Hiking Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

hiking chile lake volcano district

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

 

 

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

 

Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, Los Lagos Region

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Paso Desolación trail hike

 

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

 

desolacion pass hike
Entrance of the Desolacion Pass trail hike

 

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

 

todos los santos lake
Hiking towards Todos Los Santos Lake

 

El Solitario trail hike

 

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

 

el solitario trail hike
El Solitario trail hike

 

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

 

el solitario hike
Osorno Volcano from El Solitario trail hike

 

Crater Rojo trail hike

 

crater rojo hike osorno volcano
Crater Rojo trail

 

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

 

crater rojo trail osorno

 

Puyehue National Park, Los Lagos Region

 

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

 

puyehue national park
View of the Puntiagudo and Osorno Volcanoes

 

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

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

 

Casablanca Volcano and Raihuen Crater

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Casablanca volcano ascent
Casablanca volcano ascent

 

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

 

raihuen crater puyehue
Raihuen Crater trail hike

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

Paraíso Lake

 

paraíso lake puyehue

 

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

 

paraiso lake puyehue

 

Villarrica National Park, La Araucanía Region

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Andean Lagoons trail hike

 

Andean Lagoons hike

 

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

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

 

villarrica national park
Lanín Volcano

 

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

 

 

villarrica national park

 

El Cerdúo & Correntoso River

 

el cerduo pucon

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

el cerduo waterfalls

 

COVID-19: implementing our new protocols

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

 

covid 19 protocol chile
Van, masks and temperature check

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

covid chile

 

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

 

 

Social distancing while hiking

 

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

The best hikes in Chile’s Lake and Volcano District

Hiking Villarrica National Park
Pichillancahue Glacier Trail – Villarrica National Park

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

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

Kutralkura Geopark – Christmas Crater Hike

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

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

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

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

Kutralküra Geopark & Lonquimay Volcano – Lake and Volcano District

Coloradito trail hike – Malalcahuello National Reserve

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

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

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

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

Cerro Coloradito Trail – Malalcahuello National Reserve

Sierra Nevada hike – National Park Conguillio

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

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

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

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

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

Sierra Nevada Trail – Conguillio National Park

Andean Lagoons hike – Villarrica National Park

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

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

Andean Lagoons Trail – Villarrica National Park

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

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

Huerquehue National Park

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

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

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

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

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

Huerquehue national park
Los Lagos Trail, Huerquehue NP

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

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

El Cañi Reserve

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

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

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

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

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

El Cañi Sanctuary

Villarrica Volcano Ascent

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

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

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

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

Villarrica Volcano Climb

Pichillancahue Glacier hike – Villarrica National Park

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

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

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

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

Pichillancahue Glacier – Villarrica National Park

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

The National Parks of Chile Lake and Volcano District

lanin volcano chile

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

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

Nahuelbuta National Park

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

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

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

Nahuebuta national park
Lookout point in Nahuelbuta national park

Conguillío National Park

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

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

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

conguillio national park

Villarrica National Reserve

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

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

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

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

Huerquehue National Park

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

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

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

Huerquehue national park
Los Lagos Trail, Huerquehue NP

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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