Under the name “The Lake and Volcano District Scenic Route”, we do understand a tourist product that articulates attractions and experiences with a component of scenic beauty in southern Chile. The government of Chile has been developing the Interlagos Network for 20 years. It has six circuits and more than 2,000 km of roads that transport visitors along a spectacular geography. Shaped by the force of volcanism, bathed by large lakes, upholstered by the green of the oldest forests on the planet and inhabited by ancestral cultures. This network of roads has generated connectivity between potential poles of tourist development and other consolidated in the regions of La Araucanía, Los Ríos and Los Lagos. The First Scenic Route of Chile, has a unique layout, unmissable for lovers of pristine nature andadventure travellers.
Amity Tours is working hard to help reaching the ambition vision of this project. “To be the best positioned scenic route of Chile in the national and international market as a singular and sustainable experience that allows the encounter with the Mapuche, colony and criolla cultures and the unique nature of La Araucanía, Los Ríos and Los Lagos.”
At the moment, we are transferring our knowledge to micro and small local tour operators to help generate more sustainable tourism in the destination. An important part of the content we obtained from the useful workshops ATTA has been providing us until today.
Step-by-Step to a sustainable tourism destination
First of all, we were updating the database of the micro and small local tour operators forming part of the Scenic Route. Then, we offered all of them free courses separated by environments: Water – Mountains – Conventional tourism and focusing in sustainable tour operating.
Out of the tour operators who were participating in these first courses, we formed a “Club of Experiences”. The members are getting more classes for free. So they get prepared for the important Virtual Business Roundtable we are organizing on March 2021.
The three webinars will address the following topics:
Preparation of Commercial Actions. Here we will talk about the different formats to approach the B2B channel. With emphasis on the virtual business conference that we will have at the end of March.
Preparation of Commercial Material. Here we will dive into the Manuals and Tariffs that are presented at a business conference.
Preparation of the Commercial Pitch. Here we will talk about what a pitch is. How it should be built and used. Of course depending on the format of the meeting and who we have in front of in a business conference.
Virtual Business roundtable
The final objective of these courses is to bring local operators closer to the B2B channel. That is why we are organizing the First Business Roundtable of the Lakes & Volcanoes Scenic Route. It will be held in March, between Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 2021, in a 100% online format through the Eventtia platform.
We want to bring the local operators together. As well as to transfer them valuable knowledge. That is how we want to promote our unique destination in a sustainable way.
In Amity Tours, we can’t stand still. We’ve just designed a complete new section with tours only for women. The first published hiking trip brings us through the beautiful Lake and Volcano District.
We will visit interesting local women, learn about their culture, history and daily life. Like in any travel experience designed by Amity Tours, there is a lot of adventure and adrenaline packed in this program.
Learn more about our promises for a unforgettable holiday experience. As well as our protocols for a safe trip during this difficult global situation with COVID-19.
8 reasons why choosing Amity Tours for your next adventure
Personalized and high-quality tourism. We make sure before, during and after your trip, that the travel experience with us is unique and authentic. You are our number one priority! From the moment you get in touch with us, until you safely make your way back home.
Safety. Nowadays, safety is crucial, and especially regarding the health area. As a local tour operator, we’ve adopted all the protocols issued by the local authority for the industry of tourism. In addition, we also closely follow the guidelines for health and safe practices generated by the Adventure Travel Trade Association for the active tourism businesses to safely operate.
Professional and expert team. Our team of collaborators on the field is one of our biggest assets as a company. In addition to have a huge knowledge of the local fauna and flora, our guides have decades of experience in the wilderness such as mountains and rivers. They are also trained for first-aid assistance, with the Wilderness First Responder course.
Small groups. In Amity, we’ve never operated our travel experiences with big groups. We’ve always focused on small groups of travelers, in which the interaction between the guide and the guest is richer. Thus, it generates a unique experience, ideally for families or groups of friends that require spaces for encounters.
High standard of accommodation. We have developed our travel experiences with accommodations that meet excellent quality and health standards, and are strategically located in each and every visited area. We understand that travelling is not only about the excursions, but also the comfort of the hotel after an active day spent in nature.
Connection with nature. The Amity team is 100% composed of nature lovers. We’ll make sure you see, feel and discover the best of it during your visit.
Local culture. ATAmity, you’ll see and experience the true Chilean culture. Also, you’ll have the incredible opportunity to share and learn more about the indigenous communities that inhabit our country, in an authentic way.
Fuel the local economy. All the products that you will consume during your trip are made by local entrepreneurs. Thus, when travelling, you help with contributing to the local economy.
Discover Southern Chile with a group of female travelers
During the last few months, we’ve been designing new travel products especially for all the adventurous women on the Globe. Our first women tour will be in Southern Chile, during which you’ll have the opportunity to explore the best hidden corners from the Conguillio National Park, to all the way down to Puerto Varas.
This brand new trip designed by women for women is the perfect match combining active adventure and relaxing atmosphere. There is nothing better than stretching your muscles in a hot tub after a day of hiking in the beautiful Conguillio National Park. During this trip, we make sure that you get exactly these great combinations.
Women Tour Highlights
At the beginning we will spend two nights in the first Ecolodge of Chile: La Baita Conguillio. Isabel, the owner of the lodge, will be waiting for us with a typical Pisco Sour, a tasty drink made out of the famous Chilean licor Pisco. We will have the opportunity to learn more about the history of this place and her experiences as a female leader. Furthermore, we will show you one of the beautiful spots near the lodge, before enjoying a well-deserved sleep in the cosy rooms.
The Conguillio National Park is known worldwide for its abundant natural beauty full of ancient Araucaria trees, crystal-clear lakes and perfectly cone-shaped and active volcanoes. During a full day of hiking, we will enjoy this incredible landscape before finishing the day with a relaxing hot tub under the open sky.
The next destination of this trip takes us to Pucón, Chile’s capital of adventure tourism. This nice little quaint town with its small shops, restaurants and cafés is the perfect location for a break and some urban feelings.
Every effort has its reward
We will then have to prepare for a very special excursion: climbing the Villarrica volcano. A true once-in-a-lifetime experience as you reach the top of the active volcano in Chile with its open crater. If we are lucky, we will even spot some lava, and we will enjoy for sure the panoramic view over the different volcanoes, lakes, mountains, hills and valleys around. The most fun part of the day ? Sliding on our rear ends the snow down to the base of the volcano.
Tourism as women empowerment
While in Pucón, we will meet other friendly and local entrepreneur women. They will show us the native forest of the area, from a culinary and indigenous perspective. After a nice walk through the forest, we will have enough plants and fruits recollected to accompany a great lunch under huge trees. Afterwards, we will jump on an inflatable boat to raft the Trancura River. Finally, at night, we will have a special cultural encounter with a local Mapuche family. They will be waiting for us, to share some of their ancestral traditions while having a typical dinner in their “Ruka” (house).
For our last day around the Villarrica volcano, we won’t miss the opportunity to visit a magical place. Taking advantage of the unique volcanic activity of the region, we will combine this active day with a deep bath in natural thermal hot springs. This place offers the perfect combination between thermal facilities and natural surroundings. Located in the environs of the Villarrica National Park, the Geometricas hot springs offer 16 strategically-located thermal pools, allowing the visitors to never feel overcrowded. The natural surroundings are exuberant and the facilities are simple but very cozy.
Relaxing hours and yoga
Our trip continues with us going South, towards the quaint city of Puerto Varas, located at the shores of Llanquihue Lake. We’ll have the chance to meet a professional yoga instructor. She will teach us some yoga lessons and give an insight of living in Chile as a foreign woman. Finally, our last full day will invite us to explore the beautiful area around the Osorno Volcano. We’ll hear an interesting story about the volcano and the legend of princess Licarayén. She is without any doubt one of the most famous women in the Mapuche folk tales.
Before leaving the amazing Lake and Volcano District, we will enjoy a nice morning yoga session. Afterwards we will get some time to explore the cosy town of Puerto Varas.
We are sure, this tour will fill you with adrenaline, positive energy and women empowerment!
Last, but not least, we would like to let you know about our commitment for a safe operation during all tours. Without any doubt, the world is facing a difficult time with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is affecting our daily life and traveling plans. At Amity Tours quality and safety are what define us. That is why we are making sure that not only us, but also all our local partners and suppliers walk in hand with us to apply new safety standards. That is how we will be able to best adapt to the post-coronavirus industry.
We have been working hard in order to be ready for the re-opening of borders and operations post Covid. We feel blessed and privileged to be living in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District, a remote but safe area, with good health centers very close by.
We are aware that planning ahead your next trip to Chile might be difficult in these extraordinary times. Rest assured, as we have updated our booking policies. This will allow you to purchase safely your next vacations. We have removed all none-refundable booking fees. All our rates have been locked-in until 2022. If you make a deposit and cannot travel, you can always use that money as a credit with us and use it within the next 24 months.
We are very confident that we will someday soon be sharing all together again.
In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and stay tuned for the best travel adventures in southern Chile
Amity Tours offers not just a simple trip to Chile. We make sure you learn more about the Chilean culture during all our tours. We would like to share some traditions from our friendly local team.
Active explorations in remote areas surrounded by nature will free our visitors to become part of the place. Adventure trips by Amity Tours will unfold meaningful experiences. We do enable our guests to discover and explore hidden corners, meet local communities and immerse themselves in the Chilean culture. This does reflect not only in our visits to the local indigenous communities but also in our team. You will find a true friend in our experienced and professional guides and drivers. In today’s post, we would like to introduce you to our top drivers, Orlando and Bernardo Gonzalez.
Our trips would not be possible without the fundamental collaboration of Orlando and Bernardo. These two brothers are not only our most experienced drivers, but also the hosts of our headquarters. Trouble shooters for any kind of unexpected issue before, during and after the trips, our personal mechanics and trailer builders and most important always ready for a nice chat and laugh.
Thus, both of them started working with Amity Tours in 2007 and helped our company growing during the last 13 years!
They grew up about 45 kilometers outside of Pucón, up in the mountains and far away from civilization. Surrounded by beautiful native forests and Araucarias (monkey puzzle tree). The school was located 12 kilometers away from their house. By foot or horseback, was the only way to get there. So, they spent the whole week down in the school and only got home on the weekends.
Bernardo is not only a very experienced and safe driver. But he also loves riding bicycles. During our spectacular road cycling trips, he helps out whenever there is a mechanical problem. He also jumps on a bike to accompany our clients whenever possible.
The most fun part for him on the trips is the cultural night. We try to involve a nice evening with great local artists, where we show our traditional music and dance to our guests. This is where Bernardo presents his talent for music.
La Cueca – the chilean traditional dance
In 1979, la cueca was adopted as the national dance of Chile. Its presence can be recognized throughout the national territory, varying the choreographic and musical form according to the geographical area in which it is interpreted. But always preserving a common pattern that makes it a unique and differentiated dance;
The huaso (Chilean cowboy) advances towards the girl he likes the most and offers her his arm. She gets up, accompanying him in a short walk along the hall. The initial steps are very measured, calm, hesitant. The tissue move smoothly and, suggesting the insinuating twist of the Cueca, the huaso chases the fleeing woman, and using the tissue as if it were a soft loop, surrounds her without touching and brings his tissue to her side.
At the end, the huaso begins the shoe-tapping and usually looks like a skills competition with itself until the last lap and the hug and knee land.
In the countryside of southern Chile, the traditional dresses to dance the cueca are the peasant or country dress. The lady uses floral dresses with a petticoat underneath to expand the dresses and see them in broad form, shoes with heels. The man wears trousers sleeved up to the knee, straw hat, shirt and a blanket of red, blue, white colors.
Bernardo mentioned that exactly these very unique dress codes are making the dance a real spectacle! “Otra cosa es con guitarra”. (chilean slang which in this context would mean: there is no comparison between a dance in a normal dress or dance in the traditional cueca dress)
Let’s focus on another particularity of the Chilean culture.
You can definitely fill a whole book about Chilean slangs and their meanings. Because of that, most foreigners coming to Chile struggle trying to understand the locals, especially at the beginning! It is part of the chilean traditions, using lots of particular slangs and words while talking. Every region has its particularity, in southern Chile for example people use to talk very fast and kind of sing their words.
Would you like to learn some slangs to survive in the Chilean jungle?
Bernardos favorite one is: Güatita llena – Corazón contento. = Belly full – heart happy. Which means enjoying a nice meal makes you happy.
A word Orlando think is very typical in Chile is: Pucha! = Oops!
Furthermore, some other slangs and words that may interest you traveling to Chile:
Andar a lo gringo: Not to wear underwear. (We ask ourselves: Do a lot of Americans go around not wearing underwear, or is this just a cultural stereotype?)
Now, you should be prepared for your next trip to our country. That is why our two top drivers would like to invite you to another Chilean custom – join a typical barbecue with a nice cup of local wine.
The chilean wine
In Chile we are very proud about our wine production. Thus there is no household in our country without a good bottle of the delicious drink. Bernardo recommends trying the emblematic grape called Carménère.
Amity Tours has developed an amazing Wine Tour that comprehends 5 wine valleys on central area: Maipo Valley, Casablanca Valley, Aconcagua Valley, Colchagua Valley and San Antonio Valley; a unique experience not to be missed. Where you’ll understand and verify why Chilean wines have earned such many prices and great reputation worldwide.
Fully licensed and responsible tour operator
Last but not least, Bernardo and Orlando want to highlight some other reasons why they really like working at Amity Tours. We are a sustainable tour operator, fully licensed and certified and care about our local team not mattering which role they play inside the company’ structure.
Nothing compares to the outstanding sense of journey you experience on a Bike Tour. It’s the excitement of discovering under your own capacity, riding from one amazing place to the next. It’s the freest way of travel you’ll come across, giving you the chance to choose how your day unfolds. You can pedal at your own speed, discovering and experiencing amazing natural areas in Southern Chile.
Have you thought about where your next adventure on your bike will be ? If biking is your passion, then this travel experience is the best for you!
Experience cycling the back roads located in Southern Chile
This upcoming spring and summer (from November 2020 to April 2021), cycling the scenic routes of the Lake and Volcano District will be the best eco-friendly way to discover the region. Moreover, it is the best time of the year to ride around lakes, ancient forests and little quaint villages.
During eight days, you will…
Visit Kütralkura UNESCO Global Geopark, Lonquimay Volcano and Malalcahuello National Reserve
Climb The Andes Mountains at the Alto Biobio National Reserve
Discover Pucon and best attractions: the Villarrica Volcano, Caburgua Lake and natural hot springs
Ride Chile’s famous Seven Lakes Route & discover the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve
Explore Puerto Varas and surroundings: Llanquihue Lake, Petrohue Waterfalls and Osorno Volcano.
Riding Chile’s Lake and Volcano District
Our bike tour starts at Temuco Airport, where our friendly team will be expecting you. First we’ll leave the city, driving towards the Malalcahuello National Reserve, where your hotel is located. You’ll meet the first of the many natural companions of the tour, with a striking view of Lonquimay Volcano from hotel. Following up the check-in, we’ll do a warm up ride through Curacautín.
Then, on the second ride, we will travel alongside the Lonquimay River and visit the Kütralkura Geopark. We’ll pass through the territory of the local Pewenche indigenous communities.
The third day will be dedicated to enjoying great views of three different volcanoes : Lonquimay, Llaima, Sierra Nevada and Villarrica). Indeed, we’ll go for an amazing hike starting from hotel. We’ll pass through an ancient forest of araucaria trees, some of them dating over 2.000 years old. Afterwards, we’ll leave the Malalcahuello National Reserve, and travel to the second destination of this bike tour: Pucón. This quaint city, located between pristine lakes and the active Villarrica volcano, is Chile’s capital of adventure tourism.
When cycling Pucón and surroundings, we will enjoy great views and volcanic landscapes. Throughout the ride, our guide will help us identify several species of birds and trees as we cycle next to beautiful farms and enjoy views of the Villarrica volcano. With a little good luck, we will see smoke coming out of this active volcano.
Our bike tour continues as we will bike through Chile´s 7-Lake Scenic Route. We’ll pedal alongside the shores of two beautiful lakes, Calafquén and Panguipulli, and cover three-quarters of the way around the majestic, snow-capped active Villarrica Volcano. This road is smooth and quiet as almost no vehicles drive here. At one point, we will be striked by the stunning views of five volcanoes.
The last stage of this unforgettable trip will be the Llanquihue Lake. This area is great for bike tours and it is considered Chile’s first Bike Friendly destination. We will pass through small towns such as Frutillar, Llanquihue and Ensenada. Finally we’ll arrive at Puerto Varas, dominated by the Osorno Volcano. If you want to challenge yourself, you can do some extra pedaling and ride up the Osorno, the steepest climb in South America.
Lastly, we will visit the local Market, which is the perfect place for wonderful souvenirs, handcrafts and woolen clothing. Afterwards we will drive you the airport where this adventure ends.
Cycling Southern Chile is a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience in which you get to discover the beautiful landscapes of the Lake and Volcano District!
Geographically, the Chilean territory is located in one of the greatest areas of volcanic & seismic activities in the whole world. The Pacific Ring of Fire, close to the Andes mountain range, carved by water, ice and volcanoes. With more than 2.000 volcanoes and 90 potentially active, Chile has one of the largest volcanic chains in the world. Indeed, great historical eruptions, such as the eruption of the Calbuco Volcano in 2015, have had regional and global consequences.
In this article, you will learn more about the most active volcanoes located in the beautiful Lake & Volcano District.
From Santiago de Chile to Puerto Montt (the entrance to Patagonia), we find a wide variety of landscapes with lands covered with forests of araucarias and dotted with lagoons, rivers or lakes. Moreover, here and there, we can admire the active volcanoes of the Chilean Lake & Volcano District. They are the perfect spot for nature lovers to enjoy mountain activities, such as hiking, mountain biking & skiing.
Kütralkura Geopark – Lonquimay Volcano
The Lonquimay volcano is located 130 kilometers north-east of Temuco city, in the Araucanía Region. It is part of Chile’s first Geopark. The UNESCO highlighted Kütralkura Global Geopark as one of the most active volcanisms in the world. Indeed, it is geologically located in the heart of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Surrounded by the magical landscape of Southern Chile, the Lonquimay volcano becomes more attractive as it enters the Andes Mountain Range. In the horizon, we can admire the other volcanoes around like the Llaima, Villarrica, Quetrupillán, Lanín & Sierra Nevada.
During autumn season, the snows slowly covers the volcano, which makes the area remarkably beautiful. In winter, it is fully covered by snow, in addition to the endemic araucaria tree forests that also get covered by white. This makes it possible to enjoy winter sports at the Corralco Ski Resort, on the slopes of the volcano. During spring and summer, the thaw radically changes the appearance and color of the volcano. Due to the solidified lava constitution, it takes a reddish color, leaving only the eternal ice on top.
Moreover, the attractive summit of the Lonquimay does not only allow us to the natural beauties around, such as the lagoons, rivers, volcanoes, etc. It also gives us the chance to see a tremendous crater, of more than 800-meters long (one of the largest of Chile’s southern volcanoes), completely covered by a glacier.
Regarding its volcanic activity, the Lonquimay became particularly well known for the events that happened during Christmas in 1988. During an eruption that lasted approximately one year, it sculpted a small crater near the north slope. As a result, the “Christmas Crater” was born. Located in the lower part of the Lonquimay, it is possible to visit it with a specialist as it is active.
Conguillío National Park – Llaima Volcano
From Temuco city, the Llaima volcano already makes itself noticeable with its three visible peaks. Located 80 kilometers from this city, it is part of the eastern landscape. Also, the Llaima occupies a large part of the Conguillío National Park where it stands out as the highest summit.
The presence of a ski resort located on its western flank makes it the perfect place to visit during winter. Thank to this, it helps in being the most visited volcano in southern Chile. Surrounded by araucarias forests and by beautiful mountain lakes, the Llaima and surroundings give us the opportunity to enjoy wonderful landscapes.
Historically, it is one of the most active volcanoes in South America, and one of the largest in the southern Andes. The western, south-western and eastern flanks possess more than 29 km2 of glaciers. Shape-wise, it is an almost-perfect cone, although it consists of two peaks and about 40 cones of adventitious slag. The northern summit exhibits an open crater of 350-meters wide, and more than 300 meters in depth. Since 1994, the crater presents an active fumarole with gas emission and water vapor. Lastly, the southern summit has remains of a small cone made of slag nested in a blocked crater of about 200 meters.
Regarding the volcanic activity of the Llaima, the historical record includes 48 eruption between 1640 and 2009. During these events, lava flows, lahar formation, pyroclastic projection and occasionally the generation of pyroclastic flows occurred. Finally, the last eruptive cycle began in May 2007, with a weak ash emission. A moderate strombolian eruption followed with lahar generation in January 2008, culminating in April 2009 with a vigorous strombolian eruption.
Villarrica National Park – Villarrica Volcano
The Villarrica volcano is an active volcano with the largest historical record of eruptions in Chile, and even South America. Geographically, it is located at the south of the Villarrica Lake, and at the north of the Calafquén Lake. It is a stratovolcano located on a volcanic chain aligning it with the Quetrupillán and Lanín volcanoes.
At the top, we find an open crater of 200 meters of diameter. Generally with continuous fumarole and a quasi-permanent lava lake, whose surface has variable height depending on the moon. Moreover, an important glacier covers the Villarrica, and extends for 30.3 kilometers square.
The volcanic activity of the Villarrica began about 650.000 years ago. Throughout the years, it has developed explosive and effusive eruptions, with the emission of magmatic material essentially. As product of the explosive post-glacial activity, voluminous pyroclastic flows and formation of boilers were generated mainly 13.900 and 3.900 years ago. Lastly, since 1558, there have been about 49 eruptions, mainly of an effusive nature.
The impressive last eruption happened in 2015
The last explosive eruption was recorded on March 3, 2015. It generated a lava source almost 2 km high above the crater. In addition, an almost 12-kilometers tall column of tefra remained held for almost 19 minutes.
Besides being the most active volcano, the Villarrica is undoubtedly the main natural attraction in Southern Chile. Indeed, the ski center located at the base of the volcano (1.400 meters) is the perfect spot for summer skiing and snowboarding. As a matter of fact, the resort is one of the most moderns in South America. The infrastructure is great, with 9 ski lifts and 20 ski slopes of different levels of difficulty.
In spring and summer, the base of the Villarrica volcano is perfect for hiking activities. Through the endemic araucaria and nothofagus tree forests, the hiking trails in the area are infinite. However, the most impressive hike to do is certainly the one that takes us to the open-crater. From there, the view is breath-taking and allows us to see the different volcanoes, lakes, lagoons around, and the unmissable Andes as landscape.
Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park – Osorno Volcano
The Osorno volcano is located approximately 50 kilometers from the quaint city of Puerto Varas, between the Llanquihue & Todos Los Santos Lakes. It belongs to the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. It is in this area where volcanism has been, along with tectonic processes and glaciers, the main factors that shaped the Andes mountain range. In fact, the Osorno is a stratovolcano that belongs to the Southern Volcanic Zone of the Andes. It forms a transverse volcanic chain along with the La Picada, Puntiagudo & Cordón Cenizos volcanoes. Like the Villarrica volcano, the summit of the Osorno is covered by a glacier.
The volcanic activity of the Osorno began some 200.000 years ago, building itself as a stratovolcan immersed in the ice field dominating the landscape during the so-called Santa María glacial period. The post-glacial eruptive activity is characterized both by the occurrence of eruptions from the central crater, and by the activity of parasitic centers located on the flanks. Historically, the eruptive activity of the Osorno volcano has been characterized essentially by episodes of low explosivity. As of now, the faint fumarole since the beginning of the 20th century under the ice of the summit seems to have attenuated.
Last, but not least, the Osorno volcano is the highlight of our top bike tour in Chile’s Lake & Volcano District. Indeed, besides getting to cycle your way towards the Petrohue falls, you have the chance to challenge yourself and climb the Osorno volcano as it is South America’s steepest climb.
In Amity, we are blessed to operate our top travel experiences in the beautiful Lake and Volcano District. Together with our friendly team of expert guides, you can explore the best volcanic attractions of southern Chile. Either by hiking,skiing or cycling, the visit of the most active volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire is a must-do when traveling to Chile.
Chile is about 4300-kilometers long. We all talk about the extreme diversity from north to south. But did you know that in the average width of only 177 kilometers you can find an impressive natural and cultural diversity too? We take you on a journey from the Andes to the Pacific through the Lake and Volcano District.
First of all, some facts about the geography of Chile
In Chile, there are four large strips of relief, which give the physical environment a markedly longitudinal character.
The intermediate depression, with high plateaus in the north.
The Cordillera de la Costa, lower than the Andean heights, but with difficult access to the sea.
The extensive Chilean shoreline with its equal coasts from Arica to Chiloé and dismembered towards the south of the country.
The Andes mountain range constitutes an imposing wall. Whose altitude gradually descends from north to south. Starting at the heights of the Nevado Ojos del Salado (6,893 m) in the province of Atacama, reaching the modest peaks of Darwin (2,135 m), in the province of Magallanes.
Its colossal heights on the western slope are of climatic and economic importance. It acts as a climate screen, intercepting the western humid air masses and forcing them to rise and precipitate on its slope. Thus, it is how it is transformed into the reservoir of water and snow that it generates in rivers. These cross our country transversely and serve to irrigate the fields of the intermediate depression, supply water to urban agglomerations and allow energy to be obtained through hydroelectric plants.
Chile’s numerous rivers are relatively short; they are generally born in the Andes and flow west towards the Pacific. Thus, in the northern and central regions they feed mainly by the eternal snows that cover the Andes. While most of the great Chilean lakes, including the Llanquihue, concentrate in the wonderful southern lake region.
The natural and cultural diversity in only 150 kilometers
Let us get an idea about the divers landscapes in only 150-kilometers width. We take you on a imaginative trip from east to west to our beautiful Lake and Volcano District!
The Andes Mountain Range
Starting at the Andes Mountain Range we dive into the mystical Araucaría (monkey puzzle tree) forests and connect to the millenary species around us. Therefore we hike through deep forests, cross by crystal-clear lagoons and breath the fresh air of these altitudes. Meanwhile we imagine the daily life of the inhabitants in this area.
The local mapuche communities (Pewenches) are named after the Pewen – Araucaria, being its fruit the central element of their diet. History relates that the Mapuche were mainly engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding. However, the Pewenches have been noted for being gatherers and ranchers. It is argued that the Pewenche “owned herds of llamas, which made them herdsmen-farmers who used wool. As for agriculture, the vegetation provided them with herbs and wild fruits. They cultivated corn, potatoes, beans, goose and quinoa, among which the pehuén”(Acosta, 2004: 4). Today, this ancient practice of collecting the gülliw – piñion – is maintained, starting the most characteristic process today: the “Veranadas” at the beginning of March.
Before continuing our journey towards the west, we climb up one of the magical volcanoes in the area. Let us try to reach the top of the very active Villarrica Volcano. We might even spot some lava on the top! Therefore we cross a glacier and prepare ourselves for some strong winds.
As soon as we reach the top we get impressed by the volcanic activity of the Villarrica (or Rukapillan, in the Mapuche language). Moreover the scenic view overlooking the beautiful lakes, rivers and volcanoes around will take your breath away.
The countryside and its prairies
Now, as we got to know the Andes Mountain Range, it is time to visit the flatter areas. Around the lakes, like Panguipulli, Villarrica and the second biggest Lake of Chile, Llanquihue, we enjoy the harmony of the green prairies, the wide rivers and the wheat fields. Lay back and feel the calm lifestyle on the countryside.
In this flatter area the Nagche and Wenteche Mapuche communities settled their homes. They mostly live from the agriculture and cattle breeding. In addition to the Mapuche families, many German immigrants found their new home in the Lake and Volcano District. Around the big lakes we find many German styled houses and can feel the German influence also on the menus. It is easy to understand, why these area is famous for its great cheese and beer…
Getting to the Pacific Ocean
Before we reach the coast, we have to take a deeper look at the very unique Valdivian rainforest. Were we count with an unusual diversity of tree species, many of which are unique in the world. Especially the Valdivian jungle stands out for its beauty. Some species of conifers in the Chilean forest are among the longest-lived in the world, for example the larch. Therefore we can enjoy some nice walks through thousand-years old forests with a dense undergrowth. Classified as a very special temperate forest, it counts with several specimens of native animals such as the Monkey of the bush, Pudú, Choroy parrot and the Black-necked Swan.
Not only the landscape changes, while we get closer to the coast. Also, the habits and name of the local mapuche communities changes: Lafkenches (people belonging to the sea) use the coast as a settlement. They have an economy and way of life closely related to the sea and marine resources (fish, shellfish, marine mammals, etc.).
Finally on the Pacific Ocean, we get impressed by the lonely beaches, the ruff shores and the cold sea. While during the migration season (sep-may) we might even observe some delfines and whales close to the coast. Without any doubt getting to the Pacific Ocean after climbing up an active volcano, crossing by the harmonious prairies and getting lost in the dense Valdivian jungle is a the jewel in the crown.
Chile is the perfect place for star gazing. On December 14th 2020, the focus will not be on stars but on the total solar eclipse.
Pucón is going to be the center of attention during this special day. The solar event is going to last 2h 50min. The eclipse will start at 11:41am with a total darkness at 1:04pm.
This very special phenomenon occurs 884 years after a similar astronomic event in the area. The Araucanía región is the territory where mainly resides the indigenous Mapuche community.
Signification of a solar eclipse in the Mapuche cosmovision
Many centuries before modern astronomy and its sophisticated telescopes, Mapuche people were already related to the cosmos. It was an important tool to predict the weather and influences on the land.
In Mapudungun, the Mapuche’s native language, a total solar eclipse is called “lai antü” or “lan antü”, which means “death of the sun”. This phenomenon is also known as “malonji ta antü” (they came to cover the sun or attack the sun) or “zumiñii antü” (the sun darkened).
This event is expected with respect, since the sun represents the way of understanding time. The „lai antü“has a strong content, so designating the death of the sun implies the suspension of time, a change of cycle for the star, a change in the process. Faced with this phenomenon of time suspension that affects nature.
A partial eclipse usually means a good year for the community. But a total eclipse is a bad omen for humanity, including the possible death of a dear and respected chieftain.
Despite the negative interpretation of the event by the Mapuches, in the occidental culture this natural phenomenon is a true once in a lifetime experience. In addition of being the capital of adventure tourism in Chile, Pucón will be the lucky host of the total solar eclipse 2020.
Safety recommendations during the eclipse
Do not look straight at the sun without proper eclipse glasses (certified ISO 12312-2)
Do not stair at the sun using your camera, telephone or binocular
Kids have to be supervised by an adult during the whole event
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to climb Chile’s most active volcano ? Find out why this experience is truly unique and a must-do excursion if you plan to visit Pucón!
Without a doubt, you’ve definitely heard about the incredible diversity of landscape inside the Chilean territory. If you like going on adventures in nature, Chile should appear on your next travel destinations list. Thirsty for thrilling and unique excursions ? Then climbing the Villarrica, Chile’s most active volcano, is for you!
Description and last eruption
The Villarrica Volcano (2.847 meters), or Ruka Pillañ in Mapundungún, is a Chilean stratovolcano located in the southern section of the Western Andes. It is situated at the limit of the Araucanía Region and Los Ríos Region, between the Villarrica and Calafquén Lakes. The slopes of the volcano are divided between the cities of Villarrica (North-West), Pucón (North-East) and Coñaripe (South). Finally, it is one of the most beautiful volcanoes of Chile because of it is perfectly cone-shaped, in addition to have a snow-coated summit all year long.
Currently, it is administered by the CONAF (Corporación Nacional Forestal or National Forest Corporation). The volcano and surroundings form the Villarrica National Park which is a protected area.
With an open crater of 200-meter of diameter, where at the bottom lies a permanent magma lake with a varying depth of 50 and 100 meters. The level of the lava constantly goes up or down. This lake always presents an intense fumerole, frequently accompanied by a weak eruptive activity.
Since 1558, there have been at least 90 volcanic eruptions registered. The most recent happened on March 3rd of 2015 at about 3:00 am. The most energetic phase lasted approximately 55 minutes, characterized by an eruptive column that reached between six and eight kilometers in height. Vertically from the crater, the emission of lava reached up to 1,5-kilometer high.
Following the eruption, the Villarrica National Park around the volcano was closed until the end of the year. As of today, the ski center opens for the ski season every year, along with the organized excursions to the top.
The Villarrica Volcano or Ruka Pillañ in the Mapuche’s cosmovision
In the Mapuche’s native language, Mapudungun, the Villarrica Volcano is named Ruka Pillañ, which means “House of the ancients’ spirits”. For them, the volcano is inhabited by the main spirit of nature who owns it. It is a kind of spirit from of the hills and volcanoes. Alongside this tutelary presence, there would inhabit some other minor spirits in relation to nature, but extremely powerful.
In other words, the Villarrica and its inhabitants take a very special place in the Mapuche’s cosmovision. The simbolism is clear: associated with the good, in opposition with the Llaima volcano that they associate with the bad. As a result, the propitious Rucapillan inspires beneficial dreams and “good weather”, whereas the Llaima transmits bad omens.
Finally, the Villarrica is symbolically related to a group of other elements associated with the positive. For examplethe colors violet and green, the Moon, the stars in general, the South and the East.
Ascent to Villarrica Volcano’s open crater
If your next travel destination is Chile, you definitely have to add the visit of Pucón and the excursion to the top of Villarrica Volcano. Not only the amazing 360° panoramic view will blow your mind, but you will feel the unique sensation to step on Chile’s most active volcano.
As this activity requires optimal conditions, the hike mostly depends on the weather. A clear sky and a minimum wind are the required conditions for the hike to be safe. During this excursion, 3 professional mountain guides and assistant will accompany the ascent, along with a mountain gear. This includes: gloves, helmets, snow pants, mountain boots, crampons, ice axe, and mountain bag.
The ascent is available almost all year long, but the level of difficulty mostly depends on the season. In summer, the hike is easier for the snow only covers the crater, thus making the climb accessible to every hiker. In winter, the snow fully covers the Villarrica volcano and the hike gets more difficult. It usually requires a good physical health since hiking on snow during 6 hours can be exhausting, but definitely worth the effort.
Usually in Amity, we set the departing hour early in the morning. At 6:30, we gather with our mountain guides and leave towards the ski center. Once arrived, we put on our mountain gear, and then the ascent begins.
In summer, we use the ski lift, in order to gain approximately 1 hour of walking. Then begins the hike, which lasts roughly 4 to 6 hours depending on the group’s walking pace. All along the climb, the view is mind blowing as the summit gets closer. Before reaching the open crater, we’ll take a pause to enjoy the view, relax, and get to refill energy with a picnic lunch.
At around 1 pm, we reach the summit which is the ultimate reward of the hike. A stunning view over 8 different volcanoes, 6 lakes and the valley surrounding the volcano awaits you. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to observe some lava flows depending on the magma lake’s level.
After then, we begin the descent. It basically consists in sliding down the volcano. In winter, enjoy skiing down the slopes of the volcano which is truly an incredible to live for every ski lover!
If you’re interested in climbing the Villarrica volcano, we highly suggest you to take a look at our hiking tours.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want a tailor-made trip in the Lake and Volcano including the climbing of Chile’s most active volcano!
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Find out why Amity Tours will make your ski experience in Chile a once-in-a-lifetime trip you won’t regret!
Chile, has a great variety of outdoor activities to do all along the territory. During winter in the Southern Hemisphere, ski is the best activity to do in Chile. Thanks to the proximity with the Andes mountain range, and the presence of the many volcanoes, this country counts on many ski resorts. They can be all appreciated by skiers of every level.
Find out why Amity Tours, as a Travel Company, will make you have an amazing ski experience in Southern Chile and Argentina!
In Amity Tours, all of our team members are passionate skiers. This means we perfectly know what an excellent ski holiday has to be made of. As a tour operator providing ski trips since 2003, we make sure your needs are well taken care of. After these many years of experience, we know what our travelers expect of a ski tour.
All of our ski experiences were designed to take you to the best snow Chile and Argentina have to offer. In addition to the best powder, we provide the best prices and great offers for our clients in our ski packages. As a result, we’ve come to be the leading Tour Operator in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District.
Professional and all-inclusive service
We are aware that a great adventure can sometimes come with a little bit of risk. Skiing is “the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at a great personal risk”. However, in our company, we’ll always make sure your safety comes first no matter what.
Our English-speaking guides, besides being excellent skiers, are professional and expert in the field. In addition, they are experienced mountain guides & Wilderness First Responders. Finally, they always carry on with them radios, in case of any emergency.
In other words, our professional team will always provide a safe, friendly and professional service. If you want to get to know more about our guides, check out our staff page here!
On the other hand, we’ve designed our ski experiences in a way that you won’t worry about anything to make the most of your holiday. From luxury hotels & SPAs, good food in selective restaurants and great snow, you’ll surely enjoy each day of your ski trip.
Ski on Southern Chile’s active volcanoes
Skiing is the best winter sport in the world, and we absolutely love the feeling when skiing down the slopes. But imagine yourself skiing on an active volcano, with incredible panoramic views over other volcanoes around…
In Amity, we make this dream come true. During our ski experience, you’ll feel the adrenaline of sliding down the most active volcanoes in South America, such as Llaima, Lonquimay or Villarrica Volcanoes.
The best of it ? We take advantage of the unique volcanic activity of the region. How ? We combine the ski activity with the most natural hot springs of the Lake and Volcano District. As a result, we provide the perfect combination of an active day and a deserved relaxing evening.
Uncrowded Ski Resorts
Worldwide, the most known ski spots in South America are located around Santiago de Chile, such as Farellones, Colorado Valley & La Parva. With Amity, you’ll have a unique ski experience in the usually unknown and uncrowded ski resorts of Southern Chile & Argentina.
Indeed, as our company is based in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District, we have plenty of slopes to ski down on active volcanoes. Moreover, the proximity of the border with Argentina makes it easy for us to cross it and head towards excellent ski resorts.
For many of us ski lovers, the snow season is always and all too short. In Chile, located in the Southern Hemisphere, we give you the opportunity to enjoy snow during summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
In fact, in Chile and Argentina, the snow usually starts falling at the end of June, making the ski slopes ready to ski on at the end of June. It is only until the end of September, with the arrival of Spring season that the ski resorts are closing.
What a great excuse to travel to Chile during winter!
Ski for any level of experience
If you are a beginner, intermediate or an expert skier, it doesn’t matter. Although most of our tours are designed for intermediate skiers, we make sure to design a tailor-made trip according to your level of experience. Indeed, our professional mountain guides will be your ideal teachers with great ski lessons if you want to give it a try as a beginner.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for any information you might need for your next ski trip in South America.
Group or Private Tours
We are perfectly aware that skiing is not the cheapest sport to practice in the world. This is why we offer both private tour and both departure dates for group tours.
If you are a group and want to have a private tour, we’ll get the best deals with excellent service. The most important, you get to decide your travel dates, and we make sure you choose the ideal travel dates to enjoy the best snow available.
You are a solo traveler, or you simply want to join a group to make the best of your trip ? Please ask us about our group departure dates available from July to September.
If you liked this article, share it with your travel buddies! If you’re still hesitating, drop us a line and will give you the best information regarding this amazing sport called ski!
Don’t wait any longer and start planning the best ski experience South America has to offer!
For the last 9 months, Amity Tours has been working with local communities in Mapu Lahual Reserve, developing a new trekking tour.
We’ve been focusing on creating a different trekking option to Torres del Paine, that is completely overcrowded during our Summer.
The Epic Pacific Coast trek passes through Larch ancient forests as well Temperate Rainforests, fishing coves and pristine beaches. It is a hut to hut trekking staying with local Mapuche families. Thus, we will learn about ancient traditions and cosmovision. As we are guided by local guides, it is a really good example of community based tourism.
This amazing trekking experience includes trekking hut to hut by the Pacific Coast, an area very difficult to access. Scuba diving with the local fishermen. 2 nights stay with local fishermen families, eating seafood & fish for lunch and dinner. Chilean dolphins, sea-lions, and sea-otters watching (permanent residents). River crossings by foot and boat. Trekking among ancient Larch tree forest (Fitzroya cupressoides). uncrowded off-the-beaten-path trails. Host community belongs to the Williche indigenous ethnic group.
The final test will be from February 5th 2018 till February 10th 2018th, including national and international tour operators.
Our team, lead by the product manager Stef Carmody, is developing the final itinerary and we will have it live on our website soon.
You’ll find these key elements in all of the travel experiences we create.
ADVENTURE: We are an adventure travel company and we understand “adventure” as and experience where culture and nature are the main pillars. We specialized in sport activities such as biking, hiking, and skiing, but we also understand that that comes with excellent service, comfortable hotels and great local food, wine and beer.
Adventure is a key concept when defining and creating our trips in Chile and Argentina. Active explorations in remote areas surrounded by nature will free our visitors to become part of the place. Adventure trips by Amity Tours will unfold meaningful experiences that will make our guests return home with enormous vitality. By bike, ski or foot we will enable our guests to discover and explore hidden corners, meet local communities and immerse themselves in the life of the Atacama Desert, Lake & Volcano District and Patagonia. As a result, we have created unforgettable biking, hiking, skiing and conservation adventures.
For instance, imagine yourself cycling Chile’s southern backroads. You will be able to discover a beautiful geopark, riding between pristine lakes and rivers. You’ll share with local indigenous communities while learning about their ancestral knowledge. Moreover, envision yourself and your family or friends hiking through Chile’s most impressive sights such as ancient forests in Patagonia and the Lake & Volcano district, ancient glaciers, fjords and rivers. Or exploring old shepherd trails in the Atacama Desert encompassing huge dunes, salt flats, and endemic fauna including flamingos, vicuñas, condors, foxes, guanacos and pumas.
What’s more, if you love skiing or snowboarding, visualize yourself slowing down and speeding up at will, controlling your descent on ice, knowing how to cope with fresh snow, and handling uncrowded slopes and narrow paths in the most beautiful ski centers in Chile and Argentina. You can ski on and off piste surrounded by Nothofagus forests and active volcanoes in the South of Chile.
We believe that experiencing adventures trips will enhance your attachment to nature and enhance your world view. Travel actively with Amity Tours and feel your body in motion while experiencing a fun cultural exchange.
Chile is a great and diverse country that offers incredible places for hiking. From the Atacama Desert to Patagonia, we have designed the most fascinating hiking tours in order to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
During our experiences, you will be surrounded by the driest desert in the world, active volcanoes, ancient glaciers, pristine lakes and the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, you will learn about ancestral cultures, history and astronomy, as well as the captivating Chilean endemic flora and fauna.
This 2017, imagine yourself hiking the Atacama Desert through old shepherd trails. Getting the chance to see petroglyphs while walking through a ravine following a salty river and admiring huge ancient cacti.
In addition, we can also take you, your family and friends to hike through the amazing national parks of Chile’s Lake & Volcano District. Here you will hike through ancient Araucaria and Nothofagus forests, discovering beautiful bodies of water such as lakes, waterfalls and rivers.
Another interesting hiking option is a trip in Patagonia, specifically to Torres del Paine National Park. This protected area is home of the world’s most epic trekking routes. It encompasses ancient forest, glaciers, fjords, lakes and rivers.
Furthermore, we offer you the chance to climb active and non active volcanoes, from North to South. You will experience being at the top of the world, listening to the silence, and connecting your soul with the spirit of the Andes.
Don’t miss the chance to discover these amazing natural areas. You can also combine two or more destinations. We can help you to design a memorable experience that you will keep forever.
We are pleased to announce that our Bike Tour Chile 8 Days has been confirmed. It will be starting on January 21st, 2017. During eight days, you will have the chance to experience riding the amazing southern back roads of the Lake & Volcano District. Summer is the best time to ride around lakes, ancient forests and little villages.
Our trip starts in Temuco, where you will meet our friendly local team. The adventures starts with a warm up ride towards our hotel located in the Malalcahuello National Reserve. On the second ride, we will travel alongside the Lonquimay River: Also we’ll visit the Kütralkura Geopark where you can meet the local Pewenche indigenous communities. The third day will be dedicated to enjoy great views of three different volcanoes (Llaima, Tolhuaca and Lonquimay) on our bikes.
Afterwards, on the next day we will cycle around Pucon, the Lake & Volcano District’s main tourist destination. We will enjoy great views and landscapes such as the Caburgua Lake and the Huife Hot Springs. On day five we will bike through Chile´s 7 Lakes Route. We’ll pedal alongside the shores of two beautiful lakes, Calafquén and Panguipulli, and cover three-quarters of the way around the majestic, snow-capped active Villarrica Volcano. This road is smooth and quiet as almost no vehicles drive here. At one point we might even be able to see five volcanoes.
The last stage of this unforgettable trip will be at the Llanquihue Lake. This area is great for bike trips and it is considered Chile’s first bike-friendly destination.
We will pass through small towns such as Puerto Varas and Ensenada. We will eat some amazing food and if you want to challenge yourself, you can do some extra pedaling and ride up the Osorno Volcano.
Finally, we will visit the local Market, which is the perfect place for wonderful souvenirs, handcrafts and woolen clothing. Afterwards we will drive you the airport where this adventure ends.
For more information about this trip or any of our other trending tours check out our website!
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.
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.
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.
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.