Did You Know You Can Ski… On an Active Volcano in Chile?

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Chile is well-known as the most popular destination to ski in South America, the only other contender is Argentina where resorts are expensive and not as expansive. Punters' favourites would usually be Portillo or Valle Nevado due to the modern infrastructure and their easy accessibility from the capital, Santiago.

If you venture down South, before you reach the Lake District and Patagonia, you will find the small town of Pucon. The main attraction here is the Villarrica volcano, which, in winter, you can ski on. Admittedly, there are only 20 runs that cater for beginners as well as intermediate skiers, but I think the novelty of being able to ski on a very active volcano is rather impressive! The most recent eruption was on March the 3rd 2015, but fear not, the town has a very quick response system so you won’t be engulfed during your morning ski! In addition, some of the off-piste skiing can be great fun, the solidified magma-made half pipes and jumps are accessible by hiking.

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The six surface lifts can take you halfway up the volcano, and from there you can hike to the top of the volcano, where you can poke your head over and see the magma bubbling away. A day ticket for an adult ranges between $26,000 in low season and $36,000 in high season, while a half day is $30,000 in high season and $20,000 in low season, the lifts are open from 9am until 5pm.

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As you may not need the full day to ski all the runs in Pucon there are other adventurous activities that would be equally enjoyable, such as rafting, horse riding and trekking through the Huerquehue National Park on the hunt for waterfalls. The town has a ski resort feel with wooden cabañas lining the main streets serving local beer and hearty, warming Chilean cuisine which will fill you up after a day of activities.