Hiking on an active volcano, Pucon the beginning of Patagonia
When you are traveling, there are things that you planned, you look forward to it. There are others that you wouldn’t imagine that you can do. Hiking in the snow to the top of an active volcano is part of the second category. But still, I did it.We arrived in Pucon the beginning of Patagonia, and there, I saw an ad for an expedition to the top of Vilarica Volcano with the way down in sled To be completely honest that it is the last part that convinces me to do this.
The next morning, the alarm rings at 5 AM and we head up to the agency. There we prepared ourselves, hiking boots and a bag fool of equipment. When we get out of the bus down the volcano it is completely freezing! You are almost happy to start walking to get warmer. 1 hour and a half after, it is time to change to be ready for the snow. Rain trousers and coat, spikes, we look like pros.
It is easy to walk on the snow, we are following one another with a guide leading us to the right path. Not to slow or quick either, we need to be able to walk for 45 minutes in raw between each break. If it is easy at the beginning, it is getting harder and harder with the time. The slope increase and the wind is getting stronger. I finish only because I wanted to, my legs weren’t happy about it. But still, here I was, on the top of an active volcano. We put on the gas mask and went to see the crater. When you look down it Is hard to realize that you hike all that.
Then we had a quick lunch (you get cold so fast!) and we are on for some fun! For 30 minutes we slide down either directly on our put our on a plastic sled it was really great. The first descent you are a bit shy on the speed but the fear goes away really quickly! Almost 5 hours of hiking for 30 minutes going down but it is still worth it.
A new thing to cross on the bucket list of adventure life experience! If you are in good shape I will definitely recommend this expedition. Otherwise, there are a lot of cool hikes to do around Pucon, I really recommend it.
How to get there? We took a bus from Santiago (30€ one way)
Where to sleep? It is the beginning of Patagonia and the price are even crazier than the rest of Chile. We stay at Gecko Hostel (14€ the night), it is pretty good, except there is no one at the reception between 6 and 8 AM, It is exactly the moment when you arrived after a night bus or you leave to go hiking… So not very practical, we said it, I hope they will fix this. Otherwise all good.
How much cost theVolcano climbing? Of course, you need an agency to do that! We paid 85000 pesos (120€) for everything except the lunch and the snack. We booked directly at the hostel that has a partnership with an agency in town.