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Osorno, A Living Volcano

Mónica Pons Mario Ptasik

Mountaineering enthusiasts always wish to know every single corner of this mountain. Those who enjoy its unspoilt environment, its ski trails and its tourist traits will also find it attractive.

Osorno Volcano - Frutillar, Chile

Just like Puerto Varas, Frutillar and Llanquihue rest on one of the shores of Lake Llanquihue, the Osorno Volcano reigns upon the other margin. Its silhouette is displayed on the horizon and is part of the tourist brochures in these emblematic cities in southern Chile.

Reaching 2,661 meters above mean sea level, it is imposing from all the corners of the community and from some locations on Chiloé Island. The brownish-grey hues of its hillsides, its always white summit covered with unspoiled snow and its appearance, resembling a soldier watching on the scenery are unique.

To get to its base, visitors must travel 60 kilometers from Puerto Varas. Its hillsides are protected by a clashing wood of local species that benefit from the plentiful rainfalls year round. The first stretch of the ascent circuit -between two hundred and a thousand meters above mean sea level- is dwelled by coihues. Farther up, the lengas prevail. The oldest and largest species in the forest is the alerce andino, one of the longest-lived Cupressaceae in the world. The trails watched by this protected native species feature a particular scent and charm that invite visitors to go hiking around and stop at each of their nooks.

Osorno Volcano - Frutillar, Chile

Fauna includes pudúes, skunks, Andean foxes, lesser grisons and cougars, though not all of them are spotted in plain sight. Long-nosed caenolestids, huet huets, humming birds, common kestrels, tit-tyrants and woodpeckers of all kinds and sizes search for shelter in the most humid areas of the forest.

Mountaineering enthusiasts can find local guides in charge of organizing six-hour ascents to the volcano leaving from Puerto Kloker, Ensenada and Petrohué. There is snow above the two thousand meters of height. There are also very deep blue crevices on the eastern hillside, ideal for climbing. Some experience is essential and adventurers must know that this volcano features very difficult sectors. Therefore, ascents must always be carried out in the company of an authorized guide.

Osorno Volcano - Frutillar, Chile

From a distance, the summit of the Osorno Volcano lures viewers with its everlasting snow. Sometimes, it seems to play hide and seek behind the clouds only to emerge again whenever it feels like doing so. From up close, it offers a thousand ways to approach it, and all of them guarantee a unique flavor.

Welcome Chile - Outings in Frutillar
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Useful Data

How to get there

Travel 25 kilometers from downtown Frutillar to Puerto Varas and then 60 kilometers towards Ensenada along paved Route 225.

Bear in mind

The volcano has elementary codes and it may only be climbed by proving certified experience or in the company of an experienced mountain guide.
Thermal clothes, sunglasses, sun lotion, water and comfortable footwear are essential.

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