Cycling Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

cycle lake volcano district

Cycling Chile’s Lake and Volcano District is definitely a must-do if you are a bicycling enthusiast. Here’s a list of the top reasons why riding the backroads of Southern Chile is a true once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

 

cycling chile
The smile on Baudio’s face when guiding the road cycling tour in the Lake and Volcano District.

 

Amity Tours, as a company, has been specializing since 2003 in active adventures such as hiking, trekking, skiing and cycling. Our headquarters are in the town of Pucón, located in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District.

 

cycling pucon chile
Starting a cycling day around Pucón surrounded by natural beauties, such as Villarrica Volcano.

 

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!

In this blog, you will find out the top reasons why cycling the Lake and Volcano District is an incredible adventure to do in Chile.

 

bike chile
Happy MTB riders getting ready to pedal the volcanic trails of the Villarrica Volcano.

 

Cycling the backroads of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

 

cycle lake volcano district
Road cycling between ancient Araucaria trees and volcanoes; Mamuil Malal Pass.

 

From Temuco to Puerto Varas, we take you to bike the most scenic routes of the Lake and Volcano District. 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.

 

road cycling chile
Nice encounter with a South American gray fox; Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park.

 

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.

 

Geometricas Hot Springs Chile
Relaxing after an active day is what we like the most during the bike tours; Geometricas hot springs in Coñaripe.

 

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

 

lake volcano district
Local guides and drivers: Bernardo, Cristián and Simón (right to left) always happy to assist and help you on the road.

 

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

  • Kütralkura, Chile’s first UNESCO Geopark in the Malalcahuello National Reserve, always with the Lonquimay Volcano watching you.
  • The Andes Mountain Range at the Alto Biobio National Reserve.
  • Pucón, the Capital of Adventure Travel and Villarrica Volcano, Chile’s most active volcano.
  • The 7-Lake Route, Chile’s most scenic route.
  • Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve, one of the most awarded landtrusts for conservation.
  • Puerto Varas with the Llanquihue Lake, Osorno Volcano and the Petrohue Waterfalls.

 

cycling lake route
Scenic 7-Lake Route is one of the top highlighs of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District; Gabriela island and Choshuenco volcano at sight.

 

Professional service and safety measures

 

amity tours chile
Amity’s team ready to kick off another cycling day. Bernardo, Marie-Lou, Angela, Gonzalo, Eduardo and Simón (left to right).

 

At Amity, we aim to providing the best travel experiences in Chile. For us, it means that this comes with an excellent service, comfortable hotels and great local food, beer and wine. Secondly, you will really find a true friend in our team of experienced and professional guides and 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.

 

petrohue chile
Support vehicle (SAG) in Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park; Calbuco volcano at sight.

 

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 bike trips:

  • Our professional guides and drivers always have with them a VHF radio. Communication is the main element in our staff.
  • We use SAG vehicles to carry all the food, water, snacks and all the gear 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 km or 20 km depending on group pace. Just to make sure everyone’s ok and enjoying the ride.
  • In our road cycling tours, for every 9 riders, 1 professional guide is in charge for guiding and support, and in our mountain biking tours, we use 1 guide per 6 riders.
  • At the beginning of our tours, we make sure a technical briefing is given regarding road rules and trail conditions.

 

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 bike and hike tour. As a result, this adventure will allow you to fully appreciate the vastness of the driest desert in the World. You will ride on 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.

 

bike atacama desert
Cycling around Ojos del Salar in the Atacama Desert.

 

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 and bike routes.

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

 

mountain bike chile
Descending the single track of the Villarrica Volcano.

 

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.

 

cycling chile
Road bike ready to ride in the Villarrica National Park.

 

Finally, our last ride, in the Vicente Pérez 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

 

cycling chile lake and volcano
Lunch is ready guys !! Local seafood from our Pacific coast.

 

But not everything is about physical activity, adventure and amazing landscapes. Morover, 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.

 

chile food
Picnic table with local food and beer.

 

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 Yerba Mate and learn more about their ancestral culture.

 

Sharing “mate” 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 a perfect scenic spot.

 

Check out our top 8-Day Road Cycling Tour in Chile’s Lake & Volcano District, group departure dates available until April 2022.

What to do around Pucón

Elected Chile’s capital of adventure tourism, and highlight of Chile’s Lake and Volcano District, Pucón has so much to offer and lots of outdoor activities to do. Find out the 5 things to do in this beautiful Lake City!

 

 

Villarrica Volcano
Villarrica Volcano

 

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 La 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.

 

1) The Villarrica Volcano ascent

 

villarrica volcano chile

 

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

 

2) Geométricas Hot Springs

 

Geometricas Hot Springs Chile

 

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

 

3) Rafting – Trancura River

 

Lower Section

 

rafting pucon chile

 

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

 

rafting pucon chile

 

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.

 

4) Huerquehue National Park

 

huerquehue chile

 

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.

 

huerquehue chile

 

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

 

5) Villarrica National Reserve

 

villarrica national park
Quetrupillan Volcano at sight

 

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.

 

villarrica volcano

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Chile Lake Volcano District – Araucanía Andina

araucania andina lake volcano district

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

 

araucania andina chile
Map credit: Araucania Andina Travel

 

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

 

araucania andina lake volcano district

 

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

 

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

 

Kütralkura Geopark

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Tolhuaca National Park

 

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

 

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

 

Laguna malleco tolhuaca park
Malleco lagoon, Tolhuaca National Park.

 

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

 

malleco waterfall tolhuaca
Malleco waterfall

 

Conguillio National Park

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Malalcahuello National Reserve

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

araucaria tree
Bark of Araucaria tree

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

Mis Aventuras en Mountain Bike por Chile

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

1. YETI TRIBE

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

2. TRAIL HUNTER by Specialized

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

3. EVOC SPORTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

evoc equipaje aeropuerto
Maletas EVOC en el Aeropuerto de La Araucanía

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Mira aquí el video de este viaje épico y profundo a La Araucanía.

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

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

Aquí algunos tours para inspirarte:

Aventuras en Mountain Bike – Corralco 4 Días 3 Noches.

Aventuras en Mountain Bike – Pucón 4 Días 3 Noches

 

 

 

 

Women Tour in the Atacama Desert

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

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

 

A tour for adventure women and nature lovers!

 

Atacama Desert
Overlooking Mars Valley – San Pedro de Atacama

 

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

Likan Antai people

 

Corn presentation at the Ayllus

 

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

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

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

Weather in the Atacama Desert

 

The Moon Valley

 

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

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

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

Special features just for women 

 

cejar lagoon atacama desert
Cejar Lagoon, Atacama Desert

 

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

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

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

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

Local women and traditions

 

women chile
Sandra and the traditional ancestral caravan

 

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

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

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

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

Yoga session and hotsprings

 

Yoga women tour
Yoga session at Atacama Loft and Glamp

 

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

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

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

Star-gazing and the Andean cosmovision

 

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

 

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

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

Local handicrafts and shopping

 

atacama desert
Village of San Pedro de Atacama

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

Our accommodation: Atacama Loft and Glamp

 

women trip atacama
Glamping double tent

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guias expertos de Amity Tours

pacific coast chile

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

 

 

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

 

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

¿Qué buscamos?

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

mtb chile
Equipo Amity en preparación de tour de Mountain Bike

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

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

 

DAVID JOOS, 7 años guiando en Amity Tours

David guiando en la Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello

 

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

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

Nombre: David Joos

Edad: 40

Lugar de Nacimiento: Dendermonde, Bélgica

Lugar de Residencia: Pucón, Chile

Tours guiados las últimas temporadas: Bike Tours, Volcán Villarrica

Años guiando: 20

 

 Q&A

¿Cómo te llaman tus amigos y compañeros de trabajo?

Gringo Loco

¿Cuál es el tour que más te gusta guiar?

Bike and Hike tour alrededor de Pucón

¿Cuál sería el peor trabajo que podrías tener?

Hacer lo mismo todos los días 

¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito para practicar?

Kayak y triatlón (ya son 4)

¿Cerveza o pisco sour?

Cerveza, ¡y mucha!

¿Rutera o MTB?

Ambas bicicletas me encantan

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

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

¿Carne o pastas?

Pasta con carne 

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

8

¿Qué te hace reír?

Las tallas chilenas con doble sentido

¿Qué te hace enojar?

Los celos de mi señora 

¿El cliente siempre tiene la razón?

NOOO !!

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

5 minutos

¿Comida que menos te gusta?

Erizos

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

Experiencia, por sobre todas las cosas 

Si pudieras vivir en otro lugar ¿dónde vivirías?

Patagonia, Carretera Austral 

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

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

Si ganaras 1 millón de dólares ¿qué comprarías?

Una casa rodante “filete” 

¿Dónde estarás en 3 años?

En Pucón con una pequeña empresa de poda 

 

RUBEN PAILLALEF, 8 años guiando en Amity Tours

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

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

 

Nombre: Rubén Paillalef Luengo

Edad: 36

Lugar de Nacimiento: Pucón, Chile 

Lugar de Residencia: Pucón

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

Años guiando: 16

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

 

¿Cómo te llaman tus amigos y compañeros de trabajo?

Indio, Rubén, Kapurra (chivo)

¿Cuál es el tour que más te gusta guiar?

Bike tours en rutera.

¿Cuál sería el peor trabajo que podrías tener?

Un trabajo que no me complementa y que no me valoren

¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito para practicar?

Triatlón y todo lo que se desarrolle al aire libre

¿Cerveza o pisco sour?

Cerveza 

¿Rutera o MTB?

Ambas me gustan

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

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

¿Carne o pastas?

Ambos

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

10 

¿Qué te hace reír?

Humor con mis compañeros

¿Qué te hace enojar? 

La deslealtad y el mal trato 

¿El cliente siempre tiene la razón?

No, pero no tiene por qué saberlo 🙂 

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

1 hora 

¿Comida que menos te gusta?

Mariscos con yodo 

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

Definitivamente la Experiencia

Si pudieras vivir en otro lugar ¿dónde vivirías?

Donde existan volcanes activos

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

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

Si ganaras 1 millón de dólares ¿qué comprarías?

Tierras y un buen viaje junto a mis queridos.

¿Dónde estarás en 3 años?

Probablemente en el mismo lugar igual de feliz 

 

FRANCISCO DUATH, 5 años guiando en Amity Tours

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Nombre: Juan Francisco Duath Fuentes

Edad: 28

Lugar de Nacimiento: Neltume, Chile

Lugar de Residencia: Neltume, Chile

Tours guiados las últimas temporadas: Mountain Bike

Años guiando: 5

Pancho concentrado en el cuidado de las mtb de nuestros clientes

 

¿Cómo te llaman tus amigos y compañeros de trabajo?

Panchito

¿Cuál es el tour que más te gusta guiar?

Mountain Bike tours

¿Cuál sería el peor trabajo que podrías tener?

El que no me guste

¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito para practicar?

Mountain Bike

¿Cerveza o pisco sour?

Cerveza Cero Alcohol, jajajaj

¿Rutera o MTB?

Mountain Bike

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

Un Puma, por su habilidad y destreza

¿Carne o pastas?

Carne

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

5

¿Qué te hace reír?

Bromas con los amigos

¿Qué te hace enojar?

La injusticia sobre otra persona

¿El cliente siempre tiene la razón?

No, en el Mountain Bike eso no pasa

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

Depende de cuanto motivado este, 1 hora quizás

¿Comida que menos te gusta?

La comida fría

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

La experiencia

Si pudieras vivir en otro lugar ¿dónde vivirías?

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

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

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

Si ganaras 1 millón de dólares ¿qué comprarías?

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

¿Dónde estarás en 3 años?

Quizás en el Monte Everest

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Luxury Nature Tours in Chile defined by Amity Tours

Relaxing hour at Corralco Mountain Resort

 

 

One traveler’s luxury is another’s ordinary.

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

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

 

Altiplano

 

The philosophy of Amity Tours

 

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

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

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

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

 

Relaxing hour at Corralco Mountain Resort

 

Our definition of Luxury

 

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

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

 

Mate tea with Mapuche women

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

Atacama Desert

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Lake boat pier
Santa Amalia Ranch – Colico Lake

 

Ready for an exclusive luxury experience?

 

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

 

 

Rafting Rio Petrohue
Petrohue River, Puerto Varas

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Gourmet Picnic
Amity’s famous Picnic Table

 

 

Protection of the Environment – Sustainable Tourism

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful tips for an easy bike care

Mountainbike tires MAXXIS

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

 

Mountainbikes on trailer

Bike care made easy

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

Prepare all you need before you start:

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

 

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

That is how it works

Basic cleaning

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

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

 

Suspensions

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

Bicycle drive

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

 

Bike gear yellow black mountain bike

Tires

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

 

Mountainbike tires MAXXIS

 

Brakes

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

Screws

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

Ready is your bike for some new adventures!

 

Cannondale road bike

 

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

Check out our confirmed bike departure date for December 2020

 

biker volcano lake nature

 

Where to buy good bike tools and maintenance.

*Source

 

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.


Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to see more adventures in the Atacama Desert

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

We Invite You To Travel Across Chile, All At Once Or In Severall Stages, But Always Riding A Bike

You can travel Chile in many ways, starting out in the Atacama Desert and finishing an epic journey in Patagonia. Or you can begin your trip in Easter Island, then indulge yourself while wine tasting in Colchagua wine valley and finally climb the great Andes Mountain Range.

Depending on the route you choose, it will always be best to do it on a bike tour and, of course, with Amity Tours.

Continue reading