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The Lake District Sights

Parque Nacional Villarrica

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

Updated 12/02/2014

Fodor's Review

The main draw of this popular 610-square-km (235-square-mile) national park, which has skiing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities, is the volcano. Happily, you don't need to have any climbing experience to reach the 3,116-meter (9,350-foot) summit, but a guide is a good idea. The volcano sits in the park's Sector Rucapillán, a Mapuche word meaning "house of the devil." That name is apt, as the perpetually smoldering volcano is one of South America's most active.

CONAF closes off access to the trails at the slightest hint of volcanic activity deemed out of the ordinary. It's a steep uphill walk to the snow line, but doable any time of year. All equipment is supplied by any of the Pucón outfitters that organize daylong excursions for about 50,000 pesos per person. Your reward for the six-hour climb is the rare sight of an active crater, which continues to release clouds of sulfur gases and explosions of lava. You're also treated to superb views of the nearby volcanoes, the less-visited Quetrupillán and Lanín.

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Sight Information

Phone:

45-244–3781-CONAF in Temuco

Sight Details:

  • 4,000 pesos
  • Daily 8–6

Updated 12/02/2014

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