Top Ten Chile Classic Adventures
|Don't Blow your top: Scale a South American volcano|
The Pacific "ring of fire" has its name for a reason. From the Peruvian border in the north to the remoteness of the southern Aisin region, Chile's many volcanoes make for some great climbing—and adventure. In fact, the most frequently climbed volcano, 9,340-foot Volcan Villarrica near the resort town of Pucsn, is also one of the most active. Planning ahead may not help: This day-long excursion is sometimes canceled when the Chilean park service determines that the crater is a little too lively.
But don't fret—you have several options. Volcan Osorno, near the town of Puerto Varas, is also commercially climbed but is more technical. Capable independent climbers can undertake many summits on their own; just be aware that peaks in the vicinity of international borders require clearance from the Department of Frontiers and Borders in Santiago. Summer is the season for most climbers, but far northern peaks like Parque Nacional Lauca's Volcan Parinacota may be better outside the summer rainy season, when thunderstorms can be a serious hazard.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication