Chile Lake Volcano District – Araucanía Andina

araucania andina lake volcano district

La Araucania Andina is located 700 kilometers south from Santiago de Chile. Geographically, this destination is formed by two large mountain areas: the Lonquimay volcano and the Llaima volcano, hence the outstanding volcanic activity of the area. Demographically, the core historical-cultural identity is strongly marked and linked to the original Pewenche people, the first inhabitants of La Araucania Region.

 

araucania andina chile
Map credit: Araucania Andina Travel

 

More than just a destination, it is where starts the famous Lake and Volcano District of Chile. The main natural attraction in this special part of La Araucanía Region is the Kütralkura UNESCO Global Geopark. There, you can witness how the volcanic activity has been shaping for ages the impressive landscapes of southern Chile.

 

araucania andina lake volcano district

 

In this week’s post, you will discover the best natural places to explore in La Araucania Andina.

 

conguillio araucania andina
Conguillio National Park, Araucania Andina (Photo Credit: Chile Lagos y Volcanes)

 

Kütralkura Geopark

 

Area of globally recognized biodiversity, Kütralkura is Chile’s first geopark. With six protected wilderness areas of diverse landscape, 5 volcanoes, and a geological history covering the last 250 million years, it in fact is no surprise that UNESCO declared this outstanding territory the Araucarias Biosphere Reserve in 1983. Dominated by the presence of the Llaima, Sierra Nevada, Lonquimay, Tolhuaca and Nevados de Sollipulli volcanoes, the notable geological features are of mainly volcanic, tectonic and glacier character.

 

llaima volcano sollipulli
Llaima volcano (3.125 meters) from Sollipulli volcano.

 

The richness of the Kütralkura geopark does not solely lie on its natural wonders. But also on its people who play a big part in the culture of this ancestral territory. First inhabitants of Southern Chile, the Pewenche are an indigenous subgroup belonging to the Mapuche community.

Pewenche people take their name from their dependence for food on the seeds of the pewen (pehuen) or monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana). They consider the Araucaria tree as their Mother and protector.

 

pewenche araucaria
Drinking Yerba Mate has been part of the ancestral tradition of the Mapuche culture since ancient times.

 

It should be noted that the Pewenche have their own cosmovision, social system, and ancestral arts. In addition, they have great knowledge and wisdom related to the use of medicinal plants (known as “Lawen” in their Mother tongue). In Mapudungun, “Kütralkura” means “stone fire”.

 

Tolhuaca National Park

 

tolhuaca volcano chile
Tolhuaca volcano (2.806 meters) and Blanca lagoon.

 

Located on the slopes of the Andes Mountain Range, the Tolhuaca National Park is a spectacular scenery of native flora and fauna. With 6.474 hectares of Monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) forest, the geological formations shape the characteristic mountainous reliefs of the park. Moreover the presence of the Tolhuaca volcano also highly contributes in this landscape composition.

 

Laguna malleco tolhuaca park
Malleco lagoon, Tolhuaca National Park.

 

In the Tolhuaca National Park, you can easily access Laguna Malleco by a good trail that does not take more than an hour to hike. There, you can walk through a forest of coigües (Nothofagus dombeyi) and araucarias, leading to great views towards the Malleco waterfall. In addition, the hiking trail offers the the opportunity to also visit the Culebra waterfall. 

 

malleco waterfall tolhuaca
Malleco waterfall

 

Conguillio National Park

 

The Conguillio National Park is located in the heart of the Kütralkura Geopark, highlight of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District. Originally, with an area of 60,832 hectares, the Conguillio used to form two different parks: Conguillio National Park and Los Paraguas National Park. Then they merged and formed the current park. 

In Mapudungun, the Mapuche’s native language, the word Conguillio is “Ko-nqilliu”. The meaning is “pine nuts in the water”, or “to settle by the pine nuts” based on the abundance of araucarias (known Monkey puzzle tree) and the existence of lakes surrounding the volcanic area of the park.

 

conguillio llaima volcano
Araucaria trees with the Llaima volcano at sight, Conguillio National Park

 

Among its main attractions, the Llaima volcano (3.200m) stands out the most. Dominating the landscape, the volcano is surrounded by its lakes of volcanic formation and its forests of ancient araucarias. What’s more, the forests of this native tree are 1,200 year-old!

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) refers to the Conguillio National Park as one of the last refuges in the World to preserve the landscape where dinosaurs lived. In this place, the UK’s broadcaster filmed part of the documentary “Walking with Dinosaurs“, more specifically the chapter centered on the Upper Cretaceous: “Death of a Dynasty”.

 

 

 

Our favorite activity to do when visiting the Conguillio National Park is hiking the Sierra Nevada trail, a high volcanic mountain range.  The trail starts near the Conguillio Lake, and crosses a spectacular forest of araucaria trees. During the hike, there are three scenic viewpoints over the lake; the trail culminates in a large open viewpoint, outside with great views over both Llaima volcano and Conguillio lake.

 

Conguillio lake sierra nevada
Conguillio lake from the Sierra Nevada trail.

 

Malalcahuello National Reserve

 

mtb chile
Mountain biking next to Lonquimay volcano (2.865m) and Christmas crater, Malalcahuello National Reserve.

 

 

Located in the northeast part of La Araucanía Region, Malalcahuello is the must-see place to visit in Chile. Indeed, the volcanic and glacial activity of the Lonquimay volcano (2.865 meters) has strongly been shaping the landform of the reserve. With the Christmas crater (cráter Navidad) that completed its last volcanic eruptive process in 1990, the Malalcahuello Reserve is more like a surreal landscape where recent volcanic slags combine with ancient araucaria forests.

 

 

tolhuaca volcano kutralkura geopark chile
Tolhuaca volcano (2.806 meters), Malalcahuello National Reserve

 

As a result of the volcanic geography, the 31.260 hectares stand out for its great diversity of flora and where the native forest manifests in thousands of colors and forms, with streams of crystal-clear waters descending from the Andes mountain range.

From July to mid-October, the Malalcahuello National Reserve is Amity‘s favorite place to be. In effect, the area is best known to be a great host for skiing in Southern Chile. Proof of that are the yearly visits of international ski racing teams training in the Corralco Ski Resort, a world-class destination well-known for its great snow conditions and the exuberant surroundings of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District.

 

ski lonquimay volcano
Skiing in the Malalcahuello National Reserve. Main crater of Lonquimay volcano.

 

On the other hand, during spring and summer (late-October to April), cycling might be the best way to explore Malalcahuello.

 

MTB Malalcahuello
Mountain biking with the Tolhuaca volcano at sight. Photo credit: Evoc Sports.

 

Riding across the reserve surrounded by thousand year-old araucaria trees, with the Lonquimay and Tolhuaca volcanoes at sight, and our MTB is a true travel adventure experience we love to do. More than a bike experience, it is also a great opportunity for a cultural encounter with the Pewenche. Sharing with them their traditions, culture and culinary specialties is the best way to learn about the human side of La Araucania Region.

 

pewenche chile araucania andina
The “cordero al palo” is a whole roast lamb barbecue, offered by the Meliñir family.

 

The Andean ancestral legacy of La Araucania Region: the Pewenche culture

 

In geographical terms, the Pewenche territory encompasses both sides of the Andes mountain range, between the Maule River and the Lonquimay Volcano. Before the arrival of the Spanish settlers, they were hunters and gatherers of pine nuts (piñon, pewen or pehuén), fruit from the araucaria tree that gives the name and essence characteristics of the Pewenche culture. Thanks to this, they elaborate gastronomic products such as pine nut flour, jams, muday (ancestral drink), among others.

 

araucaria tree araucania andina
Piñon, seed of the araucaria tree.

 

It is not without saying that the Pewenche consider the araucaria as a sacred tree thanks to its medicinal properties. Thus, we understand that their ancestral culture is closely related to the natural environment in which they live. Likewise, they maintain a deep bond with their territory of origin. Hence understanding that the land cannot be separated from culture and identity.

 

araucaria tree
Bark of Araucaria tree

 

This intertwined connection explains the tremendous importance of the first inhabitants of La Araucanía Region. Every corner of this Andean territory has a history linked to the processes of the Pewenche through time.

If you are interested in visiting this area, please send us an email to schedule a call with one of our Trip Design experts.

Experience the rich union between the Pewenche ancestral culture and the beautiful nature of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District. Ask about our best active travel adventures and discover the incredible diverse landscape and history of La Araucaria Region.

 

 

lake volcano araucania
Road cycling near Bio-bio river, Araucanía Andina circuit, Chile’s Lake and Volcano Scenic Route.

Ski Chile 2021

ski chile

Skiing in Chile is a unique experience. Located along the Andes mountain range, Chile is a beautiful country full of contrasts, with changing climate and geography. The presence of such natural wonders has allowed the country to be elected the World’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination since 2016 according to the World Travel Awards.

 

 

chile adventure
Chile has been elected the World’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination since 2015

 

In addition to be the world’s leading adventure tourism destination, Chile also offers great skiing conditions with great snow powder. From June to September, it is possible to ski in not less than 18 different and world-class ski resorts. Most of them are concentrated near the Capital, Santiago de Chile. But, if you are an adrenaline-seeker and love breathtaking landscape while skiing, Chile’s Lake and Volcano District is surely the best place to practice winter sports in South America.

 

skiing chile

 

As of matter of fact, we can say without a doubt that Chile is a country of volcanoes. Indeed, with no less than 2.900 volcanoes which 80 of them are still active, you can slide over more than one of them.

In this post, you will learn more about Amity’s favorite ski resorts located in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District.

 

Antillanca Ski Resort, Los Lagos Region

 

ski antillanca chile
Antillanca Ski Resort

 

Located approximately 98 kilometers from the city of Osorno, the Antillanca Ski Resort is located in the Puyehue National Park, on the slopes of the Casablanca volcano, near the Puyehue and Aguas Calientes hot springs. This area belongs to the Antillanca volcanic complex.

 

antillanca ski
Skiers in Antillanca Ski Resort

 

The ski resort extends on Haique Mount with heights ranging between 1.040 meters and 1.540 meters above sea level. With a total of 400 hectares of skiable surface, the Antillanca Ski Resort offers 14 marked tracks of varying difficulty. In total, 32 kilometers of great snow powder to hit.

 

antillanca chile
Ski slopes Antillanca

 

In addition to the good slopes, Antillanca counts on excellent snow conditions throughout ski season (from June to Octuber). It’s more, the ski center has spectacular cornices for off-piste practice and extreme descents.

In summary, in Antillanca Ski Resort there is skiing for all tastes and styles. In summer, it is an ideal place for nature lovers who like the practice of adventure tourism.

 

Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve, Los Ríos Region

 

Located in Neltume,  in the middle of the Patagonian Andes, the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve mainly focuses on the care and conservation of the native species and the Temperate Rain Forest.

 

ski huilo huilo
Cat Skiing in Huilo Huilo

 

The Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve is located 860 kilometers south of Santiago, in the Los Rios Region. This reserve has a little explored ecosystem. In fact, it has a great diversity thanks to its particular geography: lakes of glacial origin, eternal snows on the Mocho-Choshuenco volcano, and countless water courses. As a result, the main purpose is the conservation of the native species of the Temperate Rain Forest.

 

cat skiing chile
Bosque Encantando, Huilo huilo Biological Reserve

 

The Bosque Encantado Ski Center is inside the biological reserve, at more than 1.000 meters high. Accordingly, it has 3 tracks of 1,200, 1300 and 1,400 meters. And for those who are not so familiar with the white sport, there is also the possibility of trekking with snowshoeing, tubing, glaciological tour and snowmobile rides, among others.

 

 

 

Huilo-Huilo is a great place for outdoor activities. Indeed, it is surely one of the most outstandings spots to practice summer skiing in Southern Chile.

 

Pucón Ski Center, La Araucanía Region

 

ski pucon
Pucón Ski Center and the Villarrica Volcano

 

Commonly, when talking about skiing in Chile, the first thing that comes to mind are the ski centers located around the capital, Santiago de Chile. But if you’re really looking for ski adventures mixed with mindblowing landscapes, we highly suggest to go south.

Approximately 660 kilometers south from Santiago de Chile, you can find the world’s capital of adventure tourism: Pucón. Located at the foot of the Villarrica Volcano (2.847 meters), and the lake of the same name, Pucón is the best place to be for nature lovers. In fact, this quaint little town offers plenty of outdoor activities to do.

 

ski pucon villarrica volcano
Villarrica volcano ascent before the ski descent

 

The Pucón Ski Center is located 16 kilometers from downtown Pucón, on the northern slope of the Villarrica volcano. The Villarrica is known to be one of the world’s most active volcanoes, blowing smoke all year round. There, you can enjoy about 30 kilometers of skiable tracks. It’s more, given the fact that you’re sliding down a volcano, you get to marvel at an incredible scenic view of La Araucanía Region.

 

ski map pucon
Ski slopes on the Villarrica volcano

 

It should be noted that the Pucón Ski Center is one of the most modern in Southern Chile. In fact, it has an infrastructure for the practice of ski and snowboard, with selected facilities for the most important competitions of international level. With 9 lifts, operational for all types of levels, Pucón is a great place to practice on-piste ski.

 

pucon ski volcano
Climbing the Villarrica volcano

 

The best part of a ski experience in Pucón consists in hiking up to the open crater, and then skiing all the way down to the ski center, with excellent snow conditions. Accordingly, as every adventure activity in the mountain, the ascent of the Villarrica volcano must be carried out by a professional mountain local guide, along with the appropriate mountain gear.

 

villarrica volcano
Reaching the open crater of the Villarrica volcano

 

Corralco Ski Resort, La Araucanía Region

 

ski lonquimay
Ski on Lonquimay volcano, Corralco Ski Resort

 

The Corralco Ski Resort is located 120 kilometers from the city of Temuco. Inserted in the heart of the Malalcahuello National Reserve, Corralco is the best ski resort in Chile. Additionnally, and over the last few years, it has become a world-class destination preferred by hundreds of advanced skiers and beginners.

Located 1.450 meters above sea level and on the southeast slope of the Lonquimay volcano, the ski resort offers a luxurious hotel with comfortable facilities and excellent service. In winter, Corralco counts on a skiable domain of more than 1.000 ha for alpine skiing and snowboarding, with 29 slopes of different levels of difficulty located around its 6 lifts. The skiable slopes are surrounded by a unique forest of ancient araucarias and views of the Lonquimay volcano.

 

corralco resort chile
Ski slopes in Corralco

 

All of these elements have led the experts to categorize Corralco Ski Resort as a unique destination for the practice of ski, snowboard, splitboard and randonnée. Thanks to this, it’s no surprise that Corralco has played host for the US Ski Team and for the Burke Mountain Academy to practice this sport during winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

 

Skiing in Chile 2021

 

ski chile

 

Still wondering where to enjoy great snow powder this year ? Check out our last ski adventures in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District.

 

 

 

Our ski experience in Chile is unique. We can proudly say it is a mix of great luxury hotels with SPA to relax after a full day of skiing, excellent restaurants to enjoy local cuisine paired with the best local wines and beers, and natural hot springs. It’s more, we use exclusive services such as cat-ski and snowmobiles, in order to explore the best hidden and snowy parts of the Lake and Volcano District.

 

Contact us for more info about the 2021 ski season in Chile and check out our special ski tours!

Our First Climate Emergency Plan

tourism declares chile

The travel industry is responsible for 8% of total global emissions contributing to global warming that threatens these resources. Amity Tours is aware of this fact and we want to be part of a big change and improvement in our industry.

 

That is why we’ve signed up to Tourism Declares, an initiative that supports tourism businesses, organisations and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and taking purposeful actions to reduce their carbon emissions as per the advice from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030.

As a commitment of the signature we would like to publish our own Climate Emergency Plan. Here you are:

 

Our Climate Emergency Plan 2021-22

 

At Amity Tours we already started with some significant changes in our operations. As we all know, waste and especially food waste has a big impact on the carbon footprint in general, and in our industry especially. Get more information about our Zero Waste Challenge.

 

zero waste challenge chile
Implementing the Zero Waste Challenge during the 2019-2020 summer season

 

As well as the waste management, we are working on a carbon reduction project with a local Mapuche Community. We are planning a tree planting and an environmental education program for children.

We have to be honest and don’t want to promise things we will not be able to comply. The global COVID crisis has been affecting (almost) the whole tourism industry. Amity Tours is not an exception. That is why we had to adapt our original Climate Action Plan that we were working on. Nobody knows what the future brings and that is why we are trying to set realistic goals. As a result, we created a Climate Action Plan with goals until 2022, as 2021 still will be a very different year.

Following, we would like to share with you our goals and how we believe to achieve them.

 

 

 

MEASURE

 

Recently, we joined the Fundación Basura (Waste Fundation in Chile) and got the benefit to measure our waste with the platform: Recylink. Now, we are able to calculate our exact waste during the next upcoming seasons.

Goals for 2021-2022:

  • Calculate our exact waste during the next season 2021/22 with the platform Recylink.
  • Finding a professional and confidential partner to measure our carbon footprint of our operation centre and our tours in the Lake and Volcano District (starting with the 2021/22 season)
  • Investigate if it is worth to get certified by the national carbon calculation program: Huella Chile or any international certification

 

REDUCE

 

It is very important to measure the waste and carbon footprint, but now lets put these words into action:

Goal for 2021-2022

  • Find solutions to reduce our measured waste at least by 50% by the next season.

 

Gourmet Picnic
Our famous Zero Waste Gourmet Picnic

 

ADVOCATE

 

Since we signed up at Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency we have shared the great initiative especially with our local partners. We got positive feedbacks and interest for the community. The AWA Hotel in Puerto Varas, one of our main hotel partners, already shared its Climate Emergency Plan.

Goals for 2021:

  • Create a local community in the Lake and Volcano District where different companies and organization from the tourism sector will share sustainable practices and advocate for a massive declaration.

Goals for 2022:

  • Create a Zero Waste Lake and Volcano District, where we include a big number of tourism organizations, tour operators, restaurants, accommodations and local recycling companies. Together, we will work for the first Zero Waste Destination in Chile. 

 

INVEST (OFFSETTING)

 

Together with our local partners Rutas Ancestras Araucarias and SALTUS we started working on a reforestation project during 2020. When COVID-19 hit the world we had to freeze our support for the project and focus on other things.

Nevertheless we are happy to share with you the great work of SALTUS. In this professional and scientific research they were investigating about tree species that has to be used for the reforestation project in our beautiful Araucanía region. 

Goal for 2021:

  • As soon as we can welcome fellow travelers again, we will resume our program with our local partners. The first step will be calculation the amount of trees to plant to compensate our carbon footprint of 2021.

Goal for 2022:

  • We will invest the symbolic amount of one tree for each client. The money will be used for the project. (Installing a nursery garden, capacitation to the local community, giving classes to the kids in the rural schools about the tree plantation and its positive effects for the environment and community, monitoring of the plantation and much more)

 

Each year we will be sharing our process with you. Stay tuned and we are happy about every comment, experience or recommendation! Get in contact with us!

 

 

Araucaria trees
The famous and native monkey puzzle trees. (Araucaria araucana)

 

Do you want to know more about the Tourism Declares community?

Twitter: @TourismDeclares / Facebook: Tourism Declares@tourismdeclares

#ClimateEmergency / #tourismdeclares

Amity Tours gestionó exitosa primera Rueda de Negocios de la Ruta Escénica Lagos & Volcanes

puyehue national park

chile destino lagos volcanes

Después de meses de trabajo con emprendedores asociados a la tour operación en el Destino Lagos & Volcanes, los días 24 y 25 de marzo se realizó la “Primera Rueda de Negocios”, evento gestionado por Amity Tours y su oficina consultora Amity Lab.

 

Las empresas que participaron del evento fueron, principalmente, tour operadores locales que diseñan y operan experiencias turísticas (suppliers), operadores mayoristas de turismo nacional, receptivo y agencias de viajes de todo el país (buyers).

Este trabajo de consultoría comenzó en Noviembre de 2020, a través de dos asesorías encomendadas por el Programa Estratégico de Corfo Ruta Escénica Lagos & Volcanes.

 

volcan osorno lago llanquihue
Volcán Osorno y Lago Llanquihue, Región de Los Ríos

 

La primera consultoría abordó el ámbito de diversificación de la oferta de los operadores del macro destino y la segunda estuvo centrada en herramientas para el área comercial de la tour operación. Se realizaron más de 10 talleres prácticos con diferentes temáticas y con foco en tour operación, logrando transferir conocimientos y técnicas de fácil aplicación entre los participantes.

La rueda de negocios contó con la participación de 64 suppliers y 24 buyers nacionales, generándose cerca de 300 reuniones en ambas jornadas.

Según los propios suppliers, tanto las jornadas de transferencia como la rueda de negocio, es un aporte en la sofisticación de su oferta, mejora de sus procesos comerciales y genera mayor visibilidad de sus experiencias, a través de la vitrina que representan los buyers.

Respecto a la Rueda de Negocio, la reconocida emprendedora Isabel Correa, propietaria de La Baita Conguillío, quien participó en este proceso, señaló que “Ha sido una gran oportunidad de poder aumentar nuestras redes comerciales y mostrar a potenciales compradores la oferta que tenemos en La Baita Conguillío, esperamos que estas iniciativas continúen para que podamos salir juntos de esta crisis.”

Otro hito a destacar, es la creación del primer “Club de Experiencias Turísticas” a nivel nacional, que cuenta con más de 60 empresas que hoy diseñan y operan directamente experiencias en el destino Lagos & Volcanes, en su mayoría asociadas a turismo de naturaleza, aventura y cultural.

Al respecto, el emprendedor Gonzalo Barros, co-fundador del tour operador Ranco Lauken considera que “La asociatividad generada a partir de este proyecto, y materializada en el “Club de Experiencias Turísticas”,  debe ser el primer paso para construir un mejor destino con oferta de experiencias sustentables que generen beneficios concretos para todos en el territorio.”

Sobre el trabajo realizado por Amity Tours, Cristián Levy, CEO de la empresa, señaló “Estamos satisfechos con el trabajo realizado por nuestro equipo, creemos que fuimos capaces de transferir conocimiento que aporta directamente a los operadores locales, conocimiento que Amity Tours ha obtenido a través de su experiencia durante 18 años operando. Hemos abierto las puertas de la empresa para que vean cada detalle de nuestra operación. Esperamos que a través de Amity Lab, nuestra oficina consultora, podamos seguir participando en proyectos tan importantes como este”, puntualizó.

Para más información del proyecto, puede contactarse con Cristián Levy a [email protected].

 

Trekking Mapu Lahual Chile – A Personal Experience

A beautiful summer is coming to an end in the Chilean Lake and Volcano District. It is time to remember the great adventures lived during this appreciated season. For me, the outstanding experience during the last months was the unique trekking on the Pacific Coast at Mapu Lahual.

 

mapu lahual chile

 

First of all, I would like to introduce you to the territory we will dive into during the next paragraphs.

Mapu Lahual is an indigenous parks network along the Pacific Coast of Chile, located around 1000 kilometers south of Santiago de Chile, and 100 kilometers North of Puerto Montt.

 

wwf mapu lahual
Mapu Lahual Territory (Source: WWF Chile)

 

The 60.000 hectares count with a high diversity (many of them endemic) Patagonian Temperate Rain Forests. It is worth mentioning that the area is recognized as a hotspot or world-class natural heritage (Mittermeier et al, 2004). Here, you can find the last major expanse of primary coastal forests, coastal olivillo (Aextoxicon Punctatum), centuries-old larches, lonely beaches and rivers with transparent waters, as well as marine and river ecosystems free of pollution.

 

mapu lahual trekking

 

Mapuche Williche Community

 

The Williche (or Huilliche) are indigenous people who belong to the Mapuche community. In Mapudungun, Williche means “people from the south”, since they are located to the south of the largest Mapuche group, which lives in the regions of La Araucanía and Los Ríos.

 

williche indigenous chile
Señora Mela and her family: Our lovely host at Huellelhue

 

The Williche were exclusively semi-sedentary hunters and gatherers until the 13th or 14th century, before they also introduced limited horticulture. The rich game population, fishing and the gathering of wild pine fruits continued to provide the most important subsistence basis.

 

williche community chile
Williche fishermen

 

In the 16th and 17th centuries, under the influence of the Spaniards, they switched to agriculture (wheat, potatoes) and cattle breeding (llama, cattle, horse). In contrast to the other Mapuche peoples, the Williche lived monogamous.

The Williche owned large canoes to cross rivers and lakes. They must also have had some knowledge of metallurgy as copper jewelry was found on them.

 

 

The ethnic religion corresponds to the Mapuche religion. According to surveys, 10 percent of the Williche still profess the traditional religion, another 10 percent are non-religious and 80 percent are officially Christians. However, the Huilliche Christianity is strongly mixed with traditional elements and the important rituals of the Mapuche still have a central meaning.

Currently, it is estimated that there are only about 20 speakers of Tse süngun, the local variant of the Mapuche language, typical of the current province of Osorno. One of them, Juan Eligio Cumigual, over 80 years old, lives in the community of Manquemapu, being perhaps the southernmost native speaker of the Mapuche language.

 

An unforgettable trekking

 

Without any doubt, the overwhelming natural beauty of the Mapu Lahual park and the hospitality of the local Williche people made this trip an unforgettable one.

We started our trip in the south, at the small fisher town of Manquemapu.

On the way to the small cove, we passed by white sand beaches, where we spot a group of Chilean dolphins. These small and curious dolphins are only found o the coast of Chile. They were jumping with the waves and gave us a perfect welcoming party! What a great beginning of this adventure!

 

Relaxing moments at the beach of Caleta Condor after a challenging hiking day

 

Manquemapu

 

Arriving to the locality of Manquemapu, we parked the car and crossed a hanging bridge by foot. On the other side of the river, a friendly women welcomed us and showed us our campground. On the walking trails we could see many blocks of larch shingles. The larch, or “lawal”, is the characteristic tree of the local forests. In this community, they still use this appreciated wood to export shingles and handicrafts.

 

On the way to the beach “El Galpón” where we saw Chilean Dolphins

 

After setting up our tents, we started a nice hike towards “El Galpón“, a hidden beach. The waves invited us to jump into the cold pacific ocean. While taking a sunbath to dry our wet bodies and hair, a family of Chilean dolphins visited us. They were jumping around in the big waves. We felt so lucky about this natural spectacle!

 

Starting the trail “El Troncal”

 

The first morning on the pacific coast welcomed us with a typical rain shower. Nothing that could minimize our enthusiasm about the upcoming trekking. Today our goal was getting to Caleta Condor. 17.2 kilometers of Valdivian rainforest, steep mountain trails, river crossings, wetland, ancient larches and beautiful lookout points were waiting for us.

 

el galpon mapu lahual

 

As the first few hours of the trekking were leading through deep rainforests, we did not feel affected by the slight rain. Then, as soon as we got to the first plain, the rain stopped and only a slight wind accompanied us.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice picnic lunch at the river side, we had to climb another hill. Yet, our big backpacks felt a little heavier with every meter, but the abundant nature and nice company were worth any effort. Almost at the end of the hike, we could catch some great views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

 

caleta condor mapu lahual
Looking at Caleta Condor

 

With every step we got closer to the beautiful white sand beach of Caleta Condor. The sound of the ocean filled us with energy and we run the last meters to the beach to jump into the welcoming waves.

 

Famous Caleta Condor

 

Whitesand beach, green hill, ocean
The famous whitesand beach at Caleta Condor

 

A personal dream came true! While I was traveling to Chile for the first time, I read about the cove of Caleta Condor. I was very much interested in getting to know this hidden place, only reachable by boat or foot. While swimming in the refreshing sea, looking at the small cove with its private beach, I could not believe having reached this spot six years later. Caleta Condor is well known by adventure tourists. Not only it offers an impressive beach but also scuba diving, fishing or seafood gathering, kayaking and a good local gastronomy.

 

kayak caleta condor mapu lahual
Sit-on-Top Kayaking at Caleta Condor, Mapu Lahual

 

Huellelhue Cove, “the place where you swim”

 

Local transport in wooden fisher boats

 

After a cosy night in the tent, listening to the waves, we took another swim in the refreshing ocean. Then, we got ready for our next hiking day. First of all, we took a tipical wooden fishers boat, crossing the Cholguaco river. On the way we could appreciate evergreen forests, whitesand beaches, small wooden houses, birds like great egret (ardea alba) and many others.

Our friendly local guide Lucho led us uphill, where we got spectacular views over the pacific ocean. We were walking through forests of olivillo (Aextoxicon Punctatum) and had to find our way through dense formation of native bamboo jungle. Here is where we appreciated our professional guide, who knew every corner of this abundant rainforest.

After a tasty picnic, we continued our way downhill. We could not believe our eyes when we reached the several kilometer-long whitesand and lonely beach of Rada Ranu. An unforgettable feeling overcame us when we drop our backpacks in the sand and run towards the smooothy waves of the pacific ocean!

 

Beach Rana Ranú
An unforgettable viewpoint overlooking the Beach Rana Ranú

 

Afterwards, we had to cross only a few more kilometers on the beach and through beautiful wetland. At the end of the day, we reached the Huellelhue river, where some friendly locals waited for us.

On their wooden boats we crossed the river and got to a perfect camping spot. Dinner was ready and we enjoyed fresh seafood in a cosy local house. Tonight we set up a nice campfire and shared funny stories.

 

Our todays campsite at Huellelhue

 

As well as Caleta Condor, the small locality of Huellelhue is only reachable by foot or boat. Huellelhue or “Weyelwe” means “the place where you swim”.

 

Course to Maicolpue

 

Enzo, our local boat driver brought us to the hiking trail.

 

Another day in paradise! This morning we woke up with a sunray reaching our tents. The river and surrounded wetland were covered with a silvery mist, which turned the area in a mystical atmosphere. Again we jump on a fisher boat and crossed the Huellelhue river for about 40 minutes. What a great way to immerse ourselves into the local way of life!

With our new local guide José, we started walking through wetland until getting to the base of the next hill. A steep uphill trail through ancient forests followed. We all felt great as the backpacks got a little lighter and our legs were already used to the efforts from the first hiking days. As a result, we reached our lunch spot faster then expected. Finally, we got to our last beach called Tril-Tril. A very small cove with only a few holiday houses. Here we enjoyed our last swim in the ocean and felt so greatful about the passed days in pure nature!

Our last night dinner was a five-star experience in a local cabin. We were attended like queens and enjoyed the homemade bread, smoked sawfish, natural juice, fresh salads and a tipical „pebre de ulte“(mix of seaweed, tomato, onion and coriander).

 

mapu lahual seafood
Fresh seafood and vegetables from the garden

 

What an amazing way to finish this spectacular experience of hiking along the pacific coast. I have been hiking along many beautiful trails around the world but this trekking was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for me!

 

mapu lahual Huellelhue River
Huellelhue River

 

 

About me

 

Born and raised in Switzerland, I turned my hobby into my job and worked as a Travel Agent for many years. Always exploring hidden corners around the world. In 2014, I traveled to Chile for the first time. What started as a single-women-adventure turned into a life-changing-trip.

My objective was to travel from Santiago de Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina. By hitchhiking or using public ground transportation as close as possible to the local culture and nature.

During this trip, I met my actual boyfriend and father of our little daughter. After years of living in between of two countries, I decided in 2016 to move to Chile and to start my life here. I am still very happy about this decisions, I cannot imagine a better place to raise my child. The abundant nature, wise culture and adventurous friends fill my heart every day with happiness!

Want to know more about the trekking at Mapu Lahual or any other adventure in Chile? Let’s have a chat and I will share my experiences and tips to travel around my beautiful second home country.

Best, Angela

Hiking Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

hiking chile lake volcano district

Hiking the Lake and Volcano District is one of the most rewarding travel experiences to live when visiting Chile. Last week, we had the chance to welcome our first international travelers after 11 months of long waiting. During 2 weeks, with our team of local experts, we explored the hidden corners of the national parks located in Chile’s world-class destination: the Lake and Volcano Scenic Route.

 

 

The first Scenic Route of Chile, also locally known as Red Interlagos, is a road network composed of 6 different circuits belonging to 3 regions: La Araucanía, Los Ríos and Los Lagos. Along with the breathtaking landscape of active volcanoes, pristine lakes and thousand-years-old endemic forests, this circuit aim to provide sustainable experiences allowing the encounter between the local inhabitants (Mapuche), the Colonos and Criollos culture, and the unique nature of Southern Chile.

 

Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, Los Lagos Region

 

The Vicente Perez Rosales National Park is the oldest park in the country. A key component of the Temperate Rain forests of the Austral Andes Biosphere Reserve, it is located in an area where volcanism has been, along with tectonic processes and glaciers, the main factors that shaped the Andes mountain range.

It covers an area of 251,000 hectares (619,970 acres), incorporating the park’s centerpiece: Todos los Santos Lake, Petrohué Waterfalls, Osorno and Puntiagudo Volcanoes.

 

puntiagudo volcano osorno volcano
Puntiagudo and Osorno Volcanoes (Photo credit: Ruta Escénica Lagos y Volcanes)

 

With our group of travel adventurers, we explored 3 stunning hiking trails available in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park.

 

Paso Desolación trail hike

 

This trail crosses the national park from the North face of the Osorno Volcano towards the South-East, all the way to the Petrohue sector. Originally, it was a cattle trail used for animal transportation between the Todos Los Santos Lake and the Llanquihue Lake via the Desolación pass.

 

desolacion pass hike
Entrance of the Desolacion Pass trail hike

 

From volcanic scorials to dense forests of nothofagus trees, this trail allows us to travel through dramatic changes in the landscape. Additionally, the excellent panoramic views of the Tronador and Osorno Volcanoes, La Picada hill and the Todos Los Santos Lake are the main prizes of the hike.

 

todos los santos lake
Hiking towards Todos Los Santos Lake

 

El Solitario trail hike

 

El Solitario traik hike is a simple, short and fairly flat route that allows its visitors to appreciate the Osorno Volcano from the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park.

 

el solitario trail hike
El Solitario trail hike

 

First, we started hiking through a native forest with the volcano on our right-hand during the entire route. Afterwards we continued passing by a valley covered with lava flows formed by old eruptions. After almost 2 hours of hiking, we finally arrived at the road that leads to Osorno Volcano.

 

el solitario hike
Osorno Volcano from El Solitario trail hike

 

Crater Rojo trail hike

 

crater rojo hike osorno volcano
Crater Rojo trail

 

The Crater Rojo (Red Crater) is a natural attraction located on the South-West slope of the Osorno Volcano (1.400 m.a.s.l). The trail starts at the ski center. During this incredible journey, we could witness how the landscape has been shaped for thousands of years in the course of geological and volcanic actions.

 

crater rojo trail osorno

 

Puyehue National Park, Los Lagos Region

 

The Puyehue National Park is located in an area of great and exuberant natural beauty of the Los Lagos region. With more than 100 thousand hectares, it is a territory where several active and dormant volcanoes are located. In addition, it belongs to the Biosphere Reserve Temperate Rainforests of the Southern Andes.

 

puyehue national park
View of the Puntiagudo and Osorno Volcanoes

 

In ancient times, this area was inhabited by the Huilliche communities (the southernmost branch of the Mapuche culture). Created in 1941, the park has accumulated centuries-old legends that exist since before its institution.

During our adventures in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District, we had the change to explore the best parts of the Puyehue National Park.

 

Casablanca Volcano and Raihuen Crater

 

Also called Antillanca, the Casablanca volcano is located in the Puyehue National Park, 77 kilometers from the city of Osorno. This beautiful volcano, of typical conical shape, rises between Puyehue and Rupanco lakes.

 

puyehue park casablanca volcano
View of the Osorno and Puntiagudo volcanoes from Casablanca volcano

 

Geologically, the Casablanca volcano is part of the Antillanca volcanic complex. Due to its low height and low glaciation, the ascent of the Casablanca does not present technical difficulties. As a result, it relatively easy to access one of the dominant summits of the southern Andes.

 

Casablanca volcano ascent
Casablanca volcano ascent

 

There are various alternatives to reach the top. During our visit of the volcano, we had the incredible opportunity to also visit the Raihuen Crater.

 

raihuen crater puyehue
Raihuen Crater trail hike

 

Part of the Casablanca volcanic complex, the Raihuen Crater is located near the Antillanca ski resort. There are no records of eruptions. However, volcanologists believe that the last eruption occurred more than 10,000 years ago.

The hike towards is impressive, as you can witness the special nature of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District.

 

 

The presence of the Puyehue Volcano, the Puntiagudo and the Osorno volcanoes, the Cordon Caulle gives us an idea of how unique is this particular area of the Andes Mountain Range.

 

Paraíso Lake

 

paraíso lake puyehue

 

Finally, we had the chance to discover a very special place called Paraíso lake. It is an Andean lake surrounded by an evergreen forest. This hidden corner of the Andes mountain range is a true paradise. Indeed, the pristine lake offers a solitary beach with incredible views of the exuberant surroundings.

 

paraiso lake puyehue

 

Villarrica National Park, La Araucanía Region

 

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

 

pucon villarrica volcano
Downtown Pucón with the Villarrica Volcano in the background

 

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

 

Andean Lagoons trail hike

 

Andean Lagoons hike

 

Very close to the border with Argentina at the foot of the Lanín volcano, the Andean Lakes trail is a must-see in Villarrica National Park. This easy hiking trail is a beautiful route, without difficulties and suitable for family.

During the hike, you get to know 3 Andean lagoons, a great native forest of coihues and araucarias. The cherry on the top is the volcanic landscape dominated by the great presence of the Lanín volcano (3.747 meters).

 

villarrica national park
Lanín Volcano

 

While visiting the park, we could witness how the Lanin volcano has permanently shaped the landscape of the area with its eruptions. Also, we had the fantastic opportunity walk on the lava flows that once came from the heart of the earth. Lastly, we visited the pristine lakes Quillelhue, Escondido (Hidden) and Huinfiuca with its clear waters that reflect stunning colors.

 

 

villarrica national park

 

El Cerdúo & Correntoso River

 

el cerduo pucon

 

El Cerdúo is a fantastic place located at the slopes of the Villarrica volcano, the most active one in the Chilean territory. Visiting El Cerdúo is a unique experience, as we can observe the geological effect of the volcanic eruptions that participated in shaping this valley over the course of the years.

 

el cerduo
Ernesto (Amity’s top guide) and the Villarrica volcano

 

In addition to spectacular views of the Villarrica volcano, the valley also allows to observe the areas affected by ancient lahares and the lava flows that have created waterfalls. Moreover, we can clearly see the impressive contrast between the volcanic rocks and the dense forest areas.

 

el cerduo waterfalls

 

COVID-19: implementing our new protocols

We are facing a complex global situation due to the COVID-19 virus. At Amity Tours we want to assure a risk free and positive experience during all our tours. That is why we follow strict local and international protocols.

 

covid 19 protocol chile
Van, masks and temperature check

 

First of all we ask our team, providers and guests to follow the rules of the sanitary authority which principally established the following obligations:

  • Frequent hand wash with water and soap
  • Use of face masks in all public areas
  • Social distancing at all times (min 1 meter)
  • Carry on a valid sanitary passport while traveling from one place to another
man, sanitization, luggage
Sanitization of luggage getting to the hotel

 

In addition we did establish some Amity rules, such as:

  • Temperature check twice a day
  • Using the same seat in the van during the whole tour
  • Entering the van starting by the last row of seats
  • Following a strict emergency protocol in case of COVID-19 symptoms

 

covid chile

 

We provide our guests with reusable face masks, some disposable face masks and gloves for emergency reasons, alcohol gel and a face shield. Our guides introduce all guests on their first meeting about our protocols and the local restrictions.

 

 

Social distancing while hiking

 

That is how we enjoyed an unforgettable and very safe trip in Chile this summer!

More sustainability in the Lake and Volcano District of Chile

In Amity Tours, not only we operate every year unforgettable adventure experiences in Chile, but we also work as consultant in the local tourism industry. Today, we are currently transferring knowledge to micro and small tour operators all around the Scenic Route in the Lake and Volcano District.

 

 

scenic route lake volcano district chile

 

The Lake and Volcano Scenic Route, Chile

 

Under the name “The Lake and Volcano District Scenic Route”, we do understand a tourist product that articulates attractions and experiences with a component of scenic beauty in southern Chile. The government of Chile has been developing the Interlagos Network for 20 years. It has six circuits and more than 2,000 km of roads that transport visitors along a spectacular geography. Shaped by the force of volcanism, bathed by large lakes, upholstered by the green of the oldest forests on the planet and inhabited by ancestral cultures. This network of roads has generated connectivity between potential poles of tourist development and other consolidated in the regions of La Araucanía, Los Ríos and Los Lagos. The First Scenic Route of Chile, has a unique layout, unmissable for lovers of pristine nature andadventure travellers.

Amity Tours is working hard to help reaching the ambition vision of this project. “To be the best positioned scenic route of Chile in the national and international market as a singular and sustainable experience that allows the encounter with the Mapuche, colony and criolla cultures and the unique nature of La Araucanía, Los Ríos and Los Lagos.”

At the moment, we are transferring our knowledge to micro and small local tour operators to help generate more sustainable tourism in the destination. An important part of the content we obtained from the useful workshops ATTA has been providing us until today.

 

Step-by-Step to a sustainable tourism destination

 

First of all, we were updating the database of the micro and small local tour operators forming part of the Scenic Route. Then, we offered all of them free courses separated by environments: Water – Mountains – Conventional tourism and focusing in sustainable tour operating.

Out of the tour operators who were participating in these first courses, we formed a “Club of Experiences”. The members are getting more classes for free. So they get prepared for the important Virtual Business Roundtable we are organizing on March 2021.

The three webinars will address the following topics:

  • Preparation of Commercial Actions. Here we will talk about the different formats to approach the B2B channel. With emphasis on the virtual business conference that we will have at the end of March.
  • Preparation of Commercial Material. Here we will dive into the Manuals and Tariffs that are presented at a business conference.
  • Preparation of the Commercial Pitch. Here we will talk about what a pitch is. How it should be built and used.  Of course depending on the format of the meeting and who we have in front of in a business conference.

 

 

 

Virtual Business roundtable  

 

The final objective of these courses is to bring local operators closer to the B2B channel. That is why we are organizing the First Business Roundtable of the Lakes & Volcanoes Scenic Route. It will be held in March, between Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 2021, in a 100% online format through the Eventtia platform.

We want to bring the local operators together. As well as to transfer them valuable knowledge. That is how we want to promote our unique destination in a sustainable way.

At the same time we continue working on our zero waste concept, attending different courses and forming part of local zero waste communities. We are dreaming of a “Zero Waste Scenic Route”.

 

Stay tuned!

 

 

Gravel Bike Tours in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

gravel bike chile

Road or Gravel Bike Tour in the Lake & Volcano District of Chile, that is the question.

 

 

gravel bike amity
Amity’s bike fleet: Trek Domane 7 SL model and Specialized Diverge Elite E5

 

Gravel has been almost on every cyclist gathering over the past couple of years, with everybody talking about wheel sizes, flared drop bars, tyre width and tread pattern, but for the most of the people, the road bike vs gravel bike question might seem strange at first, as they may not look all that different on the surface.

 

But riding a bike designed for multi-terrain excursions means you can link together gravel routes in new ways, taking in sections of gravel roads, forest tracks, trails, byways and bridlepaths. Or you can load up your gravel bike with camping kit for multi-day bikepacking adventures, what means more miles to get lost and enjoy.

 

chile lake volcano district
Lanín Volcano (3.747 meters), the tallest peak in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District. Villarrica National Park

 

Road bike vs gravel bike: What are they supposed to do?

 

As you can probably work out from the name, road bikes are designed to be ridden on routes with a tarmac bias, while gravel bikes can be taken off-road, on gravel paths, dirt roads, fire trails, and even singletrack (if you are brave enough).

Road bikes ultimately fall into two camps, race bikes, and endurance bikes. Race bikes are what you see the pros pushing to the absolute limit, or your wealthy friend trying to look like these pros but clearly with more body fat, or those friends that come with Amity Tours to the Lake & Volcano district and we need to assign the strongest guide (probably Ruben or David) so he can follow them and not get lost!

 

road cycling chile
Road cycling the German Settlers’ Route alongside Llanquihue Lake

 

Instead, endurance bikes are a bit more upright, feature more stable handling, put a premium on comfort, and most probably the profile of the rider that will use this bike with us will take more than 1000 pictures…per ride!

 

road cycling tour

 

You can definitely use a gravel bike as a road bike. However, there are a few small limitations you might run into if you do this. Depending on how you like to ride, it could be important, or not important at all.

 

If you are a road bike racer, or your wealthy friend dressed in Rapha outfit with a Colnago C64 with Campy components, then a gravel bike probably won’t work as your primary bike. Many gravel bikes these days have a single chainring set up in the front. You’ll still get plenty of gears for most road riding, but you won’t have quite enough high gears for when the speeds get very fast, over 25 mph. You’ll probably spin out because you can’t pedal fast enough, and what is for sure, nothing can be worst to see than how the rest of the peloton leaves you behind, alone and talking to yourself for the rest of the ride.

 

chile lake volcano district
Lake and Volcano Scenic Route

 

But if you’re mostly riding by yourself, or with friends who keep a more reasonable pace during our bike tours here in the Lake & Volcano district, then a gravel bike works just fine. In many ways it’s a lot more comfortable than a road bike, because you can use wider tires at lower pressure to give yourself some nice cushioning. You’ll also get better stopping and turning power from more rubber on the road.

 

Gravel bike tours in the Lake & Volcano district

 

gravel lake volcano district

 

Amity Tours, as a national leader in the development of road bike and MTB tours, we are sure that being able to include our new gravel tours in our offer ensures that we can satisfy the needs of these new customer segments seeking to get out of the paved route and look for more inaccessible attractions difficult to reach either by other kind of bike.

 

Coming soon in 2021: Gravel bike tour in one of the most outstanding parks of Chile

 

The Conguillio National Park is without a doubt one of the most appreciated parks in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District. It covers a surface of 150.319 acres, and ranges from 2.296 to 10.253 feet above sea level. It must be said that the landscape are spectacular:

 

Llaima volcano (3.125 meters)

 

llaima conguillio
The Llaima volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Chile.

 

Conguillio Lake

 

The Conguillio Lake originated as a stagnation of waters produced by the constant eruptions of the volcano, the waters coming from the melting of the volcano Llaima and the Sierra Nevada generated over the years a lake of great proportions.

 

Arco Iris Lagoon

 

The lagoon was formed by the damming of the waters of an estuary, product of the lava coming from the Llaima volcano. This water reservoir flooded part of the nothofagus forest, which can be seen through the crystal clear waters of the lagoon.

 

Truful Truful Canyon

 

truful truful
The canyon is a set of waterfalls located in the upper area of the Truful-Truful River. (Photo credit: Manuel Eduardo Fuentes Ramos)

 

Stay tuned for our next cycling adventures in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District, and get ready to discover the best of the Chilean territory on a gravel bike!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

270 días en 270 palabras

270 días han pasado desde que despedimos a nuestro último pasajero. El debió irse de vuelta a Estados Unidos porque las fronteras se estaban cerrando.

 

Ruta Escénica Lagos y Volcanes de Chile

 

Nunca pensamos que sería el último cliente que veríamos en todo el 2020.

Con esperanzas esperamos el invierno, concentrando nuestro esfuerzo en tener una temporada de ski, pero esto no pasó, seguíamos cerrados. Entre el equipo comentamos que era mejor, para así ya estar con nuestros bike tours rodando en noviembre, como todos los años, lo cual tampoco sucedió. Tampoco el eclipse que esperábamos compartir con los cientos de personas que ya nos habían reservado.

 

Eclipse solar total que ocurrió en la Región de la Araucanía el 14 de Diciembre del 2020. (Crédito de foto: Rubén Paillalef)

 

Pero así es el emprendimiento, no siempre se puede realizar lo planificado, siempre habrá algo que resolver, más aún en una industria dependiente de tantos factores.

La naturaleza, el juez más importante de la corte, se pronunció, y señaló que el Mundo tal como lo conocemos no puede continuar, no es sustentable, que si bien los viajes son importantes no podemos seguir contaminando todos los lugares a donde vamos. La condena para los emprendedores de nuestra industria turística ha sido la señalada: 270 días sin operación.

 

Parque Futangue – Lago Ranco

 

Confinados en nuestras oficinas, ad-portas de cumplir con la sentencia, hemos diseñado nuevos tours como nuestros gravel bike tours, women y family tours, poniendo aún más foco en nuestra política de Zero Waste y protocolos Covid-19, aumentando la participación real de las comunidades residentes que les permitan también generar ganancias a partir de la llegada de nuestros clientes.

 

Asado de cordero al palo con la comunidad Mapuche local y nuestros clientes. Región de La Araucanía.

El 2021 será duro, no cabe duda, pero Amity Tours lo enfrentará de manera renovada, más maduro y consciente, con el cariño y energía de siempre.

 

Volcan Lanín (3.747m), Parque Nacional Villarrica

 

 

Gravel Bike in Chile

 

2021: A whole new world to explore.

We have all suffered in these hard times from Covid-19, either by having close people who have lost their lives, sick relatives, locked down without being able to leave home for months, children unable to play with their friends, and why not to say, many losing their jobs and their will to live.

Although Amity Tours has not been oblivious to this misfortune, which has undoubtedly hit the company in various aspects, our team has not lost the desire to continue fighting it with everything they have available, enthusiastically seeing a vaccine on the near horizon, that will allow us to resume our lives and work, without any doubt in a different way and operating under extremely rigorous protocols.

Cycling Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

 

Amity Tours doesn’t give up, and renews its bike products in Chile

Within the DNA of Amity Tours, led by its CEO Cristián Levy, is the permanent gene of exploration, a gene that is stronger than any virus or bacteria, covered by a dense layer of fresh air and nature, and protected by volcanoes and seas that hit and battle anyone who tries to harm it. This is how we have not wasted time in our company, and we have decided to expand our offer of bike tours by creating the first gravel bike tour in Chile.

Review: Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon - ADVNTR.cc

 

Gravel bike, the new cycling trend from the United States

Gravel bike tours were a real necessity for many: the trend finally arrived (as it so often does) from the United States, where pedaling on unpaved roads on a gravel bike is part of everyday reality. In the United States, in fact, due to high maintenance costs, almost all secondary roads are not paved. This has generated a new type of cyclist who is looking for new routes, tired of driving on roads with a lot of motorized traffic and missing a large part of the attractions located in rural areas.

Amity Tours has an explicit requirement for this new type of experience, nowadays non-existent in Chile, manifested by our main clients from the US, Canada, and Europe, for which we have put all our effort into making it a reality.

gravel bike chile

Our gravel bike tours consider an extensive use of local services run by small entrepreneurs and communities of native peoples willing to collaborate and do business with us, generating a wealth distribution effect among various stakeholders of the destination, which in the era post-Covid-19 is the best vaccine that we can contribute as a company to our local partners.

Among these collaborators, we can mention accommodations, mainly hotels located in the region and cabins, small restaurants characteristic of the region, communities of native peoples (Mapuche), local tourist guides, drivers and entrepreneurs selling organic food, handicrafts, and souvenirs, all of them positively impacted by the bike tours operation that Amity Tours develops. For you to know, if we take as an example a tour of 10 passengers for 1 week, the service and employment to be hired when you buy our gravel bike tour, are broken down as follows:

  • 2 or 3 hotels
  • 2 0 3 cabins
  • 6 to 10 restaurants
  • 1 or 2 local Mapuche communities
  • 2 guides
  • 2 drivers
  • 3 local organic food supplier companies (to provide food during the tour while en route)
  • 1 artisan market

They are the local partners waiting to welcome you again in 2021!

New gravel modality in the cycling world in Chile

On the other hand, the gravel bike gives more possibilities when connecting sections and areas of both dirt and asphalt. And this is where we see a great opportunity to develop new gravel bike tours, and by the way, an extraordinary opportunity for the Lake & Volcano district, being able to add routes in all circuits where bike tours are not operated today due to lack of asphlat. For example, our first gravel tour that will go from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes mountain range will pass through territories 100% Mapuche, where different groups coexist: Nagche, Lafquenche, Wenteche and Pewenche. This territory is the heart of the Mapuche people!

territorio mapuche
All our bike tours connect with the local Mapuche communities

We hope to receive you next season on our new gravel bike tours, touring the wonderful Lake & Volcano district, but now getting even deeper into the true Chile, the Chile away from the pavement and urbanity.

Experiences about traveling to Chile during COVID-19

amity protocols covid

Here we are sharing a report about traveling from Europe to Chile during COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning of November 2020 our Key Account Manager, Angela and her 2-years old daughter, travelled back from Switzerland (Angela´s birth country) to her home in southern Chile. A lot of uncertainties accompanied the travel plans. This because traveling restrictions changed frequently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this blog we would like to share some recommendations, that should help organizing your next trip to Chile.

The most important fact first: The whole trip turned out to be completely stress free and almost more pleasant than before the pandemic! All the staff at the airports, the flight attendants and immigration officers were extremely friendly, helpful and happy to be able to attend tourists again. The fact, that less people are traveling at the moment makes the whole atmosphere at the airport and the planes more peaceful.

Our trip

We traveled with a private car to the airport to avoid using public transportation. While the baggage drop-off they already asked for our health declaration form for Chile. We boarded our plane in Zurich, had to change flight at Amsterdam and enjoyed then a direct flight to Santiago de Chile. Adults have to wear face masks all over the trip, while kids up to 10 years (depending on the airline) do not have to use them. Upon arrival to Santiago de Chile, we had to pass by a control station of the National Health Department. At that point, they measured our temperature. Here we had to informe, where we are going to pass the 14-day quarantine. This is not mandatory any more (for most travelers), showing a negative PCR test. (More details about the actual travel documents entering Chile at the end of this blog)

Passing this first control we continued to the  immigration control and the baggage claim before passing the agriculture and livestock service (SAG) as usual.

Recommendations

Before you travel to the airport you should know the exact hour you should arrive. It is also good to know what to bring and what to leave at home. Everything begins with how you feel; if you have a fever, or minor complaints such as the common cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat or a mild cough, you should stay at home. Your health and that of your fellow travellers is what is considered to be the most important thing during this pandemic. That is why most airports/airlines require a health declaration form.

Icon mask man

Prepare your flight:

  • Check-in online or via the application of your airline (Many airlines allow you to check in online, which means one less interaction. Then all you have to do is drop off your baggage in the departure hall)
  • Bring enough face masks (you should change them at least every 3 hours or whenever they get humid)
  • Carry your own hand sanitiser with you in your hand baggage. The capacity of the hand sanitizer container cannot exceed 100ml.
  • Check if you need a health declaration form for the departure, transit and final destination
  • Of course you will have to bring all mandatory documents (passport, visa if required and all documents required from your transit and final destination – Check all the travel documents entering Chile here)
  • If possible go to the airport alone and/or in a private transportation
  • Get to the airport with enough time (follow the recommendations of the airport and airline you are travelling with)

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At the airports

Most of the restaurants and shops are open so you will always find something to refresh, eat or shop at the airports.

Throughout the flight

At the moment most of the planes are not fully booked. This allows the airlines to separate passengers from each others and give them more space. During our flight to Santiago de Chile with KLM, we could use a whole row of three seats, which allowed us stretch our legs throughout the whole flight.

Food is served almost as usual, only the snacks between the main dishes are served in plastic bags.

The airlines recommend to stay on your seat whenever possible. Whenever you need assistant, you can call the flight attendants, they will be happy helping you with your issues.

Aircraft are equipped with HEPA filters in their cabins, which remove 99.97% of particles and bacteria, including the Sars-CoV-2 virus. Moreover, the air inside an aircraft is completely renewed every 2 to 3 minutes. The airflow drags the particles from above to foot level (vertically), further lowering their concentration and preventing the air from mixing across the rows. That is why physical distancing is not decisive within the air cabins, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

All these measures, together with proper and mandatory use of face masks, make the cabins as sanitary as an operating room. (source: Santiago Nuevo Pudahuel Airport)

Nuevo Pudahuel Logo

Travel documents to enter Chile

These are the actual required travel documents for non-residents entering Chile:

  • Negative PCR test performed 72 hours before travelling. In flights with intermediate stops, this is considered from the last boarding.
  • Fill out the Traveler’s Affidavit electronically, and up to 48 hours before boarding at www.c19.cl
  • Health insurance that covers medical treatment for COVID-19 during your stay, with a minimum coverage of USD$30,000.

Between November 23th and December 7th anybody arriving from countries with community transmission of COVID-19 must go under a 14-day mandatory quarantine, even if you have a PCR (-).

Check the updated information: OMS Weekly epidemiological update

Here you can find the official recommendations about traveling to Chile this 2020.

Find out detailed information about the reopening and the Step-by-Step plan of our government.

All information without guarantee. Changes at short notice possible

Ready to talk about your travel plans? Contact us and we will be happy sharing our knowledge with you!

Chile opening borders to international travelers: Who can enter Chile?

chile opening border

The Minsal (Chilean Ministry of Health) introduced the Border Opening Plan, which establishes the requirements to be met by non-resident foreigners in order to enter the country.

 

 

It’s official: on November 23, the Santiago de Chile International Airport will open again for international arrivals. The opening plan created by the Minsal does contain a specific and relevant requirement that has to do with the country of origin.

Thus, it clearly stipulates that the non-resident foreigners who come from (or who have been to) a high-risk country will have to comply with a 14-day lockdown upon arrival on the Chilean soil, even if they count on a negative PCR-test. This measure will be in force for a maximum of two weeks after the date of borders opening. The high-risk countries are those with “community transmission”, according to the Weekly epidemiological update delivered by the World Health Organization.

After this date, whoever comes from the high-risk listed country will be able to enter Chile, with the required travel documents.

Required travel documents to enter Chile

 

Due to the pandemic global situation, since March 18 of 2020, the Chilean borders (air, land and sea) have been closed for non-resident foreigners. The reopening of borders plan considers allowing the entrance to international travelers (either those who have final destination in Chile, and those who only transit in the country).

This plan follows 3 principles: safety, graduality and traceability. It ensures the health safety of the country as the active/contagious cases will be identified, and will not be able to board the plane to Chile. All passengers (of all ages) will be required to submit 3 travel documents when boarding the aircraft, which will be reviewed and required by the airline:

  • The “Travelel Affidavit” form must be electronically completed up to 48 hours before the scheduled flight to Chile. In this form, traveler must provide the contact information, health history and trip details. Also, the traveler agrees to report health conditions during the visit in Chile, under the Traveller Surveillance Period.
  • Before boarding, travelers must present the airline (and attach to the Passenger Affidavit) a negative result of a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, which will allow them to be exempted from the 14-day mandatory quarantine. This negative test result must meet two conditions:
    • It shall not be more than 72 hours old, from the moment the test was taken, to the departure time of the flight towards Chile.
    • The test must have been carried out by a laboratory recognized by the local health authority.
    • Before boarding, travelers must present (and attach to the Passenger Affidavit), a health insurance covering the features associated with Covid-19 during the whole trip in Chile.

 

 

Check out the detailed map of destinations according to 5 stages, and where you can travel throughout Chile.

 

The reopening plan will be gradual:

  • The first stage will be the opening of the air border with a single point of entrance. As a result, the Santiago de Chile International airport will be receiving international travelers from midnight on Monday, 23 of November 2020. This means that the other (land, sea and air) border crossing remain closed for non-resident foreigners.
  • The reopening plan maintains the traceability of travelers, to identify outbreaks in time: all travelers who enter the country will remain in a Traveler Surveillance Period for 14 days after arrival. During this period, they will have to report on a daily basis to the Health Authority their location and health conditions, through a system that will be put in place for this purpose. Failure to do so is punishable under article 318 of the Criminal Code.
  • Once arrived in Chile, the visitors will be able to move throughout the country according to the Step-by-Step Plan. Created by the Chilean government, this strategy was established to face the pandemic according to the sanitary situation of each zone in particular, and determines 5 different phases. Each of them include restrictions and specific obligations, and the progress and regression from one particular step to another is subject to epidemiological indicators, healthcare network and traceability of the virus. In particular, traveling from one region to another will be possible only between cities in Phase 3 (Preparation phase), 4 (initial opening) or 5 (Advanced opening).

Find out about all the active travel experiences (cycling, hiking, skiing, multisport or family adventures) available in Chile’s top destinations.

Or simply drop us a line and we’ll help you organize your trip in Chile!

See you soon!

 

 

Everything you need to know about the next total solar eclipse in Chile

total solar eclipse

Next December 14th, the sky will darken completely La Araucanía Region, and partially the rest of the Chilean territory. On this day, we will be marveling at a new total solar eclipse. This event will occur after the last total solar eclipse that darkened the Atacama Region of Chile on July 2nd, 2019.

 

 

What is an eclipse?

 

total solar eclipse

 

The word eclipse derives from the Greek word “ékleipsis” which means disappearance or abandonment, in reference to the absence of sun in the sky. This solar phenomenon happens when a planet or, like in this case, the moon stands in the way of the solar light, preventing it to reach the surface of planet Earth. On our planet, we experience both lunar and solar eclipses.

 

Will it be completely dark?

 

Yes, the 90-kilometer in diameter strip of light will cover great part of La Araucanía Region, and the northern part of Los Ríos Region, between Temuco city and Panguipulli village. In other words, the solar eclipse will be total in places like Puerto Saavedra, Carahue, Teodoro Schmidt, Nueva Imperial, Nueva Toltén, Gorbea, Lanco, Villarrica, Pucón, Freire, Pitrufquén, Temuco, Loncoche, curarrehue, Lican Ray and Panguipulli.

 

eclipse chile

 

“300 more years will elapse before we see another total solar eclipse again at this location”, says José Maza, Chilean astronomer and physicist.

 

Will the total solar eclipse be visible throughout Chile?

 

Even though the complete darkness will occur in La Araucanía Region, the solar event will manifest partially throughout Chile.

The following percentages represent the total surface of the sun that will be covered by the moon depending on the location, during the next astronomy event on december 14, 2020:

 

Visibility of the total solar eclipse throughout Chile

 

The solar event will start at 11:41 am (UTC -3) and will reach its highest expression between 1:02 and 1:04 pm. We will be witnessing 2 minutes and 9 seconds of complete darkness before the phenomenon ends, at 1:31 pm.

 

Will it be possible to travel to La Araucanía?

 

 

 

This will mostly depend on the status of each commune, within the Paso-a-Paso plan created by the Chilean government. This step-by-step strategy was established to face the pandemic according to the sanitary situation of each zone in particular, and determines 5 different phases. Each of them include restrictions and specific obligations, and the progress and regression from one particular step to another is subject to epidemiological indicators, healthcare network and traceability of the virus.

“La Araucanía is in a rather delicate situation, as there are several communes still in lockdown. We hope that, by the date of the eclipse, the region will have advanced towards more progressive steps (phase 4 or 5). Because, in order to travel from one commune to another, it must be at least in the Preparation Step (phase 3)”, affirmed Paula Daza, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Health.

The visitors will be able to travel only to places in phase 3, with the respective travel permits. Before the pandemic, it was estimated that approximately one million tourists would be traveling to La Araucanía Region to attend the total solar eclipse. Now, we are expecting less than 300.000 tourists.

 

When will occur the next total solar eclipse?

 

This event will be the sixteenth total solar eclipse in Chile since the independence in the 19th century. The next one will take place on December 4, 2021 in Chile’s Antarctic Territory. The following eclipse will be on December 5, 2048 in Aysén Region. Afterwards, the regions of Valparaíso, Metropolitana and O’Higgins will be witnessing this particular event on August 12, 2064.

 

Without a doubt, a total solar eclipse is an incredible astronomical experience to see. Check out this article about the meaning of such event from the Mapuche indigenous cosmovision, the first inhabitants of La Araucanía Region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mis Aventuras en Mountain Bike por Chile

 

Así como Violeta Parra le canta a la Vida, yo puedo cantarle a la bicicleta “que me ha dado tanto”.

 

No me considero ni cerca un ciclista, pero llevo casi dos décadas viviendo de este deporte maravilloso. En la forma de tours de cicloturismo, en Amity Tours me ha tocado vivir momentos inolvidables, realmente épicos, todo gracias al mountain bike.

Aquí te voy a contar tres historias que vale la pena recordar e inmortalizar en este blog de mtb tours en Chile, específicamente en el Destino Lagos & Volcanes. Todas tienen un denominador común: están relacionadas a marcas líderes de la industria del mountain bike mundial, todas ocurren entre volcanes y araucarias, e involucran a un grupo humano de riders de lujo. Y lo que se me pide es siempre lo mismo: una experiencia inolvidable en mtb, extraordinaria, memorable, épica.

Comencemos diciendo que en estas tres historias los personajes se repiten: Euan Wilson y Ernesto Araneda.

 

Amity and H&I Adventures team
El equipo de Amity Tours y H&I Adventures, Paso Desolación, PN Vicente Pérez (Ernesto der. y Euan izq.).

 

Euan es un escocés experto en viajes en mountain bike. Literalmente ha recorrido todo el mundo a la cabeza de su empresa H&I Adventures, diseñando y guiando tours de mtb para fanáticos y expertos. En 2015 lo invitamos a conocer Chile y se enamoró en un día del país, de la gente y del terreno que hay para andar en mtb.

Ernesto, por su parte, es un destacado atleta nacional, oriundo de Temuco, multicampeón nacional de XC, vice campeón panamericano de MTB XC y medallista en el mundial de mtb cross-country. Además de ser un atleta de elite, Ernesto se especializó en turismo aventura y lleva más de una década guiando tours de mtb y ruta en Chile y Europa.

Con estos dos personajes me ha tocado vivir estas tres aventuras que llamaremos: YETI TRIBE, TRAIL HUNTER y EVOC SPORTS.

 

1. YETI TRIBE

 

Seguramente has escuchado hablar de las bicicletas Yeti, una mountain bike de alta gama diseñada en el estado de Colorado, Estados Unidos.

Euan llevaba trabajando con ellos por un buen tiempo, específicamente en uno de los eventos más importantes de la marca: “el viaje de la tribu”, o en inglés “Yeti Tribe”. Es marzo 2016, cuando recibo una llamada de Euan que me dice: “get ready Cristián, the tribe is coming to Chile weón”.

Y sabiendo lo que esto significaba, le conté a Ernesto para que apuntara la fecha: Enero 2017 – Yeti Tribe International Gathering.

 

Yeti Tribe International Gathering en Chile
El grupo del Yeti Tribe en Chile, base centro de ski Pucón.

 

El Tribe de Yeti es un viaje anual que organizan los dueños de la marca Yeti: Mr. Conroy y Mr. Hoogendoorn. Dos gringos con pinta de hippie, pero ultra exigentes con el destino, pues también han recorrido los mejores senderos del mundo en mtb. A este Tribe, solo pueden venir personas que sean dueñas de una bicicleta Yeti y que sean lo suficientemente fit para llevarle el ritmo a los dueños de la marca.

 

Amity Tours y Yeti Tribe en Chile
Si vas a bajar disfrutando un sendero, debes ganártelo después de subirlo. Camino antiguo refugio centro de ski.

 

El Tribe ya había pasado por Escocia, Colorado y Nepal, por lo que la vara que se nos imponía era muy alta. De todas maneras, estábamos confiados en lo que Chile tiene para ofrecer, así que sólo nos dedicamos a dejar afinada la logística, ver que los hoteles del tour estaban bien, y preparar alguna que otra sorpresa para estos viajeros experimentados del mtb enduro.

Dentro de los invitados VIP del Tribe – además de los dueños – estaban dos personajes de la industria, Berne Broudy y Joey Schusler. La primera una escritora especialista en viajes en bicicleta, y el segundo un ex rider dedicado a la filmación y fotografía de aventura.

 

Yeti Tribe en Chile con Amity Tours
Ernesto liderando al grupo en la base del centro de ski Pucón, ingresando a sendero Lengas.

 

El itinerario del Yeti Tribe es muy similar a los tours de mtb que ya hacemos, que combina senderos en volcanes, bosques de araucarias, termas naturales y conocer la cultura local. Para esa ocasión, y junto a 20 gringos simpáticos, partimos en Pucón, con varios rides por los senderos en torno al Volcán Villarrica, nos tiramos un piquero en las termas Geométricas, probamos merkén y jugamos palin con los Mapuche, recorrimos Huilo-Huilo, pedaleamos en el centro de ski Antillanca y terminamos cruzando el paso Desolación junto al Volcán Osorno. Aquí puedes ver las mejores fotos de ese viaje: Yeti Tribe Chile

 

Yeti Tribe jugando Palin
El Tribe jugando Palin en la casa de la familia Colipi en Pucón.

 

Mi recompensa fue escuchar de los dueños de Yeti dos cosas: 1) sus felicitaciones por un tour con un servicio impecable, que los hizo volver después con sus familias, y 2) que a pesar de haber estado pedaleando en tantas partes increíbles del mundo, Chile los había dejado impresionados por su belleza natural y por las condiciones ideales que tiene para andar en mountain bike.

 

Yeti Tribe Amity Tours en termas Geometricas
Después de hacer la ruta transvolcánica por el PN Villarrica, llegamos a las termas Geométricas.

2. TRAIL HUNTER by Specialized

 

Estamos a mediados de Enero 2017, el Tribe ya había sido todo un éxito, y una nueva aventura se nos aproxima.

Esta vez, Euan lleva un buen tiempo hablando con su amigo Dan Milner, un súper conocido escritor y fotógrafo inglés, famoso por sus fotografías de naturaleza y aventura. Dan había cruzado de Pucón a Junín de Los Andes hacía ya 30 años, y había quedado impresionado con el paisaje que se tiene del volcán Lanín y de los bosques milenarios de araucarias.

Euan conocía también a Matt Hunter, un rider profesional de Canadá, que bajo el auspicio de las bicicletas Specialized, tiene un programa en Youtube llamado Trail Hunter. En este canal, muestran sus videos de aventura en mtb por todo el mundo, y Matt andaba en búsqueda de un nuevo destino para su canal. Con esa conjunción de astros, Euan une los cabos sueltos y llama a sus amigos para que vengan a Chile a recorrer el destino Lagos y Volcanes en mtb.

A este grupo se le suman dos riders profesionales más, ambos auspiciados por RedBull: Matty Miles de Canadá y el suizo René Wildhaber.

Sin embargo, justo en Chile estábamos viviendo uno de los incendios forestales más brutales del último siglo, con focos por todo el país, pero los más intensos y destructivos en las regiones de O’Higgins, el Maule y del Biobío. Con ello, gran parte de los parques nacionales estaban cerrados por orden de la CONAF, y en nuestro destino todos estaban en alerta roja (sin incendios, pero cerrados).

Euan había regresado a Pucón el 23 de enero y no podía creer lo que salía en las noticias, un desastre natural de grandes proporciones y los parques nacionales cerrados. Todos los preparativos estaban listos, y los riders ya tenían sus pasajes a Chile. Fue en ese escenario cuando entre todos decidimos seguir con lo planificado y esperar un milagro. Los distintos focos de incendio tuvieron una extensión gigante, provocadas por una alta velocidad del viento y unas olas de calor inéditas. El 26 de enero de 2017, se registró la temperatura máxima de la historia de Chile: 44,9°C en Quillón.

Es el 31 de enero, 7am y los riders extranjeros han arribado a Santiago desde distintos rincones del mundo, nos mandan un texto diciendo que está todo bien y que esperan aterrizar en Temuco por la tarde. Con Euan y Ernesto salimos al patio a tomar aire fresco junto a nuestro tazón de café, y al mirar al volcán Villarrica y verlo “con sombrero” se nos dibuja una sonrisa y creemos que ocurrirá el milagro.

Cuando nubes lenticulares se forman junto a la cima del volcán (en forma de gorro), es casi seguro que en Pucón lloverá en las próximas 12 horas. Y así ocurrió. Al momento de llegar los riders a nuestro centro de operaciones en Pucón ya ha comenzado a llover, y con Ernesto sabemos que esto es una muy buena noticia. Les damos la bienvenida con el clásico asado de cordero al palo y les contamos todos los planes que tenemos para los siguientes días.

A la mañana siguiente continúa la lluvia, y escuchamos por la radio que CONAF ha levantado la restricción en los parques de La Araucanía y Los Ríos. Tenemos LUZ VERDE para nuestra aventura.

Subimos nuestro equipo a las 4×4 y salimos rumbo al volcán Lanín. Una fina lluvia de verano crea una cortina densa que impide que nuestros amigos puedan apreciar el paisaje. Nosotros sabemos lo que está detrás de ese manto gris, pero preferimos guardar silencio y concentrarnos en el armado de nuestro campamento base-1, ubicado en un punto secreto a los pies del Lanín y protegidos por un bosque de gigantescas araucarias.

Dan y los dos Matt se concentran en organizar y chequear su equipo audiovisual, René, Ernesto y Euan preparan las bicicletas para dejarlas a punto, y a mi con José nos toca sorprender al grupo con un rico risotto de cena y música de fondo (esa misma que escuchas al inicio del video del Trail Hunter en Chile). La lluvia no ha parado, y eso nos tranquiliza mucho, pues reduce el peligro de incendio y así los parques se mantendrán abiertos. (José es el multifacético que toca el Hang en el video)

A la mañana siguiente, la ansiedad me despierta al alba y al salir de la carpa no puedo evitar decir un WOW que despierta a todos. Si bien este paisaje es familiar para mí, verlo a primera luz del día, con el imponente volcán Lanín cubierto de una fina capa de nieve me deja boquiabierto. Las carpas y bicicletas también están blancas, con una capa de escarcha que comienza a irse rápidamente a medida que vemos los primeros rayos del sol al amanecer.

 

Amity y Trail Hunter by Specialized
Nuestro campamento base-1 en las faldas del volcán Lanín a 1.200m de altitud.

 

Ciabatta con huevos de campo, tocino y palta, bowl de frutas y un buen café de grano es el menú del primer “desayuno de campeones” que producimos con José. El aire está frío para ser una mañana de febrero, pero estamos en la montaña a 1.200 metros de altitud. El cielo no tiene ni una nube y el suelo humea a medida que el sol lo calienta y evapora la lluvia de la noche anterior.

Ernesto vaticina un día perfecto para andar en mountain bike, pues se levantará muy poco polvo y tendrán un grip ideal en el sendero. Como buen guía, reúne al grupo en torno a la cafetera y comienza con su charla técnica para el día que se nos viene.

Así pasamos los próximos cinco días, filmando, fotografiando, asombrándonos y pedaleando en las mtb, teniendo como telón de fondo a los volcanes Lanín, Quetrupillán y Villarrica. Recuerdo que Matt Hunter una tarde se emociona y nos dice: “no puedo creer que existan lugares así en la tierra y que se puedan recorrer en mtb; primero estás en medio de un bosque milenario con distintos tonos de verde, y después pasas por un terreno sacado de la película Lord of the Rings, con valles gigantes cubiertos de lava de antiguas erupciones”.

El resultado habla por si mismo, y aquí lo puedes ver:

 

 

3. EVOC SPORTS

 

Cuando conocí a Euan le vi usando muchos accesorios de la marca EVOC. No me tomó mucho tiempo comprender que son una marca muy innovadora, con productos muy bien pensados y de excelente calidad. Y con el antecedente de las otras marcas que ya habíamos atendido en Chile, asumí que era otra marca de Estados Unidos.

 

Amity y Evoc en Chile
Una de nuestras camionetas cargada al máximo camino al volcán Tolhuaca.

 

Después de otro exitoso tour de mtb que hicimos en Chile para clientes de Euan, él me comenta que lleva tiempo hablando con los dueños de EVOC, persuadiéndolos para que vengan al destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile. Y me envía un correo de un tal Holger Feist que le pide a Euan una locación que tenga un terreno volcánico y un árbol milenario que había visto hace unos años en Argentina en un viaje de ski (refiriéndose a la Araucaria araucana). Los directores de EVOC buscaban un paisaje único para ser de fondo del catálogo 2019 de los productos nuevos de la marca, que serían expuestos como primicia en la feria EuroBike (la más importante del mundo en la industria).

Euan no quería repetir las misma locaciones que ya habíamos utilizado para asombrar a Yeti y Specialized, y con toda tranquilidad le dije que no se preocupe, porque esta vez con Ernesto teníamos en mente concentrarnos en el Geoparque Kütralkura, un territorio con sello UNESCO, lleno de volcanes y bosques de araucarias ubicado en la punta norte del destino Lagos y Volcanes.

Sabiendo ya qué buscan este tipo de marcas y que siempre traen a un team impresionante de expertos audiovisuales y riders, el itinerario que creamos incluía lugares como: Laguna Blanca y volcán Tolhuaca, Cañón del Blanco y Sierra Nevada, volcán Lonquimay y Cordillera Las Raíces, Quinquén y lago Galletue, lago Conguillío y volcán Llaima, y como guinda final a Pucón y el volcán Villarrica. Todo esto combinado con termas, geiser, cabalgata, comunidad Pewenche, y una mezcla de hoteles pitucos, lodge de montaña y camping.

 

Amity Tours y EVOC en Chile
Jan Sallawitz de EVOC Sports probando el sendero junto a la laguna Blanca y volcán Tolhuaca.

 

Es el 1 de diciembre de 2018 y en el aeropuerto de Temuco es fácil identificar quienes serán nuestros mejores amigos por los próximos días. Son 5 gringos con gorra, polera, mochila y maletas EVOC. Los primeros en salir son Sebastian Bender y Benedikt Ruf, que por su equipo deducimos que son los expertos en audiovisual. Después sale Jan, Holger y Bernd (estos dos últimos los fundadores de la compañía). Junto a Ernesto y Euan les damos la bienvenida a La Araucanía y nos distribuimos rápidamente en nuestras dos camionetas, no sin antes hacer la primera sesión de fotos con las maletas Evoc World Traveler en el frontis del aeropuerto (las puedes ver en el catálogo).

 

evoc equipaje aeropuerto
Maletas EVOC en el Aeropuerto de La Araucanía

 

Nuestra primera parada es en Curacautín, donde pasaremos una noche para hacer las últimas compras y distribuir la gran cantidad de equipo y accesorios que han traído a Chile para probarlos en terreno. Uno de los accesorios EVOC que no tenemos permiso de fotografiar son los de bikepacking (por temas de secreto industrial), que serán la novedad de la marca para la feria Eurobike.

Y es en esta primera conversa-reunión con una cerveza Lonquimay en la mano que noto un acento extraño en los cinco extranjeros. Su inglés no es nativo, y yo sin rodeos les pregunto: ¿no son ustedes de USA? Los cinco sueltan la risa y me dicen “no Cristián, somos de Alemania, pero no te preocupes, somos unos alemanes especiales, más relajados”, y vuelven a soltar otra carcajada.

A la mañana siguiente ya tenemos ambas camionetas cargadas al tope, con carro de arrastre incluido. Salimos rumbo al fundo Laguna Blanca donde la familia Knust nos espera. Desde su lodge y centro ecuestre ponemos la marcha 4L y subimos por un camino de montaña áspero, que nos lleva a los pies del volcán Tolhuaca junto a la laguna Blanca. Aquí el entusiasmo es total, la sonrisa de la cara es imposible borrárselas a estos 5 alemanes atípicos. Nos pasamos todo el día en el lugar, siendo uno de mis spots favoritos el valle inter-volcánico que se forma entre el volcán Lonquimay y el Tolhuaca, es como el altiplano de Atacama, pero con sendas araucarias.

 

Amity Tours con H&I Adventures y EVOC
El grupo de riders de EVOC en el valle inter-volcánico de la RN Malalcahuello.

 

Luego de noche hacemos la transición hacia el “barrio de Manchuria” y nos internamos por el cañón del Blanco, donde mi amigo Cristián Parra nos espera con un asado criollo. Llevamos recién un día y el grupo está eufórico con lo vivido. A la mañana siguiente salimos a caballo hacia los geiser de la Sierra Nevada, y finalizamos la jornada en un pozón de agua termal.

Esta mañana amanecemos en Corralco, haciendo un vuelco en 180° desde la cultura criolla a un ambiente moderno y sofisticado. Muy temprano ya están todos en la terraza del hotel, fotografiando la cara sur del volcán Lonquimay. “This is unbelievable, amazing, crazy landscape” son algunos de los adjetivos que reiteradamente me dicen nuestros huéspedes de EVOC. Y con Ernesto nos reímos porque sabemos que todavía queda muchísimo más para sorprenderlos.

Cargamos el equipo en las camionetas y salimos en las mountain bike rumbo al cráter Navidad. Nuevamente resuenan diversas expresiones de asombro y felicidad. ¿Cómo es posible que hayamos salido de un bosque verde y milenario junto al hotel, y 10 minutos más tarde estamos en un paisaje que parece sacado de la Luna o de Marte?, me preguntan Holger y Bernd. “Así es el destino Lagos y Volcanes” – respondo cada vez que la misma pregunta se asoma.

 

Amity Tours MTB en Chile
Ernesto guiando al grupo en un “free-ride” hacia el cráter Navidad, de fondo el volcán Lonquimay.

 

Recorremos extensivamente los alrededores áridos del cráter Navidad y le explicamos a nuestros amigos como se formó este cráter para la navidad de 1988 en una erupción que duró 1 año. Después Ernesto los anima a regresar al hotel haciendo un free-ride por las faldas del volcán, llegando a la terraza donde unas cervezas heladas los esperan junto a la piscina y el SPA.

Hoy nos toca conocer a los Pewenche, la gente que salvó a la araucaria de ser cortada, y para eso nos vamos a pedalear a Quinquén, donde la familia Meliñir nos espera en su comunidad. Un asado de chivo con puré de piñón es parte del menú que nos tiene preparado Joaquín, el hijo del Lonko de la comunidad. Recorremos senderos con vistas al Batea Mawida y al lago Galletue, y sumamos más escenarios en nuestras mtb con los accesorios de Evoc. Al caer la noche, junto al fuego en la ruka, y con un mate compartido, escuchamos atentos la historia de como esa comunidad logró que se declare a la araucaria un Monumento Natural, prohibiendo así la tala.

 

Amity Tours Mountain Bike Pewenche
Joaquín Meliñir recibiendo al grupo en la comunidad Pewenche de Quinquén.

 

Nuestro viaje ya ha llegado a la mitad y todavía nos queda lo mejor. Ahora toca acampar y poner a prueba todo el equipo de bikepacking. Armamos campamento en el sector el Hoyón junto al lago Conguillío y con la Sierra Nevada de fondo. La noche está muy estrellada y sin luna, ideal para esas time-lapse nocturnas. A la hora del desayuno, Holger y Bernd nos cuentan más sobre los inicios de la compañía, y lo significativo de este viaje para ellos, pues cumplen 10 años como empresa.

 

Amity mtb tours Chile
Preparando la cena para el grupo en sector El Hoyón del PN Conguillío.

 

Teniendo como campo base al lago Conguillío, Ernesto nos lleva a recorrer caminos y senderos del parque y una aventura un poco más extrema hacia el volcán Nevados de Sollipulli, en donde llegamos en mtb al cono Chufquén y al mismísimo glaciar del Sollipulli.

 

Amity Tours en Conguillío
La Sierra Nevada y el lago Conguillío son el telón de nuestro “bikepacking camp”.

 

Finalmente, y ya un poco más cansados, nuestro tour llega a Pucón, donde concluimos el viaje por los senderos del centro de ski del volcán Villarrica, con las pistas Lengas, Flow y El Clásico. Por la noche vamos a uno de esos bares imperdibles del pueblo y hacemos incontables salud por el éxito del viaje y por haber coronado en mtb el destino Lagos y Volcanes.

Que tres reconocidas empresas del ciclismo de montaña del mundo te digan los mismos comentarios positivos de Chile como un paraíso para el mountain bike, no solo me llenan de orgullo, sino que me ratifican que tenemos todo para seguir desarrollando este deporte, en la naturaleza y con todo el respeto hacia ella.

¿Y tú, cuándo te animas a viajar con Amity y tu mtb?

Aquí algunos tours para inspirarte:

Aventuras en Mountain Bike – Corralco 4 Días 3 Noches.

Aventuras en Mountain Bike – Pucón 4 Días 3 Noches

 

 

 

 

Women Tour in the Atacama Desert

During this unique bike and hike tour in Chile, especially designed by women for women, we will immerse ourselves into the ancestral culture of the Likan Antai people. In addition, we’ll explore the most beautiful spots around San Pedro de Atacama, by foot and by bike.

We will enjoy tasty local food, get to know local traditions. As well as discovering the open skies, and relaxing in natural thermal hot springs. Our very unique accommodation offers us perfect moments to relax and enjoy the yoga sessions and other well-being moments.

 

A tour for adventure women and nature lovers!

 

Atacama Desert
Overlooking Mars Valley – San Pedro de Atacama

 

The Atacama desert is the highest and driest desert in the world. San Pedro de Atacama is surrounded by the Andes Range, the Salt Range and the Domeyko range. The main highlights are the Moon Valley, the Mars Valley, the Atacama Salt flat, the Altiplano, the geysers and the Andean lagoons (4000 meters above sea level). Thanks to the volcanic activity it is possible to find hot springs and active volcanoes such as Lascar and Putana.  It has a variety of endemic bird species and flora species that makes it a unique place on earth. The indigenous people, who inhabits the charming villages are the Likan Antai people which culture has been alive for 12.000 years.

Likan Antai people

 

Corn presentation at the Ayllus

 

The Likan Antai or Atacameños communities maintain traditional ways of living alongside the oases and streams of the Loa River and the Salar de Atacama, without losing contact with the urban centers and current Chilean society.

Upon their arrival in the 16th century, the Spanish named the Andean population „Atacama“.During the centuries before the European invasion, the Atacameños used an unwritten language to name the local geography and the different ecological landscapes. According to the first linguists and travelers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Atacameño communities used the Cunza as their main language and called themselves, along with their territory, the compound word Licán-Antai.

The arid climate limited settlements to small and isolated oases. Each village was autonomous, made up of a group of related families under a chief working collectively. These villages or Ayllus were usually located on high ground, surrounded by defensive walls. The Ayllu is a form of extensive social community originating in the Andean region.

Weather in the Atacama Desert

 

The Moon Valley

 

The Atacama Desert is commonly known as the driest place in the world. Although the almost total lack of precipitation is the most prominent characteristic of the Atacama Desert, exceptions may occur. The Invierno Boliviano or Altiplano Winter is a phenomenon, which can produce rain and abundant electrical storms and occurs in January and February. The average rainfall is about 15 mm. (0.59 in) per year. Moreover, some weather stations in the Atacama have never received rain. This desert is so arid that many mountains higher than 6,000 meters (20,000 ft) are completely free of glaciers. Indeed, only the highest peaks have some permanent snow coverage.

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

The best season for hiking and biking in the Atacama Desert runs from mid June through mid November.

Special features just for women 

 

cejar lagoon atacama desert
Cejar Lagoon, Atacama Desert

 

During our unique Bike and Hike Tour in the Atacama Desert we will focus on the incredible nature, landscapes and take a closer look of the local culture, especially by visiting local women.

On day one for example we will first pass by Solcor, Sequitor & Tulor. Here we will make our first stop in order to visit the archeological site Tulor. One of the oldest archaeological sites in northern Chile, that was excavated by the famous archeologist Ana Maria Baron, a very inspiring woman.

Afterwards we will met a friendly Likan Antai woman and her family at the Ayllu of Coyo. She will share with us some of her daily activities and ancestral cosmovision. She has worked on emphasizing the ancestral caravan with llamas.

Then we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Coyo, where we will be able to taste typical food prepared with local products. Finally, we will bike back to the hotel, rest from the sun and get prepared four our afternoon excursion.

Local women and traditions

 

women chile
Sandra and the traditional ancestral caravan

 

The third day of our trip also includes a great visit of the local women and their traditions. We will travel south towards the Altiplanic Lagoons, gaining altitude to enter the puna highlands and surprise ourselves with its particular vegetation: wildlife, lagoons and salt flats. It is where, without any doubt, the Miscanti Lagoon stands out: the largest in the entire Antofagasta region.

Later, we visit the town of Socaire, where the indigenous community still preserves part of the traditional Atacameñan way of life. In this small town, we will pay another great woman and her family a visit. The women of the family still keep alive the tradition of weaving, carrying out the complete process, from the spinning of wool to the production of the most traditional items in the area such as clothing and others.

We will enjoy lunch at the Guest House of the Indigenous Community of Socaire. After lunch, we will go to the town of Talabre, in the middle of the prepuna. There, accompanied by a local guide (mostly women) from the Talabre indigenous community, we will walk through Kezala, one of the gorges, that connects the high Andes Mountains with the Salar de Atacama basin. That treasure’s an invaluable archaeological heritage in rock art.

Later, we can enjoy a tasting of Lican Antai products before driving back to our hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

Yoga session and hotsprings

 

Yoga women tour
Yoga session at Atacama Loft and Glamp

 

Have you ever experienced a yoga session in the driest desert of the world? If not, it is time to do so during our Women tour. We will enjoy a relaxing yoga hour with a professional teacher in a safe and protected area. It is a perfect activity to enjoy the splendid sunset and to feel the magic of the desert.

Depending on the lunar cycle we might even join a full moon women circle on one of the evenings during our trip.

In addition to the soul treatment during the yoga session we will also relax at the amazing and natural hot springs of Puritama. Immerse yourself into the unique landscape and relax your muscels in the natural pools after a nice hike.

Star-gazing and the Andean cosmovision

 

women tour atacama
Astronomic experience in the driest desert in the world

 

The night in the Atacama Desert, its starry sky and the presence of ancient fire, give life to a unique and unrepeatable experience. Here, the knowledge of the Andean cosmovision of the skies meets the scientific understanding of the stars.

We will combine traditional scientific astronomy with the ancient Andean vision of the first astronomers of the place. They have been long before the first telescope. As a complement, we will also have the possibility to observe the stars through a modern telescope.

Local handicrafts and shopping

 

atacama desert
Village of San Pedro de Atacama

Accompanied by our guide, we will walk through the streets of San Pedro. The focus will be to learn a little more about its history and formation. And to finish familiarizing ourselves with some of the challenges that characterize and influence social organization, politics and life in this place. We will visit the nicest shops with local handicrafts. That is when we will have time to find some souvenirs and gifts for our family and friends.

Our accommodation: Atacama Loft and Glamp

 

women trip atacama
Glamping double tent

 

For this unique trip we chose a unique accommodation. The Atacama Loft & Glamp is a woman owned and managed accommodation with a very special atmosphere. Just a few car-minutes away from the busy center of San Pedro de Atacama. It is the perfect place to relax, enjoy the spectacular views or chat with a nice pisco sour at one of the cosy corners around the pool.

 

Interested in this tour? Check out our fixed departure dates until April 2022 and contact us for more details! Don’t miss out our top travel adventures in Chile for women travelling together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FullOutdoor entrevista a Amity Tours

 

El Martes 6 de Octubre 2020, Eduardo Silva de FullOutdoor – la multiplataforma digital de estilos de vida, actividades y deportes al aire libre en Chile – se reunió virtualmente con Cristián Levy y Germán Pino, los socios principales de Amity Tours.

 

Amity Tours es un tour operador receptivo con base en Pucón, y empresa líder del Destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile.

 

 

fulloutdoor entrevista amity
Eduardo Silva (FullOutdoor) entrevistando a Cristián Levy y Germán Pino de Amity Tours

 

El COVID se instala en Chile y detiene las operaciones turísticas

 

Durante esta conversación, hablamos del impacto que ha tenido la crisis del COVID sobre la industria turística en Chile, y como han repercutido los efectos en la tur operación:

“Fue muy abrupto el corte de nuestra temporada, dice Cristián. Nuestra temporada de verano normalmente termina a fines de abril, pero ya el 15 de marzo tuvimos que devolver a un grupo de viajeros de Estados Unidos el mismo día que aterrizó en Chile, por orden del cliente emisivo. Fue complejo, y pensamos que iba a ser una cosa de semanas y al final se alargó un mes, dos meses, tres meses y ahora ya siete meses en eso…”

Luego comentó que, en Pucón (donde se encuentra la base principal de operaciones) afortunadamente por los pocos casos, el municipio y el área de salud local han podido llevar muy bien la trazabilidad de los casos. “Actualmente tenemos 12 casos activos, con un total de 110 casos en todos estos 7 meses, agregó. Aquí la mayoría de la gente vive en el campo, tú sales de tu casa y llegas al río, llegas a la montaña, llegas al bosque y esa conexión con la naturaleza no nos ha dejado como leones enjaulados… Al contrario, nos ha permitido reconectar, estar más tiempo con la familia, los [email protected], …”

 

La historia de Amity

 

Luego, Cristián nos explica como Amity nació de “un vuelvo abrupto en la vida” y como se le ocurrió a Alejandro Levy (el Papá de Cristián) hacer una empresa de turismo ligada a la naturaleza y al deporte. Alejandro es ingeniero textil de profesión, pero también amante de la montaña y del deporte. Tras la llegada a Chile de la crisis asiática en 2002, la industria textil en Chile empezó a morir y se quedó sin trabajo.

En este mismo tiempo, Cristián y Germán trabajaban como consultores junior en la Fundación EuroChile. Gerd Walther, jefe y mentor de estos jóvenes entusiastas, empezó a bromear sobre crear una empresa de turismo en Temuco, donde se había instalado la familia de Cristian a vivir, para así recibir a los clientes internacionales en esta zona del país.

La broma fue tomando seriedad cuando llegó la solicitud de una familia de Brasil, que quería venir a Chile a esquiar, pero no a los centros de ski típicos. Así, Alejandro y Cristián organizaron el viaje para esta familia, quienes se convirtieron en fieles clientes, viniendo a esquiar a Chile 10 veces más.

 

Los primeros clientes brasileños de Amity Tours: la familia Esteves Abreu disfrutando de la nieve del Destino Lagos y Volcanes

 

“Nunca pensé que hacer lo que más me gusta me pudiera dar dinero y con eso vivir!”, confesó Alejandro a Cristián.

Luego de eso, empezó a tomar vida Amity, con la compra de la primera van para poder recibir los primeros clientes de Inglaterra quienes vinieron a esquiar y conocer los volcanes del sur de Chile.

 

van amity tours
Los Levy y la primera van Amity Tours

 

Durante los primeros 10 años de operación, el fuerte de la empresa fue el mercado europeo de habla inglesa que venía a esquiar los volcanes activos de la zona, y de habla alemana que venía a conocer los parques nacionales además de la flora y fauna local y de conversar con la comunidad Mapuche.

 

Geoparque Kütralkura. La flora y fauna endémica de Chile es un atractivo importante para los turistas extranjeros quienes visitan Chile.

 

Amity se une a la ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association)

 

Tras la integración de Germán como socio de Amity Tours el 2011, la empresa se hizo miembro de la Adventure Travel Trade Association, que marcó un antes y después en la historia de Amity. Gracias a las cumbres anuales organizadas por la asociación, la captación del mercado norteamericano fue posible, lo que abrió muchas puertas de nuevos negocios. La adquisición de este nuevo mercado llevó Amity a atender a clientes extranjeros quienes buscan aventura, pero con confort de lujo.

 

Equipo Amity Tours en tour de bicicleta (de izquierda a derecha): Cristián, Germán, Luis y Alejandro

 

Nuevos programas de aventuras en el Sur de Chile

 

Dados los cierres de las fronteras, y la imposibilidad de recibir a turistas extranjeros, Amity Tours ha estado trabajando en adaptar los programas de turismo aventura para el mercado nacional.

El desafío no fue menor, pero se logró diseñar experiencias de viaje para clientes quienes buscan aventura y confort, con la seguridad de contratar a una empresa registrada en SERNATUR que cumple con los protocolos nacionales e internacionales.

 

 

compromiso protocolos covid

 

 

Descubre aquí los programas increíbles que tenemos en el sur de Chile.

 

Eclipse solar total – 14 de Diciembre 2020

 

El próximo 14 de diciembre de este mismo año, ocurrirá un evento astronómico especial en los cielos del Destino Lagos y Volcanes. En efecto, se nos acerca el eclipse solar total, que se podrá observar al 100% desde La Araucanía.

 

 

 

Respecto al eclipse, Germán comenta: “Este fenómeno es tan importante que tiene que generar – nosotros lo hablamos de la óptica del turismo – riqueza para la comunidad local. Lo importante, es generar programas donde la comunidad local se involucra, y pueda participar de este reparto de ingresos. Porque si no, es un mal negocio para todos. Si uno no lo hace así, eso va a terminar siendo un desastre con mucha gente en el territorio dejando pocas lucas y muchas toneladas de basura.”

Desde esta visión, diseñamos un programa súper exclusivo. Pues, nuestra propuesta de Experiencia Eclipse Solar en la Araucanía Lacustre es ideal para familias aventureras, con un máximo de 24 huéspedes para hacer la observación del fenómeno astronómico. Tiene una duración de 5 días de estadía entre el 11 y 15 de Diciembre 2020.

La expertise con la que contamos del Destino Lagos y Volcanes nos dio la capacitad de elaborar una experiencia del eclipse “a contra-reloj”, es decir ingeniada para evitar el flujo de la gente y así evadir los inevitables tacos que se podrán generar debido al evento solar.

 

Amity Tours, Empresa líder del Destino Lagos y Volcanes

 

 

Cabe destacar que Amity Tours es local en el Destino Lagos y Volcanes. Y éste destino son 3 regiones: la región de La Araucanía, la de Los Ríos y de Los Lagos. En línea recta, son casi 500 kilómetros, que cuentan con una ruta escénica llamada Lagos y Volcanes, llena de volcanes nevados y miradores, acceso a parques nacionales, grandes lagos, termas, colonos europeos, y pueblos originarios, todo a muy poca distancia.

 

Los encuentros culturales con la comunidad Mapuche es parte importante de nuestras experiencias de viaje

 

“Es un parque de diversiones. A alguien que le gusta la actividad al aire libre. (…) Hay pocos lugares así en el Mundo”, Germán comenta.

 

Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello y Volcán Tolhuaca

 

Respecto a la riqueza natural del territorio, Cristián finaliza declarando: “lo que nos gustaría a nosotros, poder dejar en todos los clientes que nos visiten, que se enamoren de la misma manera que nosotros estamos enamorados de la naturaleza de Chile.

 

 

Cabe destacar que internacionalmente, Chile no solamente se luce por la belleza natural de sus paisajes. En efecto, Chile fue elegido 4 veces como mejor Destino Mundial de Turismo Aventura por los World Travel Awards (2016, 2017, 2018 y 2019), y 5 veces como mejor Destino de Turismo Aventura en Sudamérica (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 y 2019).

No te pierdas esta interesante entrevista, y entérate de las mejores sorpresas de viaje que tenemos para cuando se pueda volver a viajar!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

¡Eclipse Solar en Chile cada vez más cerca!

eclipse 2020 chile

“Estoy sobrecogido, yo había visto un eclipse casi total, pero entre un eclipse casi total y uno total hay una diferencia enorme, porque los dos minutos de la totalidad son sublimes, son como de otro planeta. Se vio la corona alargada con unas puntas hacia arriba y unas puntas hacia abajo, y además, la luz cambió de tono, era realmente lindo y además nos dio bastante frío”. Estas eran las palabras del doctor, y rockstaen astronomía y astrofísica, José Maza, el año 2019 al observar su primer eclipse total en Chile, emocionantes e increíbles considerando su trayectoria y todo lo que ha vivido en el ámbito de la astronomía.

 

Nuestra propuesta de Experiencia Eclipse Solar en la Araucanía Lacustre es súper exclusiva. Ideal para familias aventureras, con un máximo de 24 huéspedes para hacer la observación del fenómeno astronómico. Tienen una duración de 5 días de estadía entre el 11 y 15 de Diciembre 2020.

 

En términos generales, es inusual que eclipses totales de Sol consecutivos sean visibles en un mismo país. Sin embargo, debido a los 8.000 kilómetros de longitud que tiene Chile, se da la posibilidad única de observar durante tres años seguidos espectaculares ocultamientos de nuestra estrella brillante y caliente de hidrógeno y helio – el Sol.

Eclipse solar el 14 de Diciembre 2020

 

El eclipse, como ya muchos saben, se volverá a repetir el lunes 14 de Diciembre, pudiéndose observar en su totalidad en la Región de La Araucanía, más precisamente en las cercanías del Lago Villarrica, destino Lagos & Volcanes.

 

Eclipse Line over map
Franja del epicentro eclipse solar 14.12.2020

 

Y según muchos expertos, en comparación con el fenómeno del 2019, el eclipse que se producirá en Diciembre en La Araucanía será aún más espectacular. No sólo porque se observará en uno de los destinos turísticos más bonitos de Chile, rodeado de volcanes y lagos, ni por su relación con el pueblo Mapuche y su cosmovisión. Sino porque será a pleno día, con el sol justo arriba de nosotros generándose así un cambio radical pasando desde un día soleado (estamos trabajando para que esto suceda ;-)) a la penumbra absoluta de la noche por exactamente 2 minutos y 7 segundos (60 segundos si lo vemos desde el Rancho Santa Amalia en nuestro tour exclusivo).

 

table eclipse
Tiempo de Eclipse por localidad

Seguridad en tiempos de COVID

 

Las buenas noticias han llegado esta semana desde las instituciones encargadas por velar por nuestra seguridad en tiempos de Covid. Finalmente, estamos permitidos a transitar por Chile casi con normalidad. Los traslados sin necesidad de un permiso entre comunas y ciudades, se podrán hacer solo en aquellas que se encuentren entre las últimas tres etapas del programa Paso a Paso. Es decir, en fase de preparación (lugares donde la cuarentena ya se levantó, salvo para grupos de riesgo), etapa de apertura inicial (donde disminuye el grado de confinamiento) y apertura avanzada (donde se levanta la cuarentena para la población en general).

Pucón, hoy, se encuentra en Fase 4: Apertura Inicial.

 

Sello Confianza Turistica

 

Con esta extraordinaria noticia, todos quienes quieran venir a ver este fenómeno astronómico, lo podrán hacer tomando todos los resguardos necesarios. En este sentido, Amity Tours ha implementado los máximos protocolos que la industria ha diseñado, tanto a nivel nacional como internacional.

 

Nuestro programa exclusivo para ver el eclipse

 

Para quienes vengan, hemos preparado una exclusiva experiencia de 5 días diseñada especialmente para familias con [email protected] que quieren venir a vivir días que serán inolvidables. Uno de los aspectos importantes que hemos diseñado es, evitar los eternos traslados que se producirán por el movimiento de gente. Para lo cual hemos diseñado los trayectos para intentar evitar el colapso vial sin dejar de vivir una experiencia única.

 

Rancho Santa Amalia
Chalet en el Rancho Santa Amalia, Lago Colico

 

Nuestro tour Eclipse Araucanía lo diseñamos en conjunto con el Rancho Santa Amalia. Lugar único en Chile, escondido en un rincón del lago Colico. Rodeado de bosques milenarios y una cancha de polo privada para quienes se animen a jugar o tan sólo montar a caballo. Ahí serán atendidos por sus dueños. Disfrutarán de la hospitalidad del sur. Pero con todas las comodidades y servicios esperados de un hotel.

¡Nuestra recomendación es que se apuren en reservar, ya que este paraíso sólo tiene capacidad para 24 personas!

 

Horse Man Boy

 

Nuestra propuesta de Experiencia Eclipse Solar en la Araucanía Lacustre es súper exclusiva. Ideal para familias aventureras, con un máximo de 24 huéspedes para hacer la observación del fenómeno astronómico. Tienen una duración de 5 días de estadía entre el 11 y 15 de Diciembre 2020.

Multisport Tour Route of Parks of Patagonia in Chile

Lake and Volcano Route Chile

Multisport Tour – Route of Parks of Patagonia in Chile

 

A few years ago, we started dreaming about a new epic and transformational tour. This dream tour should connect Chile’s iconic scenic routes: the incredible Lake and Volcano Route with the stunning Route of Parks of Patagonia. Today we are happy to present our co-operated Multisport Adventure Route of Parks of Patagonia.

 

route of parks patagonia
Kayaking Grey Lake in Torres Del Paine National Park, Patagonia Chile. © ChileNativo

 

An exclusive and carefully crafted adventure led by three of the most iconic adventure companies of Chile: Amity Tours, BirdsChile and Chile Nativo Travel. A lifetime experience exploring on foot, bike, raft and kayak the most spectacular landscapes of northern and southern Patagonia. This exclusive program covers and connects the wild and diverse landscapes of two Scenic Routes: The Lake and Volcano Route + Route of Parks of Patagonia.

 

Multisport Adventure Route of Parks Patagonia Chile

 

In this tour you will discover Conguillío National Park, starting at the foot of active volcanoes covered by unique forests of giant Araucaria trees, explore the lush and exuberant temperate rainforest of Pumalin Park (Douglas Tompkins legacy), and finish with a stunning finale in Torres del Paine National Park

Nature, diversity, local communities, and interaction with the culture of Patagonia, while giving back and supporting rewilding experiences led by our local experts. This is a featured program in some of the best parks that make up the Route of Parks of Patagonia and The Lake and Volcano District. An unforgettable multi-sport adventure where you can be sure to discover new paths in Patagonia!

 

lake and volcano route
Lake and Volcano Route. © Amity Tours

Different sustainable concepts in one tour

 

We have been strategizing on how to develop a product which benefits are given back to local communities, supports conservation, and that the trip integrates the REWILDING concept. All of which posed to be the biggest challenge incorporating these exact concepts into a multisport program.

 

Cristián, Raffaele and Gonzalo – the CEOs of the three adventure companies – went together on a creative retreat, laying out the first draft itinerary and agreeing in the key factors to success with an epic and transformational multisport tour in Patagonia.

 

route of parks of patagonia
Left to right: Raffaele Di Biase (BirdsChile), Gonzalo Fuenzalida (Chile Nativo Travel) and Cristián Levy (Amity Tours).

 

As a result, they came back with a unique itinerary connecting the Lake & Volcano Route and the Route of Parks of Patagonia, covering 1.400 miles (2.300 km) between Conguillío  National Park and Torres del Paine.

 

Raffaele, Cristián and Gonzalo, in the making of the Multisport Tour Route of Parks of Patagonia during a creative retreat.

 

The trip was ready to launch for the 2020/2021 season but it was postponed due to Covid international travel restrictions. However, this amazing trip was officially launched during the AdventureELEVATE virtual event and now 2021-22 dates are already confirmed.

Before we dive deeper into the highlights of the trip, we want to introduce these two iconic scenic routes with a short video:

 

Lake & Volcano Scenic Route

 

 

 

Route of Parks of Patagonia

 

 

The efforts of conservations in these lands were skeptically accepted at the beginning, provoking a controversy among Chileans, politicians, and part of the population.

Here another video to show the controversy:

 

 

Now, an especially important detail of this topic of conservation is Rewilding and the adaptive form of Rewilding in Tourism, which is a new way to power the art of traveling, transforming it from a high consumption product of tourism to a real and genuine act of empathy. Let’s talk a little more in depth about REWILDING.

 

Pudu deer at Route of Parks of Patagonia
Pudu deer – Route of Parks of Patagonia. © BirdsChile

What is rewilding?

 

We like to separate the two concepts: Ecological Rewilding and Tourism Rewilding. While ecological rewilding means “to return an ecosystem to its original state”, we have to understand that Tourism Rewilding is “adapted to tourism because we cannot erase the human impact completely”.

The Patagonia National Park has a rewilding concept with one of the highest global standards. If you want to know more about the rewilding process in the Patagonia National Park, you can take a look at this video. The story of Douglas Tompkins is intimately related to this park that became part of the largest donation of private lands ever made, and the first step for the creation of the Route of Parks of Patagonia.

 

Two women working in a field of young trees
Rewilding in Patagonia. © BirdsChile

 

During our multisport trip we are part of a Tourism Rewilding concept. This is not the only reason why we talk about a sustainable project.  Moreover, we operate the tour only in small groups (8 guests max.), trying to focus on low-impact activities. That allows us to have a traceable and measurable trip. So, between the three companies we can collect data and publish exact numbers about the real social, economic and environmental impact. Furthermore we support local NGO’s for educational and conservation programs such as Fundación Legado Chile, and Torres del Paine Legacy Fund.

 

More about our Zero Waste concept

 

In all of our self-operated group departure tours we do focus on our Zero Waste Concept.  First of all, we reinvented our picnic tables and box lunches. Wherever possible we changed to local suppliers and focused on organic processes. We eliminated single use plastic products and separated all unavoidable waste for recycling. During the last season we visited our most important local partners such as hotels and restaurants to involucrate them into the Zero Waste program. At the moment we are working on our Climate Emergency Plan. And we are part of the Climate Action Leaders Community.

 

Gourmet Picnic
Zero Waste picnic table. © Amity Tours

How do we incorporate the local community?

Our brand-new Multisport Tour focuses also on the local communities, their culture, habits and history. We want to give our international guests the opportunity to learn more about the ancestral heritage of the Mapuche People. This proud nation has a huge influence in the Lake and Volcano District. We are able to get to know a friendly family, who shares with us their way of life between the actual progress and the ancestral heritage.

In our rewilding work on day 6 of the tour, in the city of Llanquihue, we will combine this regeneration effort to work with local communities, creating a virtuous circle where nature gets restored and communities get benefits.

Furthermore we meet the friendly Kawésqar women. They started and initiative to rescue their culture. Valuing the ancestral heritage that they inherited from their canoe ancestors of Kawésqar. The vision of this project is to generate, in a collaborative way and through the dialogue between indigenous communities and interested people, the best strategy to value the culture and ancestral Kawésqar heritage. Through initiatives that benefit the original people, its members, culture, and the ancestral territory.

We will learn about the traditional basket weaving. This local art of mainly Kawésqar women has been transmitted by their grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and sisters. They kept alive the beautiful handwork with a thin vegetal fiber known as jonquil.

 

basket weaving kawesqar women
Basket weaving Kawesqar women. © ChileNativo

Multisport activities on the Route of Parks Tour

 

We love the adventure and want to share this feeling with you. We kick-off the trip hiking among volcanoes and ancient Araucaria trees. Then we jump on our bikes and travel southbound Pedalling the Lake and Volcano scenic route is a great way to appreciate the stunning nature with the perfectly cone-shaped volcanoes, pristine lakes, and beautiful national parks.

Afterwards we leave the bikes behind and continue by water, rafting the turquoise rapids of Petrohué river. Then we follow Carretera Austral by foot. Exploring active volcanoes, hidden waterfalls, and the Northern Fjords of Patagonia. Finally, one of the highlights of the trip is definitely the day kayaking in Torres del Paine. Paddling in between floating icebergs and descending the Grey River is something you will remember forever!

 

Cyclimg in the Lake and Volcano Route
Cycling in the Lake and Volcano Route. © Amity Tours

A trip of your lifetime

 

The Route of Parks, a Patagonia Collection Program, is a lifetime experience for the traveler seeking the awe and wonder that Patagonia provokes in all of us. This multisport journey exploring on foot, bike, and kayak connects some of the most spectacular landscapes of northern and southern Patagonia.

This exclusive program takes travelers to the base of active volcanoes covered by unique forests of giant Araucarias of Conguillío National Park. To the lush and exuberant temperate rainforest of the Pumalin Park. Last but not least, a stunning finale at the wild and diverse landscapes of the Torres del Paine National Park.

 

White-water rafting - Petrohue river
White-water rafting, Petrohue River. © BirdsChile

Travel must be an act of empathy

 

During the last ATTA Elevate event we had a wonderful, and educational session filled with great conversations from participants from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina.

 

 

The result? Conservation is not enough anymore. Travel must be an act of empathy. Travel must regenerate communities and ecosystems, and as a leader in our trade, and as travelers ourselves, we must make conscious decisions to transform. Transform our programs, our products, and ourselves into something greater – even if that means making certain sacrifices such as smaller group departures and lower-impact travels.  The effects of travel must be measurable and traceable.

 

We are convinced that travel MUST regenerate our public and private lands, environments, ecosystems, and communities.

 

 

 

 

 

Multisport Women Tour in Patagonia Chile

Kayak Women Torres del Paine view

Are you looking for a real adventure in South America? Would you like to share it with other women travelling together? Our Multisport Women Tour in Patagonia is the perfect match!

 

Women Hiking Lake Mountains

 

During this unique women-only trip in Patagonia, you will enjoy the beauty of the Torres del Paine National Park. Also you will get to know very important entrepreneurs women. And for sure, you will get connected with your spirit during the private yoga and meditations sessions.

Hike and kayak with the best views of Torres del Paine Massif. Walk through the wilderness, kayak on pristine rivers and lakes, and enjoy tracking wild horses off-the-beaten path. Be part of the positive impacts generated in the Torres del Paine National Park. On this tour you will help the Legacy Fund in a special reforestation project. The comfortable Riverside Campsite and the authentic Patagonia Bagual Camp will be your home far away from home.

This is an unforgettable Multisport adventure to entice all outdoorsy types together with other adventurous women.

Why women only?

 

Group of outdoor women

 

Our Women Tours are designed for women by women, focusing on unique experiences especially appreciated by women. We created three different women tours in Chile. A Bike and Hike Tour in the Atacama Desert. On this tour we will immerse ourselves into the driest place on earth. We will connect with the local culture through interesting entrepreneurs women. Furthermore we are very proud about the first Hiking Tour in the Lake and Volcano District only for women. On this adventurous trip we hike up the active Villarrica Volcano. Furthermore we relax in hot tubs and most important, visit many important Mapuche and Non-Mapuche women. Finally, our Multisport Women Tour in Patagonia is designed for outdoors lovers. Women who want to hike, kayak, learn about reforestation and wild horses on mostly unknown tracks.

We carefully created all our women adventures to give solo female travelers or friends the possibility to explore our country in a unique way. We packed all the trips with great and relaxing moments like massages, hot tubs, hot springs or yoga sessions. Travelling in small groups is a great way to experience a country. And of course also getting to know other people from around the world. On a women only tour the focus of wellbeing and connection to the Mother Nature are the main goals we want to achieve.  Last but not least, as we love the adventure, our trips are all fulfilled with unforgettable adrenaline moments.

 

 

women tour chile
Rafting activity on the Petrohue River – Puerto Varas and Osorno Volcano

 

Some special activities during our Multisport Women Tours in Patagonia

 

Getting to know the Kawesqar women

 

basket weaving kawesqar women

 

The first activity on our Multisport Women Tour in Patagonia takes place in the little town of Puerto Natales. Here we will meet the friendly Kawésqar women. These women started and initiative that responds to the need of the indigenous communities to rescue their culture. Valuing the ancestral heritage that they inherited from their canoe ancestors of Kawésqar.

We will learn about the traditional basket weaving. This local art of mainly Kawésqar women has been transmitted by their grandmothers, mothers, aunts and sister. They kept alive the beautiful handwork with a thin vegetal fiber known as jonquil. Through weaving the artisans will take you to know in first person not only their techniques and methods to weave the jonquil, but also their personal stories and history. In the beginning the basketworks were used to transport food collected by theses nomadic canoe-gatherers and hunter-gatherers. Afterwards they were exchanged with non-perishable food of modern ships travelling through ancestral territory. Nowadays the famous baskets are sold as an exclusive piece of art and design.

 

The project

 

The cultural elements -such as: language, the cosmovision, storytelling, basketry, medicine, the collection of shellfish and eggs, fishing in the sea, the hunting of birds and mammals, together with the great knowledge of navigation, diving, the geography of its territory and the coexistence with its environment of which we are part- those who motivate this group of young Kawésqar and friends to begin this path of study, rescue, visibility, and conservation of the treasure that today possess the old and new Kawésqar. Of alive or intangible heritage, to enthuse firstly the indigenous communities themselves, other original peoples and all those who wish to know more about the Kawésqar people.

The vision of this project is to generate, in a collaborative way and through the dialogue between indigenous communities and interested people, the best strategy to value the culture and ancestral Kawésqar heritage. Through initiatives that benefit the original people, it’s members, culture and the ancestral territory.

 

Collaborate with the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund

 

Another interesting project we will not only visit but also collaborate, is the reforestation monitoring with the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund.

 

Reforestation two women lake in the background
Background

 

The Torres del Paine Legacy Fund is a non-profit initiative of Sustainable Travel International dedicated to ensuring a more sustainable future for Torres del Paine National Park and its surrounding communities. Launched in 2014 in response to challenges posed by rapidly increasing visitation to this iconic yet fragile landscape, the Legacy Fund mobilizes and implements collective stewardship of one of the world’s most cherished and spectacular natural wonders. It partners with local and international businesses, municipalities, park authorities, and visitors to collaboratively raise funds, awareness, and execute local sustainability projects that:

  • Restore and protect ecosystems
  • Improve tourism infrastructure and mitigate visitor impacts
  • Promote community development
  • Diversify recreational & cultural opportunities for residents and visitors.
Facts about Torres Del Paine National Park

 

In 2018, more than 285,000 people flocked to Torres del Paine National Park, considered by many to be the 8th wonder of the world. This figure represents double digit annual and five-year growth rates and is not expected to abate in the near term. Such intensive use and overcrowding have placed significant strain on the region’s unique flora and fauna, aging infrastructure, insufficient resources, and local population. Since 1985, three man-made fires, all started by tourists, have ravaged almost 1/5th of the park’s area, including native lenga tree forests, home to the black woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus), Cachaña (Enicognathus ferrugineus) and the endangered huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisculus), amongst other endemic and endangered species now facing drastically reduced and altered habitats.

Naturally occurring forest fires are nonexistent in this part of the world. That means when a species like lenga is devastated by human-induced fires, it won’t automatically recover. As a result, humans must intervene to rehabilitate and revegetate these ecosystems.

In response to the fires, Chile’s National Forest Corporation, CONAF, began ecological restoration efforts to accelerate recuperation of the park’s damaged forest ecosystems. Lenga seedlings are cultivated in a nursery until they are ready to be transferred into the park. They are then replanted in small clusters, or “nuclei,” of 100 in the least resilient fire-affected areas. To date, more than 900,000 lenga seedlings have been planted in the park.

 

Our support during the trip

 

Two women working in a field of young trees

 

The Torres del Paine Legacy Fund supports CONAF’s restoration efforts by monitoring reforested lenga nuclei. A combination of volunteers and tourists, YOU in this case, will join us on field expeditions to collect data on the health and growth of the young seedlings. This collaborative citizen-science effort will help inform CONAF to improve reforestation efforts in Torres del Paine.

 

Yoga session at a unique spot with a professional instructor

 

Meditation on yoga mats on a green field

 

There is no women tour where we do not incorporate a private yoga session. On this tour a professional yoga teacher will guide us through a 1.5 hours Hatha Yoga Class. Which will be accompanied by a meditation session of around 1 hour. This experience will depend on weather conditions as it takes place under the open sky, with stunning views over the National Park.

 

Tracking wild horses in a extraordinary surrounding

 

Mountains, River, Prairie and wild horses

 

On day 5 of our tour we’ll hear a short but interesting introduction to the area’s history and the evolution and characteristics of the wild horses. With the help of satellite tracking equipment, coupled with our guide’s experience and knowledge, we’ll begin our trek, searching for the 100 untamed horses that remain isolated in this sector surrounded by mountains, lakes, and plains, in the most pristine and untouched terrain of Torres del Paine. Depending on the location of the horses, we’ll choose a place to have lunch and share our stories and experiences. The experience of tracking, observing, and analyzing the horses in such natural surroundings is incomparable. Additionally, we’ll be privy to fantastic views of Lago Stokes, the Cordillera Dickson, and the imposing Towers.

A unique accommodation during our Multisport Women Tour in Patagonia

 

Yurt with forest around and mountain at the backgroundTwin Yurt inside with two mattresses The Riverside Campsite is located within Torres del Paine National Park. The fully equipped campsite is located on the shores of the Serrano River, away from the buzz of crowded Refugios and campsites. The double deluxe tents are located on raised platforms, protected against the bracing Patagonian elements. Inside, the double-height mattresses, cozy down covers and heaters do operate during the evening to ensure a warm night’s rest. Permanent, separate male and female bathrooms with hot showers are just a short walk from the tents.

Meals are abundant, delicious and shared in a dedicated dining lodge with views of the Paine Massif’s changing colors and spacious room to lounge, relax, and enjoy great company. The buffet breakfasts, design-your-own packed lunches and chef-prepared three-course dinners are a nourishing mix of local delicacies and high-energy foods to fuel our days’ adventures. Think king crab, lamb, power bars, endless vegetables, eggs, cereals, jams and local cheeses. Vegans, vegetarians and guests with other dietary needs are more than catered for with a range of alternative milks, gluten free breads, vegan cheeses and soy products. And of course, beer, Chilean wine and Pisco sours mark the perfect end to a day’s trekking.

The own hostess is always onsite to answer questions and to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible.

 

Kayak with Los Cuernos background

These and many more details make our Multisport Women Tour in Patagonia a unique experience! Check out our fixed departure dates for 2021-2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guias expertos de Amity Tours

pacific coast chile

En Amity Tours, no tenemos ninguna duda que nuestros guías son el principal capital que tiene nuestra empresa, con quienes hemos desarrollado una relación fraterna de amistad y preocupación mutua. Nuestros guías son los mejores guías del Destino Lagos & Volcanes, conocen cada rincón del territorio, y lo más importante, están involucrados en las raíces de las comunidades locales.

 

 

guías amity
Los guías expertos en Mountain Bike de Amity: Peter, Pancho y Ernesto

 

Sabemos que la primera y última cara que ven nuestros clientes es la de nuestros guías. Tenemos un equipo pequeño, pero estamos seguros es el mejor. Y no son solo palabras, pues cada año tenemos unos 20 postulantes y usualmente nos quedamos con 1 o 2.

¿Qué buscamos?

Personas que por sobre todo sientan pasión por lo que hacen, sepan trabajar en equipo y tengan un gran corazón.

mtb chile
Equipo Amity en preparación de tour de Mountain Bike

En este blog, presentamos a 3 de nuestros guías más queridos: David, Rubén y Francisco. Todos tienen historias de vida diferentes, pero que comparten su pasión por las actividades al aire libre, el deporte, la competencia, el humor y los trabajos comunitarios.

Todos nuestros guías deben pasar un riguroso proceso de selección y tener al menos la certificación “Wilderness First Responder”, curso certificado que entrega las herramientas técnicas necesarias para responder de buena forma en casos de accidentes en terrenos complejos como montañas, ríos o bosques.

 

DAVID JOOS, 7 años guiando en Amity Tours

David guiando en la Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello

 

David, el con más experiencia (por no decir el más viejo ), es rescatista del Cuerpo de Bomberos de Chile, montañista, reconocido instructor de kayak, con varios triatlones en el cuerpo y certificado en WFR. Quienes han tenido la mala fortuna (o buena suerte) de tener un accidente durante sus tours, han visto cómo responde un verdadero profesional ante estos dramáticos eventos, que varias veces han requerido su gestión experta.

Ir en tour con David es un constante reír y disfrute, pues él siempre se las ingenia para conquistar a los viajeros a través del humor. David es muy entusiasta, siempre alegre y con una actitud positiva ante la vida.

Nombre: David Joos

Edad: 40

Lugar de Nacimiento: Dendermonde, Bélgica

Lugar de Residencia: Pucón, Chile

Tours guiados las últimas temporadas: Bike Tours, Volcán Villarrica

Años guiando: 20

 

 Q&A

¿Cómo te llaman tus amigos y compañeros de trabajo?

Gringo Loco

¿Cuál es el tour que más te gusta guiar?

Bike and Hike tour alrededor de Pucón

¿Cuál sería el peor trabajo que podrías tener?

Hacer lo mismo todos los días 

¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito para practicar?

Kayak y triatlón (ya son 4)

¿Cerveza o pisco sour?

Cerveza, ¡y mucha!

¿Rutera o MTB?

Ambas bicicletas me encantan

Si pudieras ser un animal ¿cuál serías y por qué?

Pato correntino, se mueve tan elegante entre el agua y el aire

¿Carne o pastas?

Pasta con carne 

¿En una escala de 1 a 10, cuan “cool” eres?

8

¿Qué te hace reír?

Las tallas chilenas con doble sentido

¿Qué te hace enojar?

Los celos de mi señora 

¿El cliente siempre tiene la razón?

NOOO !!

¿Cuánto tiempo te toma estar listo en la mañana antes de un tour?

5 minutos

¿Comida que menos te gusta?

Erizos

¿Qué es mejor para ser guía, la experiencia o un diploma?

Experiencia, por sobre todas las cosas 

Si pudieras vivir en otro lugar ¿dónde vivirías?

Patagonia, Carretera Austral 

¿Qué es lo que más te gusta y lo que menos te gusta de tu trabajo como guía?

El contacto con la gente; tener problemas en el tour fuera de tu alcance para arreglar 

Si ganaras 1 millón de dólares ¿qué comprarías?

Una casa rodante “filete” 

¿Dónde estarás en 3 años?

En Pucón con una pequeña empresa de poda 

 

RUBEN PAILLALEF, 8 años guiando en Amity Tours

Rubén, orgulloso descendiente del pueblo Mapuche, fue uno de los primeros guías que tuvo Amity Tours para sus viajes de cicloturismo. Triatleta destacado, montañista, con certificado WFR y capacitaciones en USA y Europa, pasa su tiempo “libre” subiendo al volcán Villarrica, sacando fotografías y trabajando en su huerta, siempre en contacto con la tierra, su familia y comunidad.

Rubén reconoce todas las plantas y animales del bosque, es buenísimo avistando e identificando especies de flora y fauna para que nuestros visitantes conozcan más de la naturaleza que están viendo. Es un ciclista muy fuerte, que seguro te acompañará si quieres exigirte en la bicicleta.

 

Nombre: Rubén Paillalef Luengo

Edad: 36

Lugar de Nacimiento: Pucón, Chile 

Lugar de Residencia: Pucón

Tours guiados las últimas temporadas: Multisport, Bike Tours, Volcán Villarrica

Años guiando: 16

Rubén haciendo la charla técnica y de seguridad a clientes de Francia y USA

 

¿Cómo te llaman tus amigos y compañeros de trabajo?

Indio, Rubén, Kapurra (chivo)

¿Cuál es el tour que más te gusta guiar?

Bike tours en rutera.

¿Cuál sería el peor trabajo que podrías tener?

Un trabajo que no me complementa y que no me valoren

¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito para practicar?

Triatlón y todo lo que se desarrolle al aire libre

¿Cerveza o pisco sour?

Cerveza 

¿Rutera o MTB?

Ambas me gustan

Si pudieras ser un animal ¿cuál serías y por qué?

Un lobo, porque le gusta trabajar en equipo y son fundamentales en el ecosistema que viven.

¿Carne o pastas?

Ambos

¿En una escala de 1 a 10, cuan “cool” eres?

10 

¿Qué te hace reír?

Humor con mis compañeros

¿Qué te hace enojar? 

La deslealtad y el mal trato 

¿El cliente siempre tiene la razón?

No, pero no tiene por qué saberlo 🙂 

¿Cuánto tiempo te toma estar listo en la mañana antes de un tour?

1 hora 

¿Comida que menos te gusta?

Mariscos con yodo 

¿Qué es mejor para ser guía, la experiencia o un diploma?

Definitivamente la Experiencia

Si pudieras vivir en otro lugar ¿dónde vivirías?

Donde existan volcanes activos

¿Qué es lo que más te gusta y lo que menos te gusta de tu trabajo como guía?

El contacto con la naturaleza y conocer gente nueva; la fragilidad económica de nuestro trabajo

Si ganaras 1 millón de dólares ¿qué comprarías?

Tierras y un buen viaje junto a mis queridos.

¿Dónde estarás en 3 años?

Probablemente en el mismo lugar igual de feliz 

 

FRANCISCO DUATH, 5 años guiando en Amity Tours

Pancho posando para las cámaras de los clientes de Yeti Tribe en tour de MTB

 

Juan Francisco, el más joven de nuestros guías y el último en integrarse al equipo, lo conocimos cuando tenía 23 años en Huilo-Huilo y supimos en ese mismo momento que tenía el ADN que Amity Tours busca en sus guías.

Trail-runner por excelencia (o por su costumbre de andar por los cerros de Neltume), fue invitado a correr a una de las principales pruebas de esa modalidad en Santiago, lugar donde había estado pocas veces, y considerado un principiante aún, se corono campeón, todo gracias a su determinación por superarse. Allí la prensa especializada lo bautizó como el “bagual de Neltume”.

En los tours que Francisco va de guía, los viajeros siempre le toman un gran cariño, por su carisma, humildad y gran capacidad física.

Su principal preocupación es su comunidad, en especial los niños de Neltume, por esto lidera el proyecto Bagualito Bike Park donde dedica su tiempo a enseñar a los niños locales sobre la importancia del deporte, el mountain bike y la determinación para salir adelante en la vida.

 

Nombre: Juan Francisco Duath Fuentes

Edad: 28

Lugar de Nacimiento: Neltume, Chile

Lugar de Residencia: Neltume, Chile

Tours guiados las últimas temporadas: Mountain Bike

Años guiando: 5

Pancho concentrado en el cuidado de las mtb de nuestros clientes

 

¿Cómo te llaman tus amigos y compañeros de trabajo?

Panchito

¿Cuál es el tour que más te gusta guiar?

Mountain Bike tours

¿Cuál sería el peor trabajo que podrías tener?

El que no me guste

¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito para practicar?

Mountain Bike

¿Cerveza o pisco sour?

Cerveza Cero Alcohol, jajajaj

¿Rutera o MTB?

Mountain Bike

Si pudieras ser un animal ¿cuál serías y por qué?

Un Puma, por su habilidad y destreza

¿Carne o pastas?

Carne

¿En una escala de 1 a 10, cuan “cool” eres?

5

¿Qué te hace reír?

Bromas con los amigos

¿Qué te hace enojar?

La injusticia sobre otra persona

¿El cliente siempre tiene la razón?

No, en el Mountain Bike eso no pasa

¿Cuánto tiempo te toma estar listo en la mañana antes de un tour?

Depende de cuanto motivado este, 1 hora quizás

¿Comida que menos te gusta?

La comida fría

¿Qué es mejor para ser guía, la experiencia o un diploma? 

La experiencia

Si pudieras vivir en otro lugar ¿dónde vivirías?

Me gusta Neltume, no lo cambiaría, aunque no he viajado mucho la verdad

¿Qué es lo que más te gusta y lo que menos te gusta de tu trabajo como guía?

Lo que más me gusta es compartir experiencias, cuando los clientes me cuentan sus aventuras; lo que menos me gusta es cargar las bicicletas después de un día extenso

Si ganaras 1 millón de dólares ¿qué comprarías?

Muchas tierras, ampliaría Bagualito a otras disciplinas como snowboard, ski y kayak…y ayudaría a niños vulnerables

¿Dónde estarás en 3 años?

Quizás en el Monte Everest

 

Conoce nuestros 3 programas más solicitados por el público nacional en el Destino Lagos y Volcanes, diseñados para los amantes de la naturaleza:

Programa de 4 días/3 noches – Aventuras MTB – Pucón, Destino Lagos y Volcanes

Programa de 4 días / 3 noches – Road Cycling en Destino Lagos y Volcanes

Programa de 8 días / 7 noches – Aventuras en Familia, Destino Lagos y Volcanes

 

 

 

Luxury Nature Tours in Chile defined by Amity Tours

Relaxing hour at Corralco Mountain Resort

 

 

One traveler’s luxury is another’s ordinary.

For us at Amity Tours, a luxury nature tour is all about the experience, the disconnection and the unique feeling of freedom in a trip throughout Chile.

We’d love to share with you our definition of luxury!

 

Altiplano

 

The philosophy of Amity Tours

 

First of all, we are proud to call ourselves a boutique adventure tour operator from Chile, where luxury nature tours are our standard.

At Amity Tours, we are all fanatics for new adventures. Our guides are living in a constant adventurous state, showing and sharing the most beautiful places of Chile to our fellow travelers. Our drivers are always on the move, they can’t stand still and love to explore new places on our scouting trips. Likewise, the whole office team spends its free time in a national park, or on a camp ground together with friends and family.

That is why one of the main cornerstones of our philosophy is ADVENTURE: We are an adventure travel company and we define “adventure” as an experience where culture and nature are the main elements.

We are specialized in active travel experiences, with biking, hiking, skiing and multisport tours. What’s more, we understand that active travel goes along with excellent service, comfortable hotels and delicious great local food, wine and beer.

 

Relaxing hour at Corralco Mountain Resort

 

Our definition of Luxury

 

As George Morgan-Grenville once said: “Luxury travel today is defined less by thread count and Michelin stars and more by access to the people, places and experiences that represent all that is authentic about a destination. There’s no denying that comfort factors still apply and high standards of accommodation and dining will always feature on the luxury traveler’s wish list. However, today’s luxury traveler seeks more depth of understanding and immersion into local culture than ever before. People don’t just want to see – they want to participate. The sales process is also critical and whilst the online proposition can be an asset in terms of booking more simple arrangements, clients looking for luxury experiential travel require a deep level of sophisticated knowledge and confidence during the sales process.”

There is no better way in explaining our definition of luxury tours at Amity.

 

Mate tea with Mapuche women

 

 

We definitely do not support luxury tourism without considering the impact it might have for the natural environment. Luxury tourism should never compromise nature, such as helicopter trips over national parks or high speed boat trips on pristine lakes.

To us, comfort doesn’t come in a “heli”. The negative impact of these kind of exclusive adventures for the wildlife is huge. There are many case studies, which prove the negative impact of helicopter flights for the natural surroundings. That is why we don’t think it is worth enjoying a short flight in a fragile environment while there are so many other great ways of connection to special places in the world.

We think that the real luxury on an adventure trip are the unforgettable experiences we make during the voyage. Experiences, which will leave a mark in our memories – as we learn more about a local place and culture.

 

 

Atacama Desert

 

Here are the luxury moments you can find during our nature trips in Chile:

 

  • Reaching natural thermal hot springs after a great cycling day over green rolling hills with the view of three volcanoes. No better luxury moment than relaxing our tired muscles in the thermal waters and listening to the sound of the cold river next to us. Check out this and much more unforgettable experiences in our bike tours.

 

  • Getting to a pristine beach after hiking through a thousand-year-old forests together with local indigenous guides. After the challenging hike in an almost unknown trail, a friendly local family is waiting for you in their typical housing, and offering freshly seafood – from the sea directly to the table. Interested in their ancestral seafood gathering? Join them during an afternoon on their simple wooden boats.

 

 

Mapuche family at their local housing on the pacific coast
Mapuche Huilliche Indigenous community at Mapu Lahual Reserve

 

  • Enjoying a private Yoga session in Atacama, the World’s driest desert, with a professional instructor. After a mystical highlands tour that includes hiking around geysers, we will get back to our very special accommodation. Here we can enjoy a deep connection with the nature and our spirit. This unique Yoga session is one of the many highlights of our Bike and Hike Women Tour in the Atacama Desert.

 

Yoga on our women tour
Yoga session in Atacama Desert, the driest in the World.

 

  • Have you ever dreamed about Backcountry Skiing on an active volcano? When traveling with Amity Tours, you get the opportunity to spot lava after a challenging climb and then enjoy the unforgettable off-piste downhill skiing. A real once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

Backcountry skiing on the Choshuenco Volcano
Summer Skiing at Choshuenco Volcano, Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve

 

  • Having a private Polo field, an exclusive lake front Lodge and stables full of polo horses to choose from. Santa Amalia Ranch is one of the most exclusive polo getaways in Southern Chile. It is situated next to the pristine Lake Colico, and immersed in the Araucarias Biosphere Reserve.

 

 

Lake boat pier
Santa Amalia Ranch – Colico Lake

 

Ready for an exclusive luxury experience?

 

  • Learning how to make an ancestral recipe from a famous Mapuche chef, while collecting the ingredients as we hike in the forest.
  • Embarking with local fisherman to birdwatching among the sunken forest in Chiloe Island. Feel the untouched nature and listen to the singing of the native birds. Our Conservation Tour is full of magical moments.
  • A great dose of adrenaline during the whitewater rafting on the Trancura, Fuy, and Petrohue rivers. No better way to experience the force of the water and the importance of good teamwork. We are sure that these are one of the luxury moments during our Family Adventures.

 

 

Rafting Rio Petrohue
Petrohue River, Puerto Varas

 

 

  • Horseback ride with panoramic views of the Paine Massif in Patagonia. A truly luxury moment for every nature lover during our Multisport Tour in Patagonia.

 

Horseback riding Tyndall Torres del Paine
Horseback Riding in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia Chile

 

In all of our luxury nature tours in Chile you will experience several “wow” moments.

Our bespoke team of travel designers are experts in curating the best tailor-made luxury travel experience for you. We know how to surprise you with details that make the difference.

What about a cold local brewed beer under an ancient Araucaria tree after an Andes climb?

Or what about a five-star picnic after an unforgettable mountain bike descent on an active volcano?

Or a Chilean folk-dance lesson in bicycle jerseys just because we passed by a traditional trade fair with live music?

 

Gourmet Picnic
Amity’s famous Picnic Table

 

 

Protection of the Environment – Sustainable Tourism

 

We are not only trying to minimize our negative impacts. We even maximize benefits to the environment and local community through different practices such as:

  • Being part of the expert team while creating the first UNESCO Geopark in Chile, Kütralkura (Rock of Fire, in native language).
  • Implementing sustainable tourism practices for the local indigenous communities in Chile.

All this is part of our Responsible Travel Policy, which is defined as following:

We believe and work in the universal standards put forth by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (Based on the UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism), and we adopted the criteria specifically in these four areas:

  • Demonstrating effective sustainable management
  • Maximizing social and economic benefits to the local community and minimizing negative impacts
  • Maximizing benefits to cultural heritage and minimizing negative impacts
  • Maximizing benefits to the environment and minimizing negative impacts

As an organization, we formally adopted the Values Statement declared by the Adventure Travel Trade Association – ATTA – of which we are a member.

This is an organization that nurtures and professionalizes the responsible and sustainable development of the adventure travel industry.

 

 Are you ready to experience real luxury nature tours in Chile with us?

 

Hotpot La Baita Ecolodge
Hot Tub at La Baita Ecolodge, Conguillio National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los 4 mejores alojamientos del destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile

Malalcahuello national reserve

En Amity Tours estamos conscientes de la relevancia que tiene el servicio de alojamiento en la evaluación de la experiencia por parte de nuestros clientes. Por lo que, durante nuestros 17 años de vida como tour operador, hemos profundizado nuestras relaciones comerciales con los mejores alojamientos en Chile y en el destino Lagos y Volcanes.

 

parque futangue
Parque Futangue

 

¿ Cómo seleccionamos los alojamientos en nuestras experiencias de viaje ?

 

La selección de hoteles y lodges no es un proceso fácil en Amity Tours. En jerga chilena, seguramente entramos en el grupo de “tour operadores mañosos” ya que no nos conformamos con sólo entrar y observar que sus habitaciones, baños y lobby estén limpios y con una estética adecuada. O bien quedarnos una noche y verificar que el desayuno y la atención de su personal son buenos. Ni menos que nos dan una buena “tarifa” y comercialmente es conveniente. Para Amity Tours, todos los detalles que puedan incidir en la experiencia de nuestros clientes importan, desde lo más trivial hasta lo más complejo, desde lo más tangible a lo más intangible asociado. Por ejemplo, a las emociones que cada cliente pueda sentir durante su estadía.

 

destino lagos y volcanes
Lago Colico, Rancho Santa Amalia

 

Dentro de los intangibles, uno de los temas más importante y que ha tomado mucha relevancia para nosotros en la última década, es la relación del alojamiento con el ecosistema, natural y social, donde se emplaza (para más detalle pueden ver nuestra política de “Zero Waste” y nuestro “Climate Emergency Plan”). Desde su relación con la comunidad local, el aporte a las economías locales a través del uso de productos generados por las mismas comunidades, y sin duda por su nivel de compromiso frente a los temas que afectan el medio natural y su manera de gestionarlos, hoy resultan fundamentales, ya que forman parte de la experiencia que viven nuestros pasajeros y son transmitidos, desde las emociones vividas, a nosotros cada vez que obtenemos el feedback de ellos al final de cada tour.

 

Parque Futangue

 

Los mejores alojamientos del Destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile

 

Según los testimonios de nuestros clientes, el Top 4 de alojamientos del destino Lagos y Volcanes que han superado sus expectativas, tanto por su nivel de servicio, emplazamiento y las emociones que les ha generado hospedarse allí son:

  1. Santa Amalia Polo Ranch
  2. Corralco Hotel & Spa
  3. Futangue Hotel & Spa
  4. Hotel AWA & Spa

 

Santa Amalia Polo Ranch – Lago Colico, La Araucanía

Rancho Santa Amalia
Rancho Santa Amalia

Santa Amalia Polo Ranch es uno de los lugares más exclusivos del sur de Chile. Está situado en el prístino lago Colico, donde aún no se permite el uso de embarcaciones con motores diesel y está inmerso en la Reserva de la Biosfera Araucarias.

Amity Tours viene trabajando con Santa Amalia hace años, desde que se acercaron a nosotros para transformar esta hermosa vivienda familiar en un lodge – “ranch” para la actividad del polo y el descanso al más alto nivel. La confianza mutua ha generado un contrato de exclusividad para grupos de pasajeros de Amity Tours.

Habitación en Rancho Santa Amalia

 

Cada detalle del lugar y el servicio entregado, es gestionado por la familia propietaria con Felipe y Catalina a la cabeza, y que a su vez cumplen la función de anfitriones, lo que genera un sentimiento especial entre nuestros pasajeros.

 

Rancho Santa Amalia
El rancho Santa Amalia es el mejor lugar de Chile para aprender y practicar Polo

 

Santa Amalia Polo Ranch se incluye en nuestros principales productos de Hiking, Multisport y Family Tours, y sin duda será la estrella para todos los programas que hemos desarrollado para clientes privados para el evento estelar de este año 2020, el Eclipse Solar Total en el mes de diciembre.

 

Corralco Hotel & Spa – Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello, La Araucanía

hotel spa corralco
Terraza en Corralco Hotel y SPA

Rodeado de antiguos bosques de araucarias, el hotel cuenta con 54 habitaciones exclusivas y espacios confortables que invitan a admirar el paisaje. En Corralco Hotel & Spa puedes contemplar la naturaleza desde casi cualquiera de sus instalaciones, incluso desde su Spa con piscina climatizada, desde su bar y su restaurante, el cual mezcla la cocina moderna con las recetas de la gastronomía local.

 

Corralco Hotel SPA
SPA en hotel Corralco

 

En los años cuando Amity Tours desarrolló sus primeros tours de Ski, que hasta hoy disfrutamos de poder operarlos, Corralco (sin Spa por supuesto) era un simple y encantador refugio de montaña en las faldas de un volcán con capacidad para 20 personas, y una cafetería de simple diseño que invitaba a sus pasajeros a juntarse a contar sus días de aventuras en ski… de eso ya han pasado ¡17 años!

Hoy Amity Tours es el principal operador de Corralco Hotel & Spa. Parada casi obligada para todos nuestros tours de ambas temporadas, invierno y primavera – verano, es un spot fundamental para nuestros tours de ski y mountain bike.

 

Piscina exterior en hotel Corralco

 

Futangue Hotel & Spa – Reserva Natural Privada, Lago Ranco, Los Ríos

Hotel & Spa Futangue

 

“El descanso perfecto en un paraíso escondido de la Patagonia Norte”, esto se puede leer en la descripción expuesta en sus catálogos, y nosotros lo hemos comprobado cada temporada desde que abrió hace algunos años.

 

Spa en Hotel Futangue

 

Nuestra historia con este hotel está llena de anécdotas. Cuando nos enteramos que toda la cuenca del Lago Ranco había sido asfaltada, comenzamos a buscar alojamientos que cumplieran con las cualidades que buscamos en un hotel, y no nos fue fácil. Después de pedalear con nuestros clientes desde Futrono a Lago Ranco, teníamos que subir a la van y continuar el viaje a Osorno o Puerta Varas, era matador.

Pero un día nos enteramos que se había abierto un parque privado cuya naturaleza era alucinante. Y así llegamos a Futangue y conocimos a Matías, su dueño y gerente quien nos llevó a conocer la reserva sin preguntarnos nada. Ahí nos enteramos que estaba construyendo un hotel y al ir a ver la faena nos dimos cuenta que sería perfecto para nuestros planes.

Hoy, al igual que en otros alojamientos, Amity Tours es el principal tour operador de Futangue Hotel & Spa, llevando cientos de pasajeros al año, en su mayoría extranjeros que vienen a disfrutar de nuestros productos de Bike Tours (de ruta y mountain bike) y Family Tours, encontrando en su reserva natural un parque de diversiones para los amantes de la naturaleza y conservación de los ecosistemas del sur de Chile.

 

Living room en Hotel Futangue

En su arquitectura destacan las maderas nativas que lo hacen fundirse con el entorno natural, asimilando los clásicos galpones y caballerizas del sur de Chile. La decoración usa telas étnicas, coloridos textiles inspirados en artistas nacionales y objetos provenientes de la cultura Mapuche. Las tradiciones locales y el legado natural de la zona se ven reflejados en cada esquina y detalle.

 

parque futangue

Hoy cuenta con 16 habitaciones, y desde la próxima temporada se le sumarán 10 cómodas habitaciones en su nueva Casa Exploradores, a pocos pasos del hotel.

 

Hotel Awa – Lago Llanquihue, Puerto Varas, Los Lagos

hotel awa
Hotel & Spa AWA

AWA se encuentra en las cercanías de Puerto Varas, literalmente encima de la primera ruta escénica de Chile y primer destino “bike friendly”. De gestión familiar e independiente, el carisma de sus propietarios, de profesión arquitectos, se plasma en cada rincón de este soñado alojamiento.

Una casualidad nos llevó a conocer este hotel. Como recorremos frecuentemente en bicicleta la cuenca del Llanquihue, ya llevábamos un tiempo viendo la construcción de algo espectacular junto al lago, pero no teníamos claro qué era. Hasta que un día la curiosidad pudo más y pasamos a ver e intrusear. Fue ahí que nos enteramos que este edificio moderno y estiloso era un hotel y que su apertura era el día siguiente. Con esa suerte, nos mostraron todo y nos dejaron invitados a la inauguración.

 

Hotel AWA - Puerto Varas
Una de las áreas de descanso del hotel, frente al Lago Llanquihue

 

Rodeado de parques nacionales y volcanes a orillas del gran lago Llanquihue y a menos de una hora del aeropuerto de Puerto Montt, su emplazamiento es estratégico y se transforma en un importante polo de operaciones para Amity Tour cada vez que tenemos un bike tour dando vueltas por el destino Lagos y Volcanes.

Una de las cosas que destacan más de su arquitectura, son que todas las habitaciones tienen una vista privilegiada del lago Llanquihue y el volcán Osorno, y todas tienen estas ventanas que van desde el suelo hasta el techo, literalmente metros y metros de ventanas!

 

Habitación en hotel AWA con vista al volcán Osorno

 

Cuentan con fuertes políticas ambientales y trabajan activamente con la comunidad. Un ejemplo de esto es su trabajo con colegios locales que poseen formación técnica, quienes acceden todos los años para hacer sus prácticas profesionales en AWA, facilitándoles así su futuro desarrollo como profesionales de la industria turística nacional e internacional.

En paralelo, desde el año 2017 trabajan en los protocolos para transformarse en una Empresa B, una de las pocas a nivel nacional en el ámbito de la hotelero.

¿Te gustaron estos hoteles? Los podrás conocer y disfrutar en muchos de los tours de Amity. Esperamos verte pronto!

New women tours by Amity Tours

women tour chile

In Amity Tours, we can’t stand still. We’ve just designed a complete new section with tours only for women. The first published hiking trip brings us through the beautiful Lake and Volcano District.

 

We will visit interesting local women, learn about their culture, history and daily life. Like in any travel experience designed by Amity Tours, there is a lot of adventure and adrenaline packed in this program.

Learn more about our promises for a unforgettable holiday experience. As well as our protocols for a safe trip during this difficult global situation with COVID-19.

8 reasons why choosing Amity Tours for your next adventure

 

Personalized and high-quality tourism. We make sure before, during and after your trip, that the travel experience with us is unique and authentic. You are our number one priority! From the moment you get in touch with us, until you safely make your way back home.

 

women only chile
Technical briefing with Rubén, one of Amity’s top guides.

 

Safety. Nowadays, safety is crucial, and especially regarding the health area. As a local tour operator, we’ve adopted all the protocols issued by the local authority for the industry of tourism. In addition, we also closely follow the guidelines for health and safe practices generated by the Adventure Travel Trade Association for the active tourism businesses to safely operate.

 

safety amity tours
Support vehicle during our cycling experiences

 

Professional and expert team. Our team of collaborators on the field is one of our biggest assets as a company. In addition to have a huge knowledge of the local fauna and flora, our guides have decades of experience in the wilderness such as mountains and rivers. They are also trained for first-aid assistance, with the Wilderness First Responder course.

 

amity guides
Anual practice of first-aid assistance for Amity’s guides before high season in Southern Chile

 

Small groups. In Amity, we’ve never operated our travel experiences with big groups. We’ve always focused on small groups of travelers, in which the interaction between the guide and the guest is richer. Thus, it generates a unique experience, ideally for families or groups of friends that require spaces for encounters.

 

small groups amity
Villarrica National Park – Quetrupillán and Lanín volcanoes at sight.

 

High standard of accommodation. We have developed our travel experiences with accommodations that meet excellent quality and health standards, and are strategically located in each and every visited area. We understand that travelling is not only about the excursions, but also the comfort of the hotel after an active day spent in nature.

 

Corralco Hotel SPA
Cocktail time at Corralco hotel after an active day spent in nature.

 

Connection with nature. The Amity team is 100% composed of nature lovers. We’ll make sure you see, feel and discover the best of it during your visit.

 

nature chile
Thousand-year-old araucaria tree in Villarrica National Park

 

Local culture. ATAmity, you’ll see and experience the true Chilean culture. Also, you’ll have the incredible opportunity to share and learn more about the indigenous communities that inhabit our country, in an authentic way.

 

culture chile amity
Cultural encounter with the Mapuche indigenous community – Colipi Family

 

Fuel the local economy. All the products that you will consume during your trip are made by local entrepreneurs. Thus, when travelling, you help with contributing to the local economy.

 

picnic table amity
On-field picnic table made with local products

Discover Southern Chile with a group of female travelers

 

 

During the last few months, we’ve been designing new travel products especially for all the adventurous women on the Globe. Our first women tour will be in Southern Chile, during which you’ll have the opportunity to explore the best hidden corners from the Conguillio National Park, to all the way down to Puerto Varas.

This brand new trip designed by women for women is the perfect match combining active adventure and relaxing atmosphere. There is nothing better than stretching your muscles in a hot tub after a day of hiking in the beautiful Conguillio National Park. During this trip, we make sure that you get exactly these great combinations.

 

geometricas women tour
The Geometricas hot springs, the best thermal waters in Chile.

 

Women Tour Highlights

 

conguillio women amity
Rainbow Lagoon at Conguillio National Park.

 

At the beginning we will spend two nights in the first Ecolodge of Chile: La Baita Conguillio. Isabel, the owner of the lodge, will be waiting for us with a typical Pisco Sour, a tasty drink made out of the famous Chilean licor Pisco. We will have the opportunity to learn more about the history of this place and her experiences as a female leader. Furthermore, we will show you one of the beautiful spots near the lodge, before enjoying a well-deserved sleep in the cosy rooms.

The Conguillio National Park is known worldwide for its abundant natural beauty full of ancient Araucaria trees, crystal-clear lakes and perfectly cone-shaped and active volcanoes. During a full day of hiking, we will enjoy this incredible landscape before finishing the day with a relaxing hot tub under the open sky.

 

tinaja la baita

 

The next destination of this trip takes us to Pucón, Chile’s capital of adventure tourism. This nice little quaint town with its small shops, restaurants and cafés is the perfect location for a break and some urban feelings.

 

pucon women tour
Pucón and Villarrica Volcano

Every effort has its reward

 

We will then have to prepare for a very special excursion: climbing the Villarrica volcano. A true once-in-a-lifetime experience as you reach the top of the active volcano in Chile with its open crater. If we are lucky, we will even spot some lava, and we will enjoy for sure the panoramic view over the different volcanoes, lakes, mountains, hills and valleys around. The most fun part of the day ? Sliding on our rear ends the snow down to the base of the volcano.

 

Villarrica Volcano Climb

Tourism as women empowerment

 

While in Pucón, we will meet other friendly and local entrepreneur women. They will show us the native forest of the area, from a culinary and indigenous perspective. After a nice walk through the forest, we will have enough plants and fruits recollected to accompany a great lunch under huge trees. Afterwards, we will jump on an inflatable boat to raft the Trancura River. Finally, at night, we will have a special cultural encounter with a local Mapuche family. They will be waiting for us, to share some of their ancestral traditions while having a typical dinner in their “Ruka” (house).

 

Lady Rosario in front of the traditional Mapuche house.

 

For our last day around the Villarrica volcano, we won’t miss the opportunity to visit a magical place. Taking advantage of the unique volcanic activity of the region, we will combine this active day with a deep bath in natural thermal hot springs. This place offers the perfect combination between thermal facilities and natural surroundings. Located in the environs of the Villarrica National Park, the Geometricas hot springs offer 16 strategically-located thermal pools, allowing the visitors to never feel overcrowded. The natural surroundings are exuberant and the facilities are simple but very cozy.

 

geometricas hot springs
The Geometricas natural hot springs.

Relaxing hours and yoga

 

Our trip continues with us going South, towards the quaint city of Puerto Varas, located at the shores of Llanquihue Lake. We’ll have the chance to meet a professional yoga instructor. She will teach us some yoga lessons and give an insight of living in Chile as a foreign woman. Finally, our last full day will invite us to explore the beautiful area around the Osorno Volcano. We’ll hear an interesting story about the volcano and the legend of princess Licarayén. She is without any doubt one of the most famous women in the Mapuche folk tales.

 

Hiking in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, Puerto Varas.

 

Before leaving the amazing Lake and Volcano District, we will enjoy a nice morning yoga session. Afterwards we will get some time to explore the cosy town of Puerto Varas.

 

We are sure, this tour will fill you with adrenaline, positive energy and women empowerment!

Our commitment for a safe trip with our COVID-19 protocols

 

amity protocols covid

 

Last, but not least, we would like to let you know about our commitment for a safe operation during all tours. Without any doubt, the world is facing a difficult time with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is affecting our daily life and traveling plans. At Amity Tours quality and safety are what define us. That is why we are making sure that not only us, but also all our local partners and suppliers walk in hand with us to apply new safety standards. That is how we will be able to best adapt to the post-coronavirus industry.

We have been working hard in order to be ready for the re-opening of borders and operations post Covid. We feel blessed and privileged to be living in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District, a remote but safe area, with good health centers very close by. 

Amity Tours closely follows and applies the recommendations stated by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

We are aware that planning ahead your next trip to Chile might be difficult in these extraordinary times. Rest assured, as we have updated our booking policies. This will allow you to purchase safely your next vacations. We have removed all none-refundable booking fees. All our rates have been locked-in until 2022. If you make a deposit and cannot travel, you can always use that money as a credit with us and use it within the next 24 months.

We are very confident that we will someday soon be sharing all together again.

In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and stay tuned for the best travel adventures in southern Chile

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viajar en Familia en el Sur de Chile

aventuras familia chile

De vuelta a nuestras raíces

 

equipo amity tours chile
Equipo Amity Tours, rumbo a la Cumbre Mundial de Turismo Aventura organizada por ATTA

 

Hace 17 años, cuando creamos Amity Tours, teníamos como uno de nuestros principales objetivos que todos los chilenos pudieran venir a conocer el destino Lagos & Volcanes y disfrutar de actividades al aire libre de manera segura y entretenida. Esta convicción que tenía Alejandro y Cristián Levy les permitiría poder vivir de lo que más les apasionaba, y que hasta el día de hoy es fuente de su energía emprendedora, el contacto estrecho con la naturaleza y la gente local.

Pues bien, más por azar que por mera convicción, la ruta de este emprendimiento familiar nos llevó por otro camino, el de la tour operación orientada al mercado extranjero, principalmente norteamericano, británico y brasilero.

Si tuviéramos que generar un paralelo con otro rubro, diríamos que Amity Tours es como un atleta de alto rendimiento que, desde joven, por condiciones locales, debe emigrar al extranjero a entrenar y prepararse para ser profesional, trabajando de manera silenciosa todos los días, mañanas, tardes y noches, para progresar, obteniendo logros importantes en el ámbito internacional, pero con poco reconocimiento por parte de sus connacionales.

 

 

amity tours chile
Alejandro y Cristian Levy, Feria VYVA (Santiago de Chile, 2014)

 

Amity Tours, este atleta con deseos de ser mejor cada día, ha sido entrenado por décadas por los mejores tour operadores de turismo activo del mundo, generando en la empresa un capital humano que hoy representa su mayor activo, que lo posiciona como el principal tour operador del destino Lagos y Volcanes, pero seguramente, aún desconocido para el mercado nacional.

Con más de 17 años de experiencia en turismo activo y de atender a clientes principalmente extranjeros, Amity Tours está renovando su oferta de programas. En efecto, frente a la situación global producida por el COVID-19, estamos adaptando nuestra gama de productos turísticos para nuestros viajeros nacionales, permitiéndonos volver a nuestras raíces y enfocarnos en el principal objetivo cuando empezamos esta aventura de emprendimiento.

Este atleta de alto rendimiento vuelve ya maduro a su país con ganas de entregar su conocimiento a los chilenos, especialmente a las familias que requieren hoy de estos espacios de naturaleza para renovar energías y respirar lo que sólo los bosques, ríos, lagos, volcanes y gente del sur de Chile pueden generar.

Pero, ¿por qué viajar con Amity Tours, y no con otra empresa?

 

Bueno, acá te entregamos 10 buenas razones para elegirnos:

 

Turismo de calidad y personalizado. Nos aseguramos antes, durante y después del viaje, que la experiencia con nosotros sea única desde el momento que nos contactas hasta que vuelvas a tu casa. Tú eres el centro de nuestra preocupación y estamos a tu disposición 24/7.

experiencia amity tours
Charla de seguridad con Rubén, guía estrella de Amity Tours

Seguridad. Entendemos que hoy la seguridad, principalmente en el ámbito de sanidad, es fundamental. Como empresa hemos adoptado todos los protocolos que la autoridad nacional ha dispuesto para nuestra industria, y que ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association) ha generado para la operación segura de empresas de turismo activo.

seguridad amity tours
Vehículo de seguridad durante nuestras excursiones de cicloturismo

Equipo profesional especializado. El gran activo como empresa, nuestro equipo de colaboradores, además de tener gran conocimiento en fauna y flora local, tienen décadas de experiencia en montaña, ríos y ciclismo, y cuentan con los registros legales requeridos por la autoridad nacional y toda la capacidad necesaria en primeros auxilios. Cabe destacar que todos tienen la certificación Wilderness First Responder (WFR).

guías amity tours
Práctica anual de primeros auxilios para nuestros guías antes de la temporada

Grupos pequeños. En Amity Tours nunca hemos operado con grupos grandes, siempre nos hemos concentrado en grupos pequeños donde la interacción entre guías y clientes es más rica y permite generar una experiencia única, ideal para familias o grupos de amigos que hoy requieren estos espacios de encuentro.

grupos pequenos amity
Parque Nacional Villarrica – Volcanes Quetrupillán y Lanín

Alto estándar de alojamiento. Gracias a nuestra trayectoria atendiendo a extranjeros, hemos desarrollado nuestras experiencias de viaje con alojamientos que cumplen con excelentes estándares de calidad, y sanidad, ubicados estratégicamente en cada área visitada. Entendemos que la experiencia de viaje no se limita solamente a las excursiones, sino también a la comodidad del alojamiento después de un día activo en la naturaleza.

alojamiento amity
Cocktail post-excursión en Hotel Corralco, con vista al Volcán Lonquimay – Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello

Conexión con la naturaleza. Nuestro equipo tanto en oficina como en terreno está compuesto al 100% por amantes de la naturaleza y trataremos que veas, sientas, y descubras lo mejor de ello.

naturaleza chile
Araucaria milenaria en Parque Nacional Villarrica

Cultura local. En Amity Tours, te mostraremos lo mejor de la cultura chilena. Además, tendrás la oportunidad increíble de poder compartir y aprender más sobre las comunidades indígenas que habitan nuestro país, de manera auténtica, sin maquillajes.

cultura local amity
Encuentro cultural con la comunidad indígena Mapuche

Fomentar la economía local. Todos los productos que consumirán durante su viaje están hechos por emprendedores locales, así viajando contribuyes en el desarrollo de la economía local.

productos locales amity
Mesa de picnic con productos locales: sirope natural, cerveza local y hortalizas de la zona

Tour operador registrado en SERNATUR. El hecho de ser una empresa formal y registrada en SERNATUR es un punto muy importante para nosotros y es nuestra manera de re asegurarte que tendrás una excelente calidad de servicio. Las empresas no registradas en SERNATUR son ilegales.

equipo amity
Equipo local Amity

Tour operador local. Al ser un tour operador local, te aseguras que NO estas pagando de más por intermediación, sino directamente a nosotros quienes operamos todos nuestros servicios.

 

Nueva oferta de productos turísticos Amity Tours

 

Después de unos meses de arduo trabajo, discusión dentro del equipo, y validación de estos diseños entre clientes nacionales, hemos diseñado varias experiencias, aquí te presentamos algunas:

8 Días – Aventuras en Familia – Destino Lagos y Volcanes

7 Días – Aventuras en Familia – Destino Lagos y Volcanes

4 Días – Aventuras en Mountain Bike – Destino Lagos y Volcanes

El destino Lagos & Volcanes te espera, con menos turistas que otros años, pero con los mismos atractivos que llenan el alma de felicidad.

 

parque villarrica
Parque Nacional Villarrica

 

Si te entusiasma viajar con nosotros, escríbenos a [email protected]

¡Te esperamos!

 

Amity Tours

Adventure.People.Nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Nuestra propuesta de Experiencia Eclipse Solar en la Araucanía Lacustre es súper exclusiva. Ideal para familias aventureras, con un máximo de 24 huéspedes para hacer la observación del fenómeno astronómico. Tienen una duración de 5 días de estadía entre el 11 y 15 de Diciembre 2020.

¡Entérate de nuestro tour AQUÍ!

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 y la Araucanía Lacustre. 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!

 

 

 

 

 

Active volcanoes of Chile’s Lake District

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

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 w