Los 4 mejores alojamientos del destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile

Malalcahuello national reserve

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

 

parque futangue
Parque Futangue

 

¿ Cómo seleccionamos los alojamientos en nuestras experiencias de viaje ?

 

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

 

destino lagos y volcanes
Lago Colico, Rancho Santa Amalia

 

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

 

Parque Futangue

 

Los mejores alojamientos del Destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile

 

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

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

 

Santa Amalia Polo Ranch – Lago Colico, La Araucanía

Rancho Santa Amalia
Rancho Santa Amalia

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

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

Habitación en Rancho Santa Amalia

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Corralco Hotel & Spa – Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello, La Araucanía

hotel spa corralco
Terraza en Corralco Hotel y SPA

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

 

Corralco Hotel SPA
SPA en hotel Corralco

 

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

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

 

Piscina exterior en hotel Corralco

 

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

Hotel & Spa Futangue

 

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

 

Spa en Hotel Futangue

 

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

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

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

 

Living room en Hotel Futangue

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

 

parque futangue

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

 

Hotel Awa – Lago Llanquihue, Puerto Varas, Los Lagos

hotel awa
Hotel & Spa AWA

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Habitación en hotel AWA con vista al volcán Osorno

 

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

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

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

New women tours by Amity Tours

women tour chile

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

 

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

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

8 reasons why choosing Amity Tours for your next adventure

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

safety amity tours
Support vehicle during our cycling experiences

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Discover Southern Chile with a group of female travelers

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

Women Tour Highlights

 

conguillio women amity
Rainbow Lagoon at Conguillio National Park.

 

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

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

 

tinaja la baita

 

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

 

pucon women tour
Pucón and Villarrica Volcano

Every effort has its reward

 

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

 

Villarrica Volcano Climb

Tourism as women empowerment

 

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

 

Lady Rosario in front of the traditional Mapuche house.

 

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

 

geometricas hot springs
The Geometricas natural hot springs.

Relaxing hours and yoga

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

amity protocols covid

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viajar en Familia en el Sur de Chile

aventuras familia chile

De vuelta a nuestras raíces

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Bueno, acá te entregamos 10 buenas razones para elegirnos:

 

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

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

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

seguridad amity tours
Vehículo de seguridad durante nuestras excursiones de cicloturismo

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

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

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

grupos pequenos amity
Parque Nacional Villarrica – Volcanes Quetrupillán y Lanín

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

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

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

naturaleza chile
Araucaria milenaria en Parque Nacional Villarrica

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

cultura local amity
Encuentro cultural con la comunidad indígena Mapuche

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

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

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

equipo amity
Equipo local Amity

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

 

Nueva oferta de productos turísticos Amity Tours

 

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

8 Días – Aventuras en Familia – Destino Lagos y Volcanes

7 Días – Aventuras en Familia – Destino Lagos y Volcanes

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

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

 

parque villarrica
Parque Nacional Villarrica

 

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

¡Te esperamos!

 

Amity Tours

Adventure.People.Nature.

 

 

 

Aventuras en familia

aventuras familia sur chile

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

aventuras familia conguillio
Parque Nacional Conguillío, Región de La Araucanía

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eclipse solar total 2020 en Pucón Chile

¿Dónde tendrá lugar el fenómeno del Eclipse solar total?

 

eclipse 2020 chile

 

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

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

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

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

 

eclipse solar total chile

 

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

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

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

 

cosmovision mapuche chile
Señora Rosario de la comunidad Mapuche

 

Significado de un eclipse solar en la cosmovisión mapuche

 

pueblo mapuche pucon

 

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

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

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

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

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

Recomendaciones de seguridad durante el eclipse

 

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

Pre y post opciones de viaje alrededor de Pucón

sendero pichillancahue chile
Sendero Pichillancahue, Parque Nacional Villarrica.

 

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

 

¡Contáctenos para cualquier solicitud grupal o programa a medida!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las mejores caminatas del destino Lagos y Volcanes en Chile

Pichillancahue Trail Hike

Descubre las mejores caminatas del destino Lagos y Volcanes de Chile

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

Geoparque Kutralkura – Caminata al Cráter Navidad

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

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

 

reserva nacional malalcahuello

 

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

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

Caminata al Cerro Coloradito – Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello

 

Sendero cerro coloradito malalcahuello

 

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

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

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

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

Caminata por la Sierra Nevada – Parque Nacional Conguillio

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

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

 

volcan lanín parque conguillio

 

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

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

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

Caminata a las lagunas andinas – Parque Nacional Villarrica

 

volcan lanín sector puesco

 

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

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

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

 

sendero lagunas andinas

 

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

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

Parque Nacional Huerquehue

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

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

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

 

mirador parque huerquehue

 

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

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

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

 

lagunas parque huerquehue

 

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

Reserva El Cañi

 

santuario el cañi pucon

 

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

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

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

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

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

Ascenso al Volcán Villarrica

 

ascenso volcan villarrica

 

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

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

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

 

ascenso volcan villarrica

 

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

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

Caminata al glaciar Pichillancahue – Parque Nacional Villarrica

 

sendero glaciar pichillancahue

 

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

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

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

 

sendero glaciar pichillancahue

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The History of Amity Tours

Cristian Alejandro Amity Tours

The History of Amity Tours

By Cristian Levy, CEO & Founder

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

1954

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

 

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

 

1960

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

1968

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

 

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

1970-75

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

 

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

 

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

 

1978

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

 

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

 

1982

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

 

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

 

1986

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

 

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

 

1990

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

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

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

 

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

 

1995

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

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

1997

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

 

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

 

1998

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

1999

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

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

 

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

 

2001

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

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

 

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

 

2002

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

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

 

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

 

2003

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Ski Chile Amity Snoworks
My father Alejandro with Phil Smith

 

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

Lonquimay Volcano Chile
Alejandro and Cristian summiting Lonquimay Volcano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confirmed Bike Tour 2020 Chile

bike chile

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

 

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

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

Experience cycling the back roads located in Southern Chile

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

During eight days, you will…

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

kutralkura geopark chile

  • Climb The Andes Mountains at the Alto Biobio National Reserve

border chile argentina

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

Caburgua Lake ride

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

7-lake route chile

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

osorno volcano bike tour

Riding Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

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

corralco hotel

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

bike tour chile

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

hike malalcahuello reserve

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

caburgua bike tour

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

cycling 7-lake route chile

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

puerto varas bike tour

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

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Visit Atacama Desert with Amity Tours

Visit Atacama Desert with Amity Tours

Visit the Atacama Desert with Amity Tours

Visit Atacama Desert with Amity Tours

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

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

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

Hiking Northern Chile

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

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

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

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

Ancestral atacama Desert

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

 

 

 

Chiloe, a magical island tour in Southern Chile

Chiloe a magical island tour in Southern Chile

Chiloe, a magical island tour in Southern Chile

chiloe island

Discover Chiloe Island and follow Charles’ Darwin footprints

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

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

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

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

 

 

New Family Adventures in Chile

Adventure Family Trip in Patagonia Amity Tours

Family Adventures in Patagonia with Amity Tours

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

 

family adventures patagonia

 

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

 

family adventures patagonia

 

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

 

tyndall horseback ride patagonia

 

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

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

 

family adventures patagonia

 

 

 

 

 

Bike Tour Chile

Confirmed Departure January 2017 Bike Tour Chile Lake Volcano District

 Bike Tour Chile, Lake & Volcano District

Confirmed Departure January 2017

Bike Tour Chile

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

 

bike malalcahuello chile

 

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

 

bike malalcahuello national reserve

 

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

 

bike chile
Chile’s famous 7-Lakes Route

 

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

 

frutillar bike chile
Llanquihue Lake and Osorno Volcano

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking the Atacama Desert in Chile

Machuca Rio Grande hike in the Atacama Desert

Hiking the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile

Machuca Village to Río Grande Hike Trail

 

hike atacama desert

 

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

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

 

settlement atacama desert
Ancient Settlement

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

New travel experiences in the Atacama Desert

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

likan antai atacama desert
Encounter with Likan Antai Indigenous community

 

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

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

 

copa coya atacama desert

 

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

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

 

cultural atacama desert likan antai
Encounter with the Likan Antai community

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

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

Laguna cejar Atacama Desert

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Parasailing – hoch über dem See Villarrica, 2015

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

Confirmed Departure Chile Bike and Wine in Colchagua Wine Valley 6 days Tour October and December 2014

Colchagua Valley is one of the most up raising wine valleys worldwide and the most develop valley focused towards tourism industry in Chile. Amity Tours Bike and Wine tour will take you to ride the Apalta Area, the area towards Peralillo, Lolol, Pichilemu and Bucalemu villages on the Pacific coast. On some days, we’ll cycle towards different wineries, touring on them, doing wine tastings and being able to ride inside wineries. Our tour is very exclusive, so we invite you to contact us for private departures and cycle the Colchagua Wine Valley.

Confirmed Departure: Bike and Wine in Colchagua Wine Valley 6 days tour, October and December 2014

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Confirmed Departure Chile Argentina 12 days Bike Tour December 2014

Discover the Lake & Volcano District cycling Argentina and Chile’s southern paved roads. Explore this fascinating part of both countries dominated by clear-water lakes and amazing live volcanoes. Together with friendly locals, you will pedal alongside the Andes mountains, green rolling meadows and through national parks, visit local ethnic villages and relax in soothing natural hot springs. This is the perfect way to spend New Years Eve in South America.

Confirmed Departure: Road Cycling Chile and Argentina’s Lake & Volcano District 12 days tour, December 2014

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