg werfen, der völlig durch einen Waldbrand ausgebrannt war und nur noch die Baumskelette erhalten waren. Das war sehr eindrucksvoll. Nach kurzer Zeit erreichten wir den Wald. Die Sonne war noch nicht über den Berg gekommen, sodass der gesamte Wald noch in einem stillem Morgenlicht lag. Es war etwas kalt, doch als wir die ersten kleineren Anstiege überwunden haben wurde einem schnell warm. Wir stiegen über Bäume und durchs Dickicht. Die gesamte Zeit mit den wundervollen Eindrücken des subtropischen Regenwalds. Man konnte Salamander mit ihren fantastischen Farben überall herum laufen sehen, und es gab wunderschöne Bäume und Blumen. Nachdem die Sonne durch das Blätterdickicht sickerte, war alles in ein warmes Licht getaucht. Bald mussten wir die erste Schicht unsere Kleidung ablegen.
Wir machten zwischendurch kurz Pause um Wasser zu trinken, gingen dann aber ziemlich zügig weiter.
Es war eine wunderschöne Wanderung, da wir im Wald nur auf zwei andere Wanderer trafen und dadurch die Natur gänzlich genießen konnten.
Als wir fast die Baumgrenze erreichten, begegneten wir einer Herde von Kühen. Das war sehr eindrucksvoll für mich, weil ich vorher noch nie wilden Rindern begegnet war. Unsere Guides mussten Sie vom Weg verscheuchen, damit ein durchkommen möglich war. Ein Bild was ich wohl nie wieder vergessen werde – Rinder im subtropischen Regenwald.
Nach etwa zwei Stunden erreichten wir dann die Baumgrenze und konnten schon den breiten Gipfel des Vulkanes erblicken.
Wir wanderten noch ein Stück weiter und machten dann unsere erste große Pause, bei der wir uns an unsere Verpflegung machten, nochmal Sonnencreme auftrugen und einfach etwas Energie für den weiteren Aufstieg tankten.
Nach 15 Minuten rasten ging es dann weiter. Ich war schon sehr optimistisch, denn bis zum Gipfel sah es gar nicht mehr weit aus. Nach persönlicher Abschätzung vielleicht noch so 45 Minuten…. Nach einer Stunde weiterer Wanderung musste ich aber einsehen, dass ich mich wohl ziemlich verschätzt habe. Der Anstieg war nicht sehr steil und so war es nicht so sehr Kräfte raubend aufzusteigen, jedoch zog sich der Weg etwas.
Doch seit wir die Baumgrenze hinter uns gelassen hatten, wurden wir in jedem Moment mit einem wunderschönen Rundumblick auf die umliegende Natur belohnt. Man konnte die Vulkane Llaima und Villlarrica sehen, die umliegenden Wälder und den See Villarrica.
Mit dieser Landschaft im Rücken wurde der Ehrgeiz nochmal vollstens entfacht. Man hatte nur noch im Kopf, wie das alles wohl vom höchsten Punkt aussehen würde.
So machten wir uns weiter Vulkan aufwärts, über zunehmend steiniges Gelände und über einige kleine Eisfelder auf dem Weg zum Ziel.
Hinter einer großen Steinkette machten wir unsere finale Pause, um uns nochmal für die letzte halbe Stunde etwas fordernderen Aufstiegs über sehr steiniges Gelände zu wappnen.
Mit einem weiterem Sandwich, Banane und etwas Schokolade, sowie neuer Schicht Sonnencreme, machten wir uns daran, die letzten Meter zu erklimmen.
Nach einer halben Stunde kamen wir dann auch tatsächlich oben an. Dort erwartete uns ein riesiger Gletscher, der den ehemaligen Vulkanschlot überdeckte – ein eindrucksvolles Bild. Um den wirklichen Höhepunkt zu erreichen, mussten wir noch ein kleines Stückchen weiter über die Steine klettern.
Als wir dort ankamen, fiel sich die gesamte Gruppe in die Arme und beglückwünschte sich. Wir machten Fotos und schlugen dann ein kleines Lager, durch die Steine vor dem Wind geschützt, auf.

Dort rasteten wir ca. eine Stunde, erzählten uns Geschichten aus den verschiedenen Leben und die verschiedenen Eigenheiten der Nationen, genossen den wunderschönen Ausblick auf die 3 Vulkane um uns herum und die atemberaubende Natur. Der Himmel war blau und die Sonne schien – wunderbar!

Kunterbunt und glücklich – der Color Run in Pucón – Februar 2015

Gelb, rot, grün, lila, pink, blau. Ein wahres Farbspektakel.
Am 15. Februar 2015 fand das weltweite kunterbunte Lauf-Event „THE COLOR RUN“ in Pucón statt. „Die wohl verrücktesten und buntesten 5 Kilometer deines Lebens!“, heißt es im Internet. Und so war es dann auch.
Schon seit einer Woche bin ich immer mal wieder an den Ständen vorbeigeschlichen, bei denen man sein Starter Kit erwerben kann. So ganz entschließen konnte ich mich aber nicht. Schließlich sind es 5 Kilometer die gelaufen werden sollten! Und in Pucon ist grade bestes, also heißes, Sommerwetter. Mit der richtigen Truppe als Motivationshilfe habe ich mich dann aber doch noch spontan, am vorherigen Abend nämlich, entschieden mitzumachen. Und ich kann euch sagen: diese 5 km waren einfach klasse!
Das Starter Kit enthielt das Eintrittsband, ein weißes T-Shirt, einen Farbbeutel und einen Müsliriegel. Mit diesen Utensilien habe ich mich dann am Morgen auf den Weg zu unserem Treffpunkt gemacht. Um 9 Uhr sollte es losgehen. Aber naja, wir sind in Chile, also sind wir gegen 9:40 Uhr an der großen Bühne angekommen, wo schon etliche Teilnehmer fleißig am Warm Up Programm teilgenommen haben. Warm Up hieß in diesem Fall, dass allerbeste Partymusik gespielt wurde, auf der Bühne eine Aerobic Trainerin einige Übungen vorgemacht und vor der Bühne einfach alle gefeiert haben. Es hat mehr den Anschein erweckt ich befände mich auf einem riesigen Open Air Festival abends um 22 Uhr und nicht morgens um 9:40 Uhr in dem kleinen Ort Pucon.
Diez, nueve, ocho, siete, seis, cinco, cuatro, tres, dos, uno …… START!! Um 10:15 Uhr fiel der Startschuss für die erste Gruppe. Denn aufgrund der großen Teilnehmerzahl (etwa 9.000 wie ich später erfahren habe) konnten nicht alle Läufer gleichzeitig an den Start gehen. Ich befand mich in der letzten Gruppe die starten durfte. Was aber gar nicht schlimm war, denn hier ging es ja gar nicht darum der schnellste zu sein, sondern auf den 5 Kilometern möglichst viel Spaß zu haben und kunterbunt ins Ziel zu laufen. Nachdem ich meine Laufgruppe in dem Gewühle ab und an verloren und dann doch wiedergefunden habe, sind wir alle gemeinsam bereits leicht angefärbt ins Ziel eingelaufen. Doch die eigentliche Farbexplosion sollte erst noch kommen!
Wo vor dem Lauf noch das Warm Up stattgefunden hat, war nun wieder Party angesagt. Diesmal aber haben alle nicht auf den Startschuss, sondern die Explosion der riesigen Farbbomben gewartet. Und kurz nachdem wir auf dem Gelände angekommen sind war es dann auch schon so weit: Wieder wurde ein Countdown gezählt und schon bei „uno“ konnte ich so gut wie nichts mehr sehen, denn innerhalb von Sekunden hat sich die gesamte Umgebung in ein Meer aus Farbstaub verwandelt. Diese erste Farbexplosion hat mich so überrumpelt, dass ich gar keine Zeit gehabt hatte meinen eigenen Farbbeutel herauszuholen. Aber die zweite Explosion, die gehörte dann mir! Wie verrückt hat die ganze Menge getanzt, ist gesprungen, hat gerufen und jede Menge Spaß gehabt! Und man muss sich immer noch vor Augen führen: es war 12 Uhr morgens, heißes Sommerwetter und kein Alkohol im Spiel. Aber durch die gesamte Atmosphäre wurden alle in so eine ausgelassene Stimmung versetzt, dass alles andere gar keine Rolle gespielt hat.
Als ich dann so mit Farben bedeckt war dass es sich fast so angefühlt hat, als hätte ich eine Schlammpackung auf dem Gesicht, habe ich das Festivalgelände verlassen und mich auf den Weg zur Arbeit gemacht. Jaja, die Pflicht ruft.
Vorher habe ich natürlich ausgiebig geduscht, gefühlte 30 Minuten mit 10 Mal waschen. Als ich dann auf der Arbeit ankam wurde ich trotzdem ein wenig ausgelacht, denn mein Gesicht war immer noch rosa und meine Füße etwas blau. Nun gut, damit konnte ich leben. Und als ich abends meine Laufgruppe wiedergetroffen habe, habe ich auch gesehen: ich bin nicht die einzige mit Farbe in den Haaren oder im Gesicht. Aber das ist nun wohl einfach das Anzeichen dafür, dass wir alle einen grandiosen Tag verlebt haben!!!

Unter einem verstaubten Gesicht, findet man ein ganz breites Lächeln – Buggy Tour zum Vulkan Villarrica – Februar 2015

Heute Morgen um 10.00 Uhr ging meine erste Buggy Tour los. Ein Buggy ist eine Art allradbetriebenes, kleines, offenes Auto mit Platz für bis zu 2 Personen. Ich bin vorher schon mal Quad und Kart gefahren und hatte noch gar nicht so die Vorstellung, wie sich das anfühlen würde in einem Buggy zu sitzen.
Wir sind mit 3 Buggys a 2 Personen gestartet.

Der erste Teil der Tour, der durch Pucon und aus Pucon hinaus führte, gab den Fahrern die Möglichkeit, sich an die Fahrweise und den Umgang mit dem Buggy zu gewöhnen. Der Mitfahrer hatte die Möglichkeit, die Umgebung von Pucon nochmal aus einem ganz anderen Winkel zu betrachten und damit Seiten an der Stadt zu finden, die ihm vorher noch nicht bewusst waren. So habe ich zum Beispiel einige Orte gesehen, von denen ich gar nicht wusste, dass sie existieren.
Nach einigen Minuten führte uns unser Weg aus der Stadt heraus und wir machten uns zunächst noch auf befestigter Straße auf den Weg zum Vulkan Villarrica, was es uns ermöglichte, die Schnelligkeit des Buggy’s zu erproben. Ich liebe es mit schnellen Autos zu fahren und die Beschleunigung zu spüren. Wem es auch so geht, der sollte auf jeden Fall einmal die Fahrt mit einem Buggy ausprobieren!
Die Fahrzeuge fahren zwar nicht so schnell wie es wohl der eine oder andere BMW tut, aber durch die Nähe zur Straße, die offene Fahrerkabine und die fehlende Windschutzscheibe bekommt man einen ganz anderen Bezug zur Geschwindigkeit.
Nach einiger Zeit auf der Straße kamen wir dann am Nationalpark Villarrica an. Mit der Ankunft dort hörte auch die befestigte Straße auf und damit fing der Spaß erst richtig an!
Durch Schlaglöcher, unebenes Gelände und kurvenreiche steile Aufstiege, auf einem Sandweg machten wir uns daran, den Vulkan zu erklimmen.
Besonders Spaß hatte ich in den Teilen der Strecke, an denen der Buggy richtig Schräglage bekam und dort, wo die Räder nicht richtig griffen weil der Untergrund sandig und rutschig war – herrlich!
Nach etwa anderthalb Stunden erreichten wir dann den Zielpunkt, die 2. Skibasis, hinter der man nur noch Wandern kann, weil jegliche Befestigung aufhört. Dort machten wir eine kurze Pause.
Es ist ein wunderschöner Ort um Fotos zu machen, da im Hintergrund der Vulkan empor ragt und man sich aber gleichzeitig so hoch befindet (1.400m), dass man die wunderschöne Landschaft rund um Pucon mit dem See Villarrica und den zahlreichen Bäumen überblicken kann.
Nach ca. 10 Minuten Pause sind wir dann doch noch etwas weiter auf den Vulkan hinauf gefahren, damit alle die Allrad Funktionen des Buggys austesten konnten – das war ein Spaß! Rauf und runter im Gelände über große und kleine Hindernisse, so dass man nur so von einer Staubwolke eingehüllt war.
Dann ging es wieder hinunter – die Abfahrt war noch besser als das Aufsteigen, man konnte nun richtig an Geschwindigkeit zunehmen und die Handbremse nutzen um die Kurven zu passieren – Adrenalin pur!
Ich dachte schon es soll gleich wieder nach Pucon gehen – aber nein, hinter dem Nationalpark nahmen wir noch eine andere Abzweigung, wieder ein Stück hinauf, auf diesem Stück gab es nochmal die Möglichkeit die Geländefähigkeit des Buggys auf die Probe zu stellen.
Der Weg dort war nochmal etwas natürlicher und damit hatte ich nochmal etwas mehr Spaß. Am Ende dieses Weges war nochmal ein Punkt, an dem man einen wunderschönen Blick auf den Villarrica Vulkan und die Bergketten hatte. Nach noch einem kleinen Stück 4×4 ging es aber dann doch wieder zurück nach Pucon.
Auf dem Rückweg konnte man noch mal den Fahrtwind auf seiner Haut genießen und die Umgebung auf sich wirken lassen, die die Straße durch den Wald zu bieten hatte.
Nach drei Stunden kamen wir dann wieder, mit einem neuen tollen Erlebnis bereichert, in Pucon an.

„Raftig alto“ – Im Adrenalin Rausch den kristallklaren Strom hinunter! Rio Trancura -Februar 2015

Mein erstes Raftingerlebnis hatte ich heute – auf dem Rio Trancura, der in der Nähe der kleinen Stadt Pucon liegt. Die erste Entscheidung, die ich zu Fällen hatte, war: alto oder bajo. Blauäugig und unbedacht entschied ich mich nach dem Motto „Ganz oder gar nicht“ – für das Rafting „alto“ auf dem Rio Trancura, mit Stromschnellen der Klasse 4.

Um 14.00 Uhr wurde ich, bewaffnet mit Handtuch, Badesachen und Kleidung zum Wechseln, abgeholt. Gemeinsam mit fünf anderen Teilnehmern, zwei Guides und dem Raft im Schlepptau ging es aus der Stadt Richtung Fluss.
Auf der Fahrt dorthin hatte ich Zeit darüber nachzudenken, was ich da bloß für eine Entscheidung getroffen hatte. Ich bin eigentlich eher der vorsichtige Typ und setzte auf Sicherheit und die Vorstellung in einem Fluss mit Stromschnellen aus einem Boot geschmissen zu werden machte mir dann doch etwas Angst – aber ich war nunmal auf dem Weg und musste da durch!

Beim Fluss angekommen wurden wir mit Neoprenanzug, speziellen Schuhen und Helm ausgestattet. Dort gab es Umkleidemöglichkeiten und so machten wir uns für den Trip startklar. Nachdem alle in ihren Neoprenanzügen steckten, wurden wir mit dem Transporter noch weiter den Fluss aufwärts gebracht – dann waren wir endlich an unserem Startpunkt angelangt.
Durch die Bäume schimmerte schon das klare, blau-grüne Wasser des Rio Trancura. Ausgerüstet mit Schwimmweste und Helm stiegen wir hinab zum Ufer. Dort gab es zu meiner Beruhigung noch eine Sicherheitseinweisung. Der eine Guide sollte uns mit seinem Kajak begleiten, um zur Not die Verlorengegangenen wieder einzusammeln.

Dann ging es auch schon samt Raft ins Wasser. Wir bekamen noch schnell Instruktionen in die Befehle („left forwards“, „right forwards“, „stopp“, „down“ und „paddle backwards“), die der Guide zum Paddeln gab. Diese trainierten wir im ersten, noch ruhigen Teil des Flusses, um ein Gefühl für das Team zu bekommen – dadurch fühlte ich mich nun sehr gut vorbereitet, die ersten Stromschnellen zu meistern. Die Vorfreude auf diese stieg nun mehr und mehr – und dann kam die erste „rapid“ – es war eine von den „seichteren“. Das Team passierte sie ohne Probleme, mit unglaublich viel Freude und steigendem Adrenalinspiegel.

Dann kam die zweite „rapid“, die es in sich hatte. Wir wurden einen Wasserfall hinuntergeworfen. Das Wasser spritzte von allen Seiten – das Boot wurde von den Wellen hin und hergeworfen – wir bekamen eine starke Schräglage – und dann waren wir durch. Einfach ein unglaubliches Gefühl. Trotzallem hatte ich nicht das Gefühl eines Kontrollverlustes, weil der Teamgeist der Gruppe mit jeder Herausforderung stärker wurde.
Die Intensität nahm immer mehr zu und die Stimmung im Raft war fantastisch!
Nach einer besonders harten „rapid“, waren wir alle glückserfüllt und gaben uns ein „High-Five“ mit den Paddeln. Ich wurde fast aus dem Raft gerissen – doch meine Angst davor rauszufallen war total verflogen, ich freute mich nur auf die Ansprüche die die nächste Schnelle an uns stellen sollte.

Später paddelten wir ans Ufer, kurz vor einem sehr engen und steinigem Wasserfall. Dort wurden wir aufgefordert das Raft zu verlassen. Mit dem Raft sei diese Stelle nicht zu passieren, so wurde uns gesagt– ob das stimmt weiß ich nicht. Aber nach einem kurzen Aufstieg am Uferrand stand ich plötzlich auf einer Klippe, direkt neben dem Wasserfall, den ich eben noch von oben gesehen hatte. In dem Moment als ich da oben stand, war mir klar: Wir sollten springen. Mit Blick auf die nahen Steine im Wasser- direkt hinter diesem Wasserfall, war dies ein atemberaubender Ort. Aber mit meiner Höhenangst war ich ziemlich überrumpelt von der Situation. Damit hatte ich nicht gerechnet – doch ohne viel nachzudenken, bin ich gesprungen!
Das Eintauchen ins Wasser, während du die verschiedenen Strömungen um dich herum spürst…und das Auftauchen und Realisieren was man grade getan hatte – der reinste Adrenalinrausch!
Ich schwamm zum Raft und dann ging es auch schon weiter, wir passierten noch zwei atemberaubende „rapids“ bevor wir langsam Richtung Zielpunkt glitten. Alle waren in Hochstimmung als wir ankamen – von Freude erfüllt über das was wir grade erlebt hatten.
Am Zielpunkt wurden wir mit Keksen und Saft empfangen, um unsere Energie wieder aufzuladen und in trockene Kleidung zu schlüpfen! Dann war das Rafting auch schon vorbei. Während der Rückfahrt nach Pucon wurden noch viel über andere interessante Rafting Erlebnisse gesprochen, die die anderen Gruppenmitglieder bereits erlebt hatten. Super zufrieden kamen wir alle wieder im Ort an.

Die Gefühle die mich auf diesem Trip erfüllten sind schwer in Worte zu fassen, aber das Adrenalin das durch die Adern fließt – die Aufregung vor jeder intensiven Stromschnelle – das will ich jedenfalls wiederholen!

_MG_7607

Huerquehue – Eintauchen in das magische Grün des Subtropischen Regenwaldes, Januar 2015

Huerquehue National Park 102„Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm.“ Nach dem Motto begann der 25. Januar 2015 für mich. Um kurz nach 8 sammelte mich der Bus ein, der mich und die Reisegruppe von Pucón zum Nationalpark Huerquehue bringen sollte. Bis zum Nationalpark fuhren wir etwas 45 min, doch die Fahrt dorthin war keinesfalls langweilig. Wir kamen an zahlreichen grünen Weiden mit Rindern vorbei, fuhren durch Wälder und konnten während der gesamten Fahrt die unglaubliche schöne Landschaft mit den Bergen und Vulkanen bestaunen.

Um 9.30 Uhr wurden wir dann vom Bus vor dem Nationalpark abgesetzt. Dort hatten wir dann nochmal die Chance eine Toilette aufzusuchen, bevor wir in die vollkommene Natur starten sollten. Die Tour durch den Nationalpark sollte in etwa 7 Stunden dauern, dabei war geplant, drei „Lagos“ (=Seen) oben auf dem Berg zu besuchen und auf dem Rückweg den Wasserfall zu bestaunen, der auch in diesem wasserreichen Nationalpark zu finden ist.
Für die Tour war ich ausgerüstet mit genügend Wasser, Sandwiches, Obst und Keksen und zusätzlich noch Badebekleidung, in der Hoffnung, oben in den Seen baden gehen zu können.

Dann ging die Tour auch schon los. Erst spazierten wir im flacheren Gelände um einen See herum, der noch unten im Dorf lag, wobei wir noch an einem kleinen süßen Bauernhof vorbeikamen, der in einem Kiosk lauter kleine selbstgemachte Köstlichkeiten verkaufte. Hinter diesem fing dann der Wald an.
Unser Guide Toni erklärte uns dann noch einmal die Route, die wir einschlagen würden und dann starteten wir in den subtropischen Regenwald. Für mich ist es das erste Mal gewesen, dass ich einen Regenwald besucht habe und war daher völlig überwältig von der reichhaltigen Flora und Fauna. Toni berichtete uns, dass der Wald Wildschweine, Kolibris, „Güiña“ (Waldkatz) oder eine der drei Beuteltierarten Chiles beherbergt. Ich begegnete auch einigen seltsamen Insekten und war nur froh keiner (ungefährliche) Riesenspinne zu begegnen, von denen der Guide auch sprach.
Wir hatten ein ganzes Stück bergauf zu gehen, auf gut befestigten Sandwegen, was das wandern sehr angenehm machte. Zwischendurch machten wir immer wieder Pausen an Stellen, wo das Dickicht aufbrach und man einen atemberaubenden Blick auf den Vulkan Villarrica genießen konnte.
Nach etwa anderthalb Stunden kamen wir zum offiziellen Eingang des Nationalparks. Dort erfuhren wir, dass wir unter den ersten 20 Leuten waren, die an diesem Morgen passieren wollten was die Motivation noch steigerte die Lagunen schnell zu erreichen, um die Natur dort oben so menschenleer wie Möglich erleben zu können.
Also ging es immer weiter hinauf. Dadurch, dass man die gesamte Zeit die wunderschöne Flora und Fauna auf sich wirken lassen konnte sowie verschiedene Vögel hören und, wenn man ein gutes Auge hatte, auch sehen konnte war es ein sehr, sehr angenehmes aufsteigen. Unglaublich was für kleine Tiere solche intensiven Laute von sich geben können!
Toni, der Guide, hatte in den Pausen immer wieder neue Interessante Informationen über Land, Leute und Flora und Fauna. Zum Beispiel über die Entwicklung des Lebens der Mapuche, die heute immer noch in ihren Dörfern zusammenleben oder über die Eigenschaften der Araucania Bäume, die über 2.000 Jahre alt werden und mittlerweile die streng geschütztesten Bäume Chiles sind.
Um etwa 12.00 Uhr kamen wir dann an der ersten Lagune an, dem „Lago Chico“, dem kleinsten der drei Seen. Das Wasser war so kristallklar, eine Mischung aus grün und blau, wunderschön eingebettet in die Berge des Huerquehue Nationalparks, mit all den immergrünen Bäumen darum. Die Sonne ließ das durch den Wind leicht bewegte Wasser wie Kristalle glitzern, was ein atemberaubend schöner Eindruck war den ich wohl nicht mehr vergessen werde.
Eine wunderschöne Holzbrücke führte uns über den See, weiter entlang der Lagune. Von dort oben hatten wir auch keine großen Höhen mehr zu überwinden und kamen auch relativ zügig zum zweiten See „Lago Toro“, der nicht weniger beeindrucken war als der Erste. Besonders an diesem war, dass am anderen Ufer wunderschöne Felswände aus dem Wasser ragten. Dort hatten wir dann auch noch einmal Zeit, Fotos von uns machen zu lassen, um diesen unglaublich schönen Moment für die Zukunft festzuhalten.
Vom „Lago Toro“ waren es dann auch nur noch 700 m bis zum „Largo Verde“, dem größten aller Seen dort oben. Dort machten wir ca. eine dreiviertel Stunde Pause am Rande des Sees, um uns mit unserer Verpflegung zu stärken, nette Gespräche mit den anderen Gruppenmitgliedern zu führen und natürlich in erster Linie in Ruhe diesen wunderschönen Platz auf sich wirken zu lassen. Zum schwimmen bin ich leider nicht gekommen, da es für mich leider etwas zu frisch war. Es gab jedoch viele Leute die mutiger waren als ich und das wunderbare Erlebnis hatten, in diesem wunderschönen Ort ein Bad zu nehmen.
Etwa um 14.00 Uhr machten wir uns auf, um das zweite Highlight des Tages, den Wasserfall, zu erreichen. Gut gestärkt und beeindruckt von der Natur machten wir uns auf den Rückweg, was es uns ermöglichte noch einmal den atemberaubenden Blick auf die verschiedenen Lagunen zu haben.
Der Abstieg ging wie zu erwarten erheblich schneller als der Aufstieg und so erreichten wir sehr schnell den Wasserfall, den wir von oben schon erahnen konnten. Der Blick von unten war wie der gesamte andere Tag wunderschön. Auf mich wirkte es wahrscheinlich noch dreimal schöner, weil es der erste Wasserfall war, den ich in meinem Leben gesehen habe. An den Wasserfällen machten wir noch eine kleine Pause, bevor wir den letzten Teil des Abstieges antraten.
Völlig zufrieden kamen wir alle gut unten an und warteten an dem Kiosk des Bauernhofes, wo wir noch Eindrücke von der chilenischen Hofkultur erhielten und sich der ein oder andere noch mit einem richtigen Kaffee stärken konnte. Dann kam der Bus und der Tag neigte sich dem Ende zu.
Den Ausflug zum Nationalpark Huerquehue kann ich nur empfehlen und ich hoffe, dass ich noch ein zweites Mal die Möglichkeit haben werde die wunderschöne Natur dort oben auf mich wirken zu lassen, nicht zuletzt, weil ich unbedingt nochmal in den Lagunen schwimmen gehen möchte! Ich glaube, dieser Ausflug wird einen durch die vielfältige Flora und Fauna jedes Mal aufs Neue überraschen und beeindrucken!

Der Vulkan Villarrica – atem(be)raubend – Januar 2015

Hast du schon einmal einen Vulkan bestiegen? Nein? Ich bisher auch nicht.

Hier in Pucon mit Amity Tours hat sich mir die einmalige Gelegenheit geboten. Die ich mir natürlich nicht entgehen lassen wollte. Ein bisschen gezweifelt habe ich zunächst schon, schließlich ist der gewaltige, 2.847 Meter hohe Vulkan Villarrica mit seiner schneebedeckten Spitze bereits von Pucón aus zu sehen und gehört mit zu den aktivsten Vulkanen Südamerikas. Und ich kam grade aus einem 3,5 wöchigen Kuba-Urlaub, in dem ich nicht wirklich viel Sport gemacht und auch keine Berge erklommen habe. Dennoch habe ich diese Herausforderung angenommen. Und es hat sich gelohnt kann ich euch sagen!!!
Die Vorbereitungen für die Vulkanbesteigung beginnen schon einen Tag zuvor. In der Agentur wird jedem Teilnehmer eine wind- und wasserdichte Überziehhose sowie eine Jacke und Schuhe zur Verfügung gestellt. Die galt es anzuprobieren, damit am Tag des Ausflugs kein unnötiger Stress mehr entsteht. Außerdem wurde mir von Suzi noch ein Merkzettel mit auf den Weg gegeben, ein Alkoholverbot für den Abend ausgesprochen und Pasta als Abendessen empfohlen. Schließlich sollen alle fit und gut gestärkt am nächsten Morgen auf den Vulkan steigen können. Und Energie braucht man!

Am Morgen des Aufstiegs habe ich gegen 6:00 Uhr mein Reiseproviant gepackt (Wasser, Sandwich, Schokolade, Obst. Hauptsache Nahrung mit viel Energie) und mich auf den Weg gemacht. Für 6:30 Uhr war das Treffen angesetzt. Unsere Ausrüstung stand schon individuell für jeden Teilnehmer zusammengestellt in Boxen bereit. Insgesamt bestand sie aus festen Wanderschuhen, Gamaschen, einer wetterfesten Überziehhose sowie Jacke, Eispickel, Steigeisen, Handschuhen, Tellerschlitten und einem Rucksack. Schuhe und Gamaschen haben wir bereits vor Ort angezogen, alle weiteren Utensilien sowie Proviant haben wir in den Rucksäcken verstaut. Und los ging‘s im Van zur Talstation des Villarrica Vulkans. Dort angekommen sind wir mit einem Sessellift chilenischer Bauart (sehr interessant wenn man sonst nur die modernen Skilifte aus Österreich kennt) etwa 400m höher zur Schneegrenze gefahren, wodurch uns eine weitere Stunde Aufstieg erspart wurde. „Wir“, das sind übrigens 12 Teilnehmer begleitet von 4 erfahrenen und vor Energie sprühenden Tourguides.

Auf einer Höhe von etwa 1.800 Metern begann nun unser Aufstieg auf den Villarica Vulkan. Und 4 Stunden später werde ich völlig erschöpft aber überglücklich 1.000 Höhenmeter überwunden haben und auf der Spitze des Vulkans stehen. Aber zu dieser Zeit weiß ich das noch nicht.

Bei der Endstation des Sessellifts haben wir mit Hilfe unserer 4 Guides die restliche Ausrüstung angelegt und – ganz wichtig – das Gesicht noch einmal ordentlich mit Sonnencreme eingecremt. Die ersten Schritte im Schnee mit den Steigeisen an den Füßen und dem Eispickel in der Hand waren noch etwas ungewohnt, aber dank der guten Erklärungen hat sich das bald gelegt. Nach etwa 30 Minuten Aufstieg haben wir die erste Pause eingelegt, in der getrunken, gegessen und wiederholt das Gesicht eingecremt wurde. Das sollte die Routine jeder Pause werden. Von diesem Punkt aus konnte ich bereits etwas sehen, das aussah wie ein Gipfel. Leider war das weit gefehlt. Dieser „Gipfel“ war ein Plateau und der Ort für unsere zweite Pause. Von dort aus hatte man einen einmaligen Blick ins Tal und auf den See Villarrica und unser Bergführer Claudio hat uns erklärt, was wir alles sehen können.

Nach dem immer gleichen Verfahren essen, trinken, Sonnencreme, ging der Aufstieg weiter. Mein Atem ging zu diesem Zeitpunkt schon schneller, die ersten Ermüdungserscheinungen stellten sich ein. Nicht so bei unseren Guides. Die sind neben uns den Berg hochgelaufen (wirklich gelaufen!), wieder runter, nach rechts, nachgefragt wie es uns geht, gesungen. Unglaublich! Diese Energie und gute Laune hat uns glaube ich allen geholfen weiterzugehen. Denn spätestens nach der dritten Pause war bei mir nicht mehr an singen zu denken. Ich war froh wenn ich in einheitlichem Tempo und mit kleinen Schritten den anderen hinterhertrotten konnte. Dieser Abschnitt zwischen Pause 3 und 4 war für mich der anstrengendste, denn wir waren schon seit einer gefühlten Ewigkeit unterwegs und noch immer nicht am Ziel. Dann hat allerdings der Ehrgeiz zugepackt, schließlich wollte ich unbedingt den Gipfel erreichen! Hier, im letzten Abschnitt des Berges, war alles nur eine Sache des Kopfes.

Und dann, nach etwa 4 Stunden Wanderung, standen wir oben. Was für ein Gefühl! Ich stand neben dem Krater eines aktiven Vulkans auf einer Höhe von 2.847 Metern und habe den ganzen Weg allein zurückgelegt! (ja, ich weiß, rational gesehen war es nicht der ganze Weg, zu dem Zeitpunkt war mir das aber egal). Wir haben sogar versucht einen Blick in den Krater zu werfen, die Schwefeldämpfe machten das Atmen dort aber so gut wie unmöglich. Und wie Claudio uns erklärte kann man die Lava schon seit etwa 4 Jahren nicht mehr sehen. Was man allerdings super sehen konnte war ein Teil der Region Araucanía, mit dem See Villarrica und Pucón zu unseren Füßen und weiteren Bergen und Vulkanen in der Ferne.

Nach einer ausgiebigen Pause und der immer gleichen Routine essen, trinken, Sonnencreme, haben wir uns an den Abstieg gemacht. Der „Abstieg“ war allerdings eher ein „Abrutschen“, denn wir haben uns einfach auf den Hintern gesetzt und sind in einer Art Fahrrinnen den Vulkan hinuntergerutscht. Das war wirklich die mit Abstand längste Rutschpartie, die ich je gemacht habe! Die Ausgelassenheit der Gruppe zu dieser Zeit war kaum zu überhören!

An der Schneegrenze angekommen mussten wir doch noch ein Stück zu Fuß zurücklegen, bis wir dann alle erschöpft aber überglücklich am Van angekommen sind.

Zurück in der Agentur gab es ein wenig Saft und Obst zur Stärkung und ich bin mir zu diesem Zeitpunkt sicher: wenn ich noch einmal die Gelegenheit bekomme den Vulkan zu besteigen, dann tue ich das! Vielleicht nicht direkt morgen, ein bisschen Entspannung muss ich meinen Muskeln doch gönnen, aber zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt sicherlich! Vielen Dank an Amity Tours und Claudio & sein Team!

 

Und wenn ihr nun auch Lust bekommen habt: dann sichert euch jetzt euer einmaliges Abenteuer!

Parasailing – hoch über dem See Villarrica, 2015

Welch ein wunderschönes und friedliches Gefühl einen überkommt, wenn man hoch oben in der Luft über dem in der Sonne glitzernden See Villarrica schwebt und das Panorama Pucóns genießen kann – einfach herrlich. Ein Parasailing-Flug ist ein durch und durch entspannendes Erlebnis. Klar, ein bisschen Aufregung ist immer dabei. Denn man fliegt ja nicht alle Tage mit einem Schirm in etwa 200m Höhe, der nur durch ein Seil mit einem Boot verbunden ist. Aber sobald man in der Luft ist legt sich das Gefühl der Aufregung und weicht dem der Freude. Zur Vorbereitung auf den Flug bekommt bereits jeder noch auf dem Festland eine Art Gurt um Hüften und Beine angelegt, der später mit einem Karabinerhaken an der Halterung des Schirms angebracht werden kann. Außerdem werden alle mit einer Schwimmweste ausgestattet und – wenn nicht selbst dabei – mit Sonnencreme. Da sich meist mehrere „Flugpaare“ gemeinsam auf einem Boot befinden, dauert der gesamte Ausflug etwa 1,5 Stunden. Allein diese Bootsfahrt auf dem See Villarrica ist schon wunderschön. Normalerweise fliegen je zwei Personen gemeinsam, Ausnahmen mit einer oder drei Personen sind nach Absprache möglich. Bevor ich an der Reihe war, konnte ich den Start einige Male beobachten, sodass ich wusste, was auf mich zukommt. Und als ich dann endlich fliegen durfte war alles ganz einfach und geschah quasi von allein. Man muss einfach auf die Startplattform gehen, sich einhaken lassen und dann hinsetzen. Das Boot gibt dann etwas mehr Gas und schwups – ist man in der Luft. Nach und nach wird mehr Leine gegeben, sodass der Schirm höher und höher steigt, bis er etwa eine Höhe von 150m erreicht hat. Dort, hoch oben in der Luft, ist es so ruhig und alles wirkt so friedlich, sodass man einfach in seiner Halterung sitzen und den atemberaubenden Blick genießen kann. Der gesamte Flug dauert etwa 15 Minuten, dann geht es schon wieder runter. Das Landen ist ähnlich einfach wie der Start: man muss nur kurz so tun als würde man in der Luft laufen, vielleicht streift eine Fußspitze auch mal das Wasser, aber dann ist man schon wieder sicheren Fußes auf dem Boot. Das ganze Flugerlebnis muss natürlich auch festgehalten werden – das geht ganz einfach, indem man einem der freundlichen Mitpassagiere oder den Helfern seine Kamera in die Hand drückt – und schon entstehen atemberaubende Bilder! Mir hat dieser Parasailing Flug super gefallen: Pucón von der Seeseite aus bewundern zu können, mit dem hoch aufragenden Vulkan Villarrica, die Ruhe hoch oben in der Luft und das Gefühl, sicher und unbeschwert über dem Wasser schweben zu können. Also keine Angst – es lohnt sich! Interesse? Dann schau dir auch unsere anderen Daytours an!

Special Departure Chile 7 days Bike and Hike in the Araucarias Biosphere Reserve Tour December 2014

Amity Tours invites you to discover the Lake & Volcano District hiking and cycling Chile’s southern roads. Explore this fascinating part of the country dominated by clear-water lakes and amazing live volcanoes. Together with friendly locals, you will pedal alongside the Araucarias Biosphere Reserve, including the Andes mountains, green rolling meadows and through national parks, climb active volcanoes, visit villages and relax in soothing natural hot springs. This is the perfect way to spend New Years Eve in South America.

Special Departure: Bike and Hike in the Araucarias Biosphere Reserve, Chile 7 days tour, December 2014

Continue reading

Confirmed Departure Chile 8 days Bike and Hike Tour October and December 2014

bike tour chile

Discover the Lake & Volcano District hiking and cycling Chile’s southern backroads. Explore this fascinating part of the country dominated by clear-water lakes and amazing live volcanoes. Together with friendly locals, you will pedal alongside the Andes mountains, green rolling meadows and through national parks, climb an active volcano, visit local ethnic villages and relax in soothing natural hot springs.

Confirmed Departure: Chile 8 days Bike and Hike Tour, October and December 2014.

Continue reading

The Summer Skiing Season is Coming

From the Amity Tours’ main office in Pucon, we can see the golden leaves waving on the native trees. The landscape is so beautiful, the mountains are covered in all shades of golden yellow and red colors. For many Chilean people this is a bad sign, because it means the summer is almost over. But for us at Amity Tours, this can only mean two things, one: our bike tours and hiking tours are coming to the end of their season, and two: the skiing tours season is just around the corner.Continue reading

Amity Tours Chile Celebrates 10 Years !

In August 13th, 2003, my father Alejandro Levy, founded Amity Tours, a family-owned and operated tour company, established in the South of Chile.

Looking back in these 10 years, my heart starts to beat faster, I remember with fondness almost every moment. I only have words and feelings of gratitude to my father Alejandro. He didn’t teach me about business or tourism, he never lectured me about my behavior, he only taught me how to be a good man, and he did it with his example, even today.

Continue reading