My travel to Chile started in March 2009 not exactly knowing what the country was going to offer me.
I only saw pictures of snowcapped volcanoes, blue lakes, great national parks, a huge mysterious desert and the scientific Andes.
Sitting in the airplane and waiting for the landing in Santiago, I looked out of the window and had my first impression of that wonderful landscapeed country. And it did not disappoint me. The Andes presented themselves with all their majesty. I knew that this would be the beginning of a wonderful 6 months stay in Chile.
My home for the next months is Puerto Varas, that region where one lake meets another and which correctly received the name Lake District. It is a great green surrounding with volcanoes and the Andes in the background.
One volcano is called Osorno. With the height of 2660m above sea level, it overlooks the huge lake of Llanqihue like a big king. To watch the volcano from the shores of Puerto Varas is like looking at the pictures that I have looked at at home. After a one week stay only looking at the volcano I went on an excursion with Protours Chile Ltda to do a day hike amongst the moon field at the volcano. The way which is called “Pass de Desolacion” can either be hiked from Petrohué where you normally have to hike the same way back or you do it with an organized excursion from the Refugio La Picado. This is what I recommend, as you will have the full day to do the whole path. It leads you over lava-sanded areas that look as if you are walking on the moon to a plateau where you will have a wonderful view down to the lake Todos los Santos that mirror the growing range of the Andes. It is a great feeling of freedom standing there and enjoying the fantastic panoramic view while having a small picnic. And when you look behind, you are standing right infront of the snowcapped impressive volcano cone.
The lake view will accompany you during your way down until you reach an area of green bushes and trees. Walking along a riverbed turn around occasionally to delight yourself with another awesome look at the volcano.
After another 1-hour walk, we arrived in Petrohué a small hideaway down on the lake Todos los Santos. From here, you could embark on a catamaran to cross the lake to Peulla and even go further to Argentina.
For me it was the end of my first experience of hiking in Chile. We went back to Puerto Varas where I enjoyed watching my pictures.
In winter, this area offers some little spot to do skiing what I surely will do, as skiing on a vulcano is not possible everywhere. In the area around Santiago, you can even find worldclass ski areas which for me was surprisingly as I was not knowing that skiing in Chile was possible.
I am curious where my tours in Chile will lead me.