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Chilean Lake District (north): Climb an active Chilean volcano

Climb an active Chilean volcano

Difficulty rating:

Spouting a steady stream of smoke and lava from its cavernous caldera, Villarrica is one of Chile’s most animated volcanoes and one of the few in the world to contain an active lava lake.

This cauldron of molten red lava is jacketed in snow and ice, so you’ll be provided with crampons and an ice axe to help you forge your way up the side of the volcano over the course of a 5-hour guided ascent. As the surrounding lakes and valleys drop ever further beneath you, sweeping views reward your perseverance. When you finally stand on the summit, they are matched by an equally impressive vantage point over the lava lake bubbling away within the deep and foreboding crater.

You’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to complete the climb, but the way down is not nearly so strenuous: sliding down on a plastic tray, you’ll use the slope of this mighty volcano as a toboggan run!

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