Laguna del Laja NP

  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Wikimedia Commons Cyborgsoto
  • Laguna del Laja NP - Volcan Antuco - © Copyright Wikimedia Commons Mono Andes
  • Laguna del Laja NP - Topography - © Copyright Wikimedia Commons sinfomano
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user scott.zona
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user nazgulhead
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user fotos paGoda.me) Pedro Pinacho D.
  • Laguna del Laja - © Copyright Flickr user fotos paGoda.me) Pedro Pinacho D.
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user Gonzalo Astroza H
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user deoxyt2.-lacamaradegas.cl
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user nazgulhead
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user nazgulhead
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user turismolawal
  • Laguna del Laja NP - Sierra Velluda - © Copyright Flickr user vikingsur
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user deoxyt2.-lacamaradegas.cl
  • Laguna del Laja NP - Volcan Antuco - © Copyright Flickr user nazgulhead
  • Laguna del Laja NP - © Copyright Flickr user deoxyt2.-lacamaradegas.cl
  • Laguna del Laja NP - Salto las Chilcas and Salto Torbellino - © Copyright Flickr user scott.zona

Key information: Laguna del Laja NP

    • Barren becomes beautiful in the stark scenery of Laguna del Laja national park. Vast lava fields sweep from the symmetry of Volcan Antuco's conical summit to the blue waters of Laguna de la Laja.
      • Dark, harsh environs within the park are offset by the neighbouring Sierra Velluda, draped in a constant coat of snow and ice.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating85
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest2
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating85

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,979m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
Top
Laguna del Laja NP - Volcan Antuco - © Copyright Wikimedia Commons Mono Andes

WALK SUMMARY

Laguna del Laja National Park lies 93km to the east of the Chilean city of Los Angeles, in the northernmost reaches of the region of Araucania - the heartland of the resilient Mapuche Indians. The Mapuches are renowned historically for their successful resistant against the might of both the Inca and the Spanish Empires, and the area was not fully incorporated into Chile until as late as 1882.

Although condensed into just 100 square metres, Laguna del Laja is home to some spectacular, and varied, Andean scenery. Its centerpiece is Volcan Antuco, a classically shaped volcanic cone whose basalt lava flows have moulded the surrounding landscape: sterile black deserts stretching to the shores of Laguna de la Laja's projecting arms.

Walking here you have constant views across the Sierra Velluda to the southwest, a jagged, non-volcanic range draped in snow and ice which provides the perfect foil to the beautiful symmetry of Volcan Antuco.

The Volcan Antuco Circuit, the only multi-day walk in Parque Nacional Laguna del Laja, is a wonderful three day loop around the almost perfectly formed Volcan Antuco. Both big explosions and slow lava movements have shaped the landscape of its environs for thousands of years, creating the setting for a captivating trek through infertile volcanic surroundings.

On this walk, head first around the south side of the volcano, with extensive lava fields leading up to Antuco itself, before reaching the shores of Laguna de la Laja. Follow the lake edge from Los Barros as it curves back round to the west; hydroelectric development has to some extent ruined the lake?s natural beauty at its westernmost point, but this is more than made up for on a short side trip to the truly beautiful Salto las Chilcas and Salto Torbellino.

On your way into or out of the park, be sure not to miss out on a sight of these cascades, where water from the lake pours out from underground passages to form the source of the Laja river. The straightforward walk to these cascades is a stunning interlude.

An ascent to the rim of Volcan Antuco makes another, more challenging, side trip or can form a great day hike in itself. Panoramic views across to the ice-covered Sierra Velluda and down over the waters of Laguna de la Laja make steep walking across hard volcanic rock worthwhile.

Walking around and on Volcan Antuco can pose considerable risks, including glacial crevasses and snowstorms as well as high temperatures and limited water supplies. Check the weather, and come prepared.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

Membership is FREE AND JOINING TAKES 30 SECONDS. To login or sign up click here

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Laguna del Laja NP - ©Copyright Flickr user scott.zona

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Top
Laguna del Laja NP - ©Copyright Flickr user nazgulhead...
Top

Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more

All material on this website is � Walkopedia Ltd 2008 - 2015, unless specified otherwise.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED