We highly recommend a casual day hike in Villarica National Park. ¨Mirador Los Cráteres¨ Trail is a very easy hike with beautiful views of Volvan Villarica and the surrounding area. In only 4 km and an elevation gain of 280 meters, the whole family can enjoy two mirador lookouts called Mirador Fillkungüe and Los Crateres en Sendero.
The trail begins at the CONAF parking lot, about 300 meters from the Volcanic Caves.
In the beginning of the trail, you will go through a winding forest of gentle up and down slopes. At one point, the trail will split in two. Keep on the left to get to the first lookout. Summer is the only time that you will find a small stream along the trail. The rest of the year it remains dry. Don't forget your water!
After 3 km is your first Mirador-Fillkungüe where you will get a view of both the Zanjón Seco and Correntoso valleys, lakes Caburga and Huilipilún, Llaima Volcano, and Nevados de Sollipulli. It is well marked with a wooden platform to sit and relax at.
After this mirador, you can follow the same trail towards Volcán Villarica for another 800 meters until you get to Los Cráteres en Sendero. It is a bit more difficult to follow compared to the previous route because your trail turns into walking along the lava river flows. Watch for cracks in the craters that are getting in bad shape from invasive vegetation. If you look closely, you will be able to see many interesting formations in the rocks, and can climb through the small caves that they offer. You can also find a very nice spot to sit in the middle of a giant crater! This is where we recommend a nice lunch in a unique place where you are protected from the sometimes windy conditions.
At this point you have two options. One is to go back the way you came. For the more adventurous spirits though, you can follow the dry creek downriver until you see the roofs of the Volcanic Caves at the beginning of your hike and meet back up with the path that you started on. It is a harder hike, but will be faster and allow you to climb around more on some of the amazing rock formations.
A spanish, english, or german speaking guide can be hired for this hike at TravelAid for 35000 pesos. They are located at Edificio Ansorena 425 Local 4 in Pucón.
If you would only like a transfer and not a guide, their rates are as follows (for up to 4 people):
Transfer to the trailhead: 20000 pesos
Transfer to the trailhead with a 3 hour wait: 35000 pesos
Transfer both ways including bilingual guide: 50000
If you are more than four in your group, ask Travelaid for their rates
If you have your own means of transportation:
From Pucón, take the road towards Villarica until the crossing at Al Volcán on km 1. The road starts out paved, but will eventually turn into a fairly rough dirt road. Cars without four wheel drive should take caution, especially if your car seats very low to the ground. On km 9 is the entrance to the park at the CONAF. Continue to follow the road on the left that directs you to the Volcanic Cuevas sign. You will get to a parking lot in about 300 meters.
1500 pesos for Chileans
3000 pesos for foreigners