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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discover the top regions in Chile

Lake and Volcano District (Southern Chile)

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

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

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

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

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

The Atacama Desert (Northern Chile)

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

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

cejar lagoon atacama desert
Cejar Lagoon, Atacama Desert

Professional service and safety measures

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

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

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

Mountain Bike & Road Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chilean Culture and Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out our top 8-Day Road Cycling Tour in Chile’s Lake & Volcano District, group departure dates available until April 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing the Villarrica, Chile’s most active volcano

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

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

Description and last eruption

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

mapuche people of the land
The Mapuches are the people of the land.

Ascent to Villarrica Volcano’s open crater

 

Open crater with a view

 

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

As this activity requires optimal conditions, the hike mostly depends on the weather. A clear sky and a minimum wind are the required conditions for the hike to be safe. During this excursion, 3 professional mountain guides and assistant will accompany the ascent, along with a mountain gear. This includes: gloves, helmets, snow pants, mountain boots, crampons, ice axe, and mountain bag.

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

Excursion

 

villarrica volcano
Villarrica volcano ascent

 

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

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

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

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

 

open crater
Open crater with fumerole

 

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

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want a tailor-made trip in the Lake and Volcano including the climbing of Chile’s most active volcano!

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

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8 places to visit in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile

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

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

Geysers del Tatio

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

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

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

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

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

With its spectacular scenery, the Tatio geysers are clearly Chile’s one of the most impressive attractions. Check out our 7-Day Hiking Tour in the Atacama Desert.

Tatio geysers atacama

Laguna Chaxa (Chaxa Lagoon)

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

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

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

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

Lagunas Altiplánicas (Highlands Lagoons)

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

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

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

lagoon desert hill person
Highlands Lagoon, Atacama Desert

Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)

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

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

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

Moon Valley

Valle de la Muerte (Death Valley)

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

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

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

Mars Valley atacama

Laguna Cejar & Tebinquinche

Cejar Lagoon

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

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

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

Star-gazing Experience

stars laser sky night
Astronomic Tour, Atacama Desert

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

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

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

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

Valle del Arcoiris (Rainbow Valley)

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

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

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


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The best hikes in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

Hiking Villarrica National Park
Pichillancahue Glacier Trail – Villarrica National Park

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

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

Kutralkura Geopark – Christmas Crater Hike

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

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

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

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

Kutralküra Geopark & Lonquimay Volcano – Lake and Volcano District

Coloradito trail hike – Malalcahuello National Reserve

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

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

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

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

Cerro Coloradito Trail – Malalcahuello National Reserve

Sierra Nevada hike – National Park Conguillio

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

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

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

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

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

Sierra Nevada Trail – Conguillio National Park

Andean Lagoons hike – Villarrica National Park

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

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

Andean Lagoons Trail – Villarrica National Park

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

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

Huerquehue National Park

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

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

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

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

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

Huerquehue national park
Los Lagos Trail, Huerquehue NP

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

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

El Cañi Reserve

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

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

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

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

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

El Cañi Sanctuary

Villarrica Volcano Ascent

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

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

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

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

Villarrica Volcano Climb

Pichillancahue Glacier hike – Villarrica National Park

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

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

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

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

Pichillancahue Glacier – Villarrica National Park

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

The National Parks of Chile Lake and Volcano District

lanin volcano chile

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

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

Nahuelbuta National Park

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

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

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

Nahuebuta national park
Lookout point in Nahuelbuta national park

Conguillío National Park

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

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

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

conguillio national park

Villarrica National Reserve

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

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

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

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

Huerquehue National Park

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

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

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

Huerquehue national park
Los Lagos Trail, Huerquehue NP

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

What to do around Pucón

Villarrica Volcano
Villarrica Volcano

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

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

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

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

The Villarrica Volcano ascent

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

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

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

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

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

villarrica volcano ascent
Villarrica Volcano Climb

Geométricas Hot Springs

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

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

In Amity, we love to have a good physical activity and then dive in the hot springs!

geometricas hot springs
Waterfall at Geometricas hot springs

Rafting

Lower Section

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

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

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

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

Upper Section

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

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

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

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

rafting trancura pucon

Huerquehue National Park

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

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

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

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

 

Huerquehue national park
Los Lagos Trail, Huerquehue NP

Villarrica National Reserve

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

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

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

villarrica national park

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

The different climates of Chile and the best time to hike

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Northern Chile

cejar atacama desert
Cejar Lagoon, Atacama Desert

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

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

Central Chile

colchagua valley chile
Colchagua Valley – Central Chile

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

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

Southern Chile

lanin volcano chile
Lanín Volcano – Lake and Volcano District

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

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

Austral Chile

mtb patagonia
Mountain biking in Patagonia

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

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

Check out our MTB Tour in Patagonia!

The Eastern Island

eastern island chile
Moai statues – Rapa Nui Island

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

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

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

Hiking in Chile

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

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

Hiking season

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

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

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

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

Atacama Desert

atacama desert
Cacti Valley, San Pedro de Atacama

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

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

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

Click here if you’re interested in the best hiking program in the Atacama Desert. If you are an adrenaline-seeker, you will definitely want to know more about our 7-Day Bike and Hike Tour.

The Lake and Volcano District, Cochamo Valley and Chiloe Island

Conguillio National Park

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

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

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

Check out our hiking experience in Southern Chile!

Torres del Paine in Patagonia

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

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

torres del paine patagonia
Copyright @Cascada.Travel

 

 

 

 

Travel experiences in Chile with Amity Tours

amity tours chile

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

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

ADVENTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

PEOPLE

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

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

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

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

NATURE

lanin volcano chile
Majestic Lanín Volcano (3,747 m.a.s.l), the tallest in the Lake and Volcano District.

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

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

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

Concept in our experiences

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

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

villarrica national park
Thousand-years-old endemic trees in the Villarrica National Reserve

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

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Why you should travel to Chile in 2019

Chile brand

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

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

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

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

Santiago de Chile

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

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

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

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

Central Valley of Chile

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

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

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

casablanca valley chile
Casablanca Valley

Valparaíso

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

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

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

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

The Lake and Volcano District

villarrica volcano pucon
Villarrica Volcano – Pucón

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

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

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

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

The Atacama Desert

tebinquinche atacama
Tebinquinche Lagoon – The Atacama Desert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Testing Epic Pacific Coast Trek in Chile

pacific coast chile

For the last 9 months, Amity Tours has been working with local communities in Mapu Lahual Reserve, developing a new trekking tour.

 

Pacific Coast Chile

 

We’ve been focusing on creating a different trekking option to Torres del Paine, that is completely overcrowded during our Summer.

The Epic Pacific Coast trek passes through Larch ancient forests as well Temperate Rainforests, fishing coves and pristine beaches. It is a hut to hut trekking staying with local Mapuche families. Thus, we will learn about ancient traditions and cosmovision. As we are guided by local guides, it is a really good example of community based tourism.

 

Pacific Coast Chile

Highlights

This amazing trekking experience includes trekking hut to hut by the Pacific Coast, an area very difficult to access. Scuba diving with the local fishermen. 2 nights stay with local fishermen families, eating seafood & fish for lunch and dinner. Chilean dolphins, sea-lions, and sea-otters watching (permanent residents). River crossings by foot and boat. Trekking among ancient Larch tree forest (Fitzroya cupressoides). uncrowded off-the-beaten-path trails. Host community belongs to the Williche indigenous ethnic group.

The final test will be from February 5th 2018 till February 10th 2018th, including national and international tour operators.

Our team, lead by the product manager Stef Carmody, is developing the final itinerary and we will have it live on our website soon.

pacific coast chile

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

New Family Adventures in Chile

Adventure Family Trip in Patagonia Amity Tours

Family Adventures in Patagonia with Amity Tours

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

 

family adventures patagonia

 

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

 

family adventures patagonia

 

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

 

tyndall horseback ride patagonia

 

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

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

 

family adventures patagonia

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking the Atacama Desert in Chile

Machuca Rio Grande hike in the Atacama Desert

Hiking the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

Machuca Village to Río Grande Hike Trail

 

hike atacama desert

 

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

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

 

settlement atacama desert
Ancient Settlement

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

New travel experiences in the Atacama Desert

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

likan antai atacama desert
Encounter with Likan Antai Indigenous community

 

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

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

 

copa coya atacama desert

 

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

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

 

cultural atacama desert likan antai
Encounter with the Likan Antai community

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

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

Laguna cejar Atacama Desert

 

 

 

Bike Tours Chile December 2016

bike tour chile
Mountain biking in the Villarrica National Reserve

Bike Tours Chile December 2016

December is a great month to travel in Chile’s Lake & Volcano District. It is possible to experience the flowering season and the days are longer and warmer. These attributions are great when on a road bike and mountain bike tour. We can still have a little of snow in the Andes Mountain Range, which makes the landscape look awesome. Forests will be covered by green, and river water will be clear and fresh. Pack your suitcase, gather your friends and family, and come enjoy one of the best experiences in nature.

 

road bike chile
Road Cycling towards the border with Argentina

 

Amity Tours has designed well supported, guided Bike Tours especially made for intermediate and advanced cyclists.  Upon your arrival, our friendly staff will meet you and the journey will begin. We would be happy to help with bike rental, tools and helmets. All our bikes are equipped with Wellgo pedals and toeclips. You can also substitute any pedals you choose to bring.  Amity Tours also has a small number of Shimano pedals, available on a first come, first served basis.

 

mtb lake volcano chile

 

Mountain biking and road cycling with Amity tours will take you to great national parks such as the Conguillio, Villarrica and Vicente Perez Rosales. In addition, we will spend some nights at the magnificent Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve. In these settings, you will be biking and hiking through ancient Araucaria and Nothofagus forests, experiencing great views of amazing active and non active volcanoes.

 

villarrica volcano climb
Summit of the Villarrica Volcano (2.847 meters)

 

For instance, you will be able to climb the Villarrica Volcano (one of the most active volcanoes on Earth) as well as the Bateamavida Mount. From their summits you will experience great panoramic views, and feel like you are on the top of the world. Don’t miss the chance to connect with nature, escape from the routine and make new friends. These mountain bike trips are not to be missed!

Book now and enjoy the best bike tours South America can offer. For further information and requirements, visit our website.