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Villarica Volcano

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Volcano Visits Refugio Villarrica  Chile

Volcano Visits

The Andes are home to numerous active and extinct volcanoes. As recently as 2008, the entire town of Chaitén had to be evacuated when its namesake volcano erupted, piling thick ash over thousands of square miles; half the city’s 7,000 inhabitants never returned. The 22,000-foot-tall Ojos del Salado volcano, on the border with Argentina, is, in fact, a fairly easy climb from the Chilean side. Villarrica Volcano, snowcapped and postcard-perfect, lies near Pucón and attracts visitors year-round, who ascend to admire its crowning crater lake. Paranicota, on the border with Bolivia, provides more of a challenge to climbers, mainly because of extreme cold and winds. And if hiking becomes a ho-hum way to visit volcanoes, you can actually ski the Lake District’s Osorno Volcano.