Villarrica NP

  • volcan villarrica - ©  flickr user- radzfoto
  • Crater del Villarrica  - © flickr user- Raul Munoz
  • El Volcan Villarica  - © Senor Hans
  • © fickr user- cnszym
  • From Volcan Villarrica  - © flickr user- cnszym
  • Lake Villarica - © Tomer Arazy
  • The Volcano at Dawn - ©  flickr user- Montgomery Lion
  • Volan Villarrica - ©  flickr user- Javier Ignacio Acuna Ditzel
  • Volcan Lanin, Viewed from Volcan Villarrica - ©  flickr user- Omer Tamir
  • Volcan Lanin, Viewed from Volcan Villarrica  - © flickr user- Raul Munoz
  • Volcan Villarica - © Cristain Seguel
  • Volcan Villarica - © Francisco Schmidt
  • Volcan Villarrica and Lago Tinquilco - © flickr user- Brain Ralphs
  • Volcan Villarrica and Lago Tinquilco  - © flickr user- Brain Ralphs
  • Volcan Villarrica  - © flickr user- Brain Ralphs
  • Volcan Villarrica - © flickr user- cnszym
  • Volcan Villarrica  - © flickr user- David Bartholow
  • Volcan Villarrica  - © flickr user- p a n

Key information: Villarrica NP

    • Just 15 minutes away from the popular resort town of Pucon, Villarrica NP is a rich landscape of Valdivian rainforest, glaciated stratovolcanoes, grim lava fields, rivers and lagoons. 
      • Take in the full glory of this national park in the extended Villarrica Traverse, or find a guide and ascend to the summit of Volcan Villarrica, peering into the viscous lava lake simmering in the crater.
        • From the southern edge of the park, you can cross the Argentine border into the beautiful Lanin NP, and climb imposing 3,776m Volcan Lanin. 

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating85
  • Beauty35
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest0
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating85

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,647m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
Volcan Villarrica and Lago Tinquilco  - © flickr user- Brain Ralphs


The oldest of Chile's national parks, Villarrica became a protected area in 1912 and a park in 1925. This is a rich landscape, of glaciers creeping down the sides of snow-capped monoliths, whilst below them lush Valdivian rainforest is broken up by lava fields - rough, dark swathes that have swallowed up the Andean flora in their path. A volcanic ridge runs right through the park, extending incongruously at a right angle from the main Andean range, and dominated by three vast volcanoes - Villarrica, Quetrupillan, and Lanin.

Easy accessibility from the busy town of Pucon and the draw of enigmatic Volcan Villarrica have been primarily responsible for the park's popularity. However, the crowds of people who visit here each year, making Villarrica the most climbed stratovolcano in the world, do not significantly detract from the incredible experience that summiting this volcano offers. The bleak splendour of the volcanic landscape, frequently difficult conditions, and, above all, the lava lake nestling in the cauldron of the crater, make this an unforgettable walk.

For those seeking an escape from the more heavily visited areas, there is the multi-day Villarrica Traverse, skirting Volcan Villarrica before heading southeast to Quetrupillan and the Argentine border. For the most part following exposed ridges along the main volcanic crest, this trek meanders across rough lava fields, occasionally dipping into the shady forests of beech and money puzzle trees.

This is a walk of contrasts. Peer into astonishingly clear waters at Laguna Azul, before heading east to watch the creamy white waters of Laguna Blanca lap its black volcanic shoreline. Gaze over vast swathes of bleak, greyscale landscape, and then catch a glimpse of hardy yellow flowers braving the odds to provide a dash of colour. Crossing fleetingly over the Argentine border provides a vista over the untamed valley of the Rio Blanco, before the trail leads you back to civilization in the small settlement of Puesco.

Climbing Volcan Villarrica, unless you are a qualified mountaineer, requires a guide. Companies used to completing the hike will make a decision regarding the conditions as to whether they take you up the volcano. Both the climb and the Villarrica Traverse are very exposed, and the weather can change rapidly and dramatically. Check conditions and advice before you set out, be ready to turn back or seek shelter lower down if it becomes necessary and, above all, come prepared.

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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.

Volcan Villarrica - © flickr user- cnszym

share your experiences

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

Volan Villarrica - ©  flickr user- Javier Ignacio Acuna Ditzel...

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