Volcan Villarrica, Chile or Volcan Lanin, Argentina?

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Volcan Villarrica, Chile or Volcan Lanin, Argentina?

by deep6 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:54 pm

i was planning to head out to Argentina/Chile late December 2011 - January 2012 for a 3-3.5 wks. trip and will be my first timer. i have about 4 extra days at the end of my trip so i wanted to try and make a run at either Volcan Villarrica, Chile or Volcan Lanin, Argentina. i'll be ending my trip and starting a climb from Buenos Aires plus I need to get back to BA to fly back home as well so just wanted to hear from those who've done either/both or planning on either of these volcanoes as to which is the better of the two (better weather, views, fun climb, etc)?

volcan lanin: i already looked into a bus as i'm trying to save some money from BA - San Martin de los Andes and it's 22hrs. one-way! is it better to just fly and how much does a flight costs RT and what's a reliable inter-country airline?

volcan villarrica: how do i get over to Pucon via a bus border crossings into chile from Buenos Aires, Argentina...will i have to pay for an entry visa,etc?

Also, any recommendations/tips (transportation/places to stay/guides/etc) for either of these climbs/hikes or must-see/do while in argentina/chile? Any help or info. would be greatly appreciated. Feel free and shoot me a PM or post up here. mucho gracias!

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Re: Volcan Villarrica, Chile or Volcan Lanin, Argentina?

by etai101 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:16 am

a tall order i will try to accommodate.
first off the two are considered moderate to easy climbs although i heard less traveled routs on lanin can be tricky.

out of the two the easiest to get to and climb is villarica, it is right out side pucon(you can arrive in pucon and the walk up is well established) no route finding or any such mountaineering skill needed other than glacier travel and especially self arrest techniques.
as well i believe the views around pucon are a better hit than lanin(mostly arid landscape).
the only draw back to villarrica other than the total lack of any technical climbing is the whether can be a big factor on the climb to much sun snow or rain could postpone summit push by a day or two(a mere 3h up 30m down due to the wonderful glissadding the volcano offers).

as for lanin it is a little tougher to get to and makes you're schedule harder to stick to unless you fly to bariloche than take a bus,
the summit of lanin is a 2 day push of scrambling and very light glacier walk to the summit but by far harder than villarrica and what i feel to be an upside to this volcano, it is not active thus once reaching the summit you dont take a gasp of toxic fumes like in villarrica.

in conclusion villarica easy to get to, quick ascent and fun descent, views are great and green with volcanoes all around the volcano is active if thats youre fancy and ,ost important you cna easly do this in youre time limit.
depending on youre experience level if still beginner would recommend guide service in villarrica and lanin both can be found in town at great expanse, lodging fairly cheap in both.
lanin is much more of a mountaineering experience,longer,more isolated and less visited, whether dosent play a great role on summiting

you do have to pay a small fee in the border cross to my recollection but its a beautiful boarder worth crossing if not for the volcano than for the scenery.

these links have all the info you might need eupiment,getting there,red tape guiding/transport services,bata etc. anything else you can ask when you get there, the people in the area are very helpful.


the bus service in these country's are fennominal better than first class on a plain and way cheaper worth it, from BA to bariloche i think between 70$-110$ the expensive one is a bed on the bus.


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Re: Volcan Villarrica, Chile or Volcan Lanin, Argentina?

by Baarb » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:32 am

You can go from San Martin de los Andes to Pucon by bus, there are a few per day, maybe takes 4-5 hours off the top of my head though time at the border is variable and usually longer going from Arg. to Chile than vice-versa due to checks for all manner of banned fruit and food. Don't chance it, they check everything and everywhere and fine you if they find something.

I would check on the impact of the Puyehue volcano in terms of flights and other logistics as BA airport is closed to flights now and again from what I hear. Buses occasionally break down too so I wouldn't necessarily rely on the one you're on getting you anywhere on time.

There's lots of info on the main VIllarrica and Lanin pages, reading through them and the trip reports will provide you with lots of info and an idea of what there is to offer and whether you will enjoy one more than the other. Personally I would say that the fact that you can breathe toxic gases on Villarrica is a real plus, there's a giant crater with magma sloshing around at the bottom that's really mind boggling. Whether you can see the magma depends on the time of year and yes the weather in the area is quite variable so you might not get to climb on your chosen day. Unless you have the various kinds of permissions to climb in Chile you're supposed to have a guide, there are people around that check these things unless you start while it's still dark. I don't know what the snow conditions will be like but there is risk of serious rock fall and some crevasses around so be careful regardless.

As for the rest of Chile and Argentina, again it depends what you like doing, hiking, technical stuff, museums, beaches etc. Torres del Paine in Chile and the Fitzroy area in Argentina are certainly right up there and cost effective.

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Re: Volcan Villarrica, Chile or Volcan Lanin, Argentina?

by Baarb » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:40 am

Villarrica looks a little active at the moment, rocks landing around the crater etc. You might want to check ahead to see if tours etc. are operating. http://www.povi.cl/

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Re: Volcan Villarrica, Chile or Volcan Lanin, Argentina?

by Australopitecus » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:10 pm

If you dont have lots of time better go to Pucon and Try Villarrica also nice hotsprings arround, if its active even better you will see some magma at the top, so far tours are going up normally and should not be a problem.
If you want a more demanding experience you should try Lanin by Chile (with Guide if you are alone or not experienced) sleeping in tent and no people arround, very cold (3700 in northen Patagonia!!!) 2 days or 1 day (fast) trip

http://www.andeshandbook.org/rutas.asp?codigo=218 Lanin in Spanish

http://www.andeshandbook.org/rutas.asp?codigo=213 Villarrica


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