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Hiking the Villarrica Volcano

Volcan Villarrica

From Valparaiso we went south to Pucon with one purpose: hiking the Villarrica Volcano! Pucon has that mountain town feeling, very clean, rustic wood cabins everywhere, offering many outdoor activities with gorgeous views to the Villarrica volcano and the Vilarrica lake. We had heard comments that the excursions to the volcano can depend on the weather so we went to a guide agency right away to make sure we could go the next day.  They also recommended us a cozy hostel/house ran by a sweet Chilean lady named Lucia.

Views from Pucon to the volcano

The next day we had an early start enjoying dawn’s first rays of light reflecting off the volcano that was ahead of us. After a quick thirty minute drive we arrived to the bottom of Villarrica to start our adventure. Feeling motivated by the amazing views we started our hike up!

Let’s go!

An old ski lift destroyed by the last eruption

Views from half way up, another volcano in the distance

Half way up we stopped to prepare for the snow and ice. To walk on the ice with crampons was a very strange feeling. I started to gain confidence after a while, but I must confess I was a little nervous trusting them. I guess it’s normal when you have never done it before, or at least I like to tell myself that. Adam was of course a natural. We made rest stops every so often on the way to the top and almost five hours later we finally arrived!

Standing at the top of a volcano looking into the crater was truly unbelievable. Also, the views from the top were amazing, 360 degrees looking at other volcanos and the incredible Andes. We walked around to the other side of the volcano trying to get closer to the edge of the crater. The sulfur gases and smoke were tough to handle, but as we were standing near the edge we were able to see lava erupting from below!!! Words can’t describe the feeling of seeing lava up close in person, you’ll just have to do it yourself one day.

The crater

Lava!

On the top of a volcano!

Coming down was much faster and loads of fun. We got to slide down chutes in the snow and ice! All together this was an amazing experience…we hiked a freaking volcano!

Sliding down the volcano

Explaining the volcanic alert system

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Map Location

Comments To This Entry.
  1. dorothymcdonall February 16, 2012 Reply

    Good for you! Your photos certainly highlight your accomplishment. A great story to tell at parties … ;-) … Saw Mt Fuji from a distance in ’09. That was close enough to a volcano for me :-) … Again, kudos on your volcanic hiking adventure …

  2. Pamela February 16, 2012 Reply

    Thanks Dorothy :)

  3. Kim February 16, 2012 Reply

    OMG….I am not going to lie…I was a little scared of you two doing this adventure…but it all turned out great…the pictures are wonderful…One of my hopes is your children doing something this cool to freak you out…xoxooxo

    • Pamela February 16, 2012 Reply

      I can see that happening :)

  4. yvette February 17, 2012 Reply

    ufff super fregooon, osea del calor al frio de norte a sur, me super like!!!!!

  5. elmediat March 4, 2012 Reply

    Oh to be young and brave. I was young,never that brave. :) My wife and I did visit volcanoes in Hawaii. My bravest moments come from facing the students in my classes.
    Great post! Thanks for sharing your exciting adventures.

  6. Ross January 5, 2014 Reply

    Great achievement. I did something similar by climbing the 5900mtr Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador. It is so tiring when doing it but the views and sense of achievement is well worth it.
    Ross recently posted..What is Stonehenge – A guideMy Profile

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