Lakes and volcanoes in Middle Chile

Chile is famous for being named the country of "mad geography". Not without reason, here is really everything existing. Volcanic mountain deserts with rich coloration of the rocks, many colored lagoons and massive volcano mountains with nearly 7000 meters of height. Additionally, there is the coastal strip, over many kilometers long, rich of variations and in the South the respect demanding mountain massifs of Patagonia.

Termas de Flaco

But the most diverse appears the so called Lakeland Area south of Santiago, there are located some of the world’s most active volcanoes, marvelous lake lands and mountain regions, comparable to the Alps. Furthermore, you can find there forests, varied and deep green. The zones of the country look relatively green generally, you might feel, as if you are in Sweden or Norway. Some skiing regions open up here in the winter additionally.

Explore with us the alpine country zones of Farellones and Termas de Flaco, inclusive a bath in the hot springs there. Relax at the black volcano sand beaches of Villarica. Furthermore we plan a larch wood excursion and bird watching. As a matter of course we will climb up on some of these volcano mountains. Amongst others we are going to climb the harmoniously proportioned glacier volcano Osorno, but before this we will have a look into the fire spitting crater of the Villarica.


  • Santiago de Chile
  • Farellones
  • Thermas de Flaco
  • Villarica
  • Osorno
  • Puerto Varas
  • Bird Watching

Dates and prices

  • Travel time:  18 days
  • Price: 1845 Euros
  • 2. bis 19. November 2009
  • 3. bis 20. February 2009

Termas de Flaco with Tinguiririca volcano

Our services

Transfer from the airport
Journeys through the country with busses and taxis
Accommodation in simple hotels or tents
Mountain tours inclusive organization, tour guide and leased equipment
Entrance fee national park
Travel guide on location
Guided mountain tours
Food during the guided tours
Mountain guide
for the high mountains

Not included services

Travel accident and sickness insurance
Luggage and cancellation insurance
Not advertised meals and drinks
Expenditure of
personal needs

Number of participants

Minimum: 2
: 10

Tour overview

After visiting the capital first, we climb on a simple ‘beginners mountain’ in the skiing area of Farellones.

We move further in the direction of Termas de Flaco. The village is known for the nicely arranged hot thermal bathes. This is a fantastic experience with magnificent mountain views. From here we are able to climb two very nice, nearly alpine looking rock mountains directly from the hotel.

Calbuco volcano from Puerto Varas

Villarica is our next destination. After relaxing one day at the lake we plan to start off earnestly. Now we climb the heartily shaped firn mountain onto the steaming top. From above there is the possibility to look directly in the bubbling lava mass and naturally across the lake and the entire area.

In Puerto Varas we have scheduled to climb the Volcano Mountains Calbuco and Osorno, alongside with bird watching and a trek through the mountain forest. The latter is practically not very easy to climb, but surely represents with his harmoniously shaped ice cap an ideal example of a volcano per se. Back in Santiago follows a day of relaxation in the nearby Cajon de Maipo.


1 Day of travel: Arrival in Santiago

The first day is donated completely to our arrival in Santiago. Already the plane flight across the snow covered mountains with a view on the spacious city is more than breathtaking at clear sight. After being picked up at the airport we move into the hotel and thereafter we rest. A dinner in a simple restaurant of Santiago, characteristic for the country, defines the end of the day.

2 Day of travel: City - Cerro San Cristobal

With a population of five million and a yearly growth of about 100.000 inhabitants, Santiago de Chile is the unchallenged centre of the country. Reason enough to have a closer look on the metropolis. Despite the large size of the city, the orientation is quite simple and the centre clear to overlook. We start our walkabout at the Plaza de Armas. We continue to promenade to the pedestrian zone Paseo Ahumada and to the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolumbino. There are exhibited artistic works from all parts of South America, partly older than 5.000 years. Later we will climb the Cerro San Cristobal, 500 meter above the city he offers fantastic views upon the settlement. This is a first test for the condition before starting with the big mountains.

3 Day of travel: Farellones

Today we start with the first larger mountain. We drive into the skiing area of Farellones, situated close by. Because here in the summer not so much activity is, we have to travel up by taxi. But we can journey directly to the starting point of our tour so. Now we wander through alpine looking landscape up onto a mountain summit of more than 3000 meters. In doing so we enjoy the beautiful mountain landscape of the surrounding area, crowned from the ice walls of the Cerro de Plomo, anyway more than 5500 meters high. After this tour we drive back to Santiago, where we stay overnight once again.

4 Day of travel: San Fernado - Termas de Flaco

Today there is first of all a bus travel on the program. About two hours we will journey from Santiago southwards to San Fernando. Here we switch over the means of transportation and travel another 2,5 hours further to Termas de Flaco. This route surely features some of the most promising view points of the country. We move through wild canyons, traversed by rushing waterfalls and crowned with wild mountains of rock. Additionally they are accompanied by interesting forms of vegetation and wild mountain rivers. We have a short look at the village after arriving there. Who wants to, might now already test the thermal baths.

The aktive volcano Villarica

5 Day of travel: Waterfall

Today we wander again. The wonderful surroundings seem to invite us nearly, directly from the hotel we start in the direction of an eye-catching waterfall. We climb towards him until we have passed. Then we rise on trails, growing more and more worse, further uphill, up to the foot of the grand mountains of rock. Depending on condition and time we might climb up to the first summit.

To do so it would be necessary to move up for considerably more than 1000 meters of height.

6 Day of travel: Unknown rock summit

Today we climb again mountains – this time from the valley’s other side.

We cross the river on a shaky rope bridge and climb on steep paths for lamas towards a rich green saddle. Every now and then we have to walk across slightly swampy grasslands, but usually such grounds can be evaded. Alongside with lizards, horses and cows are our most loyal companions. Two times we must cross a small stream, a chance to refill drinking water. From the saddle we turn to the left in the direction of our seemingly anonymous summit destination. With every step the panorama expands and more and more partly snow covered mountain shapes appear in a distance. Especially impressive is the volcano Tingiriuica, whose white colored and harmoniously proportioned top seems to look at us. Unfortunately, for this mountain with more than 4000 meters of height would be a small expedition necessary. But also from our mountain top, the view is fantastic. Deep below us lies Termas de Flaco, whereto we plan to walk downhill on the same path we have come up.

7 Day of travel: Villarica

This day we spend mostly in a bus. First we drive a wonderful route from Termas de Flaco back to San Fernando. From there we take the first bus to Villarica, where we arrive late in the evening. So we pass through a marvelous green and tree-covered landscape, reminding us partly of our ever so beloved homeland.

8 Day of travel: Lago Villarica

After the past strenuous days we relax a little bit for now. On the program stands to rest on the beach, yet more beautiful a recreation seems nearly impossible. Always watching the perfectly white volcano cone, we sunbathe on black sandy beaches out of volcano sands. Who wants to, can undertake a round tour through the nearer surroundings.

9 Day of travel: Volcano Villarica

Surely one of our tour’s highlights is the climbing of the volcano Villarica. For this we approach the harmoniously shaped ice top early in the morning. We are able to drive relatively near to the mountain here, but yet there remain full 1300 meters of altitude difference for us. Anyway, the mountain can be climbed in one day. The path goes upward on soft snow in a zigzag not too difficult. Usually we come forward without climbing irons.

After about 6 hours we stand at the crater’s rim and wonder at the breathtakingly clear views and first of all at the turbulent inside of the volcano, anyhow one of the most active ones of the world. Nearly always he is accompanied by a trail of smoke. In the absence of alternatives we move downhill on the same track we have come up and let us chauffeur back to Villarica.

Villarica town with the same named volcano

10 Day of travel: Puerto Varas

After this strenuous day we tour much more relaxed today. We let the bus driver do all the work for us and drive repeatedly through astonishingly green and flowering landscapes further towards the South, to Puerto Varas. In the course of this, numerous other lakes cross our way. We stay for the night in Puerto Varas and before that we have a look at the city.

11 Day of travel: Walking tour in Larch Park

The today trek starts in the North of the Sagazo Sea and directs us through nice mountain forests of surprising diversity. After two hours we reach the lake’s east side and after another hour it takes us to the close by located Laguna Fria. Further we move inside 3500 years old larch woods before returning to the car. Accommodation is again in Puerto Varas.

12 Day of travel: Volcano Calbuco

The second big mountain above the lake of Puerto Varas is the Calbuco, this one we take first.

Who is interested in doing so can manage a part of the path on horses, approachable and for non riders adequate. But from the waterfall Salto Caliente on, anyhow 50 meters deep, it is going onward only on foot finally. An ascent to the mountain, full of interesting views, lies ahead of us. We walk across volcanic ashes, interesting rock formations and finally snow. The sight from here is surely also finest, foremost the vast view over the lake under us. The climb-down is followed by our return back to Puerto Varas.

13 Day of travel: Bird watching

To relax from the exhaustive strains of yesterday, we watch the birds today. We drive therefore on the motorway in the direction of Puerto Montt up to Maullin, where we arrive at a river with the same name. From here we move onward to the peninsula Amortajado. Along the small rivers Rio Rey and Rio San Pedro Nolasco lives an almost unbelievable diversity of birds.

From here we start with the motorboat to Amortajado and wander in 5 hours to the highest point. Practically all imaginable sorts of sea birds live here. Thereafter we travel comparably back to Puerto Varas.

The Villarica lake

14 Day of travel: Volcano Osorno

The climbing of this ice covered giant of a mountain is surely another absolute highlight on our tour, concerning the requirements at least. Also this mountain can be climbed on one day. But we must stand up early. In difference to the Villarica, the flanks are distinctly steeper here and countless zones with chasms pull through the big glacier. About 4 hours uphill climbing will be necessary for this 2.650 meter high grand mountain. There are ice plains, particularly up to 50 degrees steep. Additional, we plan further two to three hours for the way downhill. On top, the sight is sheer untroubled on clear days. First of all, the 3.400 meter high Tronador, located close by, impresses with his even shape. Below us stretches the sheer endless lake, Puerto Varas at the side. Yet today we have to be back precisely there. Without problems we should manage the way back.

15 Day of travel: Resting

One day as a reserve, for the case of bad weather at the Osorno. Relaxation is scheduled for today, otherwise. In Puerto Varas there are famous black sandy beaches too. In case of interest we can organize a rafting tour, respectively find a fitting tour to join in, over our partner agency in Puerto Varas.

16 Day of travel: Journey to Santiago

With the long way of approximately 15 hours back to Santiago this day is already filled out. We will possibly need the night too and then in the next morning arrive at the capital. Luckily the buses in Chile are relatively comfortable and provide enough room for all body parts. It is possible to adjust the seats in our semicama bus backwards, so that we should be able to sleep.

17 Day of travel: Cajon de Maipo

A day trip might be a good choice for today, because Santiago is already situated in the direct surroundings of the Andes. In the course of this we turn to San Gabriel, where we admire the mighty waterfalls, respectively Cascadas de las Animas, dropping in several stages down into the valley. The waterfalls are located in the Cajon de Maipo, which we find in circa 50 km distance to Santiago on a road, leading along the river Rio Maipo. Thereto we return thereafter, accommodation and dinner follow then later again in Santiago.

18 Day of travel: Return flight

This is the saddest day of the tour, because we must journey back to Germany now. As a matter of course our tour guide will escort us to the airport. After saying good-by we fly with an intermediate stop to Madrid back home. But before, we will fly over Chile again. Interesting insights onto the Andes and the Amazon area remind us again on all the exceptional experiences from the tour and generously offer grounds for new travel ideas and tour plans. Maybe you are not for the last time in South America now.

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