Mountain Climbing

From the country's northern regions to legendary Patagonia, Chile offers hundreds of peaks for mountain climbing enthusiasts, including 50 volcanoes.

For example, the Ojos del Salado Volcano, which sits 184 km east of Copiapó, is 6,893 meters high. Although it's not quite as tall as Argentina's Aconcagua, the highest mountain on the continent, it is an unforgettable adventure for even the most daring climbers.

There's also the perennially snow-capped Parinacota Volcano, which is known for its perfectly conical shape. You'll find it in the altiplano's Lauca National Park, which is also home to Lake Chungará and beautiful Aymara towns, and shared with Bolivia.

If you're looking for a daylong climbing excursion near Santiago, head to Cerro Providencia (2,750 m), part of the Ramón Sierra in the Andes foothills. To climb it, you'll need crampons and an ice axe. It's usually covered in snow during the winter and dry and sunny in the summertime.

In the heart of Maule Valley, 66 km from Talca, you'll find Altos de Lircay, a natural reserve containing native oak, lenga and coigüe forests, rivers and mountain lakes as well as large volcanoes like Descabezados and Quizapu, which is famous for producing the biggest eruption in Chilean history.

The region of Araucanía offers the chance to explore a chain of high peaks and volcanoes that offer sumptuous views of the surrounding forests, lakes and fjords, as well as the Pacific Ocean.

One of the most popular climbing destinations is the Villarrica Volcano, located in the park of the same name. You can still spot its plume of smoke and climb to the crater to see the lava flowing inside. Bring crampons and an ice axe, but you don't need to be an expert to reach the summit. It's located just a few kilometers from Pucón, one of Chile's top destinations for adventure tourism.

Another favorite destination is the Osorno Volcano near Puerto Varas. Explore its ice caves and take in its impressive panoramic views of Lake Llanquihue. Those who prefer less touristy climbs can check out the Calbuco Volcano.

Perched at the edge of the world, Torres del Paine National Park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country as well as peaks that have yet to be conquered by any climber.

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