- Overall Rating 4
- Family Friendly 4
- All-Mtn. Terrain 2
- Terrain Park 1
- Nightlife 4
Pros: Skiing/Snowboarding a Lava Spewing Volcano
Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Sep 1, 2008
Located in the heart of Chile’s “Lakes District” and considered Chile’s adventure capital, Pucon serves as our base to ski and snowboard the majestic Villarrica Volcano. Surrounded by stunning volcanic peaks, enormous lakes and Jurassic Park like Araucaria forests, Pucon is a natural paradise. The 2,847 meter (9,350 feet) Volcan Villarrica is the most active volcano in Chile, one of the 10 most active volcanoes in the world and one of only four volcanoes worldwide known to have an active lava lake within its crater. This stratovolcano known in the indigenous Mapuche language as Rucapillán or “House of the Spirit” towers above the hip lakeside town of Pucon. While the ski resort on Villarrica is small, it does offer the possibility of summit attempts to view the active, lava-spewing crater and get a very big 1,000 meter (3,000 feet) ski or snowboard down.
The weather in the south of Chile can be torrential during the winter, lots of precipitation occurs and storms can leave meters of snow on the flanks of the volcano. Many days can be spent in Pucon enjoying crystal clear natural hotsprings and hikes to waterfalls while waiting for the weather to pass. When the sun does shine, Villarrica is one of the most picturesque zones in all of South America.