Explore the Impressive Volcanoes of Chile

South America - Editor - 19 November 2007

Explore the Impressive Volcanoes of Chile

Travelers who are looking for a taste of adventure and something out of the ordinary should consider touring some of the more than 140 volcanoes of Chile in South America. The majority of the volcanoes of Chile are either extinct or dormant, with a small number showing signs of activity.

One of the more popular volcanoes in Chile to visit is Osorno, a conical stratovolcano that, at a height of 2,652 meters, dominates the south-eastern shore of the beautiful Lake Llanqehue. Osorno is notable for its similarity to Mount Fuji in Japan, with steep symmetrical slopes leading to its perpetually snow-covered peak. A lodge is situated near the top of the volcano and visitors often spend the night there. The area around the foot of Osorno is very fertile due to the rich volcanic soil and has numerous streams and waterfalls in the forested areas which contain a variety of interesting flora and fauna.

The stratovolcano Villarrica is situated next to the lake of the same name with the towns of Villarrica and Pucón close by. Villarrica is one of the most active volcanoes in Chile and is one of the few volcanoes worldwide that has an active lava lake within its crater. Located in the Villarrica National Park, the volcano forms part of a protected area. Guided hikes, which may include the volcanic caves, are available departing from the town of Pucón. Helicopter flights can take tourists over the crater to view the spectacular red-hot lava lake. Snow skiing is a popular activity on the western slopes of Villarrica during the winter months from July through to September.

The Ojos del Salado situated on the Argentina-Chile border is considered to be the highest volcano in the world with a height of 6,891 meters. This inactive volcano is located close to the Atacama Desert, resulting in generally dry conditions. There is, however, a permanent crater lake on the eastern side of Ojos del Salado which, at a height of 6,390 meters, is possibly the highest lake in the world. This is a popular mountain climbing area and mountaineers are rewarded with an awe-inspiring view when they reach their destination.

Many of the volcanoes of Chile are located next to lakes, which offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy canoeing and boating surrounded by some incredible scenery. As a result of volcanic activity, there are countless hot springs scattered throughout Chile which are believed to have curative properties. There are certainly many reasons for travelers to tour the remarkable volcanoes of Chile.


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