Chile's Lake and Volcano District offer some of the best downhill and backcountry skiing in Chile. The powdery conditions, challenging terrain, and awesome views provide a unique adventure, especially for visitors from the Northern Hemisphere looking to ski in June to September. The journey is topped off with spas, thermal baths and luxury resort accommodation.

Highlights

  • Ski at Corralco Resort, used by international teams
  • Climb Lonquimay and Villarrica volcanos, then ski back down off-piste 
  • Visit Pucón, Chile's adventure travel capital
  • Relax in Hot Springs Geométricas in Villarrica National Park
  • Ski in Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve

Overview

This is a terrific trip for active skiers who want to experience climbing and skiing in Chile's backcountry.  The plentiful snow and varied on- and off-piste opportunities attract professional and amateur skiers from all over the world. The ski season typically runs from mid-June and can go until last September or even October, but for optimal conditions, you should consider July and August.

Those considering this trip should be prepared for a challenge, as the itinerary includes some hiking to the rim of volcanic craters. The reward for your efforts is terrific skiing, plus the opportunity to relax in thermal baths and hotel spas. 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Santiago - Fly to Temuco, drive to Malalcahuello  Corralco
Day 2 Backcountry skiing, Lonquimay Volcano Corralco
Day 3 Ski in Corralco, drive to Pucón Pucón
Day 4 Villarrica Volcano climb, Ski in Pucón Pucón
Day 5 Rest day - Hot Springs Geométricas Pucón
Day 6 Ski in Pucón, drive to Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve Huilo-Huilo
Day 7 Mocho Volcano climb, ski in Huilo-Huilo Huilo-Huilo
Day 8 Huilo-Huilo, transfer to Temuco airport  

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Santiago - Domestic flight to Temuco – Drive to Malalcahuello and Corralco

Corralco Ski Resort is on the slopes of Lonquimay Volcano.

After arriving at Santiago’s International Airport, take the connecting flight to Temuco, at the heart of the Araucanía Region (1 hour) and gateway to the volcanoes of southern Chile.

From Temuco Airport, you will drive to the mountain village of Malalcahuello, located in Chile’s first Geopark “Kütralkura”, which means fire rock in the local language. You will visit the National Reserve Nalcas-Malalcahuello and travel through an amazing forest of araucaria araucana, evergreens also known as ‘monkey puzzle trees'.

You arrive at Corralco Ski Resort on the south slopes of the active Lonquimay volcano where your ski trip begins. This resort is renowned for its excellent snow conditions and used by international ski teams for training. After check-in, you can relax at the fantastic spa. At 8.15 pm your guides will give a briefing about the tour, followed by a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Backcountry skiing in Lonquimay Volcano

Spectacular views from the summit of Lonquimay 

This morning you'll explore the area on your first skiing excursion. Our guides will evaluate your skills and split the group into two teams according to your level. Corralco offers 500 acres (200 hectares) of uncrowded ski runs for all levels of ski and snowboard lovers. 

With the new lifts, you can ski on almost every corner of the mountain. You’ll have a vast 2470 acres (1000 hectares) ski domain to go on and off-piste through valleys and gullies. The stunning view from above overlooks fantastic peaks of the Andean Araucanía, including Sierra Nevada (8379 ft / 2554 m) and Llaima volcano, as well as Lanín volcano (12,172 ft / 3710 m) in the distance to the south. 

If weather conditions are favorable, you will attempt to ascend the Lonquimay volcano and reach its massive crater (9400 ft / 2865 m). From the top lift, there is a tough hike to the top (1-2 hours) from where you can enjoy magnificent views and then ski off-piste to the bottom of the slopes. This activity is strictly reserved for people in strong physical condition with an advanced level of skiing. 

In the evening you return to the hotel, relax in the spa, and enjoy the restaurant and bar. 

Day 3: Ski in Corralco - Drive to Pucón

Corralco's slopes are used for training by international teams.

This morning you will enjoy more ‘backcountry’ skiing in the Lonquimay volcano area, and take advantage of the new lifts “Cumbre” and “Navidad”. After a quick lunch on the way, you will drive to Pucón, Chile’s Adventure Travel capital. You will test out your mountain gear for the following day’s climb of Villarrica Volcano. 

Then you have a pasta dinner, stay overnight at the famous Antumalal Hotel and enjoy the Antumaco Spa.   

Day 4: Villarrica Volcano climb - Ski Pucón

View over Villarrica Lake.

Waking early, at 7.45 am we will go to Pucón Ski Center, which has nine ski-lifts (five draglifts and three chairlifts), and 20 runs to choose from.

If the weather allows, you will hike up the Villarrica volcano (9340 ft / 2847 m) to reach its active crater. You will always be accompanied by our specialized guides. The views from the slopes overlooking Lake Villarrica and the surrounding volcanoes are fabulous. Ski off-piste all the way down if you have an advanced level of skiing. The ascent lasts approximately six hours and the downhill skiing will take about 40 minutes. 

At the base of the resort, there is a cafeteria, and terrace to relax before return to Pucón. In the evening you will enjoy a Chilean style BBQ with our local guides. Overnight again at Antumalal Hotel & Spa.

Day 5: Rest day - Hot Springs Geométricas

A dip beneath a waterfall in Geométricas hot springs.

Today is a day for relaxation. You can choose from various options in the morning, including exploring downtown Pucón for shopping or simply relax in the Spa. After lunch together, you'll drive south for two hours through the Seven Lake Route, seeing several majestic snow-capped volcanoes such as Quetrupillan and Rucapillan. 

Day 6: Ski Pucón - Drive to Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve

Villarrica is one of Chile's most active volcanoes.

Today there is more skiing at Pucón Ski Resort, exploring some off-piste areas. After checking out of the hotel, you will drive for three hours to Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve. On arrival at the unique Nothofagus Hotel, relax at their fantastic Spa Lawenko before dinner.

OPTION: Try to climb Villarrica volcano if weather conditions were not good the day before, and then drive to Huilo-Huilo.

Day 7: Mocho Volcano climb - Ski in Huilo-Huilo

Skiing in groups through Chile's volcanic landscapes is unforgettable.

Today you will combine the adventure of climbing and skiing on active volcanoes. After an early morning breakfast, you go off-road with a 4WD vehicle through the native forest to reach the snow. Then the adventure continues on cat-skis and snowmobiles on an hour-long ride to a plateau beneath both volcanoes. 

With no ski lifts here, skiing and hiking are the only ways to reach the top of both volcanoes – Mocho (7946 ft / 2422 m) and Choshuenco (7923 ft / 2415 m). Enjoy incredible views overlooking the Lanín and Villarrica volcanoes. 

You will return to Huilo Huilo around 6 pm to relax at their spa before a farewell dinner.

Day 8: Huilo-Huilo - Transfer to Temuco airport (ZCO)

After a week-long adventure, say goodbye to the Southern Volcanoes of Chile. Transfer in the morning from Huilo-Huilo to Temuco’s Airport to catch the flight to Santiago.

Map

Map of Skiing in Chile's Lake & Volcano District - 8 Days
Map of Skiing in Chile's Lake & Volcano District - 8 Days